A Doggone Pain: Intervertebral Disc Disease in Dogs

intervertebral disc disease in dogsBack problems plague many of us, and our canine companions are not exempt. Sometimes a pinched nerve or a muscle spasm can be a literal pain in the neck, but other times things are more serious.

Intervertebral disc disease in dogs is a fairly common condition that requires timely evaluation and appropriate treatment to get your pet back on their feet. At Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center, we are equipped to do just that.

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Pets and Plants: Keeping Your Furry Loved Ones Safe

pets and plantsWhether you’re an avid gardener or simply enjoy keeping a houseplant or two, there’s good reason to be concerned about pets and plants. According to recent statistics, 25% of the total pet poisoning cases each year are caused by ingestion of a toxic plant.

There are currently more than 700 plants identified that produce compounds that can be toxic to pets, with effects ranging from mild stomach upset to death. Greenery can be tempting to dogs, cats, and other pets, making it of vital importance to identify and remove any potentially toxic plants from your pet’s environment.

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Happy Teeth, Happy Heart: How Pet Dental Care Affects Heart Health

If hearts aren’t on your mind as Valentine’s Day approaches, they are certainly everywhere you look. Because your pet’s health is our top priority at Heart of Texas, we want to turn your attention to your pet’s heart during this month of love.

Just like humans, pets depend on their hearts to circulate blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to keep them active and thriving. Poor oral hygiene is one of the biggest threats to your pet’s heart health. Proper pet dental care is crucial in providing your pet with a good quality of life.

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Preventing Antifreeze Poisoning in Pets

antifreezeChemicals, many of them toxic, are a way of life in our modern world. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a home that doesn’t contain at least a few hazardous substances for use in the yard, garage, or indoors. Of the many chemicals that could attract a curious pet, antifreeze is arguably one of the most dangerous.

Dogs and cats tend to be exposed to this engine additive during summer and winter, when we flush out the engines in our cars. Antifreeze poisoning in pets is often fatal, making education and prevention critical to the safety of our furry companions.

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Think Twice Before Giving A Pet As A Gift

pet as a giftPets truly light up our lives with their cuteness, their antics, and their charm. It’s hard to imagine life without our furry best friends, and it’s understandable to want to spread that particular type of cheer during the holiday season. Besides, what could be more heartwarming than watching a loved one receive the gift of a new pet?

As it turns out, giving a pet as a gift may end up in heartbreak if the recipient isn’t prepared or doesn’t want a pet. Doing your homework in advance will help to prevent a sad situation, and may even help to create a happy new pet and pet owner.

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When to Worry About Lumps and Bumps on Your Pet’s Skin

lumps and bumpsLumps and bumps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but their appearance doesn’t always give us the full picture. Undoubtedly, it’s unsettling for many pet owners to consider the possibility of cancer; however, lumps and bumps on your pet’s skin can be related to other things besides malignant tumors.

The good news is that we have the ability to test skin growths. Once we understand what’s going on beneath the surface, we can discuss the possible pathways forward.

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How to Win a Pet Costume Contest

pet costumeHalloween has always been fun, but it’s no longer a holiday just for kids. These days, everyone in the family seems to spend inordinate amounts of time and money finding or creating just the right costume. However, the individuals who upstage everyone else are, of course, the family pets! Sure, not all animals get into this (some would rather get out of a pet costume quickly), but when a pet costume fits well and feels comfortable, the fun multiplies.

Unleashed Creativity

You’ll likely see all manner of creativity in various pet costumes fashioned by dedicated and imaginative owners. Of course, the traditional costumes always have a place (like ghosts, mummies, spiders, etc.), but it’s not uncommon to see pets dressed as pop culture icons, trending foods, or other original ideas. Time to get crafty!

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The Dog Ate My Homework: Is It a Pet Emergency?

pet emergenciesWhen it comes to back to school time with the kiddos, there is often chaos to be found. From shopping for school supplies, to packing up lunches and after school activities, there is seemingly no rest for the season of schoolwork. But, where does the family pet factor in?

Along with all of the hub-bub, your curious pet can take advantage of this busy-ness by sneaking a peek at backpacks and lunches. After a race to the kitchen for some snacks, or to another activity, backpacks, sacks, and other items are often discarded on the floor by day’s end.

To keep your fur friend away from these pet emergency dangers, let’s take a look at the risks found in your student’s satchel and how to prevent them from coming into contact with your pet.

Pet Emergency: Ingesting Foreign Bodies

With the invention of online homework,it may be less likely that your dog has munched on your student’s math test, but there are other things that can entice a pet prowler from feasting something inedible. Take a look at any backpack or purse, and you will often find a cornucopia of items that Spot can spot!

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Practicing Dog Park Etiquette At Zilker Dog Park

Whether you’re lounging near Barton Springs’ pool, running or biking along the Lady Bird Lake trail, or enjoying one of the Blues On The Green concerts, Zilker Park seems to have something for everyone, after all, they don’t call it Austin’s most loved park for nothing!

Dog owners have much to love about Zilker as well, namely the nearly 46 acres dedicated entirely to dogs. Enjoying the Zilker dog park is a no-brainer as long as you and your pooch practice proper dog park etiquette.

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Should You Worry About Canine Parvovirus?

parvovirusVaccines are modern marvels responsible for saving innumerable – human and animal – lives. Pet owners committed to the prevention of all sorts of various illnesses have many questions about immunity, severity, risk of exposure, and frequency of vaccinations. We’re always here to assist your dog with advanced care, diagnostics, and treatments, but prevention is the key. Of the infectious diseases, canine parvovirus can be effectively avoided.

Highly Contagious

Most commonly, canine parvovirus infects the digestive system and the immune system. In rare cases, however, the heart of a young puppy can be at risk of attack.

Dogs of all ages and breeds can contract the disease, which is shed in the vomit or stool of an infected dog (and who hasn’t seen a dog sniff or sample another dog’s poop?). Robust enough to survive in the environment for up to a year, canine parvovirus is difficult to eliminate.

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posted in:  Pet Safety