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

Dazzling Without the Danger: 4th of July Pet Safety

4th of July Pet SafetySummer is high season for celebrations and nothing is more celebratory than the 4th of July. From backyard barbecues to brilliant fireworks, this is the holiday many Americans look forward to for fun, food, family, and, of course, festivities.

While the team at Heart of Texas agrees with the significance and excitement of the holiday, we also want to remind owners it’s also a time for extra precaution when it comes to our fur friends. Most pets are frightened by loud noises (you may have noticed this during one of our raucous storms). In fact, noise anxiety or phobia is so common that missing pet reports tend to spike during this holiday.

However, there’s no reason to sit this season out. Take some time to learn about 4th of July pet safety and how you can enjoy it while keeping your best fur pal in mind.

A Case for Caution

There are many reasons why loud holidays or thunderstorms are a concern for us here at Heart of Texas. We’ve seen many emergency cases due to pets being struck by a car or injured as they attempt to escape from the cacophony around them.

Unlike us, pets can perceive these noises as unpleasant or downright terrifying. In fact, noise phobia can create a very scary situation for both pets and their owners when it isn’t addressed. Even if you think your pet is only mildly bothered by the noise, exercise caution since it’s best to have peace of mind.

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Severe Weather Pet Safety: Are You Prepared?

severe weatherAustin residents are no strangers to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. You may have an idea of what to do in the event of severe weather, but have you considered pet safety?

Severe weather pet safety is an important part of responsible pet ownership. By planning ahead for our pets, we can help to reduce their anxiety and keep them from harm.

Prepare Your Shelter

Having a safe place to go in the event of a tornado is crucial for the safety of everyone in your home. Once you have identified your tornado-proof room or cellar, make sure it is animal friendly by removing dangerous items, such as tools or toxic products, that may be stored there.

Stock your tornado shelter with emergency pet supplies, including extra food, water, any medications your pet is taking, litter box and litter or puppy pads, a leash or carrier, and veterinary records. Practice getting your pet into the tornado-safe area quickly (this includes knowing your pet’s favorite hiding spots).

Evacuation Concerns

Severe weather may damage your home or surrounding area to the point where evacuation is necessary. Take the following precautions to keep your pet safe in the event of an evacuation:

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Protecting Your Pet from Springtime Pet Toxins

Although we are fortunate to enjoy mild winters here in Round Rock, spring nevertheless brings out the urge to spruce up our lawns and gardens. Many of us consider our yards an extension of our homes, and appreciate our time spent enjoying nature and great weather with our families and pets.

Because many common ornamental plants and lawn care products are pet toxins, caution must be used to ensure that your pet will stay safe as you exercise your green thumb this spring. Your team at Heart of Texas is happy to offer you our top tips for pet safe gardening and lawn care!

Pet Safe Landscaping

Your neighbor’s hyacinths and tulips look beautiful this time of year, but did you know that both plants are toxic to pets if ingested?

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posted in:  Pet Safety  |  Pet Toxins  |  Seasonal Pet Care

What’s the Hype About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Pets?

With all the developments in modern medicine, who would have guessed that the key to one of the most cutting-edge therapies is in the air? Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for pets is one of the latest ways that Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center is bringing the best of veterinary medicine to our pet patients.

Oxygen Therapy

The medical field has recognized the benefits of oxygen for many centuries, but it has taken awhile for the uses of this ubiquitous gas to be recognized.

During a hyperbaric oxygen treatment, the patient is placed inside of a pressurized chamber containing pure oxygen. Room air is typically only around 21% oxygen. Treatment times vary greatly depending on the goal of treatment. In most cases, multiple sessions are needed to maximize effect.

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The Wonderful Ways Pets Show Us Love

As Love Your Pet Day approaches, we think about those furry beings who matter tremendously in our lives. We certainly love them for many reasons including their companionship and devotion. And for your pet, you’re likely numero uno on their “I love you, I love you, and by the way, you rock!” list. We know they love us, but exactly how do our pets show us their love?

Five Important Ways Pets Show Us Love

As pet guardians, we may sense their unconditional love simply by how enthusiastic they are every time we come home. You probably get plenty of kisses or purrs each time you take a moment to snuggle and cuddle your furry pal.

Although the list of meaningful ways pets express their love is inexhaustible, we have narrowed down our top five faves. Continue…

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posted in:  You & Your Pet