Finley’s baby shower

A couple of weeks ago we had a baby shower for one of our awesome reception staff members, Meleah. Baby Finley was born just a few days ago and we couldn’t be happier for their growing family!

Rockwall rocks

People are painting rocks and hiding them around town. When you find the rocks, you are supposed to move it to a new location.

Our staff painted some rocks and we have hidden them outside the clinic. We hope they get moved all over the city!

Hill’s Science Diet

Today we had a lunch and learn where Hill's came to talk to us about the benefits of all the veterinary diets they carry. It's always super interesting to hear all the research that goes into each diet and case studies of how the prescription diets have helped animals. We also love hearing pet food myths busted and better learning how to read and explain pet food labels to clients. Nutrition is important!!!!! Make sure you're feeding your pet a premium diet.

Flea and Ticks SUCK

Fleas and Ticks

Summer fun comes with some uninvited guests.  Flea and tick transmission increase in the warmer weather.  It’s important to keep these pests under control for many reasons.  They transmit diseases such as Hemobartonella and Ehrlichia.  They can cause anemia in very small pets.  Some dogs and cats are allergic to flea bites and develop severe dermatitis from relatively few fleas, usually around the tail- head area.  Fleas and ticks on pets can be a source of bites for humans as well.  Nearly all flea infestations are caused by one species of flea.  Ticks are a little trickier to get rid of because there are multiple species of ticks that may have different susceptibilities to tick products.  So, a  broad spectrum tick killer is recommended.

Fortunately, there are some excellent products available to help take care of fleas and ticks.  If your pet is on Trifexis or Advantage Multi for heartworm prevention then he or she is already on an excellent flea killer.  Unfortunately, there are no heartworm preventions for dogs that take care of intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks, so another product must be used for tick prevention.  Revolution is available for cats and will take care of intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks but only one species of tick.  Fleas are very mobile, and all pets tend to be at risk for flea infestation.  Ticks are not as mobile.  You tend to have to go where they are to pick up a tick infestation.  So, the need for tick prevention is a personal decision based on where you travel with your pet and whether you’ve ever had a tick problem near your residence in the past.

There are some newer oral products for fleas and ticks such as Bravecto, Nexguard, or Simparica.  We carry Bravecto because it lasts for 3 months for fleas and most ticks.  Nexguard and Simparica are taken monthly.  Bravecto for cats is a topical spot-on instead of oral.   These are prescription products.

There are some tick and flea collars that work well.  Seresto is a flea and tick collar that lasts for 8 months.  There is a version for dogs and cats.  Seresto does not require a prescription.  Some dogs and cats are sensitive to flea and tick collars and can develop dermatitis under the collar, so always watch closely for signs of irritation such as redness, hair loss, or scratching at the collar.

For families with both dogs and cats, we recommend that you avoid products toxic to cats, such as most pyrethrin products like Parastar Plus or Vectra 3D.  Cats can be poisoned by grooming or contact with dogs who’ve had these products applied.

One of the most important parts of the veterinary visit actually starts at home.  This is the “art” of getting your cat into the carrier, then into the car, then into the clinic – without raising their “FAS” or Fear/Anxiety/Stress scale.  The more fearful, anxious and stressed they are, the less we are able to handle them and ensure they have a pleasant visit at the vet.

Among cat owners, 44.9 percent did not take their cat or cats to a veterinarian during 2011, up from 36.3 percent in 2006. People don’t take their cat to the vet because it is stressful to their cat – therefore making it stressful for the client!

One of the ways you can begin to ensure your cat has a fear free visit is to get them used to their carriers.  That means, don’t get the big scary box that only transports them to the big scary vet the day of the visit!  Cats should be trained to love their crates and find them a safe, happy place to sit.  Leave the carrier out all the time – or at least several days/weeks prior to the visit.  Put their bed in it.  Give them yummy food and treats in it.  Cats love boxes…make them love their crate!

One of our awesome kitty clients, the Thomas family, leave their crates out before visits and look how relaxed their cats are!  They didn’t drag them from under a bed and shove them into the carrier and toss the carrier in the hot car and bring them to the scary vet.  They slept in their crates willingly because it is a safe place to them.  

Continue reading “Getting Your Cat To The Vet”

Nurse appointments can save you money $$$

Did you know that AHR doesn’t always require you to see the doctor?  We don’t always charge an exam for every visit and we never charge an “office visit” fee.  Once your pet has established a relationship with AHR, they can come in for wellness items with a nurse if their physical exam is current with us.

If you bring them in on January 15 for an exam with the doctor, they can come in until January 14 the next year for vaccines including Rabies, DHPP, Bordetalla, Lepto, Lyme, Rattlesnake, Flu, nail trims, anal gland expressions, teeth brushing, vaccination boosters, intestinal parasite exams, labwork, heartworm tests, chronic medication monitoring, etc.

This is a great way to save money between visits or to break up wellness services to split up the payment a bit.  Just another way AHR tries to help save you money!

If you come in for a sick exam with the doctor, it updates your wellness exam reminder so that you don’t have to come back for another year.  If the doctor recommends a recheck after a sick visit, the recheck exam is discounted if you come back within 4 weeks.

Ask about our Super Savers and low cost spay neuters next time you are in….or check out our February and October dental cleaning specials!  We also have a promotion on acupuncture right now! Call or email us for details!

We love Dr. D

We decided to share a popular facebook post on our blog too =)

I just have to say how proud I am to work for AHR. I love how the vets care about the animals like their own family.
I’m sure she’d be mortified to know I wrote this, but Dr. Downes told a story today with literal tears streaming down her face. She cried because she cares about how animals are treated – no matter where they’re treated.
Her mommy took her cat to a vet closer to her home to confirm a ringworm diagnosis (Dr. D couldn’t confirm via a texted picture and her mommy doesn’t live locally).
The veterinarian scruffed her cat (even though it will let you do anything to it without any restraint at all) and they administered an unnecessary antibiotic (one that we save for critical things so they don’t become ineffective from too frequent use so now we can’t use it when the cat has future flare ups of an unrelated issue) and they administered another drug that wasn’t needed at all. They didn’t give any antifungals for the ringworm and they used an ear cone for a large dog instead of a small cat which caused the kitty to cry and put its paws over its ears as if to say “stop it”.
She cried, y’all. Tears welled up in her eyes as she talked about how scary that must have been for the kitty. All the vets at AHR commiserated with her and said they couldn’t believe it. It’s sad for our profession that not everyone cares and provides the same level of care.
I’m just thrilled to know I work somewhere that they will always treat my animal with a gentle touch, they’ll always respect me and my pet and will always provide the TOP level of medicine.
I also read on a friends Facebook status just to the other day that Dr. Downes sat in an exam room and cried with them. They came in for a quality-of-life discussion and to start making plans for an elderly pet that may not have much longer. It’s so special to me to know that our doctors care about each and everyone of their patients like it’s their own pet.
Anyway, sorry to be so long-winded. Let’s give this post some “likes” to give some support to our veterinarians, who love each of our animals and provide the best care on earth. It’s a very difficult, emotionally draining job… And we’re so happy that they are here to do it.
– Christen, practice manager (although, I know I speak for the entire staff when I say this…)

Exam Room Assistants

If you have been into the clinic in 2017, you may have noticed some pretty big changes with our exam room flow.  While some of the familiar faces from the front desk may not be there to greet you, we want to be sure that you realize this change is to improve the client/patient experience!

Some of our more tenured, full time CSR staff have been moved into a role that we like to call ERA, or exam room assistant.  Each doctor is paired with a primary ERA who will be with the doctor at all times.  Their role is to enter exam notes so that the doctor can spend more time focusing on you and your pet, without having to escape to the computer constantly.

We want you to get to know your doctor’s primary ERA…as they will help answer questions for the doctor when messages are left in their box, they will be the one calling to confirm your appointment and will be the one watching the appointment book to hopefully communicate to you if the doctor is running ahead of schedule (or behind schedule).  Dr. Clary’s primary ERA is currently Cara, Dr. Carter’s is Fallon and Dr. Hurley’s is Adrienne.  Jessica is with Dr. Downes frequently at our Heath location.

Each Doctor/ERA pair also has a daily secondary ERA.  The role of the secondary is to meet you at the front door to greet you and immediately show you into an exam room (as long as one is available).  This prevents your dog or cat from having any run-ins with other pets in the lobby, keeps smells to a minimum and hopefully decreases any fear they have when coming to the veterinary clinic.  They will provide treats and low stress handling during the examination.

If your pet is timid and prefers to remain in the examination room with you for the entire visit, we can do vaccines, blood draws and nail trims in the room with you.  If they love to explore and meet with our clinic pets (Stone, Maggie, Sheldon, Bob, etc) they we can have a nurse perform those items in the treatment area while you chat with the Doctor.

We hope this provides a faster visit for you – because we know that nobody wants to spend hours at the vet office (no, seriously…studies show this! and don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt our feelings).  We hope it tones down the anxiety your pet might get waiting in the lobby with other animals coming and going.  We hope it allows you more quality time with the doctor and your pet.  We love our new flow and we hope you do too!

We invite you to come by in 2017 and check us out.  See how we are different from other practices in the area and make AHR your home away from home.  As always, we look to improve every interaction with you.  If you have any feedback, please fill out our client satisfaction survey and receive a $5 credit on your account!

The Amazing Zeke

Zeke is one of our awesome kitty patients at the Animal Hospital of Rowlett.  Zeke came to us very ill in 2012.  He was limp and lifeless and had labored breathing.   Dr. Clary ran some labwork, took some x-rays, and did an echocardiogram.  Zeke was diagnosed with Histoplasmosis.

Zeke stopped eating and was not feeling good at all.  Dr. Clary placed a feeding tube to help Zeke get the necessary nutrition he needed to survive.  The thought of a feeding tube can be really scary to people, but luckily, his daddy was willing to proceed in hopes that the feeding tube would help save Zeke’s life.

Now, 4 years later, Daddy is glad he made the decision to continue treatment and says that Zeke does something funny every day that brings joy to his life.  Here are some videos of Zeke!

Pet visitation in progress

Pet visitation at hospitals is so therapeutic. There are many benefits to snuggling a pet – lower blood pressure and lower stress included. 
Consider bringing your pet to hospitals or retirement homes to visit with patients. 

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