Goldilocks and the three dogs

One of the most common comments I get when I tell people I work in #vetmed is “I could never do that. Putting animals to sleep would be too sad”.

There are so many happy parts of my job, euthanasia has never been a deterrent. Of course it’s hard, but in many ways ending their pain feels like a gift we can provide – so we choose to look at it that way. Ending their pain and suffering and allowing them to drift away peacefully.

A common question we get from clients is “how do you know it’s time”. There are QOL (quality of life) assessments and countless articles we can send you when it’s time. I wanted to provide some personal experience though.

I have had three dogs in my life that have needed end of life euthanasia. I liken their stories to the three bears. One was too long, one was too short and one was juuuuuuust right.

Stinky was my first love. My first dog. My first roommate. He experienced every college boyfriend and every up/down I had in my life. I got him as an adult dog from a rescue I volunteered at as a sophomore in college. He went everywhere with me. He met my last boyfriend, my now husband. He was here for all the important things in life. I knew it was time for him, but I wasn’t ready. I feel like I waited too long to make the decision. By the time I did, he was a walking skeleton in diapers who had to be hand fed and medicated numerous times per day.

My second dog who needed euthanasia was Bonnie. She was a mean 17 year old rat terrier with only enough teeth left in her mouth to bite you. She saved those just for that occasion. She was a dog I acquired when my aunt passed away from cancer. Who better than the vet employee to take over a dog? She was actually a great dog and she loved my husband. When she began to decline (and had gone blind and fallen in the pool a few times) I emailed my family and let them know they could come say their goodbyes. I quickly made the appointment and helped her cross the rainbow bridge. I probably could have waited a bit longer – she was comfortable with pain medications and she was happy. She was just really old and was starting to have “old dog issues” and I thought it was the right decision. I didn’t want her to suffer like Stinky did.

My last dog was Bo. Bo was a 90 lb coonhound golden mix and was sweet as pie. He let my toddler crawl all over him like a jungle gym until his last day. Bo was Stinky’s dog and was my last reminder of Stinky. Bo was starting to have some rough days. He had cancer and didn’t do well on chemo, so I stopped. I knew he was hanging on for us, but we knew it was time. I asked Dr. Hurley “how will I know? He still seems to have good days”. Her reply which has always stuck with me was “you don’t want to wait until he has no good days”. I started keeping a calendar and when the good days begun being outweighed by the bad days, we made an appointment.

We brought Bo in and he was still able to walk inside, unlike Stinky. Bo still took a few treats from our hand but he laid still and gazed into our eyes softly as if to say thank you. He has lived a good, long life with us and he knew he was as good boy. Bo’s euthanasia felt like the timing was juuuuust right.

Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, we’d finally found the sweet spot. The perfect timing for an end of life visit. He left the earth with dignity and I know all three are waiting for me over rainbow bridge 🌈 🐾

-Christen Lynch, Hospital Administrator

Keeping your pets warm

One of the most common things we have been asked over the last few days is to board family pets because people have no heat.

We wanted to provide you a simple list of some things that you can do from home for your animals to try to keep everyone else safe and warm as possible.

We hate to state the obvious, but we will…Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. 

One of the best ways to provide warmth is body heat. Snuggling together in bed or on the couch or holding your pet close. there are other therapeutic reasons to snuggle your pet, but keeping you both warm tops the list! Go into a center room of the home away from windows.

You can put small baby socks on your pets feet to try to prevent them from losing heat through their extremities. Watch your pet closely to be sure they do not eat the socks. You do not want an obstruction in the midst of a snow storm.

If you have access to warm water, you can heat water bottles and wrap them in towels and put them near your pet. Extra blankets can be used on their bedding.

Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. For this reason, short-haired dogs often feel more comfortable wearing a sweater—even during short walks.

Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

Keep in mind that cars are one of the many hazards to small animals—warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine. Antifreeze is also a serious risk during cold weather. It’s sweet tasting and attracts animals.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your pets!

Weathering the storms

We were happy to be open today were very happy to have power. We were one of the only clinics in the area who was open which meant for a busy day.

When the doctor at her nurse arrived to the clinic, there was an emergency bit by a dog waiting to be seen. Amidst getting this patient sutured up and stable, We had our regularly scheduled appointments begin to arrive. Seizing dogs, vomiting patients, a pet who ate some thing they shouldn’t, another bit by dog, a feeding tube placement on a critically ill kitty…

Dr. Hurley an Dr. Clary came to the rescue along with Catie and Taylor and got right to work saving lives. We love what we do and our fantastic clients.

Please say a little prayer for the emergency vet clinics in the area. They are overwhelmed and understaffed and trying their best to take care of all of the patients who need help.

We will be back at 9 AM tomorrow to do it all over again! The area is overwhelmed with urgent care so please consider rescheduling wellness and vaccine appointments until a later date if possible. If your pet is ill but not critical, please text us to see if you need to come in to be seen 972-805-1491. Please remember that we can also do some telemedicine appointments depending on the case.have power.

Here are some cute boarder pictures from today 💜


How obedient is your fur baby? Can they resist a tasty temptation? Lately I’ve noticed a new viral trend of videos going around of children having their obedience challenged with fruit snacks. The parents will leave their child alone with a bowl of fruit snacks or some other type of candy and advise them not to eat the candy until they come back, basically testing their child’s obedience by mixing in a delightful temptation.

Some children failed miserably and some did pretty well. While watching all of the videos I came across this one video of a man and his dog doing the same thing but with a dog treat. I thought to myself “how will my dog do with this challenge”.

Click the link below to find out how my fur baby did! Try this out on your fur babies
and put the hashtag #furbabytreatchallenge so we can see how they do. Will they pass or will they fail miserably? Let’s start this week off right with a little laughter! We all definitely need it during this time. Happy Monday!!


Dr. Erica Watson

Ariel Placing an IV Catheter

All surgeries and dental procedures have an IV catheter placed as part of the procedure.  When your pet is admitted for surgery, the first thing we do is place an IV and begin IV fluid therapy.

If you’ve ever wondered what this is like, here is a great video of our nurse, Ariel, placing an IV catheter! This is Jocko – who was here for a neuter yesterday!

***tiny bit of blood at end of video during placement if you’re squeamish!


Can Covid live on my dog’s feet?

You’ve probably seen the articles floating around about Covid 19 living on the shoes of humans for up to 5 days.  We have been asked the question “can it live on my dog’s feet” and what are safe ways to properly disinfect them after walks, etc.

You’ll be glad to know that the virus shouldn’t survive on sidewalks or fur and pads for that matter. Just a normal bath is more than enough!

We did recently see an article where someone in Dallas soaked their dog’s feet in bleach to clean them off after a walk, which in turn burned the pads of the feet badly.  Do not do this =)

Covid 19

A shelter in place for the City of Rowlett is in effect. What this means for your pet assuming there is no extension of the shelter in place:

We WILL STILL BE OPEN 7:00a-5:30p Monday through Friday and 8:00a-2:00p Saturday for veterinary services. We are also offering some telemedicine options for our current clients. You can still pick up medications and food or we can ship them to your home.

Grooming WILL still be offered for the time being at Animal Hospital of Heath Veterinary Clinic

Non-medical boarding may resume May 1, depending on updates to the shelter in place.

Doggie daycare  may resume May 1, depending on updates to the shelter in place.



For social distancing, we request that everyone please keep SIX feet between yourself and your neighbor.

Nurse appointments please text 972-805-1451 upon arrival and wait in your car for the nurse to call you – we will be using signs on clipboards with your pet’s name to call you.

Doctor appointments will enter and drop your pet in an exam room. Remove pet’s leash and collar and return to your car. We will call with exam findings, obtain payment over the phone and you can return to exam room to pick up pet at the completion.

Medication pick up please call with payment when you arrive and a team member will get your meds ready and will place in the boxes under the white tent.

Bear with us as we take care of your pets. We can’t thank you enough. for coming and we want to serve you safely.


Copied from City of Rowlett, Texas:

At tonight’s Special City Council Meeting, it was announced that Rowlett has been notified of two positive COVID-19 cases in our community. One in the Dallas County portion of Rowlett, one in the Rockwall County portion of Rowlett.

Also at tonight’s meeting, Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian amended the City’s Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency and has issued a Shelter in Place order. This order mirrors the order put in place by Dallas County yesterday and affects everyone in the City of Rowlett, whether in Dallas or Rockwall County. The order is effective 11:59pm Tuesday, March 24 through April 3. This gives residents and businesses located in the Rockwall County portion of Rowlett a day to plan, just as the Dallas County portion of Rowlett was allowed. To be clear – Dallas County’s order for the Dallas County portion of Rowlett still goes into effect tonight at 11:59pm.

City of Rowlett Amended Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency:

In addition to the provisions spelled out in previous orders (which remain in effect through April 30), the Shelter in Place order (in effect thru April 3) includes:

–All individuals currently living within the City of Rowlett are ordered to shelter at their place of residence.

–All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, or to provide or perform Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses (please see Section 3, entitled “Definitions”, of the order for a definition of these terms – the listing is quite extensive).

We know these new, more stringent measures may be unpleasant for some, but the need to protect the most vulnerable members of our community outweighs any possible individual discomfort. The virus that causes COVID-19 is easily transmitted through person to person contact, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety.

Please go to ( for more information.
#MyRowlett #BetterTogether

The City of Rowlett is closely monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) outbreak and is participating in response coordination with Garland Public Health, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Please monitor this page for updated informatio…

Nutrition Links

Below are the web addresses of some useful, accurate sources of information on nutrition:

Nutrition Guidelines

• World Small Animal Veterinary Association Nutritional Assessment Guidelines

• American Animal Hospital Association Nutritional Assessment Guidelines
Tools for the Veterinary Healthcare Team

• World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Nutrition Committee Nutrition Toolkit

• Pet Nutrition Alliance – information and tools to increase awareness of the importance of optimal pet nutrition

Pet Nutrition – General Information for Pet Owners

• National Research Council downloadable booklet: Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs
Pet Food

• Association of American Feed Control Officials: Information on regulations, labeling and other important facts
about pet food

• FAQs about pet foods

• Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Pet Food site: Information, links, food safety issues, recalls, pet food labels,
reporting portal

• Pet Food Institute: Information on ingredient definitions, labeling regulations

• Pet Food Report: Consumer’s Guide to Pet Food

Nutrition Consultations

• American College of Veterinary Nutrition: Listing of board-certified veterinary nutritionists who will
conduct nutritional consultations for veterinarians and/or pet owners

• European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition: Board-certified veterinary
nutritionists in Europe

Home-cooked Diets

• American College of Veterinary Nutrition: Listing of board-certified veterinary nutritionists who will formulate
nutritionally balanced homemade diet recipes for veterinarians and/or pet owners

• BalanceIT: Commercial website which offers semi-customized balanced home-cooked diet recipes for pet owners
with healthy pets. Veterinarians can customize pre-formulated recipes for animals with medical conditions

• European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition: Board-certified veterinary nutritionists in Europe


• Pet Obesity Prevention: Useful information on assessing pets’ body weight, calorie needs, and weight
loss tools

Dietary Supplements

• Consumerlab: Site (with a small subscription fee for use) that independently evaluates dietary supplements
(primarily for human supplements but some pet supplements are included))

• Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Regulatory and safety issues of dietary supplements, adverse event reporting

• Mayo Clinic drugs and supplements information: Fact sheets on human supplements and herbs

• National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements: Evaluating supplements, fact sheets,
safety notices, internet health info

• United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Information Center: General supplement
and nutrition information, links to a variety of dietary supplement websites

• United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplement Verification Program: Independent testing of dietary supplements
(human supplements only)

Raw meat diets

• Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine raw diet fact sheet

Click to access raw_meat_diets.pdf

• FDA guidance document on safe handling and raw foods

Click to access UCM052662.pdf


• Ohio State Indoor Pet Initiative: Nutrition and other tips for optimizing the indoor pet’s environment

• USDA Nutrient Database: Full nutrient profiles on thousands of human foods

Blog at

Up ↑