SERVING LONGVIEW & SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, TX
Call Today! 903-758-2082

facebook-colortwitter-colorgoogleplus-coloryoutube-coloryelpicon32mailicon32

A Guide to Living With Allergies and Your Fur Babies

Having pets is an enjoyable experience – they love you unconditionally, they are incredibly adorable, and they can add a lot of value to your life. However, what happens if you’re allergic to the animals that bring you so much joy?

Many people are allergic to common pets like dogs and cats, and if you’re one of them, it may seem like having a fur baby is out of the question. After all, won’t you be suffering nonstop while they’re in your house?

Although life with allergies and a pet can be challenging, it doesn’t have to mean that you can’t have an animal with you. It just means that you have to be more careful about your situation and plan accordingly.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can make life easier when your pets are the ones triggering your allergy symptoms.

 

Understanding Pet Allergies

Before we get into the various methods you might be inclined to use to cope with your allergies, let’s first understand what’s triggering them. Once you know why you’re reacting, it’s much easier to prevent the next one.

Dander is a Trigger, Fur Isn’t – most people assume that the more fur there is, the easier it will be to have a reaction. However, it’s usually skin flakes that will cause problems, meaning that you could have a bald pet and still get allergies. Other triggers can include saliva, urine, and yes, fur in some cases.

Some Breeds are Less Trigger-Happy – just because you’re allergic to cats doesn’t mean that all cats will cause you to start sneezing. Some breeds are naturally hypoallergenic, or they don’t shed as much skin, allowing you to live in relative peace. Simply put, finding a different breed may help resolve the issue as much as anything else.

Get Tested to Be Sure – you can visit an allergist to find out what specific pets will cause the most severe reactions. Having this information can help determine what steps you can take to minimize the effects.

 

Living With Pets and Allergies

For most pet owners, the benefits of having pets largely outweigh the inconvenience of suffering through allergies. However, because no one wants to be coughing, sneezing and stuffed up all the time, let’s go over some simple ways that you can live relatively allergy-free, even while your pet is shedding dander all over the place.

Keep Your Home Clean – Always

The first and best method to avoid coming into contact with dander is to remove as much of it from your home as possible. Whether it’s vacuuming every couple of days or wiping down surfaces whenever you get a chance, the less dander there is in the air, the fewer attacks you will experience.

Yes, most people hate cleaning almost as much as they hate getting an allergic reaction, but once you’ve gotten into the habit of it, you won’t even think about it as a chore.

Remove Allergen-Trapping Materials

Carpets and area rugs are breeding grounds for allergens. Dander, fur, and other particles can get trapped in the fibers easily, making it harder to remove them from the house. If you’re committed to your pet, you may consider replacing your carpets with something easier to clean, like hardwood or laminate.

Overall, anything fuzzy will attract allergen particles, so try to avoid keeping furniture or decor that may become a hotbed of dander flakes.

Maintain an Allergy-Free Room

Being exposed to allergens on a consistent basis can be a little overwhelming at times. However, you can give yourself some respite by having a room or section of the house in which your pet cannot go. This way, you can be sure to avoid any triggers whenever you’re in there, thus allowing you to get a break from the constant bombardment. Just be aware that you will track allergens on your clothes, so don’t think that you can avoid cleaning that space.

Bathe Your Pet Often

When we have dander and flakes on our scalps, what do we do to manage it? We wash and condition our hair. The same is true for your pets. The more frequently you clean them, the fewer allergens that will slough off into your home.

When washing your pet, you can look for specialized shampoos that may help reduce dander (a la Head and Shoulders). You should also make sure to clean as thoroughly as possible so that you can get some relief for at least a couple of days.

Use Air Purifiers and Filters

Despite your best efforts, allergens are going to continue to float in the air. However, you can eliminate the majority of them with an air purifier. These machines can be a godsend for allergy sufferers as they remove particles like dust, pet dander, and pollen from the air all day long. Put purifiers in rooms where allergens are likely to collect (i.e., those with carpets) and you should notice a significant decrease in attacks. Just make sure you’re changing or cleaning the filters regularly.

 

Contact Longview Animal Hospital

If you’re ready to live the allergy-free life without getting rid of your pet, we can help you find the solution that works best for you. We’re committed to both our patients and their owners having happy, healthy, exciting lives. Contact us today  – we are happy to provide assistance.

Five Tips to Keep Your Pup Cool

Five Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool

Wet Towel or Blanket – Wet a towel or blanket in cool water and leave outside for your pet to lie down on as a way to escape from the heat.

Wading Pool – Fill a wading pool with cool water and allow your pup time to swim and cool off when it’s hot. Provide supervision during swim time, play water games and have some summer fun!

Provide Shade – Make sure that there are areas for your pet to get out of direct sunlight. Use a tarp or umbrella or an open sided tent to provide your pet with relief from the sun.

Early or Late Walks – Schedule your walks or outdoor exercise/play time for early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the hottest parts of the day. You and your pet will be much more comfortable!

Ice Cubes – Add a tray of ice cubes to your dog’s water or freeze some chicken broth in a tupperware container and give to your dog outside on a hot day.

 

Saturday hours for walk-insLongview Animal Hospital is pleased to announce that the practice is extending their Thursday hours for full day operations and is also opening up on the first Saturday morning each month.

“Many of our clients find it hard to schedule appointments during the work week and we’ve had requests for Saturday hours.  We’re thrilled to be able to add our new Saturday hours for walk-ins and we know our clients are going to appreciate that extra convenience”, said  Jill Foye, Practice Manager for Longview Animal Hospital.

Longview Animal Hospital is one of the oldest continuously operating vet clinics in the area.  The practice, originally named Longview Veterinary Hospital, was established in 1949 by Dr. Alec Sears.  It has changed owners several times over its long history: Dr. Jack Clayton (Owner from about 1950-1954); Dr. Bob Terrell (Owner from 1954-1994); Dr. Christina Odum (Owner from 1994-2011).

In 2011, the practice was taken over by Dr. Brian Foye.  Located at 2500 Estes Parkway, just south of the location where Estes divides and turns into High Street and Mobberly Avenue, the clinic offers updated state-of-the-art medical equipment and a full spectrum of Veterinary Services including diagnostics, surgeries, dental cleanings and extractions, vaccines and boarding.  Learn more about Longview Animal Hospital at their website at https://www.longviewanimalhospital.com or call 903-807-0887.

NEW Saturday Hours for Walk-Ins:

First Saturday of each month from 8am to noon.

Our Weapons in the Fight Against Heartworms

Heartworm Disease is preventable and is far more efficient and cost-effective to prevent than to treat.  In honor of National Heartworm Awareness Month, please find the following heartworm disease prevention resources to help learn about this disease, how it is spread, it’s symptoms and what you can do for your dogs and cats!

Since symptoms don’t always occur right away, it is recommended that pets are tested every year month (through a very simple blood test).  Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.  We can recommend the proper heartworm disease prevention for both your dogs and your cats and discuss treatment if necessary.

View our Article on our Cat Chat and Dog Blog “Heartworm Prevention Saves Lives”.

View our Heartworm Prevention Featured Products  Here.

Heartworm Disease Prevention Resources
(from the American Heartworm Society)

Click here to view General Information

Click Here to view information for Canines

Click Here to view information for Felines

View Symptoms for both Dogs and Cats in the image below.

heartworm disease prevention resources

 

We offer the following Heartworm Prevention Featured Products for your pet.

Trifexis (for dogs)

Heartworm Prevention Featured ProductsTrifexis is a chewable beef flavored tablet given by mouth once every 30 days to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. Trifexis also kills fleas within 30 minutes and keeps working to prevent flea infestations all month long. Trifexis also treats and controls Roundworms, Hookworms and Whipworms. This product can be given to puppies 8 weeks of age and older and 5 lbs. and greater.

Receive a $10 mail in rebate with the purchase of 6 doses.
Receive a $25 mail in rebate with the purchase of 12 doses.
Use Promo Code TFX2018.

Sentinel (for dogs)

Sentinel is a pork liver flavored tablet given by mouth once every 30 days to prevent heartworm disease  in dogs. Sentinel stops fleas before they become adults to end the infestation cycle. This product also removes and controls Whipworms, and Roundworms. Sentinel controls Hookworms as well. This
product is safe for dogs four weeks of age and older and two pounds of body weight or greater.

Receive a $7 mail in rebate with the purchase of 6 doses.
Receive a $20 mail in rebate with the purchase of 12 doses.

Pro-Heart 6 (for dogs)

Pro-Heart 6 is an injection given in the veterinary hospital that protects dogs from heartworm infection for 6 full months. Pro-heart also treats hookworm infections present at the time of infection. Pro-heart can be given to dogs 6 months of age and older of varying sizes and breeds.

 

Advantage Multi (for cats)

Advantage Multi is a topical parasiticide used for the topical treatment of cats eight weeks of age and older, weighing 5-18 lbs. Advantage Multi kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching for one month. This product also treats and controls ear mites, roundworms and hookworms.

Receive a $40 rebate with Heartworm Test when you purchase one 6-pack;
Receive a $25 rebate without Heartworm Test when you purchase one 6-pack;

Receive a $75 rebate with Heartworm Test when you purchase two 6-packs;
Receive a $60 rebate without Heartworm Test when you purchase two 6-packs;

chocolate toxicity in dogs
Chocolate is a big part of many of our holidays – Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween seem to be the big ones.  We know that for humans, chocolate can be beneficial for us – it provides antioxidants (the darker the chocolate, the better it is for us),  it may help with memory function,  it tastes great and it makes us feel good.  While this is wonderful for humans, it’s not so great for dogs.

There are compounds found in chocolate (methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine) that are highly toxic for dogs.  Darker chocolates and cocoa powders have more of these compounds than lighter chocolates, and white chocolate has very little.  While these compounds are metabolized very quickly in humans, they break down very slowly in dogs.  Because they are processed so much more slowly in dogs, they can accumulate quickly and reach toxic levels.  The effects of the toxin depends on the weight of your dog and how much chocolate they consumed.  

Mild reactions to chocolate toxicity will include digestive distress – indicated by upset stomach, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.  Consumption of larger amounts of chocolate can result in more severe health effects – tremors, seizures, heart malfunctions, damage to the pancreas, internal bleeding and more.  Moderate to severe symptoms require veterinary treatment and can result in fatality.

If your pet has eaten chocolate and is experiencing any symptoms beyond mild reactions, give us a call and let us know so that we can advise you on the best actions for your pet.  Use the calculator provided below for general guidance based on weight and amount of chocolate consumed.

Note: one Hershey’s Kiss is approximately .16 ounces; one single bar of chocolate is approximately 1.55 ounces; and a large bar of chocolate is approximately 4.4 ounces.
 

stray animal

If you are a person that has a natural affinity for pets, you are likely at some point to come into contact with a stray or feral animal that might need help.  A stray animal is one that has had contact and socialization experiences with people at some point in its past, but has been lost or is no longer in a domestic living situation.  A feral animal is one that has never been socialized with humans – as it was likely born in the wild and has remained so.

Safety (for both you and the animal) is the most important consideration when trying to rescue a stray or feral cat or dog.  Since you have no knowledge of the animal’s medical condition or of it’s past experiences with people, there is little guidance on how it might react to someone trying to intervene on its behalf.  Chances are that the animal will be fearful and wary (your presence can be a high stress situation for it), in which case it is more likely to act aggressively as a way to protect itself, so biting and scratching behavior can be expected.

If you are not equipped to deal with a stray animal, you can contact a local agency (Animal Control in city limits or sheriff’s department at local town offices) for help.  Give the specific location/address of the animal and if possible, stay at the scene until help arrives. If you are in a vehicle, stay inside so that you don’t scare the animal away in the meantime.

To protect yourself and the animal, rescues should always be handled carefully.  If the animal is able to be approached, food can be offered to gain trust. Use long, heavyweight gloves and have containment or restraint options available (a crate, leash, etc.).  If you are able to safely contain the animal, you can take it to a veterinary service location where employees have expertise in dealing with strays and where the animal can be scanned for an id chip or tags/licenses can be checked. A description of a found animal should be reported to local shelters in case the owner contacts them seeking a lost pet.

If you do bring home a stray animal and you have other pets at home, it’s important  to keep them separated until you can have the rescued animal examined for any health issues and if they are healthy you can have them vaccinated to protect them moving forward. After that time you can slowly introduce them to other furry family members at home.

In most cases a rescued or stray animal makes a wonderful pet!

If you would like to consider adopting a shelter animal, contact one of our local organizations:

 

Aggression in Dogs

Aggression in dogs can be a serious issue.  If you notice unpredictable, aggressive behavior in your pet, you should consult a professional for guidance.  Canines typically, like most other animals, give warning signals before they act.  They might bark, growl, snarl or bare their teeth as warnings that they are about to respond.  Learning how your dog expresses a warning is an important part of being able to appropriately respond to prevent bad behavior.

Dogs can behave aggressively for a number of reasons, but it is almost always an emotional response or reaction to something else that is happening.  It could be as a result of feeling fear or trying to provide protection (for a pack/family member or home territory) or maybe to defend food or toys.  It could be a result of frustration or pain stemming from an injury or medical issue.  Your responsibility as a pet-owner is to help minimize the stressors to your pet so that they don’t get to the point of eliciting an aggressive response.

According to the ASPCA, stranger aggression is common – 60-70% of all pet dogs will bark threateningly at strangers or act unfriendly when around them.  If your dog reacts with warning signals when you have a guest in your home, you can make it a habit to bring the dog to a comfortable place in another room along with a nice treat for the duration of the visit.

If you are out in public with your pet, you might be able to determine if their behavior changes depending on how close a person gets to them.  Be aware of that comfort zone and use rewards or treats to associate other people with good things.  Work closely with a trainer and be patient since behavioral changes will take time.

In addition to training and behavior motivations, we encourage a visit to a vet to determine if there might be an underlying medical issue that is causing the behavior, particularly if the animal escalates to aggressive behavior quickly or with little-to-no warning signs.  A pet that behaves unpredictably or reacts in a confrontational manner without warning requires professional attention.

If you are in need of support, please schedule an appointment with us or contact a local trainer.  Two trainers in our area are listed below.

Pam Orms, Pam’s Dog Grooming and Obedience School(903) 845-4890;
https://www.facebook.com/PamsDogGroomingAndObedienceSchool

Jenny Lavender, People Training for Pets,  (903) 702-9877;
https://www.facebook.com/PTFPeasttexas903

 

Pet Exam with Dr. O’Reilly

pet exam dr oreilly

Not sure what happens during a Pet Exam wellness checkup?  We thought this video might help!

Watch Dr. Melissa O’Reilly as she examines Peggy-Sue, one of our clinic animals here at Longview Animal Hospital, with explanations along the way.  This tooth to tail wellness exam video will help you learn what happens during a standard checkup!

Pets in the WorkplaceThe concept of bringing pets into the workplace is increasingly being recognized as beneficial to business operations by improving employee effectiveness and sense of well-being, and increasing customer satisfaction.  More and more businesses are getting on board, and studies and articles are highlighting the results:

  • When workers bring their pets to their workstations, they report less stress by the end of the day, unlike coworkers who do not bring their pets or who are without pets, both of whom report an increased amount of stress by the end of the day.

  • Employees work more hours in a day, stay at an organization for longer, and have fewer absences if they can bring their pets into the workplace.

  • Customers are more likely to relax and enjoy their time at a business, as well as view it as forward-thinking.

  • Gleeful pets may facilitate more positive coworker exchanges and can allow employees to step back from problems before getting too engrossed to find a solution.

  • Being able to take time at work to care for their pet’s needs allows long-distance or long-working employees to cut the costs of walking services.  Simply owning pets saves billions in healthcare costs, but being able to walk those pets saves millions.

Are you interested in bringing these benefits into your work environment, but aren’t sure how to get the ball rolling?  Here are some considerations to help get you started:

 

Decisive Initial Questions – Pets in the Workplace

  • Does your industry-type match up?  The medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries may not have the regulatory standards compatible with pet-hospitality in the workplace.

  • What is the condition of your workplace?  Even if you work outside of these industries, you may want to consider whether the condition of your workplace poses any threat to the health of your pet, or whether it can handle the wear and tear that  pets might cause.

  • What will insurance cover?  As implied above, pets can impose some level of risk for  property damage and personal injury at the workplace, as well as the legal and insurance issues that may follow them.  It is important for both business owners and employees to verify with their agents how they can be covered in this situations before moving on.

  • Is your work community up for it?  Some people have moderate to severe allergies or phobias.  Others may be concerned about pets being the causes of and outlets for distraction.  How will a pet impact cleanliness and order at work ; are there fears of property damage and personal injury.

 

Suggestions for Implementation

If the movement gets a go-ahead, it can be helpful to co-create/collaborate on a pet-policy!  Why make a policy?  Not only could it address any legal issues should they occur later on down the line, but rules can support the execution of both work goals and interpersonal harmony during the transition into work life with this new addition.  Furthermore, if a business owner includes employees in the policy-making process, participants may be more likely to follow through on requirements because they understand the reason for existence and they all generally agreed on them.  For sample policies, consider these sources: Workable, Pet Sitters International, and LawRoom (this one includes a reminder about Service Dogs).

 

Lastly, check out articles on pets in the workplace supplied by The Balance and Cesar’s Way for more ideas of details to think of adding to a pet-policy.  From fun to strictly practical, they have it all; here are some of the ones we find the most important and the most fun:

  • Fun Group Idea: Make a habit of gathering up the team’s friendly furry family members before/after work or during lunch for a group walk, run, or bike ride!  Be sure they meet in a neutral area and have plenty of time to smell each other.

  • How will the pets be contained and supervised throughout the workday?

  • Pet Play Time: For at least 20-30 minutes a day, declare a jamboree – have the pets share a toy, play one-on-one, or go to a pet-friendly park!  Make sure your pet has an outlet for all of their energy and attention!

  • Which behaviors will be met with which level of consequences?

  • Before they Arrive: Designate a special place for your pet in the workplace, perhaps with a special cushion, and lead them to it.  It may decrease territorial behavior and increase feelings of safety and a willingness to share the area.

  • What level of training is required for pets, and what phase of learning are coworkers willing to support?  That being said, what are any rules around how coworkers and customers can interact with pets at which times – will there be a no touch, no talk, no eye-contact policy?

  • To Maintain that Work-Life Balance: Play, run, walk, or bike for at least 30 minutes before work so that it serves the dual purpose of bonding with your pet  through activity and also allowing them to tire out enough to allow you to work for more sustained periods of time.  A backpack for your pet may also have a similar effect.  Be sure to walk your pet every few hours.

  • What are the requirements surrounding a pet’s vaccine status, health condition, and grooming rituals?

  • Where and when, or, for what events, are pets not allowed?

  • Remember your Responsibility to the Needs of your Pet and to the Items in your Policy

Trainers and veterinarians can be valuable sources of input on whether a furry family member is ready for a trip to the workplace, or on whether a workplace is ready for a few furry visitors!  All questions are welcome at Longview Animal Hospital! (903)-807-0887

 

Other Sources

https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/resources/articles/the-benefits-of-bringing-pets-to-work/

https://www.selective.com/info-center/resource-center/newsletters/commercial-connections/volume5-issue1-2016/liabilities-for-pet-friendly-business