SERVING LONGVIEW & SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

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

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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!

july-4-dog-632x817

 

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.

They say that April showers bring May flowers, but there’s no cute little rhyme to remind us that May is also the start of the season in our region where pets are most at risk of getting heartworm disease due to heavy mosquito activity. Heartworm disease can be fatal to pets and is caused by worms that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of infected animals. Dogs are particularly susceptible, but cats, though it is less likely, can get them too.

hwmap2013

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, which inject infective larvae into your pet when they bite. Once there, the larvae migrate through tissues and organs, causing damage, before they attach in the heart, where they mature. Adult heartworms can live up to seven years in a dog and quickly begin reproducing.  In cats, larvae will mature, but they will not reproduce. Cats will have fewer heartworms than dogs, but due to the large size of the adult worms (about a foot long) it only takes one or two to do serious damage. Even indoor cats are susceptible.

After an infection, treatment of heartworm disease can be costly and dangerous.    That’s why it’s cheaper, safer and more practical to focus on prevention.

Signs of infection in dogs can include coughing, reluctance to exercise, fatigue, decrease in appetite, and weight loss. Signs of infection in cats include asthma-like attacks, vomiting, decreased appetite, weight loss, and sometimes fainting, trouble walking, or even sudden death. If heartworm disease goes unchecked, the worms will eventually cause congestive heart failure and death.

In warmer climates such as East Texas, our heartworm season is pretty much year-round but peaks during the months of May-October (coinciding with our mosquito season), and it’s recommended that pet owners test for heart worms at least one yearly, even if your pet is on prevention.  Even the best preventative is only 99% effective.  The earlier you catch the disease, the easier it is to treat.

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.  See you soon!

Pets Get Allergies Too!

Spring is a wonderful time of year and warmer weather means more time outdoors for both our furry friends and their owners, but it is also a time of year when we suffer from allergies.  While humans react to allergens with itchy watering eyes and sneezing, our pets suffer from them a bit differently.  Allergies develop with age, and symptoms in pets generally worsen as they get older.

The most common form of allergy in dogs and cats is called atopy.  Atopy can be caused by a number of things i.e.: ragweed pollen in the fall; dust mites in the winter and grass and tree pollen in the spring.  Licking and chewing the feet is a classic sign of allergy to pollen.  They may also scratch excessively.  This behavior can cause welts, sores (which may become infected) and loss of hair.  Ear infections may also be a result of allergies in dogs.  In addition to licking, chewing and scratching, your dog or cat might rub their face, or you may notice hot spots on their skin, small areas of scabs or even respiratory problems (sometimes wheezing in cats).  

Dog_licking_wound - (Image: CC0)

Dogs and cats can also develop allergies to other things in their environment – such as carpets, cleaners and plastics as well as to foods. Flea allergies result from toxins in the flea saliva.  (See more on fleas and ticks here.)

Some allergy symptoms can be treated at home, typically with foot soaks and grain-free baths to wash away allergens that are on the coat and skin.  Vacuuming floors and bedding on a regular basis and washing floors with non-toxic cleaning agents can help as well. In our warmer climate, consider changing out your air conditioner filters each month.  Moving your pet onto an anti-inflammatory diet, low in grain content can also help.  

There are also supplements and medications that can help suppress or alleviate the effects of allergies.  Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital for recommendations on the best approach for your pet!

How to keep fleas and ticks off your pet and out of your home.

As the weather continues to warm in the spring months, fleas and ticks become more prevalent outdoors.  Although we think of these as mostly a nuisance for our pets, causing itching and scratching, they actually have the potential for some serious health risks.

For example, ticks are carriers of some serious illnesses like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Although Lyme started out in the Northeast US, it has been moving into more southern territories and is now considered endemic to (regularly found in) Texas. Toxins from ticks can also cause paralysis in a pet’s legs and muscles.  This usually dissipates once the tick is removed.  Health risks for your pet from fleas include allergic reactions which can be extreme, anemia and low iron levels especially if your pet is small and has many fleas, and exposure to tapeworm infections.

While fleas will jump onto your pet from shady areas like shrubs and trees, ticks will generally crawl or brush onto them while walking in grassy areas.  As a general preventative measure, you can maintain your pet’s areas by keeping grassed areas short and pruning and trimming shrubs, raking out debris from shady spots.

Continued vigilance and ongoing maintenance is needed to keep a flea and tick free environment.  Check your pet for ticks on a regular basis when you return from walks, and check with our team at Longview Animal Hospital for recommendations on the most appropriate preventative treatments for your pets.  Fleas tend to become resistant to treatments after a while, so it is good to change products periodically.   An integrated approach to prevention can include grooming and baths, medications and sanitation for your home (a combination of vacuuming, laundry and cleaning).

 

If you are looking for guidance on prevention or treatment options for an existing infestation, please give us a call at (903) 758-2082 or email us at longviewanimalhospital@gmail.com.  We are happy to help you and your pet.

 

We know your dog loves them! And we do too, because healthy treats are great to use as positive reinforcement for dogs during training, to tackle bad breath, or to keep teeth healthier.  You can also give a few of them to your guests when they come to visit to help them make fast friends. Or use them after dinner when you otherwise might be tempted to scrape some of your leftovers into the dog dish.  However you use them, we thought we would give you an overview of some of our favorites!  (NOTE: Treats should be no more than 10% of your pet’s diet.)

Science Diet Dental Chews

  • Freshens breath
  • All natural treats made from the best ingredients
  • Great taste and great nutrition
  • Recommended for adult and mature adult dogs, not recommended for puppies less than 6 months or 5 pounds

Prescription Diet Canine Treats

  • Low in calories
  • Helps maintain weight
  • Not recommended for growing puppies, pregnant or nursing dogs.

Prescription Diet Hypo-Allergenic Treats
A healthy way to reward pets with adverse reactions to food and inflammatory skin conditions.

  • Helps maintain weight and a healthy immune system
  • Nourishes pets skin and hair coat

For Puppies and Adult Dogs!
Science Diet Soft & Chewy Training Treats

Stop by this week and pick up a sample bag of this treat!

  • For normally active puppies (9+ weeks old), adult and mature adult dogs
  • Ideal for training
  • Great taste and great nutrition
  • Real beef is the #1 ingredient

 

treats