Monthly Archives: June 2017

New Cat Introductions

By | Cats | No Comments

beautiful small kittenCats make wonderful companions and adopting a new one is an exciting thing. However, if you already have a cat in the house, the excitement can quickly turn to frustration. Not all animals get along right away and that includes cats. Cats can be territorial, skittish, and may not take kindly to you bringing home another cat.

When you bring home a new cat, it’s important to consider how your current cat may feel. Never assume that just because your current feline companion is generally laid back he or she will just “go with the flow.” You may be surprised. You need to be prepared for any reaction.

A good way to go about new cat introductions is to avoid direct, face-to-face interactions for a little while. You want your cats to have time to adjust to a lot of things before meeting.

Smell: Smells have a significant impact on cats; they mark their territories with their scents in many ways—rubbing, sleeping, pawing, urinating, etc. So, a good method for allowing cats to get familiar without incidents is to allow them time to smell. Put the new cat in an area where your current cat sleeps, or eats, etc. Place your current cat in a room with the new cat’s carrier, or bedding. Give them time to smell and become comfortable.

Sight: Once you feel comfortable taking another step in the new cat introduction process, you can try placing the cats near one another, but not so close that they can get to one another if they get angry. Try putting the cats in two separate rooms that are connected by a door. In the door way, place a screen through which the cats can see, but not move. This way, they can see, hear, and smell one another, but not fight.

Eat: If the cats show any antagonism toward each other, keep them separated by the screen for a while. During this time, feed the cats at the same time. Start by placing the food bowls some distance from the screen, but where they can still see one another while they eat. Over time, move the bowls closer. After a while, you may find that they can approach one another from opposite sides of the screen and eat without fighting.

New cat introductions take time. Have patience, keep trying, and you will eventually have two cats that can live together. They may even become close. If you find the process very difficult, seek the advice of your vet, or possibly an animal behaviorist. Don’t forget to bring your cats in for checkups at Pet Vet Hospital.

Be Ready with Your Pets This Hurricane Season

By | Pet Care | No Comments

man saves his dog from a floodWith the arrival of Tropical Storm Cindy comes a reminder of the dangers that a yearly hurricane season brings. Though this season began on June 1st, it is never too soon to begin planning for this time each year, particularly if you live near the coast.

Things can occur suddenly. As you prepare yourself, your home, and other details, consider your pets. They should be a part of your plans to evacuate, or stay inside and wait out the storm. Make sure you have all travel necessities ready. If your pet needs a crate or carrier, keep it where you have easy access in a hurry. Purchase some extra pet food and other items. You can even plan for how you will pack your car so that you can do it fast.

Make sure that all vaccinations are up-to-date, as well as any other health-related details. If you have to board your pet, or you have to stay in a hotel, you will probably need evidence of your pet’s vaccines. Plus, terrible storms can cause all sorts of unexpected circumstances, like sudden separation. If you lose your pet, you want to be able to find him or her again easily. So, make sure that your pets are microchipped. Keep ID tags on your pet, or within easy reach, too.

At Pet Vet Hospitals, we cannot stress the importance of taking these precautions enough. Because of this, we are offering a discount of $5 off our microchipping procedure. All you need to do is make an appointment and mention this blog when you do so.  Pet Vet Hospitals also offers certificates as evidence of your pet’s vaccinations; these should be kept on hand with other vital information in case you need them.

Stay safe this hurricane season.

Potential Canine Flu Outbreak Means It’s Time for Vaccinations

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Vet using technologyAt Pet Vet Animal Hospitals, we know you trust us to protect your pets and we take that responsibility very seriously. As such, we feel it necessary to make you, the local dog community and dog lovers, aware of a potential life threatening, yet preventable, virus threatening your pet in our area.

During the past few years there have been outbreaks of a severe new flu virus in dogs called Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). To date, the outbreaks have primarily been in Chicago and the South East United States, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana, with North Carolina recording two deaths.  This virus is migrating west–toward us.

The Houston area has had two confirmed cases of CIV in the past month.  While this does not constitute an epidemic, it is serious enough that our doctors want to address the issue before it becomes one.

This virus is especially dangerous because a sick dog can be contagious for up to four days before showing symptoms. Twenty percent of infected dogs show no symptoms at all, but can still spread the virus to others for up to a month. Simply avoiding other dogs that appear sick does not offer any protection from this virus.

Symptoms of CIV can be high fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge, lethargy, and loss of appetite. There are two strains of the disease: H3N8 and H3N2. Depending on the strain a dog contracts, it may need to be treated and isolated up to four weeks. The mortality rate is below 10%.

Prevention is the best way to avoid an epidemic in our community.  There is now a vaccination that is available to protect dogs from both the H3N8 and the H3N2 strains of CIV. An initial vaccine is followed in three weeks by a second booster. Both are required for proper immunity. Pet Vet Animal Hospitals and the manufacturer of the vaccine are confident of its efficacy.  Should a dog contract the virus after proper vaccination, the manufacture will cover treatment at no charge to our clients.

Ideally, all dogs should be vaccinated against CIV, however, some dogs are at a higher risk.  Pet Vet feels that it is imperative these “High Risk Dogs” be properly protected by the vaccine.

Your dog is at High Risk if they go to:

  • Day Care
  • Boarding
  • Grooming
  • Dog Parks
  • Dog Shows
  • Dog Friendly Shops and Hotels
  • Anywhere large numbers of other dogs gather.

Just as in humans’ cases, older dogs and dogs with chronic diseases should also be vaccinated since they cannot fight off the effects of the disease. Many boarding facilities now require vaccination against CIV to be admitted.  This is especially important if your family is considering boarding your dog while on a summer vacation. Keep in mind that you have to wait three weeks from the first vaccination until you receive the booster vaccine for full protection.  Plan ahead.

Bottom line, no one can predict if Houston will have an outbreak or an epidemic.  Thankfully, we have not so far, but we cannot predict if or when our luck might run out. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our pets and the pet-loving community we share. The best way to do this is to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus simply by vaccinating your dog as soon as possible.  If you have any questions regarding CIV, vaccination protocol, or you would like to make an appointment, please call us today at (281) 879-PETS.  Pet Vet Hospitals is here to protect and care for your pets!

Update – 7-28-17

New Canine Influenza Cases Identified in Southeast Harris County

An outbreak of canine influenza has been reported in Webster, Texas, located southeast of Houston. Five cases have been confirmed so far, with an additional five suspected cases awaiting laboratory confirmation.  Another 60 dogs that were exposed to the confirmed cases have presented with clinical signs of canine influenza.

TVMA is gathering additional information about the outbreak and will provide updates as that information becomes available. To obtain the latest information on confirmed cases of canine influenza, please visit Cornell University’s Canine Influenza Virus Surveillance Network’s website at: https://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/news/civchicago.cfm

For your clients interested in obtaining information regarding canine influenza, please visit:  https://www.texvetpets.org/article/how-to-protect-your-dog-from-canine-influenza/

Fostering a Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

dogs people connection adoptionIf you’re an animal lover with a strong need to care for pets, you may have considered fostering them. Becoming a foster parent to a pet is a wonderful and challenging undertaking. Pet fostering exists because there are simply more pets than there are homes and shelters are overflowing. Foster parents give pets a temporary home, with all the comforts and care, until a forever home can be found.

Though the home is meant to be temporary, it’s important to understand a few things before fostering.

Fostering a pet is a real commitment. Because there is always a shortage of permanent homes for pets, you never know how long you may end up having the pet in your foster home. You have to be ready for anything, including a pet that is not adopted. In a few cases, you can get financial help with care if you foster as part of a shelter, group, or system. Most of the time, however, you are required to handle those details for whatever length of time the pet is with you.

You need to be emotionally ready to foster a pet. Some people are perfectly happy with the system; they love the animals while they have them in care, and are equally happy to see them placed with a loving family. In other cases, fosters end up adopting one or more animals because they become attached, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They may even continue fostering other animals after adopting. For others, however, they quickly realize that fostering is not for them. Letting go of the animals that come into the home is simply too difficult for them.

Whatever your reasons for opening your home to foster animals, it’s a worthy consideration. You may discover that it’s your calling, or that you simply need a pet in your life. Either way, you’re helping creatures that need you. Whether you’re a fostering a pet, or you own one, bring your furry friend to Pet Vet Hospitals for all the healthcare you’ll need.