SERVING LONGVIEW & SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, TX
Call Today! 903-807-0887

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senior-petHaving an older pet in your life is a wonderful thing.  All the work that has gone into training your younger pet pays off greatly when your pet ages into a more calm, seasoned adult. All dog breeds are considered to be approaching senior years when they reach about 7 years of age.

Testing is important as your pet begins to age so that there is baseline information on file and changes throughout each year can be tracked and evaluated as your pet continues to grow older.  It is recommended that screening labs and bloodwork are updated once or twice each year.  This helps to identify any illnesses or age-related diseases while still in the early stages, making diagnosis and treatment more effective for your pet.  Treatment in the earlier stages also tend to be less costly.

It is not uncommon for older dogs and cats to outwardly appear perfectly healthy, as they are very good at hiding symptoms for long periods of time.  Often they seem to go from healthy to very sick almost overnight, when they can no longer hide that something is wrong.  Regular screenings are a reliable way to be sure that your pet remains healthy and are recommended every 6 months along with a physical exam.

Screenings typically include a Complete Blood Count, serum chemistry panel, a thyroid test and a urinalysis.  These tests give an overall indication of your pet’s health and can detect conditions, infections and illnesses in the early stages.  As your dog or cat ages, they may require changes to their diet or perhaps they need medications to help keep them more mobile.  They may become more susceptible to parasites.  Older pets may also begin to exhibit some behavior changes (disorientation or hearing loss, vision loss, mood changes, repetitive behaviors, etc.).  Regular exams and screenings help to address these issues as they begin to occur.

If you have any questions about the health of your senior pet, please contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital at (903) 807-0887.  We are happy to help guide you through this special time.

For additional resources on caring for a senior pet, please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association. 

 

 

Dr. Foye and the crew at Longview Animal Hospital, along with our families, enjoyed a team outing to watch the final Rangers game of the regular season. What a beautiful stadium, an enjoyable game (although they could not quite pull off a win after going into an extra inning in overtime) and an amazing staff!! It was nice to get out, relax and have fun together.

Click on any of the images below to view larger images in carousel.

 

It’s that time of year again!  (Entry deadline updated.)dog-1547114_1280

Stop by at Longview Animal Hospital to have a photo taken of your costumed pet (and receive a free halloween treat bag for your pet), or send your information and photo to us by email.

 

Entries are accepted by email starting today (10/1) through FRIDAY, October 28, 5:00 pm.
Note: Contest winners will be limited to those who reside with their pets within our business operating region.

Entries will be placed in our dedicated 2016 Pet Halloween Costume Contest Album that evening on our Facebook Page.

Voting will take place on our Facebook Page ALBUM from 10/28 (evening) through noon on 10/31 (1 like = 1 vote).

Winners (top 3 of those with the most likes) will be announced on our Facebook Page at 5pm CST

1st Prize: $50 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital and a Pawsitively Awesome Pet Gift Basket!

2nd Prize: $30 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital and a large bag of Hills Science Diet  pet food.

3rd Prize: $20 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital.

 

Please submit your entry by email to longviewanimalhospital@gmail.com.
Please include:

Pet’s Name
Owner’s Name
Costume Description
Pet’s Age
Pet’s Breed
Any Additional Information
Town where you live
Don’t forget to attach your photo!

Thank you!  We look forward to seeing your pictures – good luck to all!

Click Here to Submit Your Entry

View Official Contest Rules Page

hip displasia wikimedia cc0

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that is found commonly in larger dog breeds but can occur in smaller breeds and even cats as well.   The condition occurs when the ball of the femur bone does not fit perfectly into the pelvic socket. Instead of a smoothly operating ball-and-socket joint, there is laxity in the joint that over time will cause inflammation and loss of function of the joint.  Dogs with hip dysplasia experience pain and limping and are prone to more severe arthritic symptoms due to inflammation and the continued degeneration of cartilage in the hip joint.

Some breeds have a genetic susceptibility for hip dysplasia, others can develop it as a result of poor nutrition or obesity.  A combination of a physical exam, and x-rays are usually necessary to determine if the condition exists. Swimming exercises and weight control are two possible non-invasive treatments that can help alleviate some of the damage of the condition.  Most dogs, however, need anti-inflammatory and/or pain medications and we carry a variety of options.  For more severe cases, there is also the option of injectable medications or corrective surgery in younger dogs.  Older dogs with severe disease can sometimes be candidates for hip replacement, just like in humans.

If you should have any questions about this topic or if you are concerned that your pet may be suffering the effects of this condition, please give us a call at 903-807-0887 and set up an appointment for an exam with x-rays.  We will work with you to develop a plan for the most effective treatment based on you and your pet’s needs.

To view some frequently asked questions about Hip Dysplasia on our ePetHealth Portal  (login required), and then you can access information at the link below:
https://www.epethealth.com/Articles/Dog/53

Click Here to learn more about our ePetHealth Portal – a great resource for all pet owners!

Service dogs are amazing animals and typically possess certain characteristics like good health and temperament and the ability to be trained.  Any dog can be a service dog if they possess the proper qualities.servicedogcc

Service dogs are specifically trained for individuals whose physical and/or psychiatric disabilities make it difficult to complete at least one major life task alone.  They can free people from the confines of the mind and body, and help them lead happier and safer lives.
Service dogs may be trained to:

  • lead those with hearing/visual impairments
  • calm and focus those with PTSD and/or autism
  • dial 911
  • help someone stand and walk by acting as a brace
  • help pull someone’s wheelchair
  • open and close doors
  • turn light switches on and off
  • pick up small objects
  • let someone know that they are going to have a seizure
  • let someone know that their insulin levels are low
  • remind someone to take medication

Because of the life-or-death nature of the tasks service dogs may perform, it is vital that they aren’t distracted.  If we coo over them, they may miss the warning signs of a seizure, and any consequential injuries would be our fault.  As much as the soulful eyes plead with us to give them attention, it is respectful that we politely ignore them.  Don’t worry though, service dogs get off-time when they can play in the grass and are shown they are loved.

Service dogs are not required to wear a vest or any other identifying or proving information.  Although it would be helpful that handlers provide us with some kind of identification, for those of us who melt at the sight of any pet (which a service dog is not – they are working dogs, and legally classified as medical equipment), it is always good practice to ask if a stranger’s dog is a service animal before we kneel down to pet it.

Fleas Can Kill

On June 2, 2016, a normally bright and active cat named Paul was presented to Longview Animal Hospital in very bad shape.  He was almost comatose and could not even lift his head.  His gums were very pale, almost white and he had a temperature that was so low it would not even register on our thermometers.  

After an extensive examination and blood work, it was determined that Pauls’ main source of illness was his anemia, which was due to a severe flea infestation.  Paul’s owner was informed that he needed extensive care and still may not survive.

Paul, upon admission
Paul, upon admission

We immediately started killing the massive amount of fleas, got Paul on a heating blanket to warm him up, started IV fluids and other medicines to get him out of shock and began working on a plan to get a unit of blood to give him a transfusion.  We worked with the emergency clinic here in town and got a unit of cat blood within an hour.  

Just prior to starting the transfusion, Paul went into cardiac and respiratory arrest.  He was dying.  While trying to keep Paul alive, his owner was contacted to give a very poor prognosis and to determine if they still wanted us to give the blood and incur that expense.  

His owner wanted to do everything they could, no matter the cost, so we proceeded with the transfusion.  Almost immediately, Paul began to show signs of life and even lifted his head.  We had a small glimmer of hope!  By the end of the transfusion, he was even starting to try and sit up.  We all began to think that Paul might be our little June miracle!

Sure enough, the next day Paul was standing up, had a normal temperature and was already eating food again.  His owner brought a video of Paul playing vigorously just a few days later!  He is back to being an active, playful, sweet kitty and we couldn’t be more happy for him and his owner.  And we couldn’t be more proud of our team for working together, making the most of every second and not giving up on Paul.  Here are the fruits of that labor of love…

Beginning the transfusion for Paul
Beginning the transfusion for Paul

 

Paul, perking up
Paul, perking up

 

Paul - alert and sitting up
Paul – alert and sitting up

The takeaway message is that we all think fleas are a nuisance and are gross, but we often forget that they can kill pets.  PLEASE keep your loved ones protected this summer with flea and heartworm prevention!  As much as we enjoy telling this story about Paul’s miraculous recovery, we don’t want to have to do it again!  😀

For more information about fleas and ticks, click here.

For more information about heartworm prevention, click here.

Contact our team  at Longview Animal Hospital with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.   We can recommend the proper prevention for both your dogs and your cats and discuss treatment if necessary.

July 4th Celebrations can be Scary for Pets

sparklers-923029_640Everyone loves a good Independence Day party complete with cookouts and guests and a night full of fireworks.  The 4th of July is our annual kickoff for the summer season – long days, warm nights and lots to do.  As much as we love to celebrate July 4th, our Independence Day celebrations can often be scary for our pets.  According to the Humane Society, animal shelters throughout the US report a dramatic increase in the number of lost pets during the 4th of July weekend.

Help to keep your pet as comfortable as possible during the weekend by following these simple tips for safety:

•  Whatever your plans, keep your pets indoors and make sure you leash your pet when going for walks throughout the weekend.  Find a quiet, comfortable room for your pet to stay in throughout the festivities and provide water throughout the day.  If you are hosting your own party, this will prevent your pets from becoming anxious or overexcited from having a lot of people around.  It also assures that they can’t get into human food that might accidentally get dropped on the ground.  If you are attending a barbecue somewhere else, keeping your pets contained indoors will prevent them from roaming to a neighbor’s celebration where the good smells of grilling foods can lure them away from home.

•  Excessive heat can also be a cause for concern for pet’s on the 4th of July.  Be aware of the temperature and watch your pet for signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.  More information about heat and your pets can be found here.

•  Keeping your pet safely away from fireworks is necessary to prevent accidental burns or ingestion, but also helps to prevent them from running off due to the loud noises, bright flashes and strong smells of explosives.  Turning on a TV or a radio in the room with your pet can help keep them distracted from the jarring noises of nearby fireworks.  If you are traveling to watch a community fireworks display, leave your pet safely at home.

•  If your pet is severely impacted by the noise, we can help you find a medication that can be used to help reduce your pet’s anxiety (never provide over the counter medication without guidance from your vet).   If you are with your pet during these times of fear, resist the urge to comfort or distract your pet with food or treats as this can be interpreted as a reward for their nervous behavior.

•  As a general safeguard, make sure that your pets  are wearing collars and that they have appropriate identification tags so if that should they run off, they can be easily identified and returned to you. If you are considering using a microchip for your pet, please let us know – we can help you with up-to-date information and procedures.

Our team at Longview Animal Hospital wishes you and your families a Happy and Safe 4th of July!  

 

For more summer safety tips, click the poster image below from Petfinder!

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Excellent Care To The Max!

MrsWillis_Max_Hailey

On March 21st, Mrs. Willis brought the cutest 2 year old Yorki Poo named Max to us saying that he just wasn’t acting right for a few days. We performed bloodwork on Max and determined that he was severely anemic, meaning his red blood cells were lower than normal.

We hospitalized him so that we could recheck his red blood cells in a few hours. When we checked him again, his red blood cells were even lower. So low, in fact, Max would die soon without a blood transfusion! A test we ran confirmed that Max had Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), a disease in which Max’s immune system starts to destroy his own red blood cells.

Billy-Blood DonorWe knew we had to act fast, so luckily we keep a blood donor dog at our hospital, a loveable black lab named Billy who we rescued after he was hit by a car a few years ago. Dr. Foye and his lead tech Hailey immediately anesthetized and prepped our hero Billy to pull over 300 mls of blood from him.

Once the blood was gathered, the medical team hooked it up to Max and slowly began infusing him with the life-saving blood. We could tell that Max felt better and stronger almost immediately.

His blood count rose slowly and then leveled off. We were concerned when it soon dropped again. Max was not responding to the medicine we were giving to suppress his immune system to keep it from destroying the red blood cells. We needed to add another hard-to-find medicine to his treatment and called a local pharmacy to compound some for us ASAP.

Once we got that medicine started, Max’s blood levels started to rise again. After a few more days in the hospital providing medicines, supportive care and rechecks, Max was sent home. He’s been in twice since that time and we are so happy to report that Max is back to being his crazy, lively self!

 

Hailey Overseeing Max's Transfusion

Summer Heat can be Dangerous

Summer is a wonderful time of year for all kinds of outdoor activities, but the extreme heat of the season can be dangerous for both humans and pets.  Similar to people, cats and dogs can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  They can get a sunburn and they can suffer from the effects of hot surfaces as well.  There are several things that we can do as pet owners to reduce the amount of stress from heat to our pets and to help keep them safe from harmful effects.

The most serious concern in severe heat is heat stroke.  This comes about when the animal overheats and is no longer able to cool down to maintain a normal temperature (100-102.5 degrees for dogs; 100.5-102.5 for cats).  This is a very serious condition and can cause organ failure, seizures, brain damage and death.  A pet that is showing signs of heat stroke should be seen immediately by a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible.  They will need specialized fluids and possibly oxygen and monitoring for additional organ damage.

Animals more susceptible to suffer stress from heat include both very young and older animals, those with darker fur, overweight animals, brachiocephalic breeds with short noses (such as Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs) and those who have been recently ill. Pets that suffer from and survive heat stroke are more likely to experience it again, so extra care must be taken in the future to protect them from excessive heat.

If your pet is overheating, they might exhibit signs of heat exhaustion prior to collapse.  Symptoms can include excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, fever and vomiting.  A first step in helping your pet is help them to lower their body temperature.  Move them to a cooler location – preferably somewhere indoors with a fan or air conditioner  – and provide cool fresh water for them.  Use room temperature water (either by hand or in a misting spray bottle) to help cool their skin via evaporation.  Monitor your pet closely for improvement.

There are other things you can do to help protect your pet from adverse effects from heat, such as limiting exercise periods during hot days.  Take walks in the morning and evening hours so that you can minimize their exposure during the hottest parts of the day.  Keep them on grassy areas if possible as hot surfaces can harm their paw pads as well as increase their body temperatures. Outside areas should have access to a shady or sheltered area and should always have easy, nearby access to cool clean water – preferably in a container that can’t be tipped over.  Help keep water cool by using ice cubes or adding a container of frozen chicken or beef stock.  If you have access to a small clamshell pool or a sprinkler, you can allow your dog to use these to cool off as well (with supervision).

Never use a muzzle for your dog in hot weather as it restricts their ability to pant – which is how they cool themselves off to maintain their body temperature.  Grooming to remove shedding fur or trimming long hair can help to keep your pet cooler, but don’t shave too close (leave at least an inch in length) as the fur protects your pet from sunburn.

Finally, never leave your pet in a parked car as temperatures will rise very quickly – even if the windows are open.  If you have any additional questions about heat issues for your pet, please let us know!  Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital at 903-807-0887.

car temp

 

One of the most common infectious disorders in dogs is parvovirus.  When left untreated, parvovirus claims the lives of over 90% of those infected.  The best treatment for parvovirus is prevention through vaccination.  This highly contagious infection is a huge concern for puppies and older dogs since they have weaker immune systems.

 

Electron micrograph of canine parvovirus (CC0 wikimedia)
Electron micrograph of
canine parvovirus
(CC0 wikimedia)

Parvovirus typically affects the gastrointestinal system in dogs. The virus is spread through oral contact via feces or infected soil and can remain alive in organic material for more than a year.  Some dogs will exhibit symptoms within 3-10 days after exposure, however many adult dogs will show no symptoms.

Signs of parvovirus include a loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea with abdominal pain and blood in the stool.  Dehydration and secondary infections are also possible if untreated.  If you notice lethargy, lack of appetite, or blood in the stool, contact us for an immediate appointment.

The virus affects lymphocytes in lymph nodes and also kills tissue in the intestines which causes bacteria to leak through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream.  This can cause sepsis and even death.  Side effects following infection for surviving dogs can be severe.  Virus remnants remain for up to three weeks and a previously infected dog will be a carrier of the virus forever.

While cats don’t get parvovirus, there are two similar viruses that they are susceptible to, feline infectious enteritis and feline panleukopenia, both of which are similar in effect to parvovirus.  Again, in both cats and dogs, the best treatment is prevention through vaccination.

To prevent these deadly diseases, we recommend puppies start vaccines at 8 weeks of age and get booster vaccines at 12 weeks and 16 weeks. If you follow our vaccination schedule, your puppy should be protected and live a long, happy life!

As always, if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital.