Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pets as Presents: Don't Let Pets Gets Lost in the Tinsel

It's hard to resist the joy of giving your favorite loved one the pet they've always wanted for Christmas. However, the result of many of these well intentioned gifts is animals that are unwanted, uncared for and oftentimes sent to shelters. 

An animal of any kind (even one as small as a fish or a hamster) is not a light, last minute purchase. Bringing a new life into the house should be well thought out and discussed with the entire family. 

Holiday pets often get ignored in the holiday rush. Christmas morning is filled with so many presents, lots of food, family and relatives coming over...then there's New Years in a few days. You think it's stressful on you? Thank about what a pet who's never been in your house before would be thinking. A new pet needs lots of quiet and calm. A new puppy or kitten needs to watched constantly and settle into a routine so they can become a happy member of the family. This is impossible to accomplish on Christmas. The new pet will just end up confused and scared. 

You should never pick an actual pet for another person, even a child. Bring the child along to pick out the animal and let it be a family event. All animals (even hamsters and fish) have distinct personalities and letting your entire family help with the choice makes the animal more special to them. Besides, don't you want to see how the puppy interacts with your entire family? That great puppy you pick out for your son might not like kids. Your son might decide the puppy you like plays too rough. Your kids may decide they'd rather have a cat! 

New Puppies

Almost every child asks Santa for one, however a dog is MAJOR purchase and a new puppy needs lots of attention and care. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas/New Year holiday, the puppy probably won't get the attention it needs. That's not even taking into account all the ribbon, trees, rich Christmas foods, chocolate and other dangers the puppy could unintentionally get in while your family is busy with their other gifts. 

Alternate ideas: Give the kids a stuffed puppy and tell them the new puppy is coming. Wrap a puppy bowl, collar, crate and other puppy supplies with a "certificate" to get a puppy at a later date. All of this stuff should be set up and ready for the puppy when it comes home anyway. This way, you and your family can set it up while you tell them about the responsibility of a new dog. Another great idea is a few books on puppy care (especially if you have an older child).

New Kittens

Kittens don't take quite as much attention as puppies but they can still get into a lot of trouble at Christmas. Kittens are notorious for swallowing tinsel and ribbon and getting lots of stomach problems. Small kittens scare easily and the safest retreat will probably be up the tree which can be dangerous. 

Alternate ideas: Cat care kits, litter boxes, cat toys, books on kitten care. The litter box and a bed for kitty should be in place before he gets to his new house. You and the kids can decide where to put it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Pet Safety

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
No Feasting for the Furries
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
That Holiday Glow
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.
House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank You

This goes out to all of the staff and doctors at The Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas for all of their hard work and dedication. Without you we would not be where we are today. Also we would like to recognize all of our referring veterinarian clinics, thank you for  entrusting us with your clients and patients in their hour of need. It is your continued trust in us that has allowed us to start our 14th year.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dog Waits for Santa

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Pet Picks

Are you looking for a gift for your canine friend that is sure to get the tails wagging and paws pouncing this holiday season? For the safety conscious pet, you could always get them a new travel carrier or car seat harness. Or for the sophisticated pet, try some baked doggie goods from your local doggie bakery. If purchasing special goodies from bakeries isn’t your thing, make your own doggie treats! For the owner on a budget or for the pet who has everything, the gift of time is the top gift for any pet this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Table Foods and Pets

Did you know that some common “people foods” can be extremely dangerous to your pet’s health? Foods such as onions, macadamia nuts, avocado, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and parts of the turkey, just to name a few, should never be fed to your animal companions. While you are enjoying your holiday meal this season, be sure to keep plenty of pet-friendly treats on hand so your four legged family member will be less likely to beg for scraps.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ABVP Certifies Veterinarian in Canine/Feline Practice

NASHVILLE, TN ‐‐Libby Ramirez, DVM, has been certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) specializing in Canine/Feline Practice. Dr. Ramirez mastered a rigorous and demanding application process and certification examination in order to obtain Diplomate status. To qualify to sit for the extensive two‐day examination, a veterinarian must complete either a residency program or six years of clinical veterinary practice. In addition, two case reports, references, descriptions of practice procedures, and professional education records must be submitted and pass review. This year's examination was given on Nov. 4‐6, 2011 in Chicago, IL. 

Dr. Ramirez is a 2002 graduate of Texas A&M University and has a special interest in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Dr. Ramirez practices at the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society.  The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners was established in 1978 and is accredited by a special committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association to recognize excellence in clinical practice through the certification of species‐oriented specialists. Over 850 veterinarians worldwide are certified in one of ABVP’s ten practice categories: Avian, Beef Cattle, Equine, Exotic Companion Mammal, Canine and Feline, Dairy, Feline, Food Animal, Reptile and Amphibian and Swine Health Management. For more information on ABVP visit www.abvp.com.

Use of the Title:

Libby Ramirez, DVM, Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine/Feline Practice)

Libby Ramirez, DVM, Diplomate, ABVP (Canine/Feline Practice)

Libby Ramirez, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline Practice)

Friday, December 2, 2011

National Mutt Day

Today is National Mutt Day! National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. There are millions of loving and healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters, which are desperately searching for a new home. Consider a mixed breed pet for your next furry family member!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

 Did you know?
-Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year
-One in four dogs die of cancer.
-Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
-Just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your dog’s body.

Are you aware that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month? Run your hands over your pet and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps. If you feel something new or unusual, let's take a look at it. Dogs and cats can get benign lumps such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts, but they can also get much more serious tumors, like mast cell tumors, melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and many others. Many of these can be diagnosed with a simple in-office procedure involving a needle aspirate and then a microscopic exam of the cells obtained. A fine needle aspirate is generally less painful than a vaccination, so don't hesitate to get that lump checked out. The importance of annual check-ups regardless of the age of your pet is critical in the prevention of cancer. 

Here are the top 10 early warning signs of pet cancer listed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Better to be safe than sorry, and much better to catch something sooner rather than later!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Employee of the Month

Diane Haislip is our Employee of the Month for November. We honored her with a Certificate of Excellence for her achievements!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Work Anniversaries in November

We have such an amazing team at AEHNT! We'd love to take a moment to mention those that are celebrating work anniversaries this November. Chris Graves, Veterinary Technician, has been with for 2 years. Danielle Musch, who has just been promoted to Veterinary Technician, has been with us for 2 years. Stephanie Prosser, Veterinary Technician, has been with us for 3 years. Margaret Savage, Veterinary Technician, has been with us for 4 years. Dr. Bruce Nixon has been a part of the team for 13 years! We are so thankful for our hard working team and we appreciate all the dedication you show to the pets that come to us.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


November is Senior Pet Month. Do you have an older cat or dog sharing your home? If so, you know the joys of pets who might have less spunk but more soul. Here are five reasons to love a senior pet.

1. Distinguished look
You know how as we age, we are said to look distinguished? The same is true for our pets. I think senior cats project an air of peaceful dignity. And who can resist the precious gray muzzle of an older dog?
2. Laid-back lifestyle
For kittens and puppies, most any time is play time. Older pets, however, don’t need to release all that youthful energy. They are quieter and often content to just watch what’s going on in the living room or outside the window. Cuddling next to you takes precedence over most anything else.
3. Fewer demands
Older pets still need love and attention, but they don’t require babysitting like a frisky puppy or curious kitten. Some older pets have special medical needs, but after all they’ve given us through the years, it’s an honor to take care of them in return.
4. Wisdom of the ages
When I look into the eyes of a senior dog, I see a world of experience and wisdom. Older pets know what to expect, and are generally reliable and even. They require little training since they already know the rules.
5. They might be just like you!
As we get older, our needs and routines change. We might prefer quiet evenings at home rather than going out on the weekends. We still like to exercise, walk, or even run—but sometimes we go at a different pace. We might even nap in our chair occasionally. If you have a senior dog, you might find that he’s just like you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thank You LetterTo the Entire Staff of the "Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas"

To the Entire Staff of the "Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas"
I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for the excellent care you gave to Molly, the Eclectus.
She was near death and because of all of you, she's healthy active and still with us.  This picture was taken on Thursday (10/20) (just 4 days after her hospitalization).
I'd especially like to thank Dr. Blackmon for her insightfulness and sensitivity to the situation and her wonderful honesty.
I'd also like to thank Dr. McGee for her continued sensitive care towards Molly.
Also, to the ENTIRE STAFF who were so genuinely concerned.
I'm convinced she wouldn't be here with us now had we not brought her to your facility.
P.S.  Also, I don't know the name of the individual that told us she'd passed the egg, but I really wanted to hug her.....

-Lisa Culhane

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Team Members of the Month

Tommy Maupin assistant technical director and Jessica Spader receptionist.  They both received an exceptional compliment from a client for their caring and understanding.


I visited your facility around 7:00 on Sunday, September 18. My 8 year old dog Brinkley recently had anal resection surgery and needed some expert intervention. That came in the form of two of your finest- Jessica at the front desk who sweetly fielded my telephone call for help, and Tommy who was absolutley wonderful with his care and manner with my beloved pet.

From the moment we walked in, we were treated with care and concern. Jessica delicately handled a client ahead of me who was in tears. We quickly filled out paper work and weighed Brinkley and we waited in a room for a tech or vet to come by. A few short minutes later Tommy came in and we started talking about the issues at hand. Tommy was patient as I tried to collect my thoughts and make sense about my concerns about Brinkley. He was very kind and what I noticed the most was he was SO GOOD at helping me organize my thoughts. He knew the right questions to ask to help me get past my fear and concern and give him the "bottom line" answers he needed to assess the situation. He spent what seemed like 30 minutes with me helping with everything from a medicinal timeline to securing the last inflatable collar to prevent Brinkley from further irritating his surgery site. He inflated the collar, got it ready to go and took the best care with me, my friend who had to drive me, and most of all, Brinkley. Tommy said he loved his job and had been doing it for 10 years- his love of animals and personable nature make it easy to see why he does it.

It is my hope that the management team realizes what absolute winners it has in Tommy and Jessica. 
I have never been treated so well in an emergecny situation and I feel better knowing that should another need arise, I know exactly where to go for great care.


Alison and Brinkley Miner