Is pool chlorine safe for dogs?

dog-dive-photoAs the summer temperatures get hotter (especially in extremely hot areas like Las Vegas) it is common for families to consider allowing their dog to jump into the pool with them in order to cool off.  One of the most common questions that is asked of veterinarians and animal hospitals during the summer months will be something like “Is the chlorine in my pool safe for my dog to swim in or drink?”

The chlorine in your pool is safe for your dog to swim in, just as much as it is safe for you to swim in, however there are several things that you must watch out for when your dog jumps in the pool.  Dogs tend to ingest more of the water they are swimming in than humans typically do, as they do not understand that the water is not good for them to drink.  If your dog drinks too much water from the pool, the result could be salt poisoning or electrolyte imbalance, or the chlorine may upset their stomach.  In order to prevent your dog from ingesting too much chlorinated water, make sure you provide plenty of fresh water to them and show them where it is.  Typically, dogs will prefer to drink the fresh water over the chlorinated water as it tastes better, however if they are hot and cannot find any alternative they will drink the chlorinated water to reduce their thirst.  It is important to make sure they can find fresh water to drink.

Additionally, the chlorine in the pool water might cause irritations to your dog’s skin or eyes.  Make it a habit to rinse your dog off in the shower or by a garden hose providing fresh water after they are done swimming.  This will reduce the chances of their skin or eyes being irritated by the chlorine or pool chemicals.  If you notice your dog itching or scratching after they have gone swimming, it might be an indication that the chlorinated water is irritating their skin.  Bathing your dog in fresh water will reduce the irritation, but in the case of ongoing irritations or any behavior that is unusual after swimming it could be that your dog is allergic to the chemicals in the water.  If you notice anything that seems unusual about your dog’s appearance or behavior after swimming contact your veterinarian or animal hospital immediately.

Lastly, remember that not all dogs know how to swim.  It is a common belief that any dog will begin to swim if put into the water, but dogs that have never been exposed to deep water may panic and thrash about instead of swimming.  Also, many dogs that have had injuries or are older may not be able to swim enough to keep their head above the water.  Introduce your dog to the water slowly and carefully, supporting their body during the process in order to allow them to get accustomed to the water and how to swim.  Throwing your dog into the water could result in drowning.

As a final note, if you have a pool and your dog has never been in it, it is a good idea to spend some time putting your dog slowly into the pool to make sure they know how to swim if they were to fall in when alone.  Spend the time to support their body and allow them to get used to swimming, and show them how to find the shallow end and exit the pool.  A little bit of time spent training your dog to swim can save his or her life.

How To Choose An Animal Hospital

pethelthanimalhospitalThere are many different things to consider when you are choosing an animal hospital or veterinarian for your new pet.  Several aspects of the clinic are probably more important to you than others, as you can assume that as long as the clinic has a good reputation (look through Yelp and Google+ reviews, or ask your friends) that they are going to be able to provide the basic veterinary services that are found at almost any clinic.  The most important aspect to consider for most people is the location, and the distance to the hospital from your home.  The main reason that this is so important is that if the location is too far away, you will probably have more of a tendency to make less appointments as it is more difficult to arrange a convenient time.  Regular visits to the veterinarian for checkups, vaccinations and treatments are crucial to the well being and health of your pet, so choosing a hospital that is convenient to your home will probably allow you to arrange for more regular visitations.  Another important aspect to remember to ask when you are looking at veterinarians is the hours they keep, and what you should do if there is an emergency either after the hours they are open or if it is something they can handle.  Many veterinary clinics are limited in the scope of work they can handle in emergency situations when time is crucial, so finding out after you bring your emergency case into the location that they are not equipped to handle the situation is not the best thing to do.  When you are interviewing your potential new veterinarian, ask what hours they are open and where they suggest you go in case of an after hours emergency.  Make a special note of the location they suggest, and keep the directions and hours of that location handy at all times.  Emergencies are stressful, and in an emergency situation you need to be as prepared as possible.  Ask your veterinarian what they suggest in an emergency like if your dog was hit by a car.  Are they equipped to handle that situation during their office hours? Do they have a surgery center and a veterinarian on staff who can perform emergency surgery?  Ask them if you should bring your cat to them if the pet stops breathing, falls down or has an allergic reaction.  Ask if they can handle an emergency poisoning if your puppy eats fertilizer from your yard.  Ask if they are equipped to handle these situations at any time, or if they are simply to be considered only for non-emergency situations.

Ask your potential animal hospital if you can tour their facilities, and get a sense as far as the cleanliness and professionalism of the staff.  Does the facility look like a professional animal hospital or does it look like an unprofessional office?  Does the clinic have modern looking equipment and a room where they can do surgery or dental work? If you want to be able to take your pet to a single location to have all of these types of treatments done, then you have to make sure that your potential choice can perform these important services.  If they cannot, you will have to go to a different location to get that work done.

Lastly, use your gut feelings to see if you like the veterinarian and the staff of the animal hospital.  Keep in mind that you are choosing a doctor that you are putting in charge of making decisions for your pet with regards to their health.  Do you get a good feeling from the staff?  Are they pleasant or are you getting the feeling that you do not like them?  Are they on top of appointments or do you feel like you are being forgotten about?  Use all of these aspects to make your choice of animal hospital, and both you and your pet will benefit from your decision.

See Your Veterinarian Regularly

A common question that is asked is “how often should I take my dog or cat to the veterinarian?” The answer to this question relies on several factors including your pet’s age and general state of overall health, but for the most part it is determined by the age of your pet.  Pet Health Hospital recommends “ongoing wellness exams” which are basically regular checkups of your pet’s condition, and during which point your veterinarian will be looking for specific things that are commonly known to effect a pet of the breed and age.  While these types of exams are different than a visit to the veterinarian when your pet is showing some symptom of a problem, the point of a wellness exam is to potentially diagnose future issues before they manifest themselves into conditions that are obvious to the common person.  Animals are quite good at masking health issues and hiding pain, as is their instinct due to an injured animal in the wild being easier prey than a healthy animal.  Your dog or cat will only show visual symptoms of a potential condition once it is well into the point of being a major problem.  Our specialized wellness programs look for the things that veterinary science has learned over the years are potential problems with your pet’s breed, in an attempt to avoid those issues.  Surgeries and medical treatments can be very expensive, and our philosophy is that it is worth a small price and a small inconvenience on a regular basis in order to potentially avoid a major expense and potentially deadly health situation.  We believe that the veterinary practice should be one of keeping animals healthy as well as treating them once they are sick.

Regular wellness exams should be done once every month during puppyhood or kittenhood up until about a year old.  After a year then regular checkups should be at least once per year and older animals should be checked at least every six months.  The determining factors that decide if your pet qualifies as “adult” or “senior” really depends on the breed as each type of pet has a different lifespan and age cycle.  Keeping with regular checkups can help our veterinarians to keep your pet healthier, which can lead to a longer and happier life.

If your pet is acting in a way that is out of the ordinary, or showing any symptoms of pain or distress like excessive panting, excessive drinking, not eating or drinking or acting overly lethargic, it is best to schedule an appointment immediately instead of waiting for your next wellness exam.  Distress of any kind in an animal is a symptom that there is something wrong that cannot wait even another day.

Pt Health Hospital offers free programs that assist pet parents in understanding the wellness exam schedules that would be most beneficial to their pets.  Contact our staff to learn more information, and always remember that a little bit of inconvenience to have your pet checked out regularly can avoid larger issues and expenses down the road.

How To Trim Dog Nails

nail-diagramThe procedure for trimming your dog’s nails is very simple, but will generally require two people in order to not harm the dog by potentially cutting the nail too short and causing bleeding.  One person will need to hold the dog to prevent them from running away, and the other person will use a pet nail clipper in one hand and hold the dog’s paw with the other hand.  You should hold the paw in your hand and grip the toes with your fingers, allowing you to have control if the dog flinches or pulls their paw away.  The process is very scary for many dogs, so you should expect them to squirm around and attempt to pull away.  The pressure caused by the clipper will also frighten the dog, which will cause them to jerk when you clip.  Because of this, it is best to set the clipper to exactly the position you want to clip on the nail, and then clip quickly.

The position that you are going to want to clip is roughly 45 degrees angled from the front of the pad, meaning that the clipping will angle closer to the pad on the bottom and further away on the top, however this is going to be very slight so it is best to simply try to cut the nail flush with the area that will contact the ground when the dog is walking.   The most important thing to remember when clipping your dog’s nails is to not clip too far, making sure that you clip slowly closer until the black spot of the quick begins to appear.  The quick of the dog’s nail will get longer if your dog does not have regular clippings to keep them short, so pay close attention that you do not clip too far up the dog’s nail, or you will cause bleeding and pain.  Clip until you see the black spot of the quick beginning to appear, and no further.  If you do cut too far and your dog’s nail begins to bleed, run the nail across a bar of soap in order to plug the wound and stop the bleeding.  There are also several powders available that will stop bleeding, ask your veterinarian for their suggestions as far as which to use.

Below you will find a video of how to clip your dog’s nails, provided by Dr. B on one of our patients here in Las Vegas.

 

Veterinarian Advice: Why It Is Important To Trim Your Pet’s Nails

Veterinarian adviceWhen your pet is walking on hard surfaces, do you notice the clicking of their nails against the ground? If so, there is a good possibility that their nails are too long and are in need of trimming. Most veterinarians will mention the need for regular nail trimmings to pet owners quite often, but due to the difficulties involved in trimming their own pet’s nails and the time involved in taking their pet to the veterinarian or pet groomer just for a nail trim, many people will begin to ignore the nails over time, allowing them to grow to lengths that negatively impact an animal’s wellbeing, and overall health. It is quite important to keep your pet’s nails trimmed as short as possible (without causing them pain) and in this article we will discuss why it is so important to keep on top of those regular pet nail trims, whether you do it, your veterinarian does it, or a pet groomer has the task.

Why your dog needs regular nail trims.

The clicking sound that you hear when your dog is walking over your wood or time floors of your home is doing far more damage than you realize. When you mention damage that is done by untrimmed dog nails, most people immediately think of scratches on their expensive wood flooring, This is not the most potentially damaging and costly aspect of nail maintenance, and most people are not considering at all the less obvious damage to your dog’s body. Untrimmed nails will often get caught on carpet fibers and other things in your home, potentially tearing the nail from the bed and resulting in a costly and painful trip to the veterinary emergency room. In addition to the immediate potential damage, your dog may actually develop arthritis over time due to the long nails pushing toe bones into un-natural positions. Arthritis and ongoing pain management is costly due to the regular medications that must be administered over time as the dog ages, and there is no cure that will eliminate the problem. Arthritis can be managed with pain medicines but cannot be completely stopped. The growth patterns of dog’s toenails is in a curved shape, meaning that if left completely untrimmed they will curve under the dog’s paws and begin to dig into the skin, causing ongoing pain as they walk. The dew claw is especially prone to this type of problem, becoming ingrown quite easily if left without trimming. Anyone who has ever had an ingrown toenail understands the kind of pain this will cause. Your dog has the same amount of feeling in their paws that you have in your feet and toes. Ingrown toenails hurt them as much as they hurt you. Even worse than this is the fact that dogs actually walk on their toes, and when their toes hurt due to long toenails they begin to compensate by attempting to take weight off them and distribute it to the backs of their paws. This is very much like attempting to walk on your heels all day because you are wearing shoes that are too short, and will usually result in intense backaches, sore muscles and joints, and eventual arthritis over time.

When a dog has longer nails, they are quite prone to ongoing injuries around your home due to being caught on things that your toenails are not. Imagine if your toenails grew in a way the made them hit the floor with every step you took, and they were constantly getting snagged on carpets and other loose fabrics. When you pull your foot away and the nail is caught, the outer enamel of the nail can tear away from the other tissue, exposing the inside of the nail. This is known as the “quick,” which is made up of a fleshy nerve and tissue growing outward from the bone. Keratin surrounds the quick and forms the claw and nail, and the quick is easily injured if is deprived of keratin for any period of time. Infections can form quite quickly and spread to your dog’s foot and blood. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed short helps to reduce these potential injuries and infections.

Your cat needs regular nail trimming.

Many cat owners do not trim their cat’s nails, even though their veterinarian suggests it. This is because it can be quite difficult to trim your cat’s nails on your own, and additionally people believe that cats maintain their own nails through scratching. This is actually an in correct assumption, and the idea that your cat is scratching things around your home in order to either sharpen their claws or to file their nails down is wrong. Scratching is an instinctual behavior on your cat’s part, and can be quite destructive to your furniture if enough scratching posts and items are not provided. Scratching things around your home is actually your cat marking their territory, due to the fact that they have scent pads in their feet.

The scratching of furniture by pet cats is so destructive in some cases that owners choose to declaw their cats, either as a kitten or after the behaviors starts. This surgery leaves a cat completely defenseless if they are caught outside or are in any type of altercation with another animal. The practice is actually illegal in Europe, and many in the United States want to make it illegal here as well. The solution to this issue is to reduce the cat’s ability to damage furniture by scratching by keeping their nails trimmed short. This will reduce their urge to claw at furniture and curtains, and will also potentially avoid nail damage that can come from getting caught on carpets, screens and loose items. Your cat’s instinct is to pull their foot away if they feel that their toe is caught, which cn result in a painful and costly veterinarian emergency visit.

Rabbits, birds and small animals also need nail trimming

Most people do not realize that birds need to have their nails trimmed, but any veterinarian who specializes in birds or other exotic animals will tell you that if allowed to grow too long, bird can become handicapped by falling from perches. Long nails in birds interferes significantly with a bird’s ability to grasp a perch effectively, and falling from the perch can cause serious injury. In addition, birds who have nails that have been allowed to grow too long and gnarled can easily catch the nail on carpets and loose materials just like dogs and cats, injuring the nail and causing pain and infection if they attempt to pull it away.

Rabbits, guinea pigs and other exotic small pets also need regular mail trimming, just like their larger counterparts, to prevent injuries both to themselves and their owners.

Most pets need regular nail trimming to prevent potential injury, pain and potentially crippling arthritis and joint damage later in life. No matter what kind of pet you own, it makes sense to make nail trimming a regular part of your pet care. It is best to trim your pet’s nails every two weeks of so, either by doing it yourself at home with a nail trimming device you can easily purchase from your local pet store, or by a visit to your veterinarian who will easily take care of the procedure. The cost of regular nail trimming at a local veterinarian will vary from clinic to clinic, usually running from $8 to $15. This is a small price to pay when you consider the large expenses associated with injury or pain management that will accompany a pet that has been neglected in this area. Contact Pet Health Hospital today to arrange your routine nail trimmings for your best friend

How Much Coconut Oil Should I Put In My Pet’s Food?

shutterstock_150549749There is no doubting the positive health benefits of coconut oil for both pets and for humans, and the benefits themselves can be seen in other articles we have provided on coconut oil, but one question that seems unclear for many people is how to use the coconut oil and how much coconut oil should you feed to your pet? This is a pretty easy question to answer, as the general rules for using coconut oil in pet’s food goes by body weight and metabolism.  One thing that is very important to consider, however, is getting your pet used to eating the coconut oil in their food.  Trying to put a maximum amount into your pet’s food without getting them used to eating it can cause them to feel sick, and potentially get diarrhea or vomiting.  For this reason, you will want to make sure that you add the coconut oil to your pet’s food in gradually increasing amounts, over the course of about two weeks.  Start with a small amount and work your way up, feeding it to them by mixing it into their regular food each time they eat.  The following are the amounts you should feed to your pet:

Dogs:

Large dogs and medium-sized dogs should start by getting about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil mixed directly into their food when they eat.  Increase this amount gradually for the next two weeks to get them used to it, eventually getting to the full amount of 1-2 full tablespoons per day.  If your pet eats twice per day or more, simply divide the amounts equally with each serving of food so that they are getting 1-2 full tablespoons in a 24 hour period.

Small dogs will get about half the amounts as larger dogs.  This means starting with 1/2-1 teaspoon of coconut oil and increasing that daily amount over a 2 week period until you are finally serving them 1 full tablespoon each 24 hours.

Cats:

Adult cats should start with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil mixed into daily food and increasing over the course of 2 weeds until you reach the maximum amount of 1-3 teaspoons in a 24 hour period.

Kittens should start with 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil each day and gradually increase that amount over a 2 week period of time to 1 teaspoon in a 24 hour period.

 

An additional use of coconut oil in dogs is dabbing a small amount on their nose in order to keep “nose crust” down in some breeds.  You may notice a development on your dog’s nose of a crusty, scab-like substance that does not come off very easily.  This is a scaley growth that is sometimes made worse by food getting stuck  as well.  It will usually hurt to try and remove this by scrubbing your dog’s nose, so it is best to soften it over time by dabbing a small amount of coconut oil directly on the crusty surface each day until it falls off naturally.  Dogs love the taste of coconut oil, so they will lick the area clean!

 

 

Why your dog kicks his back legs when you are scratching his sides or belly.

why do dogs scratch during a belly rubEveryone who has ever owned a dog is familiar with it, and yet every time your dog does it you still laugh.  When you scratch or rub your dog’s sides or belly, you will hit certain spots that make his or her back legs start kicking.  It seems so comical to watch your dog kicking their hind legs like crazy while you give them a belly rub, but did you know that there is a scientific reason that it happens? It is an involuntary reflex that is built into their instincts, just like it is your involuntary reflex to pull you hand away from a flame as soon as pain starts.  Your dog’s reflex is based upon self-preservation, just like yours is.

When your dog kicks their back legs during a belly rub, it is because you are triggering their brain to react to remove the source of the tickling sensation, because in nature this may be a tick, a flea or a dangerous parasite.  Veterinarian opinions on the reflex have been published in magazines like Popular Science, where noted veterinarians attribute the reflex to the same kinds of triggers that cause humans to pull their hand away from pain, even before they realize it.  If a person’s brain was to wait until the thought process realized that something is painful and potentially dangerous, then the damage has already been done.  Brains are wired to react even before the conscious mind realizes what is going on in certain dangerous situations, just like your eyes automatically closing when you hear a loud noise.  In dogs, the tickling sensation triggers their reaction to remove the source of the tickling, because it is usually something trying to harm the animal.

Many veterinarians use the scratch reflex to test for neurological issues in dogs, as when they stop reacting in this way it may illustrate neurological damage.  Very much in the same way that your doctor tests your reflexes using a rubber hammer on your knee, your veterinarian may scratch your dog’s sides or belly during an exam, looking for the kicking reaction.

So now you know.

Choosing the best Las Vegas veterinarian

las vegas

As a clinic that offers veterinarian services to the Las Vegas general public, one of the questions that is continually asked of the staff and doctors of Pet Health Hospital is “how do I choose the best veterinarian in Las Vegas?” While this question may seem easier for us to answer than you would expect (that answer being “we are the best veterinarian in Las Vegas,”) of course we want to consider all of the aspects that are going to be working together over the course of your pet’s life, all of which will play a role in answering the question for you.  Of course, the very first element to consider is Las Vegas itself, and the layout of the city with regards to your proximity to your veterinarian.  Las Vegas is a city that grew in different areas which were linked together by highways after they had already grown, and this can create issues with regards to traffic.  Unlike other cities, a veterinarian office that is physically within only a few miles of your home might take a significantly long period of time to travel to, due to the nature of the traffic on the roads and highways themselves.  The best way to decide if a veterinarian office is convenient for you is to actually make the drive to the office you have chosen, in order to see if there are traffic issues that might make you hesitant to take your pet to the veterinarian for routine exams and treatments.  Make the drive during high traffic times like rush hour, and see how long it takes to get there.  If you feel that the driving time is going to create inconvenience on your part, and you may be hesitant to take your pet in to see the veterinarian on a regular basis because of this inconvenience, then it may be better to choose a veterinarian office closer to your Las Vegas home, or one that is a faster drive on the highway.  This should not be the ultimate deciding factor in your decision, of course, but it will probably begin to play a role in the amount of times you are willing to take your pet to see the doctor.  You would be surprised at how many times people will wait to take their pets in for an exam until too much time has passed and an illness has taken hold, simply because they couldn’t make the time to get the pet into the car and drive to the vet.  Another factor in this decision is going to be the operating hours of the veterinarian office themselves.  Are they open at times that are going to provide you with an ability to take your pet to see them outside of your work hours.  Most people will hesitate to take time off work in order to take their pet to the veterinarian, because of fear of being scrutinized of for loss of vacation time.  It is therefore very important to find a veterinarian in Las Vegas that is open at times when you are not at work.  Another consideration is the amount of time they are able to accept emergency cases, if at all.  Many veterinarians are not equipped to take an emergency case at all, and the ones that are equipped will not usually be open 24 hours.  With that said, you will also need to find an emergency veterinarian within a few minutes of your home in order to take your pet there in the case of an emergency.  You would be amazed at how few emergencies involving pets happen during regular business hours, and in emergency times every moment counts.  This is why the emergency veterinarian that you choose should be the most convenient in proximity to your home, but the regular veterinarian you choose does not necessarily have to be so close, as long as you are willing to take the extra time.

Another important aspect of deciding on the right Las Vegas veterinarian for you is the clinic itself.  Is the staff friendly and helpful? Is the location clean and bright? Does it feel like a doctor’s office or does it feel like a kennel? Your veterinarian is a doctor for your pet, and as a doctor they should present themselves and their location as a medical facility.  When you call does the phone ring without being answered? Does the staff seem accommodating to your issues, and are they able to offer immediate help if necessary? All of these questions should be considered when choosing the best veterinarian, as they are going to be part of your ongoing interaction with the facility.  When you call or bring your pet into the facility in order to be examined, do you feel as though this is something that you would rather not be doing? If the answer is yes and there is something about the facility or the staff that has made you feel that way, then there is a very good chance that you will begin putting off visits in the future, which is disadvantageous to your pet’s care.  Anything that makes you feel that you would rather not be doing this is going to potentially make you hesitate to bring your pet into the office in the future.  Since regular checkups and care are the best methods for keeping your pet healthy, it is crucial that you not feel uncomfortable coming to the office.

Does the veterinarian or head technician give you the impression that your pet’s health is their main concern? Keep in mind that a veterinarian is a business, just like a doctor is a business.  Although making money is the goal of any business, a doctor or medical professional should not be making decisions about care based upon creating more profits for the business.  Unfortunately the regulations that govern the actions of human doctors are rarely applied to veterinarians and therefore there are many more that are “profit driven” than there should be.  If you get the impression that your veterinarian is trying to “upsell” you constantly on items that you and your pet do not need, then you may be realizing that the veterinarian is not putting the health and well being of your pet first.  At Pet Health Hospital, we have gone as far as to create our “wellness programs” which specifically concentrate on the regular and routine maintenance that will potentially assist in the avoidance of more costly surgeries and treatments.  This is good for the pet owner as it reduces costs associated with care as well as the potential heartache of having to make decisions on expensive treatments based on the ability to afford them, when they could have been avoided with some routine and inexpensive ongoing vaccinations and checkups.  Although we want to make money just like other veterinarians do, we would rather make less and have your pet lead a longer and happier life than to make more by not providing the education to our patients on how to avoid the expensive treatments.  We have seen too many people make the decision to put a pet down rather than pay for treatments that are hard to bear, and we do everything in our power to never have that choice need to be made by our patients.  The way to do that is by keeping them healthy.

Another consideration as far as choosing the best veterinarian in Las Vegas is the prices that it costs to use them.  The cheapest option is not always the best, as the ability to offer “bargain basement” prices usually comes with lesser care, of less experience.  Although lower prices are always a good thing on the surface, the experience level of the lead veterinarian and the staff, as well as the costs of the facility itself, are going to play into the decision due to the fact that lesser care is not the goal.  A concerned pet parent wants the best care that they can afford for their animals, and if paying a little extra so that the doctor can spend more time concentrating on their case instead of rushing off to another patient is going to keep your pet healthier.  One of the traits of a good doctor is attention to detail, and being rushed from patient to patient reduces the ability of the doctor to concentrate on those minute details that might catch illnesses earlier, crete better health plans or make your pet’s life better.

Does the veterinarian follow up? Many veterinarians in Las Vegas simply treat their patients then have the staff follow up to make sure that everything is going according to plan, if they follow up at all.  Pet Health Hospital provides a personal follow up from the doctor or involved staff member who was treating the animal when they came into the office.  This involvement in the process even past the point of prescribing medicine or treatment is one of the characteristics of any good doctor or veterinarian, as it allows the doctor themselves to discuss the follow up with the patients and get a sense as far as if it is going according to plan or not.  This personal interaction is what you would want for your family members that are humans, and you should expect no less from your veterinarian with regards to our pets.

Does the veterinarian office have access to the latest equipment and advances in veterinary medicine?  Just like human medicine, veterinarians need to keep up with the latest advancements in the treatments of the illnesses of their patients, as well as the knowledge on how to keep them healthy.  This will extend to the equipment of the facility itself being new and well maintained, as well as the staff being knowledgeable on how to use it.  Does the veterinarian need to send you elsewhere to get procedures and exams that are beyond their capacities? While this is naturally going to be the case when treating something very specific that can be better handled in a facility that is dedicated to that single thing, the more routine aspects of pet medicine should be able to be handled in house.  This will extend to minor or routine surgeries, dentals, vaccinations and potentially some therapies.  You are going to be more comfortable if the veterinarian that you have grown to trust is the one also performing the surgery, so it is important to inquire if this is something that the veterinarian handles in house or refers to others.

With all of the discussion as far as choosing the “best” veterinarian in Las Vegas, it is a personal choice of who you are most comfortable with.  If that particular veterinarian is not available, are you comfortable with the next person in line who can treat your pet? These choices generally will come from referrals or convenience and then be solidified by “the way you feel about them,” and most time this gut instinct is going to make a good choice for you.  We consider ourselves to be the best veterinarian and animal hospital in Las Vegas, and we welcome you to visit us to allow us to prove it to you.

Follow Your Veterinarian’s Suggestions

shutterstock_150549749Following veterinarian’s suggestions are the best way to keep your dog or cat healthy.  During visits to the veterinarian, your pet will usually get some vaccinations or a check up, but there will probably also be some advice given to the pet owner that is intended to keep the pet healthy and happy.  One of the issues that causes many problems with pet health is the people not following the instructions.  A good example is controlling the weight of your dog or cat, because it is not healthy for them to be overweight.  Veterinarians will go as far as prescribed diets and weight management plans in order to help animals shed the pounds, all in the name of reducing stress on the pet’s joints, helping with heart and liver health, and avoiding injuries and illnesses that being overweight contribute to.  Once the pet and the owner are at home, however, many times the diet and feeding amounts go out the window because the animal begs for food.  The compassion of the pet owner gets the best of them, and they start feeding treats to the pet of human food, giving them “just a little more” to eat at mealtimes, or mixing in “better tasting” food if the pet seems to not like the flavor of the reduced calorie diets.  Even though it seems as though you are being good to your pet, this is actually bad for them in the long run, and is not aiding them in being healthy and happy.  The short term happiness of the owner giving treats to their friend compromises the long term goals of weight loss for health reasons.

What you need to understand as a pet owner is that you know better than your pet does what is best for them, and your veterinarian is giving you plans on how to best help your pet for their own good.  Your dog or cat is always going to beg for food, and it is your responsibility as the parent to make them stick to their diet.  This type of mentality goes with everything that is prescribed by a veterinarian, none of which the pet is going to do willingly.  If treats did not taste good, the animal would not beg for them.  It is  a rare occasion where a pet will beg for medications as pills are generally not the best tasting things, but as the human you must keep the pet on the plan that the veterinarian has mapped out for their eventual better health.

Veterinarians can only create the plans to better health that pets need in order to live happy lives.  The failures of these plans are usually because the human parent deviates from the course because the pet wants it that way.  The best way for you to show love for your pet is to follow the veterinarian’s advice, and not give in to the habits that put them at risk…..even if they seem to want it that way.

The New Breed Of Las Vegas Veterinarian

shutterstock_138904226Many people ask the question “What makes one veterinarian in Las Vegas better than another?” The answer is actually far more simple than you would expect.  Most veterinarians offer the same services, exams, treatments, dentals, surgeries, vaccinations and medicines, but the philosophy behind the practice is generally the way to decipher what makes one veterinarian a better fit for you than another.  It all boils down to the veterinary staff and theri approach to the services that they are offering the public.

A veterinarian is a doctor for animals, and as a doctor he or she should always realize that they are in the business of healing the body and keeping the patient as healthy as possible.  One of the negative aspects of many veterinarians is that they realize that by treating only the illnesses and injuries, while not concentrating on providing the knowledge to pet owners about how to avoid those very illnesses and injuries, they will make more money.  It is far cheaper to take a few steps to avoid a preventable illness than it is to treat the illness once it has manifest itself, and although a doctor should be concentrating on keeping his patients healthy even if it ultimately makes him less money, that thought process sometimes gets lost in the pursuit of business and profits.  Providing an ongoing maintenance program that is designed to educate pet owners about the specific and low cost things that they should be doing at different times in their pet’s life goes against the concept of putting profits before patients, as it will generally earn far less money for the practice over time than charging for high cost treatments and surgeries.  This is the thought process that Pet Health Hospital was founded upon, putting the health and well being of the patients over profits for the clinic.

The best veterinarian is going to be convenient to you (which ensures that you will bring your pet in to the veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations) as well as being full service.  This means that the clinic will be fully staffed, clean and welcoming, as well as providing the majority of services that are typically provided by a veterinary office.  The extra features that make one veterinarian better than another is their dedication to providing the best treatment plans, education and health programs to your pet that are available.  The best veterinarians are going to want your pet to be healthy, over an above all else.  Pet Health Hospital is that kind of veterinarian, and we sincerely hope that we can be your choice for veterinary services in Las Vegas.