Sunday, December 21, 2014

Anything you can do....

Bonnie copies Bo's every move. She tries to act like she doesn't like him....but I know the truth.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

That article floating around Facebook....

As always, I was scrolling through my facebook feed and saw an article posted about animals. I saw the cute photo and clicked to read. To my dismay, this was an article posted in a pet health magazine and it was being reposted and reposted by veterinary clinics all over the place for their clients to read. I thought, OH MY GOSH! Why are you spreading this kind of information and making people think this is really what all vet offices are like!

The Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Heath are NOT. A link to the article is at the end, but please read our comments below!

The article begins with a sentence that says: "It is always a little upsetting when the veterinarian, or veterinary technician takes your pet "to the back" for a blood draw or nail trim. What are they doing back there? And why can't you go with?"

First off...saying "in the back" is banned from our isn't "in the back". That IS scary. It is the treatment area. They do go on to describe this well in the article. "{the treatment room} it is usually a catch-all location with several tables equipped for anything from nail trims to minor surgeries. The walls are usually lined with kennels for recovering surgical or hospitalized patients. This room is the heart of the hospital. Any time a pet needs to have blood drawn, a nail trim, or even a major cactus removal, they are often hustled into this room"

At Animal Hospital of Rowlett, we give our clients the option of having blood drawn in the room, vaccines given in the room, etc. If the client wants to see...great! We can do these items right there with you in the exam room. If you prefer not to see or don't want your pet to associate you with the pokes, we can certainly take them to the treatment area.

We want you to see what we are doing if you are interested. If we ever DO take your pet to the treatment area, it is because you have said it was okay and the doctor will typically stay in the room to talk with you about exam findings, recommendations, examine your other pet, etc.

The article then goes to say "The treatment room has several things that make it superior to the intake room for these minor procedures, first and foremost is that you are not there. As much as most people believe that their pets are far better with their 'parents' this is actually far from the truth, and pets, once away from owners are usually far easier to handle."

This may be true for SOME pets...there are some dogs that are protective over mommy or the kids and literally won't let us touch them with you around, and we take them to the treatment area so they can have a better experience. Often times just coming out of the room, the hackles go down, the ears come up, the tail starts to wag, and the pet is thinking "oh, this is fun! where are we going!" vs "Get away from my Momma"!

The part of the article that REALLY irked me was the next paragraph. I am completely floored that any clinic thinks this is an appropriate way to handle cats or that clients ever think that "their pet won't be handled with the same loving kid gloves that you use". AHR, yes, they will.

The article says "Second, though veterinary professionals are in the business because they love animals, they also have a job to do, and the longer any procedure takes to accomplish the more stressful it is for the pet, the owners, and the staff. So, in the back, though your pet will be handled with respect and care, it may not be handled with the same loving kid gloves that you yourself use. If the situation calls for it, cats will be scruffed, dogs will be muzzled. Even if your pet is a saint, and actually is one of the minority of pets that works better with the owner than without, the back offers better lighting, generally superior tables, additional staff, and all of the equipment necessary to get your pet the care it needs."

We will NEVER scruff a cat. That is old school and inappropriate. If your vet office still scruffs cats, go somewhere else. When we get cats that have been scruffed elsewhere, we have a harder time handling them because associate the vet office with that type of handling. At AHR, we use a dimly lit room. We use big fluffy blanket. We wrap them in a "kitty burrito". We use Feliway spray and diffusers to calm them. We let them stay in their carrier if they want. We give them bowls and comfy things to curl into so that they don't have to be "out in the open" and feel safe. We have a cat only treatment area so they don't see dogs. We have a cat only lobby and cat only exam rooms. We have art on the walls specifically chosen for kitties so they don't get scared. We play soft music.

We treat our canine friends with the same respect and love...yes, the same respect and love we would treat your dog with if you were standing right there. We spend lots of time training employees from other facilities OUR way. We use squeeze cheese and peanut butter during vaccines and lab draws. We sing songs and pat them as distraction techniques. We offer friendly visits and behavior modification visits where we slowly teach dogs that nail trims aren't scary. We don't hold them down and "get it done" with four technicians sitting on top of them with a muzzle on. We may use a muzzle on occasion for the safety of the staff and the patient, but we will never treat them harshly or hold them down. We try to go slowly and do as much as we can before we get to that point. We have soft muzzles and hamster balls and calming masks and all sorts of methods of restraining a dogs mouth comfortably and in a non-scary way. Even the way we approach them to put those devices on is different from some locations. We don't go at them from the front, we come from the back and slip it over where they do not feel threatened.

Please know that Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Heath are committed to the low stress handling of your pets. We follow Dr. Sophia Yin's low stress handling techniques. Our entire staff is in the process of working towards individual certifications and we want our clinic to be the Gold standard for handling pets with care. Please join us in the low stress revolution . Don't allow your pet to be placed in a stressful, scary situation "in the back" at another office who promotes this type of scruffing and aggressive handling. Don't you want a vet who uses "the same loving kid gloves that you use"????

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rheumatoid Arthritis in Your Pet? We Have a Solution

Arthritis like this rarely affects pets, but when it does, it can be hard to find help.....

veterinary medical acupuncture
Skipper's Mom didn't need to look any further than Animal Hospital of Rowlett's Dr Carter. Dr Carter's kind and gentle hands combined with her acupuncture experience and special training was just what Skipper needed to make him feel better.

veterinary acupuncture

We all delight in seeing him run after a successful acupuncture treatment even if it appears as though he little wrists and ankles are made of rubber.

More on Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath's Veterinary Medical Acupuncture servicesat Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cats and Diabetes - Three Things YOU Can Do to Make a Difference for Your Diabetic Cat

If your cat is a diabetic, there are a few very important aspects of his/her care that could make a big difference in how their disease progresses.

One - most diabetics need to be on a CANNED food. Diabetes incidence in cats parallels the success of dry cat foods in the pet food market. Dry foods are easy to use, don't smell and even make the cats' stool less smelly. BUT to make a dry food, you have to add a carbohydrate. If you are going to make a cookie, you add a carb. Diabetics need very low carbs to successfully manage their disease and many (but not all) canned foods provide this.

Two - If fed a canned food low in carbs, and given a long acting insulin like glargine (Lantus) many cats can, and will, go into remission. While the cost of this insulin is higher than others, if remission is achieved and the patient doesn't need insulin injections at all, the initial cost becomes irrelevant.

We can also offer cost saving tips to our patients at local pharmacies that can help affordability.

Three - at home monitoring with pet glucometers is easy and valuable to clients and their veterinarians. While we rarely recommend adjusting your cats insulin dose daily like people often do, this can add to other information such as patient weight, drinking and urinating frequency to allow for tighter regulation for many cats thus increasing chance for remission.

It's amazing to us, the number of second opinions (after googling their pets condition) that don't have these three basics covered. The first published use of glargine in cats dates to 2004!! There is no way every condition in dogs and cats can be "cutting edge" in every practice everywhere, especially given that some newly proposed changes turn out to be inaccurate or misguided. But this is now accepted dogma for feline diabetes - seeking a second opinion or having a serious discussion with your veterinarian is warranted if these basics haven't been explored for your cat.

Kim Downes, DVM
Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital of Heath

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Monday, November 17, 2014

The Hidden Dangers of Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinics

Low-cost spay/neuter

Thanks to breeders, veterinarians, animal shelters and others, most new puppy/kitten owners now understand the benefits of spaying or neutering their pet.

Knowing how and where these procedures can best be performed, however, is not as widely understood.

This post is to encourage you to make an informed, thoughtful choice when you decide where to take your pet for spaying/neutering. It could save your pet a lot of pain and reduce the risk of post-surgery complications.

Three points I’d like to share with you:
  1. A number of new, low-cost spay/neuter clinics and mobile units have opened up in this area. Some focus on efficiency and cost savings over the compassionate care of your pet.
  2. Several years ago, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) published guidelines to help low-cost clinics understand the optimal protocols for safely performing spay/neuters while also providing humane, quality, individualized care for each pet. The 13-page document addresses surgery settings, anesthetics, pain management and other concerns (Go to for guidelines).
  3. However, although these guidelines are in place, there is no one monitoring or enforcing them so patient care can vary dramatically from clinic to clinic. It’s up to you to inform yourself about the inherent risks of low-cost spay/neuter procedures.
I invite you to watch the following video of the professional, loving care each and every one of our patients at Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital of Heath receives when undergoing a surgical  procedure:

What can you do to ensure that your pet receives the care you want?

Find out exactly how your pet will be treated before, during, and after surgery. Ask tough questions. Learn the facts. Then decide what’s best for your pet. All surgeries have risks - but your research can minimize them and ensure that your pets get the care they deserve.

P.S. If you’re stuck on how to start your spay/neuter inquiry, here are some questions you can ask the person doing the surgery on your pet:
  • What pre surgery precautions do you take to ensure that my pet does not have any hidden health issues that could complicate the surgery?
  • What pain medications will you provide before, during, and after surgery?
  • What types of pain medications will my pet receive?
  • What monitoring systems do you use during surgery? After surgery?
  • What steps do you take to ensure that my pet is as stress-free and comfortable as possible?
  • Where will my pet wait and recover?
  • Who will be monitoring and delivering anesthesia?
  • What anesthetic parameters will be monitored?
  • How many days will it take my animal to fully recover?
  • How many of these surgeries have you done, what is your complication rate?
  • May I have a copy of my pet’s veterinary record?
Kim Downes, DVM
Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic
Animal Hospital of Heath

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Here are Some Healthy, Simple Recipes to Stuff In Your Dog’s Kong Toy

stuff your kong toy with these delicious recipes

For hours of enjoyment (both you and your dog), there's nothing better than a classic Kong Toy. Following are some great, yet simple recipes you can make at home to stuff into your dog’s favorite Kong toy or hollow marrow bone.

If you decide to make up your own recipe, just remember to choose ingredients low in sugar and salt. They'll thank you for it later.

Peanut Butter Bliss — Combine 1 ripe banana, 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter and 1 slice of cheese in a bowl. Mix well and stuff.
Potato Mash Up — Take leftover Mashed Potatoes (without salt added) and add crushed dog biscuits. Mix well and fill up their Kong.
Eggstra Please — Scramble an egg without butter and mix in leftover mashed potatoes, yogurt, and cheese. Mix well and fill.
Fiber Up – Take 4 Tbsp Peanut Butter and mix in bran cereal. Mix cereal into peanut butter and stuff.
PB and O’s — In a bowl combine 4 Tbsp Peanut Butter and mix in plain cherrios. Once cherrios are coated with peanut butter, stuff.
Banana Yogurt Freeze – Combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1 ripe banana and mix well. Stuff in Kong and freeze until frozen. Serve frozen.
Apple Pie – In a bowl combine 3 slices of chopped apple, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 ripe banana. Stuff in Kong and top with 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter.Freeze until frozen. Serve Frozen.
Pumpkin Pie - In a bowl combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling), and 1/4 cup rice. Mix well and spoon into Kong. Freeze until frozen and Serve.
Peanut Butter Apple Supreme - Combine 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup plain cooked oatmeal, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 mashed ripe banana, 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter. Stir well and fill Kong to top. Freeze until Frozen and Serve.
Apple Duo – Combine 1 chopped apple with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Mix together well and place in Kong. Freeze until frozen then Serve.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Competitors Aren’t Doing it Right - How Our Doggie Day Care is Different -

dog day care
Animal Hospital of Rowlett offers Doggie Day Care Monday through Friday with half-day and full-day options available. View the Rowlett Doggie Day Care options available.

Our Animal Hospital of Rowlett Doggie Day Care provides your dog with:
  • Lots of love from pet lovers all day long
  • Activities designed to stimulate their mind
  • Refreshers on basic obedience sit, stay, "no jump", etc.
  • Daily exercise walks and socialization with other dogs
The first thing you’ll notice with our specialized Doggie Day Care is that we do it differently than our competitors.

While many facilities let all the day care dogs play together with no individual assessment and very little supervision, we only let your dog play with our well-behaved resident animals... not with every other dog who is attending day care. One of the biggest complaints from customers of Doggie Day Care facilities is that their dog was intimidated by all the hyper-active, aggressive dogs or became injured while playing with a much larger dog.

That doesn’t happen here because the number of animals playing together at our Doggie Day Care facility at any given time is limited. Your pet is sure to have a fun, energy-burning day with ONLY dogs who have been thoroughly tested for aggressive tendencies. For instance, Stone is Dr. Downes’ career-change Labrador Retriever from the Guide Dogs for the Blind program, Sheldon is Dr. Clary's personal Labrador Retriever, Maggie is a certified Pet Partner therapy dog, and Bo is attending obedience and dog training courses with Valerie Fry, our dog trainer.

Call now to schedule your Doggie Day Care appointment at Animal Hospital of Rowlett or click here for more information about Animal Hospital of Rowlett's Doggie Day Care

Rowlett Doggie Day Care - 972-412-0101

Monday, October 13, 2014

Therapy Dog Stone Administers Weekly Therapy to Long-term Care Facilities

therapy dog

Animal Hospital of Rowlett's registered therapy dog Stone, administering therapy like only a therapy animal can. Here, Jerry calls Stone up into the bed and naturally, Stone is pleased to oblige.

Very satisfying to hear that the facility residents cherish the visits and even plan their week around Stone and Maggie paying them a visit.

Stone was career-changed from Guide Dogs for the Blind due to a medical problem but has since become a Guide Dog Ambassador and has obtained his therapy animal certification from Pet Partners.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Low Stress Nail Trim Appointments

One of the worst things for a pet to experience while at the vet’s office is to have a bad experience. They will remember it forever and always dread coming in.

That’s why we try to make every visit to Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath a fun, enjoyable experience for your pet.

For, instance, here are some pics of Pacino having his nails trimmed. As a means of distraction we gave him some squirt cheese while the nurse trimmed his nails. Pacino obviously had a ball with the cheese and never even knew he was being trimmed. In fact, he didn’t want to leave the clinic!

Call now to schedule your pet's groom Animal Hospital of Rowlett's Pet Spa and Beauty Boutique or click here to read more about it - 972-412-0101

Monday, September 29, 2014

Free Veterinary Exam for Pets Adopted from Local Shelters

Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath value our community and want to do our part to keep animals out of the shelter and in their forever homes.  In an effort to help encourage adoptions from local animal shelters, Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath are offering free examinations to those pets adopted from the local shelters.

Bring a copy of the below postcard along with the adoption papers from any CITY animal shelter and receive a free examination and new pet talk!  We can create an action plan for vaccines and annual recommended items that fit your lifestyle and budget!

Call now for more information about Animal Hospital of Rowlett's Free Veterinary Exam or visit our website - 972-412-0101

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Ours was lazy, sunny and relaxing :)

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Never ask a lady her weight....

But you can ask Stone! He apparently has no shame ;)

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Lab kitty

Bob wanted to be sent to the lab...

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cat Nap

Our Chief Feline Officer (CFO) Bob loves taking cat naps.

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Stone loves water

And he's also very proud of his clean teeth. Dr. Clary was cleaning another patient in the dental suite at Rowlett, and decided to give Stone a spray of water and air!! He's in heaven...

He later took a nap in the middle of the treatment room. Despite looking sedated, he's just sleeping.

Friday, July 4, 2014

House Soiling Case Study

"Tux", a beautiful five year old, "tuxedo" (black and white)  cat has suddenly decided to stop using his litter box. Tux's parents have no other cats and one ten year old lab.  There is also one adult child that lives at the home.

These cases always represent challenging detective work for veterinarians. Is this a medical problem? or is it psychological? Is the patient trying to balance an outside competing neighborhood cat that is marking the home's windows, doors or bricks? Is he/she ill?

Often a two prong approach is the best for these cases. Dependent upon the patient's age, diagnostics are selected to ensure there is not a medical reason for the change in elimination habits. We ruled out a medical issue in Tux by ruling out infection, bladder/kidney stones and inflammation. Tux's parents had also taken our  prior advice and created a wonderful "catio" for him to bask in and watch the birds and squirrels, so we didn't feel environmental enrichment was lacking. The lab was super sweet and never bothered Tux nor affected his access to the litter box.

We also confirmed that Tux's litterbox was located in the same place (the utility room) and that the litter brand had not been changed BUT after further discussion we did learn the clothes washer had been replaced about the same time Tux decided to stop using the litterbox.

Another cat questioning this big white box....
Turns out Tux did not like seeing his reflection in the "front loader" that replaced the "top loader " the family had had previously.  The clients obviously didn't want to get another washer so soon and were able to coax Tux back into using his litterbox by covering the front of the washer (and thus the reflection) with cardboard.  It looks silly, but did the trick.

Its' hard to always know what our pets are thinking and to see things from their point of view. It can take long conversations with your veterinarian to find the right solution for each case and remedy what initiated the offensive behavior.  Sometimes the change that resulted in the litterbox issue can't be remedied so easily - the only son can't go to college locally, grandma has to move into the home, or sorry kitty but the new baby is here to stay.

We are skilled in helping clients solve these frustrating cases - give us a try if you have a problem!!

Never let your cat do this!!

P.S. While we don't want our cats to be so fearful of an appliance they avoid using their litterbox --- a healthy dose of skepticism can prevent a fatality if your cat likes to sleep on warm clothes. A horrible consequence of a cat just doing what seems natural is to have a dryer turned on with a cat inside. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Benji Survives Bobcat Attack in Rockwall

Those of us that love animals of all kinds (wild and domesticated) love to see nature up close and personal in our own backyards. While Bobcats rarely attack pets (they prefer rabbits, squirrels and rats - Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife) they are not rare in our urban neighborhoods anymore.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife have a Facebook page dedicated to the DFW area that can be found here.
We even caught these photos in our own backyard in Garland, Texas the year a Bobcat was feeding kittens further up the creek. We watched our "squirrel count drastically decrease from our back window" that year.

Little Benji (a rescue from a local shelter) met up with a bobcat in his own yard in Rockwall. His pet parents searched frantically after having him snatched from his yard about 20 feet from Mr Kirk. Dad said, I heard a hiss and saw a flash and then he was gone.

After they returned home trying to resign themselves that he would not be seen again, they found Benji wandering in the front yard. The only obvious injury at the time being a cut on the top of his head. They returned Benji to the Animal Hospital of Rowlett a few days later when Benji just wasn't breathing right. Sedation revealed further injuries to the inside of Benji's mouth and soft palate. Apparently the bobcat tried to carry Benji away by his skull! The cut on the top of the head was the tip of the iceberg.

GRAPHIC CONTENT!!! *********warning**********     In the next image you can see the breathing tube to the left of the photo with the blue stripe and the tongue in the bottom of the picture. There is a swelling in the soft palate (red oval and arrow) and bruising below it. Benji was a very lucky dog indeed to not have more extensive injuries. He has continued to recover in his dedicated owner's home in Rockwall and is expected to make a full recover.

We would encourage all pet owners to walk within 3 feet of your pets at all times (especially the small ones) !!  Letting our pets out to eliminate without supervision is just asking for trouble - even if for just a few seconds. It is a tragedy of opportunity that we can't really blame on the wildlife for seizing despite the obvious heart-wrenching result if their target is our beloved pet.

Meanwhile Benji is glad to be snug at home in his forever home.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grass Awns Making an Early Presence in North Texas Lawns - Protect Your Pet

Another victim of "grass awns" today.... It seems that some of these guys have already started to dry and are attacking pets again. While in the Western United States, pets and veterinarians deal with these on a daily basis, we only see them occasionally.  Most commonly, they affect pets' interdigital spaces.

But they can literally show up ANYWHERE as seen in this patient today in which they were in her armpits.... OUCH!!

Sometimes we are able to pull them out easily in the exam room and sometimes a short surgical procedure is indicated to locate them.

These photos are from my iPhone of the awns after they were removed.

I honestly don't know what these awns look like in the "field" even though I have a strong interest in gardening and plants in general. I did find the below website that details those found in the West and given the common characteristics of grass, I bet ours look similar.

If you have time to research the topic, try a web search for "MRI, grass awns, dog" for an entertaining few minutes....

Animal Hospital of Rowlett

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bonnie Benefits from Acupuncture After Just One Treatment

So, my dog Bonnie is what some may call....a landshark.  She bites and doesn't really like to be handled much.  I used to think she was just old and crotchety, but the more I have seen her curve her back and lay with her legs funny, I have realized this behavior is attributed to pain.

I brought her in and we started her on tramadol, gabapentin, and pred to try to control inflammation and pain.  It helped, but not fully.  Then, Dr. Carter started offering acupuncture services at AHR/AHH.  I thought, why not see if this helps her to be less painful?

So, I brought Bonnie in for her first treatment.  She was painful and didn't relax in the beginning.  She tried to bite Dr. Carter so we had to muzzle her.  After Dr. Carter got 5 needles in, she relaxed and actually fell asleep in Dr. Carter's arms.  We let her sleep about 30 minutes and then I took her home.  She ran inside, ran up the stairs, tried to play with our big dog Bo (who stepped on her one day and started these back issues) and scarfed down 2 big bowls of food (she is usually a nibbler and picky).  She fell asleep in her bed and slept for about 10 hours.
veterinary medical acupuncture
Wow! I thought, how could she be feeling so great after just 1 treatment? Dr. Carter recommended bringing her back in 5 days for a second treatment.  I did.  She didn't have to be muzzled this time.  She laid down in the room and ate some baby food from a jar while Dr. Carter placed the first couple of needles.

Bonnie let Dr. Carter put in a few more needles this time and had the same reaction as the first...she fell asleep for about 30 minutes and you could see her visibly relax.  I brought her home and she acted like a young, crazy woman again...bouncing all over and playing with the Bo.  My husband even commented that "she acts so awesome for the first couple of days after those acupuncture treatments".  I can't wait to see how she is after she has had a few more treatments.  Maybe she can be this way all the time?
We are loving this new service and so are the doggies who are helped by it! Call now to Book your veterinary acupuncture consultation today 972-412-0101 if you think your dog could benefit!  Also, pain isn't the only indicator for acupuncture.  Many different illnesses can benefit from veterinary acupuncture treatments.

Boba gets acupuncture treatment number 3

This is one of our nurse's dogs (Boba) getting acupuncture.  She has had lots of success already and its only been 3 treatments!  We are loving this new service and so are the doggies!  Book your veterinary acupuncture consultation today if you think your dog could benefit!  Also, pain isn't the only indicator for acupuncture.  Many different illnesses and conditions can benefit from acupuncture treatments.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Introducing Medical Acupuncture at Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath

Our acupuncture suite is ready and we are now taking acupuncture appointments for this service with Dr. Wendi Carter.

Read more about medical acupuncture at Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath.

We look forward to offering this new service to the community and merging western medicine with this holistic treatment for pain management and other medical problems.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Maggie" Helps Heal at Pet Loss Support Group

Maggie, helping us out at our weekly Pet Loss Support Group.

This small group meeting allows for clients, non-clients, and staff alike, to grieve the loss of our beloved pets we lost that month in a close, intimate setting.

Staff often attend to grieve the loss of patients.  We have an open forum where people can speak if they'd like, share stories, bring poems and pictures, etc.

Our Pet Loss Support Group meets on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:45pm in the lobby of Animal Hospital of Rowlett at 9501 Lakeview Parkway in Rowlett, Texas.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How Our Grooming and Boarding Facility is Different

So, you've probably never heard a company say "Quantity, not Quality"...but that is exactly what you get in some of the "big box store" grooming and boarding facilities.  In addition to the fact that respiratory diseases can run rampant since most only require rabies to groom and board....there are some other scary facts about the grooming/boarding facilities that follow this mentality. 

Maximum of 15 grooms per day - all are ready to leave by noon!

At Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath, we pride ourselves on being just the opposite....QUALITY OVER instead of taking as many groom dogs as humanly possible and having lots of loud, un-vaccinated barking dogs shoved in a large, loud room--all being groomed at the same time by numerous different groomers...we take a maximum of 15 grooms per day and they are all ready to leave by noon! 

Your pet will always have the same groomer, every visit

At Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath, our groomer has lots of experience and has been grooming for over 25 years.  Many large grooming shops offer on-the-job training and have groomers who are brand new graduates of a two or three week grooming course.

In fact, many are tought quick tips like just washing the head and the back of the dog since this is what most people "smell" when they pick them up.  We pride ourselves on high quality shampoos and conditioners and have pets soak to get off that stinky mutt smell.

At Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath, you always  have the same groomer who learns your pet (what they like and don't like, how they prefer to be handled, how you like their hair cut, what their skin type is like for shampoo selection, etc).  Many of the large grooming facilities have 20-25 groomers on any given day and rotate through working for these companies for short periods of time.  You never know who you are going to get.

We never use high-heat dryers

At Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Animal Hospital of Heath, your dogs are treated as individuals and are catered to depending on their specific needs.  They are given water and are walked during their grooming stay.  They are given fresh blankets and towels to lay on. We never use high heat dryers to make them dry faster (this can actually cause some breeds to overheat). 

We take the same approach to boarding...instead of an enormous facility who can accept hundreds of dogs to board in a loud open room, we accept a minimal number of boarders at any given time, which allows us to ensure individual attention and make sure that we provide a stress-free environment for all our patients.

Read more about our Pet Grooming and Pet Hotel Services - Book your grooming or boarding appointment now. Spots fill up fast

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Block It, Block It Good...

This is a photo of Dorothy, one of our long time registered veterinary technicians, performing a dental cleaning on an anesthetized patient.

You may notice the sign in the background of this picture that says "Block It".  This is because we use local nerve blocks on our dental procedures as an added "layer" of pain prevention.

When your pet arrives for a surgical procedure, they are given a cocktail of pre-anesthetic drugs and pain control.  Throughout their procedure, they are often given pain medications in their fluids.  Post-operatively, we give more injectable pain medications to prevent them waking up from anesthesia in pain. Then, we send you home with a combination of drugs to give for the days/weeks following surgery.

Pain control is our number one goal.  Can you believe there are actually veterinarians that don't use pain control after surgeries!  Ouch.

--Christen Lynch

Bonnie Extraction Fest

We get lots of clients who worry about dental cleanings and think its better for their pet to keep bad teeth than to have no teeth.  When we ask them why, they usually say because they are worried their dog won't be able to eat or that they will have to eat canned food forever.

Here is a video of my dog Bonnie, a 14 year old rat terrier.  She had over 10 teeth extracted by Dr. Downes during her recent dental cleaning.  Six months prior to that, she had another 4 teeth extracted.  She doesn't have many teeth left anymore.

Since her dental cleaning, she has gained 2 pounds...and here she is, crunching away on a large kernel dental diet by Royal Canin.  I am so thankful I had her teeth cleaned and that we extracted the teeth that were causing her pain and discomfort.  She is gaining weight and much more comfortable now!

--Christen Lynch

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Tony" and "Stone" Join the AHR Registered Therapy Team with Recent Pet Partner Certification

Tony (our Heath hospital cat) and Stone (our career-changed Guide Dog for the Blind) both recently passed their Pet Partner evaluations and are now registered therapy animals. Good job, guys! Pet Partners is a National organization that promotes the benefits of animal therapy and certifies animal therapy teams.

Dr. Downes and her registered animal team can be frequently spotted visiting local Assisted Living Centers where they've become popular guests. She hopes to eventually encourage dozens of teams to provide assistance, joy, and whatever else they can to those in need. The new work of dogs!

Tony, Stone, and Maggie (also certified) can be seen in action below.

"Stone" and "Maggie" Spreading their joy
"Maggie" has never met a lap she didn't love!

"Tony" the registered therapy cat