SERVING LONGVIEW & SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

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

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Ten Fun Ways to Show Your Pet You Care

Happy Pet Appreciation Week!  To honor this event, we encourage you to take some time to contemplate the comfort, joy, fun, and companionship your furry family members bring to your life.  Express your feelings of thankfulness or gratitude for any and all pets – your own or those loved by someone you know (or even by someone you don’t know), stray or accommodated, past or present.

One of the best ways to show you care is to become an expert in communications with your pet. The language barrier between animals and humans can make it hard to tell whether our gestures of recognition and affection are fully appreciated.  That’s why knowing how our cats and dogs behave to communicate their needs and feelings can be one of the best ways to convey our love and thanks.  Not only that, it can also strengthen your relationship by enabling  better understanding and trust.

Look below for some ways to meaningfully communicate with your pets and let them know that you care for them by using their very own language! Included are some ways of acknowledging the service done by pets in general and also some ways of caring for your pet in less personal and maybe even less enjoyable ways, though more beneficial in the long run.

Personally…

  1. Eye Contact.  For many animals, eye contact can be confrontational, so make sure you and your pet are in a state of relaxation when you want to have this feelings jam.  
    – For dogs, you want to speak softly and stroke them gently while you gaze into each other’s eyes.  This is an eye-hug, which releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin in both you and your dog.  
    – With cats, eye contact is another story.  Cats blink slowly and bow their head as a testament to their trust in you, as it is a vulnerable action.  When your furry feline friend approaches you, it may do well to demonstrate your trust in them in return by baring the top of your head to them and slow-blinking.  This will likely bring on a head-bump.

  2. Sleeping, Napping, or Lying Together is also a vulnerable act for your pet, and demonstrates trust.

  3. Petting.  Most pets like to be pet and have specific areas and ways of being pet that they prefer.  Pay attention to how your cat or dog reacts to being pet in different areas.  Some breeds of both families like to be pet on the stomach, but also watch for when your furry family member might be thinking enough is enough.  We’ve heard that dogs and cats also really like being scratched on and around their ears.  What may be news is that they might not like being hugged as much as we like to give them hugs.  
    – For some dogs, leaning on you can be a display of trust, and thus they may get the message if you give them a lean or two right back.  
    – Cats have a little bit more of a complex communication system when it comes to petting.  When your cat rubs itself nose-to-tail on you, it is supposed to transfer pheromones that communicate their ownership of you to other cats.  Therefore, petting your cat nose-to-tail can inform your cat that you are happy to be owned by them.  Furthermore, cats like to head-butt, which can sometimes hurt, but is also a sign of respect.

  4. Training.  Cats, in addition to dogs, can in fact be trained!  Not only can the process increase your and your pet’s mutual understanding, but the positive reinforcement and rewards system can also reinforce your pet’s trust in you as their provider of food as well as a source of affirmation.

  5. Playing.  Being a part of your cat’s or dog’s playtime is another great way to build trust, since your pet can also begin to associate you with fun or a time when they get to hone their focus and hunting skills.  Technology has also developed to the point where there are some automatic and timed toys your pet can play with while you are away, in case yours is a cat or a dog that gets bored or despondent during that time.  If you have some friends with pets, and everyone has a history of getting along, a playdate can be a good idea, too!

  6. Feeding.  Food can be a great motivator as in training, but it can also be a great way to show appreciation and affection.  We’ve heard that feeding by hand can not only contribute to bonding but can also decrease some of your pet’s (usually dogs’) aggression surrounding food.  There are also some foods that all cats, dogs, and humans can eat, and so it could also be a fun tradition to cook a special  meal once in a while to eat all together.

  7. Learn How They Communicate.  There is definitely more in terms of  what different behaviors and actions can convey.  Being able to recognize and then respect and respond appropriately when your pet is distressed or playful can really reinforce the loving relationship you already have with each other.

Generally…

8. Grooming/Maintenance.  Your pet may not enjoy it when they have to get their nails clipped, their ears cleaned, and their coat brushed, or when they have to be taken to get vaccines, but they may enjoy some of the comfort it can provide them afterwards.

9. Pet Insurance.  Similarly, presenting your pet with an insurance card may not produce a gleam in their eyes, but it could get them treatment later on when they really need relief from pain.

10. Volunteering at or Donating to Your Local Shelter.  If you don’t currently have a pet, but have wonderful memories of a pet you had in the past, or if you just love animals in general, there are plenty of opportunities for you!  Try donating to a local shelter or spending some time as a volunteer cleaning facilities or walking shelter pets.  You can also purchase items that an animal shelter needs on a regular basis (things like blankets and towels, food, dishes, crates, etc.).  These actions can be equally rewarding for both you and the animals you appreciate.

We know you don’t always have the time or the resources to make grand gestures in expression of your feelings for your pet, but we hope some of the above might be able to worm their way into your daily routines to enrich the relationship you already have with your pet!  If over time your newly developed sensitivities to your cat’s or dog’s feelings and needs pick up on extra irritability, there could be a pressing reason, though one we might not be able to see from the outside.  Keep watch and give us a call at 903-807-0887 if this is something you ever do detect!

spay and neuter

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is such an exciting, joyful occasion. There are many decisions awaiting the owners of a new puppy or kitten. One of those is the decision as to whether to spay (females) or neuter (males) your new fur baby. Unless you plan on breeding your new addition, it is highly recommended to perform this procedure. Your loved one will live a longer, healthier life if you make the decision to spay and/or neuter. In addition, you will be making the responsible decision to make sure more unwanted pets do not become a burden on society.

Health Benefits

Spaying or neutering can help prevent common health issues such as uterine infections and breast cancer for females, and testicular cancer and prostate issues for males.

  • Male dogs who are neutered live 18% longer than their unaltered counterparts, and female dogs who are spayed live 23% longer than their counterparts.

  • Animals who are altered do not gain weight because of the procedure. They gain weight because they are fed too much. After being altered, feed your pet 30% less than what you would feed an unaltered pet.

Behavior Benefits

This operation can also reduce some mating-motivated, dominance-related, and aggressive behaviors:

    • Mating-related behaviors that this procedure may reduce or eliminate include escaping and wandering in search of a mate, mounting people and objects, and heat cycles, which cause vocalization and urine marking.

 

    • Dominance- and aggression-related behaviors include barking and peeing to mark territory.

 

    • These behaviors can increase the likelihood that your pet will come into harmful or even fatal encounters with traffic or other animals, and thus sterilization can further protect the life of your pet, and save you a large amount of money.

 

  • Reducing the marking behavior can also protect your property from costly damage, not to mention your health from the ammonia found in concentrated cat urine.
  • The longer an animal goes without getting spayed or neutered, the less likely the behaviors will decrease after surgery.

  • Sterilization is not the sole solution to all unwanted or destructive behaviors.  Some of these may be inherent to your pet’s personality or are habits that have gone uncorrected.

  • Sterilization additionally does not alter a pet’s personality, intelligence, protective instincts, playfulness, or affection.

Greater Benefits

Last of all, this procedure can contribute to the lessening of the pet homelessness crisis and to the lessening of the amount of adoptable animals that end up being euthanized.

  • Every year in the United States, 6-8 million animals enter shelters.

  • Each year, half of these sheltered animals are adopted, but more than 2.7 million of them are euthanized.

Invest in a healthier and happier future by scheduling the surgery any time after your pet reaches 4 months of age. We recommend you arrange for this procedure to be performed at a veterinarian’s office where your fur baby will receive individualized care, high quality anesthesia and take home medication to prevent infection. As always, if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital.

It’s that time of year. Spring showers bring April flowers but unfortunately it also brings the Parvo virus to the surface. We have seen an explosion in cases these last two weeks. We have some tips to help you keep your pet protected and signs to watch for if you think they may have been exposed.

Click the link below to read more about Parvo!

Deadly Parvovirus and Easy Protection

One of the most difficult things to do in the upkeep of your pet’s health is trimming their toenails.

Big dogs seem especially harder to keep controlled during this process.  Even if you start out doing this easily when they are puppies, they are still reluctant to hand over that paw to your care on their behalf.

Be sure to take a look at this great step by step guide from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine here:

https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/outreach/Pet-Health-Topics/categories/procedures/dogs/clipping-your-dog’s-claws#39;s-claws

Things to remember:

Use the right tools for the job – familiarize yourself with the tools for nail trimming and determine which ones you want to use for your process with your dog.  The AKC has an overview of some of the clipping tools here: http://www.akc.org/content/dog-care/articles/how-to-pick-dog-nail-clippers/

 

Be careful not to trim too much.  The quick (the blood supply for the toenail) grows along with the nail, so if your dog’s toenails are long and have not been maintained, you will have to catch up to an ideal toenail length over a period of time by trimming a small amount each time you are able to trim.  The quick will recede naturally as the toenails are shortened – so you can safely trim a small amount of nail once a week until at the proper length – and then you can maintain every two weeks from there.  You will be able to see the quick if your dog has light colored nails, however, this will not be visible in dogs with dark colored nails.   Keep a wet Qtip and some styptic powder handy when you are doing your nail trimming just in case you hit the quick – it will help to stop the bleeding more quickly.

Image from https://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com

 

A few tips that you can try to help you with the nail trimming process:

The treat method – Give your dog a special treat a few minutes in advance of the clipping process.  (Make sure that is not the only time you treat them as you don’t want treats to be solely associated with nail trimming.)  While your dog is distracted by the treat, try to trim a little bit off of each toenail.

 

Slow conditioning – Clip a small amount off of one nail successfully and then immediately take your dog out for a fun walk.  Do this each day right before a walk until you have clipped all toenails, then start over and try for two nails followed by a walk, etc.  The hope is that your dog will come to see the nail clipping process associated with a positive reward and will be less likely to continue to struggle with it over time.

 

Quick Re-conditioning – Take a look at this video to learn how reconditioning works and see if it helps you in your process. Find a second person to help you with distracting the dog with treats while you go through the conditioning steps for trimming the toenails.

https://youtu.be/WWZUcLfHXLE


If all else fails, give our team a call at Longview Animal Hospital and we can schedule an appointment for your pet for a nail trim!  We’re here to help you.  

Longview Animal Hospital is pleased to announce that they have received the Texas Veterinary Heritage Practice Award at the 2017 Annual Conference and Expo of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) which took place in College Station in early March.  The award recognizes practices of veterinary medicine in Texas that have been in continuous operation for 50 years or more.

“We are honored to be recognized by the TVMA.  Our practice has a wonderful and rich history of providing quality care for animals since 1949”, stated Jill Foye, Practice Manager.  Longview Animal Hospital is the oldest continuously operating vet clinic 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 1950-1952); Dr. Bob Terrell (1952-1994); Dr. Christina Odom (1994-2011).

In 2011, the practice was taken over by Dr. Brian Foye (Owner from 2011 to present).  Located at 2500 Estes Parkway, just south of the location where Estes divides and turns into High Street and Mobberly Avenue, the clinic underwent a facelift and a slight name change to Longview Animal Hospital.  Dr. Foye added a second exam room, and state-of-the-art medical equipment, fresh paint and new decor.  He has since doubled the size of his team, added a third exam room, purchased an ultrasound and upgraded his x-ray machine to digital.

Dr. Brian Foye graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. A native Texan, having grown up in the Dallas area, he said he couldn’t wait to get back to his home state to start his veterinary career.  Before taking over the practice in Longview, he worked at Westlake Animal Hospital in Austin, Texas and Marshall Animal Hospital. “We appreciate the TVMA honoring this historic practice. I’ve been blessed to have owned it these past 5 years and look forward to many, many more!” shared Dr. Foye.
The award was presented to Longview Animal Hospital during the 2017 TVMA Annual Conference and Expo in College Station from March 3-5. ://tvma.azurewebsites.net/.

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Longview Animal Hospital’s historic veterinary practice provides a
compassionate and experienced team for the highest quality of care
in a friendly, unhurried environment.
Preventative & ER Care, Surgeries, Dental Care and Climate-controlled Boarding.  

Longview Animal Hospital
Friendly Care. Healthy Pets. Happy Families.

Proudly serving Longview and surrounding areas for over 470 dog years!
2500 Estes Parkway • Longview, TX 75602

Baking for others is a rewarding and inclusive activity.  Why not surprise your loving and loyal dog like you do your friendly neighbor, or even your neighbor’s own excitable dog, and pass on some baked treats?  And why not sweeten the pot by making it healthy for your dog?  The following recipe for Homemade Apple Oatmeal Dog Biscuits was found on Brownie Bites’ blog: http://www.browniebites.net/apple-oatmeal-homemade-dog-biscuits/

  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰ Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  3. Mash together in a bowl 1 cup of shredded carrots and 1 ripe banana.
  4. Stir in ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce and ⅛ cup of water.
  5. Fold in 1 cup of oats.
  6. Gradually add 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour until dough is formed.  
  7. On a surface sprinkled with flour, roll out the dough until it is about ½ inch thick, and use a cookie cutter of any size to make the cookies, keeping in mind the size of your dog.  The batch will be small.  
  8. Place the cookies on the sheet and bake for 25 minutes.  After baking, leave the treats in the oven for 2 hours to make them chewy, or for 3 hours to make them crunchy, to your dog’s liking.  This practice also keeps them from going stale too quickly.  

 

Happy baking and treating!  

Preventing diseases and their discomforts through oral hygiene is another way we can promote healthier and happier lives for our pets.  

Dental care requirements for cats and dogs are relatively the same.  

  • Begin to care for the oral hygiene of pets as early as possible and for several days of the week, if not daily.  
  • Have annual or biannual check-ups and professional cleanings with your vet.
  • Diets, treats, and water additives can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth.  Some dry foods, especially the Hill’s prescription diet t/d that we sell, are specially manufactured to be better at rubbing plaque and tartar off the teeth.  
  • There are cat- and dog-specific toothbrushes and toothpastes. We carry some, as do most pet supply stores.

 

Cats and dogs tend to be susceptible to the same dental health problems.  

  • In a study that took place over 3 years, about 2/3 of all pets that were taken to the vet had developed some degree and variety of dental disease. 
    • 2/3 of dogs in the three years had developed periodontal disease.  
  • Dental disease develops when tartar forms on teeth after plaque from food is mineralized.
    Bacteria and decaying food stick to tartar, and their presence can contribute to infection through wounds in the mouth as well as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).  This is because bacteria can be absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to various internal
    organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver.  
  • Gingivitis can also progress into periodontal disease, in which the infection and inflammation wear down the tissues and ligaments that support teeth, causing tooth loss and abscesses.  The latter stages and damage that is done are irreversible.
  • Cats may also develop lesions on their teeth, which occur when tooth enamel is worn away, exposing sensitive parts inside of the tooth and causing pain.  

 

These problems can also be treated with similar measures.

  • On their own, dogs and cats get rid of plaque and tartar buildup simply by eating and chewing..
  • A pet can only be treated for dental lmdisease while under general anesthesia with a veterinarian.  Anesthesia is required to minimize the pain and panic of the pet and to maximize the effectiveness of the check-up or cleaning. Damaged teeth that may be painful or cause problems in the future can then be removed.
  • Groomers and boarding kennels can only brush your pet’s teeth, which is NOT a dental cleaning.
  • During dental cleanings at the vet, the teeth are scaled ultrasonically snd then polished with a high speed polisher.  Tartar and plaque are removed from the teeth above and below the gumline.  Tartar below the gumline can contribute more to the recession of gums than does tartar above the gumline.  In cases of severe dental disease, antibiotics may be necessary before and/or after the dental cleaning.
  • Chew toys not only satisfy a craving to chew, but they can also help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

 

If we want to protect the wellbeing of our pets through dental care, we have to do it the right way.  

  • Don’t try to remove tartar on your own.  You won’t be able to get under the gums like a professional can, and attempting to do so could hurt your pet.  Your pet would also not stand for it.  Since you can’t polish the teeth afterwards, the scratches and indentations left behind by the instrument would encourage dental disease to progress even faster by allowing bacteria and plaque to attach and build up more quickly.
  • Don’t use toothpastes for humans or baking soda to brush your pet’s teeth.  Ingredients like sodium and foaming agents can be toxic and cause internal damage.  Fluoride in our toothpastes can also make your pet sick.

If you have more questions or if your pet’s behavior changes, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital.


During the month of February, Longview Animal Hospital offers 15% off dental cleaning services for your pet.  Additional information on our process can be found at our Dentistry Page at http://www.longviewanimalhospital.com/dentistry/.

Call today at 903-807-0887 to arrange for an appointment!

Why is it important?  Maintaining the dental health of your pet is as important as maintaining your own.  It can prevent gum disease and organ infection from bacteria that may enter the bloodstream through the mouth, as well as the pain that comes with these problems.  As with humans, plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth can in animals also be a source of the bacteria that contributes to organ infection.  An animal that has one of these afflictions may have bad breath or bleeding, swollen, or irritated gums.  They may shy away from being touched around the mouth, drop food, and lose their appetite and some weight if they can’t eat for discomfort.

How does one take care of a pet’s dental health in general?  Taking care of your pet’s dental health is a lifetime commitment, and so should take place several times a week if not daily, and early on in the pet’s life.  A pet should have a dental exam and professional cleaning at least once a year, and there are pet-specific, non-toxic toothpastes for many kinds of pets.  Although only complementary to professional cleanings and daily brushings, choice of diet, toys, and treats for your pet can also make a difference for their dental health.

 

How can diet, toys, and treats help?  The act of chewing can eliminate as much as 70% of plaque and tartar and stimulate gums.  Some diets are manufactured specifically to target plaque, tartar, and bacteria buildup in the mouth.  Larger, crumble-resistant, and specially coated kibble can help scrub a pet’s teeth and disintegrate the problem substances.  Dental chews and chew toys not only provide exercise for a pet’s jaw and satisfy the urge to chew, but the products may also combine knobby and pointy textures with disintegrative enzymes to attack the three culprits of dental disease and provide gum stimulation.  There are also some fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that dogs and cats can eat as healthy treats.  For dogs, they include carrots, cucumber, celery, apples, watermelon, cilantro, and parsley.  Cats can eat the following in small portions: broccoli, green beans, and cooked carrots.  All of these, as well as bones and biscuits, can help both dogs and cats in these ways.

 

What else is there to consider when choosing treats for a pet? Bones can present a few problems.  For cats, it is important that bones are hard and large enough that they don’t splinter and cause problems upon ingestion.  Raw bones tend to be sturdier than cooked ones.  Similarly, for dogs, it is important to fit the dog with the kind of bone or treat.  If the dog is an aggressive chewer or has a sensitive mouth perhaps due to disease, harder bones may break teeth, which would increase the chances of infection and could cause other problems if ingested.  Some of the softer treats for dogs like pigs’ ears are also shown to risk more bacterial contamination and plaque and tartar buildup, so while your pet may favor them, it is important to not let them eat them for a long time if at all.  It is also important to compare the size of the treat or toy to the size of one’s pet and question whether it is a product that would cause choking, would go down too fast to be of any service to your pet’s teeth, and whether your pet would want to play with or eat it in the first place.  With a new pet, of course, one needs to experiment.

During the month of February, Longview Animal Hospital offers 15% off dental cleaning services for your pet.  Additional information on our process can be found at our Dentistry Page at http://www.longviewanimalhospital.com/dentistry/. Call today at 903-807-0887 to arrange for an appointment!

Nutrition is the foundation of health and happiness, both for humans and our companions.  This is because food is not only where we get energy for daily activities, but it is also a major source for the composition of our bodies, which directly dictates how well we can perform those activities.  If we feed ourselves poorly, we can expect eventual physical and mental consequences.  Eating the wrong foods may not provide the energy we seek from them and can negatively influence our moods, and it can also cause bodily complications later on from excessive or insufficient nutrients.  If we feed our pets similarly, we a can expect the same complications in them.  For example, in the case of protein, too much can hurt a pet’s kidneys and too little can stunt its growth, but just enough fortifies a pet’s lean muscle and encourages growth.  Hill’s Pet Nutrition products recognize this, and their foods are developed with the correct balance of nutrients that are the best at keeping pets healthy at different life stages, sizes, and specific conditions.  


At times, weight can be an indicator of a pet’s poor or fair nutrition, and Hill’s Canine/Feline Metabolic Weight Management diet meals are aimed at restoring health through weight reduction and maintenance.  The daily feeding guide is based on the ideal weight for the pet, but the perfect nutritional balance works at the rate of each pet’s metabolism.  After about 2 months on the diet, 88% of pets lose weight.  After these first two months, it is recommended to keep one’s pet on the diet, as it works to maintain or return to an ideal weight.  The diet achieves this because it helps the pet feel full between meals and because it also includes strong antioxidants that prevent the deterioration of stored nutrients.  


If you just can’t resist doting on your dog with some treats, Hill’s also produces Canine Metabolic and Mobility treats.  They are designed not only for weight management but also for the purpose of preserving and promoting a dog’s ability to run, walk, and jump by preventing osteoarthritis, a disease in which joints deteriorate.  Like the Canine/Feline Metabolic meals, the treats use fibers from fruits and vegetables, work with each dog’s individual metabolism, and impose a sense of fullness between meals.  The allowed number of treats per day is also determined by the particular dog’s ideal weight.  Unlike the meals, the treats exclude the antioxidants but include high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.  Effects in mobility are expected in 3 weeks, and effects in weight are expected in 2 months.  

The nutritional demands of humans and their pets are not the same, but the process of intake and outcome is. By caring for our pets a healthy diet, we are giving them the opportunities for long, healthy, and happy lives, which is something they provide for us simply by being our companions.

We carry several of the Hills Diet products for both canines and felines.  Please stop in for our recommendations for your pet!