Secondhand Smoke 2016/02/24

This weeks blog is about second hand smoke and the effects it can have on our pets.

I’ve noticed lately that we have a large amount of our clients who smoke. Now we all know how bad smoking is for us and we’ve all heard of second hand smoke and its effects in people – so I wont harp on that.

Consider your pets are like babies – their smaller sizes mean that it doesn’t take much smoke and exposure to the nicotine and tar to have an adverse affect on the body. Even when the animal grooms themselves they are licking and chewing the smoke that has been absorbed into their hair coat. This constant exposure to so many toxins deposits within the body causing inflammation that then leads to an immune response. Depending on how that animal’s immune system reacts is how things can start to go bad. And when I say bad – I mean there’s a chance of death.

Let me just throw this sobering fact out there – all of those pets who live in households where there is smoking are twice as likely to end up with a diagnosis of cancer versus a pet who lives in a non-smoking household. Yep that’s right – 2X’s more like to get CANCER! And it’s not limited to just lung cancer, oh no, you can see it in any of its nasty forms. These animals also are more likely to have breathing and coughing issues, as well as allergies. Dogs and cats both tend to have a decrease in their sense of smell too.

So do everyone, including your pets a favor – quit smoking. If this isn’t something you are willing to do or think you can do then go check out this article on ways to decrease your pets exposure so you can have a healthier pet.

https://community.petco.com/t5/Blog/5-Ways-to-Protect-Your-Pet-from-the-Effects-of-Secondhand-Smoke/ba-p/68793

Mosquitoes 2016/02/17

Its February and there are already 80 degree days in central Texas!! I love this weather! The kids and animals love to play outside, we can cook out and not freeze to death sitting on the porch, and we can all relax on the porch swing with family after. Everything about spring in Texas is awesome. Bluebonnets, birds, green grass, Easter, and warm spring breezes – sigh.

Unfortunately there are some things about spring that are not so great. Bugs are the main reason spring can be uncomfortable. They all seem to emerge from their little eggs ready to pester the nearest living thing. Mosquitoes are one – they bite and cause some nasty itching and can spread diseases. West Nile virus, Zika, heartworms……Yuck. Flys everywhere – and those are more than annoying to everyone and everything. Fire Ants will be on the loose and those are never fun. And with all the rain we received this past winter we are going to see a LOT of those bugs. But the number one bug that I see in the vet clinic is the horrible dreaded, invisible FLEA!! Dogs and cats everywhere are tormented by this silent small itchy creature. Some are even allergic to their saliva and can cause a Flea allergy Dermatitis (fancy way of saying skin inflammation and hair loss from scratching so much).

Heres a great article/handout for all you owners out there with worries about fleas!

http://files.dvm360.com/alfresco_images/DVM360/2015/06/19/b3c9d4da-092f-4ecf-9744-61d880994cf1/dvm360_0715_toolkit_needtoknow_handout.pdf

And if you have an itchy animal that goes outside and is NOT on a flea preventive – then your animal has fleas. I hear it all the time – ” my dog/cat doesnt have fleas”, “They only go outside to go to the bathroom so they cant have fleas.”,” I’ve never seen fleas on them so they don’t have them”.  Just because you dont see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The worst part is your animal doesn’t have to go outside for very long to get them either! And some fleas LOVE to live in houses – carpets, furniture, walls. So a flea preventive is worth every penny to save your animals and you from being infested and itchy this spring/ summer. ( And not to mention healthy, cause fleas can spread diseases and worms too!)

Contact us at the clinic if you need to stock up on your flea preventives or if you have any questions about the products that are out there! 

Bell County Youth Fair and Livestock Show 2016/02/09

This week is the Bell County Youth Fair and Livestock Show PLUS the Rodeo on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So we are going to highlight and post about some stock show stuff! Yes you are thinking  - “what in the world is a small animal veterinary clinic doing posting about animals that they don’t do anything with?”. That’s where you are wrong!!!! We do see the large animals too! We have some clients who have show pigs, show goats and lambs, horses and cows too! We love seeing all of them, it keeps our days interesting and gets us out of the office every now and then ( and who doesn’t need a breath of fresh air sometimes).

As a veterinarian we have to learn about all species and go through some amount of training in all aspects of dealing with those animals. We love to support our local youth in their livestock show endeavors. Its a great project for kids to learn responsibility, time management, and money management. These kids discipline themselves to get up early and feed and work with their animals in the morning before school as well as working with and grooming them after school.  They learn that you get out of your project what you put into it. So go out there and support some of the kids in this community, bring your kids along to introduce them to the animals and the people at the livestock show. Afterwards you can go watch the rodeo and see some great performances by the cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo clowns and the amazing rodeo stock!

Livestock Show Schedule – February 2016

Tuesday

8:00 am -Market Swine

1:00 pm – Breeding Rabbit Show

Wednesday

8:00 am – Breeding Goat and Meat Goat Show, Fryer Rabbit Show

9:00 am – FCS exhibits open

9:30 am – Mini Rodeo in the Dome

6:00 pm – FCS winners circle/awards ceremony

7:00pm-8:00pm – Country Store – all food items for sale

Thursday

8:00 am – Farm Shop Judging

12:30 pm – Poultry Show

6:00 pm – Steer Show

7:30 – PRCA Rodeo

Friday

7:30 pm – PRCA Rodeo

Saturday

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Auction and awards

7:30 pm – PRCA Rodeo

Dental Awareness Month 2016/02/01

February is National Pet Dental Awareness Month!!  This month is not just for dogs, it is important for cats to get regular dental check-ups too! Your pets mouth and tooth health is more important than you might think. 

Mouths are used on a daily basis and multiple times a day. Sure they use them to eat and drink, everyone knows that ( that’s what you’re thinking and that is a very important function). But our critters also use them for other important functions in day to day activities. Cats are constantly licking and grooming themselves. They need to have a healthy tongue, gums, and salivary ducts to be able to do that. Dogs are constantly chewing things, to a lot of owners dismay, but without healthy teeth and gums they could do damage to their mouths and even break their teeth which would require surgery to extract them. There can sometimes be tumors and growths that can occur in the mouth as well, and doing regular dental check-ups helps us catch these early; as sometimes they can be cancerous.

And lets not forget heart health! I know you’re thinking- wait aren’t we talking about the mouth here? – but our oral health as well as our pets oral health can have a large impact on our heart. They have found that the worse an animals mouth is the more likely they are to develop heart issues such as heart murmurs. The bacteria that are on their teeth can get into the blood stream and it loves to settle on heart valves- which in turn can make those valves become weak and inefficient at pumping blood in one direction. This leads to murmurs and can eventually lead to congestive heart failure in severe cases.

So you see our pets need just as much attention as ours do (think about what it would be like if your teeth looked and smelled like your dogs….. eewwww…..)   So give us a call at 947-8800 to schedule you’re pets dental check-up today! It is 15% off of the dental fee for the month of February only!!

Welcome you to our website 2016/01/27

I want to welcome you to our website! We will be trying to post a new blog every week featuring things that are happening around the clinic and in the world of veterinary medicine! This entry we are going to highlight our team members!

When you walk in the door you will most likely be greeted by our receptionist Vicky. She will also be the one answering most of your phone calls and setting up your appointments! Vicky is originally from around the Temple/Belton area and has been working here for 8 months. She enjoys seeing the critters that come in our door and talking to everyone who comes in to visit.

Once you are checked in and sitting in the exam room you will most likely see our technician Lyndsey. She is new here and just started about 3 months ago. She’s also in training to become a certified veterinarian assistant. She and her husband will also be welcoming a baby boy in July! She will be helping to hold or restrain your animal while the veterinarian examines them should they need it, as well as take their temperature and ask you a few basic questions.

You will next meet one of our veterinarians! We have 2 amazing vets that work at the clinic: Dr. Fultz and Dr. Quirk! you can read more information on them in the Our Team section of our webpage!

Behind the scenes we have 3 young ladies who work tirelessly giving your dogs baths, feeding and playing with them when they board, and keeping our kennels clean!

Jessica is the newest addition and she started in December 2015. She is from Salado and graduated from Sam Houston State in May of 2015 in Animal Science. She eventually wants to pursue a masters in Animal Nutrition and is working toward that goal.

You will most likely see Chelsea and Casey working on the weekends and checking some of our boarders out on Sundays. They both will be starting nursing school in the fall of 2016.

If you have any questions or would like to stop by and meet us please feel free to do so, as long as we aren’t too busy we are more than happy to talk with you!