It Is National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  We talk about teeth a lot in veterinary medicine.  The reason is that dental health is important.

Dental health is importantDental health can affect your pet’s quality of life, other internal organs and if neglected Continue…

Heartworm Prevention Is A Prescription For Love

Love your pet?  Give them heartworm prevention!

Of course you love your pets, but do you love them year round by keeping them on heartworm prevention?  You probably do love your pets all the time!  Ok, maybe not when Rover tears into last night’s trash or when Fluffy vomits a hair ball on your newly cleaned comforter but most days, we all love our pets.  What does loving our pets entail?  Part of loving them is keeping them safe.  One of the biggest dangers to a pet in Texas is heartworm disease.

Is he protected against heartworms year round?

Is heartworm disease on the rise?

The answer is unfortunately, yes.  In Bexar County, the risk Continue…

Safety For Your Pet This Holiday Season

Is Safety That Important?

When we think of the holidays we aren’t always focused on safety.  This doesn’t mean that we

Why Holiday Safety is Importantshouldn’t be, especially if we have pets.  Holiday safety is very important and something that if overlooked can put a real damper on your holiday season.

It Sparkles and Shines

Safety with pets around the holidays can be simple and can include suggestions that are easy to implement.  Tinsel, garland, ribbon on packages or yarn are so inviting for cats, kittens and puppies.  These twisty, toy-like objects are Continue…

Appointments, Work-Ins, Walk-Ins, Oh My!

Dr. Peterson doing an examination for a wellness appointmentWhat in the world do all these appointments mean?

In the world of veterinary medicine, it is very simple, these are all appointment types.  At Hill Country Animal Hospital we operate with an appointment schedule.  This means that our clients call to schedule appointments to have their pets seen by the doctors.  These are called Continue…

May Is Microchip Awareness Month

What is a pet microchip?

May is Microchip Awareness Month and we want to help you become aware of the importance of microchips.  A pet microchip is a small, electronic device encased in a protective shell.

microchip scan A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin of pets to provide a means of identification once the pet is scanned.  A microchip is the gold standard for reuniting lost pets with owners but only if the chip is registered!  Otherwise a microchip cannot be traced back to an owner.

What happens when an owner fails to register their pet’s chip?

When breeders, veterinary clinics or shelters purchase chips they become linked to that facility.  This provides a record where the chip was purchased and often implanted.  This is the only link that exists until the owner registers the chip.  Since so many chips never get registered, this link is vital. Our hospital maintains a record of the microchips that we implant.  If a pet comes to us with records of an existing microchip we include that information in the pet’s medical record.  We do all of this in an effort to help reunite your pet with you in the event it is ever lost.

Just because we maintain our database does not mean that all shelters, breeders or low cost clinics do though.  You cannot depend on this system to reunite you with your pet.  This road leads to a dead end more times than not.  This is why we want you to register your pet’s microchip and we will even reward you for doing so.  But we will discuss that later…

How does a microchip work?

The microchip contains a unique 15 digit number that belongs only to your pet once implanted.  Once scanned, your pet’s unique microchip number pops up on the chip reader’s screen.  The veterinary clinic or shelter will then call the company that maintains that chip’s database to collect information to contact you.  If you request privacy, the chip company will try to contact you

Reunited by a microchip

This was a successful reunion because Petey had a registered microchip

instead.  Successful reunions happen when owners register the chip and keep it up to date.  Chips are implanted easily and quickly and can be done in a nurse appointment.

The microchip is not a GPS and it will not tell you the location of your pet.  It does not contain information about your pet either.  It simply serves as a means of identification.

If my pet is chipped should he or she still wear a tag?

If your pet is microchipped it should still wear a collar with identification tags.  Even though microchips are popular, many people still do not get pets checked for a chip when they find a stray animal.  Therefore it is still imperative to identify your pet with tags.

Are all microchips the same?

All microchips work in basically the same way.  The area where you see the biggest differences is that some companies charge you to register the chip. At Hill Country Animal Hospital we use ResQ microchips that are registered through Pet Link.  Pet Link does not charge for registration and their website makes it very easy to get your pets registered.  Don’t forget to change your address with the microchip company when you move!  You can register chip that we implanted here.  Our chips are also ISO (International Standards Organization) compliant.  This means that the chip can be recognized in a foreign country.  ISO compliance is important if you travel or move outside of the US.

We scan more stray pets who either do not have chips at all or they have chips that are not registered.  When that happens it is very difficult if not impossible to trace the owners.

Here’s your reward!

For the month of May, if you have your pet chipped you can earn 2 Loyalty Rewards stamps through our app.  If you come in with your pet and we scan your pet’s chip to make sure it is registered in our system, you can earn one stamp.  To have your chip checked, you don’t need an appointment but if you would like to have a chip implanted, or if you have any questions give us a call at 210-695-4455.

What Is Your Heartworm Awareness Level?

April is National Heartworm Awareness Month 

Hill Country Animal Hospital wants to increase your heartworm awareness level and  make sure you understand how important keeping your pet on heartworm prevention really is.

Protect even your baby pets from heartworm disease

How Are Heartworms Transmitted?

Heartworms are transmitted to your dog or cat via mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes become infected by biting a dog or cat that has heartworm disease and then can spread heartworms to subsequent dogs or cats that they bite.  Dogs are a natural host for heartworms and that is why most of the emphasis is on prevention and treatment in dogs.  Cats can be a host but they are an atypical host.

Once the animal has been infected, heartworms grow to about a foot long and live in the heart and lungs of the infected animal.  In the dog Continue…

Prevent Pet Poison Accidents

Protect your pets from poisonsPoison is a strong word but it is kind of a big deal!

This week is National Pet Poison Prevention week and we want you to know that poison can be anything from a toxic chemical to an accidental ingestion of something in a toxic amount. When pets eat things they shouldn’t we often refer their owners to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control hotline.  This hotline is staffed with veterinary professionals who have access to much more reference information that a typical veterinary hospital.  Veterinary toxicologists Continue…

What Do You Know About Parvovirus?

ParvovirusWhy are we talking about parvovirus right now?  The answer is because parvovirus has been making the rounds in San Antonio for the last month or so in much higher numbers than we usually see.  We don’t really want to test your knowledge of parvovirus but we do want to make sure that you are well educated about it so you can protect your dogs.  It is all about what you know about parvovirus.

What Exactly is Canine Parvovirus?

Canine Parvovirus, often just called parvo, is a highly contagious viral disease that can be fatal.  This virus attacks the intestinal tract of dogs and puppies causing vomiting and diarrhea.  Dogs stop eating and become at high risk for dehydration making hospitalization necessary. Continue…