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.

Continue…

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.

Continue…

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.

Continue…

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.

Continue…

The Laparoscopic Spay:  High Tech Surgery for Your Pet

HOT_iStock_000022512419_LargeThe cat or dog spay is a very commonplace procedure. Not only does is eliminate unwanted litters and decrease undesirable hormone-driven behaviors, but spaying also decreases or eradicates the risk of many serious health problems like mammary (breast) cancer and pyometra (uterine infection).

Veterinarians have been spaying pets for a very long time, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. Over the years advances in things like anesthesia and pain control have made the routine spay an even better procedure. At Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center we are excited to be able to continue this trend by offering our patients a laparoscopic spay.

The Traditional Spay

Despite being a relatively routine procedure, a traditional spay is not a straightforward surgery. Also called an ovariohysterectomy, a spay surgery is an abdominal procedure, which means that the surgeon creates an incision into the abdominal cavity in order to gain access to the uterus and ovaries. Continue…

Low Maintenance? Exercise Ideas for Your Cat

A cute cat skateboarding wearing a helmetThe life of a housecat may seem blissful, but those mid-afternoon naps in the sun can actually be downright boring and, let’s face it, lonely. While it’s commonly accepted that cats prefer to laze around, they also need need – and want – to be physically active. With these exercise ideas for your cat, he or she will wake up, tune in, and remain in tip-top shape.

Feline Needs

Sure, your cat has you to love and snuggle with, but to support his or her wellness, you must also provide mental and physical stimulation.

Your cat is a natural born hunter with numerous predatory skills such as stalking, pouncing, and leaping. Help your cat tune into these skills by providing a variety of toys, such as: Continue…

One Big Happy Family: Adding A Second Pet To Your Household

HOT_iStock_000044276980_LargeIf you’re like most pet parents, there will probably come a time when you think to yourself “Having a (dog, cat, rabbit, cockatiel, chinchilla) is so great; so having two would be even better, right?”

Much like the decision to adopt your first pet, adding a second pet to your family comes with it’s own rewards and challenges, many of which are different than going from no pets to one. With a little bit of strategizing, and a lot of planning, you can help to ease the transition from a one-pet to a two-pet household.

Things To Think About Before Adding A Second Pet

The following considerations need to be addressed prior to bringing home a new pet: Continue…

Achoo! Canine Flu and How to Protect Your Pup

veterinarian dogsSince last year’s outbreak in Chicago, canine flu has been on the minds of many pet owners. With the potential to reach epidemic proportions throughout the Midwest, the Canine Influenza Virus/CIV has spread across the United States and is considered very contagious.

Because pups are so friendly, concerned guardians may wonder if it’s safe to take a dog to the park or to other areas with high concentrations of animals. More importantly, you may be asking how this newer strain of CIV threatens your fur friend in general?

Understanding Canine Flu

The original strain of Canine Influenza Virus/CIV H3N8 was first detected in 2004 among a group of greyhounds who were exposed to infected horses. Once thought to be an equine flu, the virus mutated and was able to spread to dogs. Continue…

Moving to Our Own Beat: Alternative Medicine for Pets

acupuncture needlesMore and more people are embracing alternative medicine techniques in their own healthcare. Whether it be visiting a chiropractor, having acupuncture performed, or utilizing massage therapy, millions of people every year utilize non-mainstream modalities to bolster their health.

With science and experience continuing to point towards the benefits of these techniques, it is only natural that the public has begun to demand them for their animals as well. Always on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine, Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center is proud to offer our clients the option of alternative medicine for pets. Continue…

Veterinary Internal Medicine Offered at Heart of Texas

iStock_000016496555_Large (1)Although you may be familiar with the term internal medicine, you may have wondered what it actually means and what it has to do with your pet.

Essentially, internal medicine focuses on the organs or the systems of the body. It is a specialized area of veterinary medicine that encompasses many noninvasive diagnostic and treatment options.

Why Would My Pet Need an Internal Medicine Specialist?

Whenever your pet experiences an injury, disease, or acute illness that impacts the internal systems, there are numerous advantages to consulting with a specialist.

Internal medicine is often utilized in treating the following:

  • Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal illnesses
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Liver and kidney diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Thyroid disease

In addition, internal medicine looks closely at the cause of symptoms in conjunction with the emergence of and progression of the disease. These causes might be identified as infections, inflammations, degenerative conditions, trauma, or a deficiency in immunity. Continue…