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FDA Investigates Potential Link Between Certain Diets and Heart Disease

We want to make you aware of a recent FDA study with its findings that you may have heard about. It involves a link between grain-free diets and a specific type of heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy or DCM.

We want to provide the information to you so that you along with your veterinarian can make the best dietary choices for your pet. This FDA information provides a list of the top diets that were most frequently reported. You should check to see if the food you feed is listed. If so, please let us know if you have questions about changing food.

As always, we recommend premium national brands that are backed by medical and scientific research. If you intend on changing your pet’s food please follow the slow switch method to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Slowly transition the new food with the old food over a period of 5-7 days. The goal is to slowly introduce new food with the old food until you phase out the old food.

The main takeaway here is that if you have questions about what to feed your pet you should work with your veterinarian. Please don’t fall prey solely to advertisements, social media or fancy marketing. Nothing replaces the education and experience that your veterinarian has, in addition to the fact that your veternarian wants to help you keep your pet healthy. Our doctors are happy to advise you about nutrition. We carry only prescription food and it is our goal to keep your pet from having to use prescription food unless he absolutely needs it for medical reasons.

Everyone here at Hill Country Animal Hospital wants your pets to live long and happy lives and it is our goal to help you achieve that. Please don’t hesitate to call at 210-695-4455 if you have questions that we can help with.

Change in Emergency Service at Mission Veterinary Specialty and Emergency

Hello Everyone,

We wanted to pass along an important message to you about a change in service that starts today, August 1st, at Mission Veterinary Specialty and Emergency.  The following message is from MVSE:

 

A Message from MissionVet:

"At MissionVet we love our patients and we love our people. We are honored to be considered when emergency care is necessary for your pet and your family. There is currently a national shortage of emergency veterinarians in the US and we feel it is our duty as a company to protect and support our ER doctors and staff, which has become challenging with the ever-increasing caseload. In order to continue to take excellent care of the most critical and recovering hospitalized patients, it has become necessary for us to close the ER to incoming cases from 2 AM until 9 AM. We will continue to provide 24/7 care for our patients and will always have a veterinarian and support staff on-site. It is our intention that this be a short-term solution as we aggressively recruit top quality ER doctors.

 We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding."

 

This is the only aspect of service that will change at Mission and if you have an emergency during the affected hours we recommend that you visit Blue Pearl Emergency Pet Hospital or Emergency Pet Clinic San Antonio. 

We hope that your pets will not need emergency care in the middle of the night but just in case, we want you to be prepared and not waste precious time driving to multiple places in the middle of a crisis. 

 

Best wishes,

The Doctors and Staff at

Hill Country Animal Hospital

 

Loyalty Rewards Program is Ending

We are sad to announce that we will not be continuing our loyalty rewards program through our hospital's app. This program was introduced with the intent of demonstrating our appreciation for our valued clients for their continued support but has not been received as we had hoped.

Despite our efforts to communicate the stipulations of the program, many people have had expectations that are not congruent with the parameters of the rewards program. Our staff, particularly our client relations staff, has been challenged repeatedly by clients who misunderstood the rules of the program. Unfortunately, the intent of the rewards program to strengthen our bond with our clients has had the opposite effect in multiple scenarios. Therefore, the program will be coming to an end.

If you have earned Paw Print stamps but have not been able to redeem them because you have not earned enough stamps, we will pro-rate them so that you can use them through the end of the year. We will not be giving out any new stamps as of close of business on Saturday, August 10th.

As always, we appreciate our clients and our patients and we always strive to make your experiences at Hill Country Animal Hospital positive. Our clients' loyalty is greatly valued and we will continue aiming to optimize our relationship. Thank you for your understanding.

Preparing for Surgery

Your intake appointment will last approximately 15 minutes. You may complete your surgical pet history form online and hit the submit button to send it directly to us.  Follow this link to complete your form online Surgical Pet History Form  If you are unable to bring your pet in yourself, please make sure that the person who will be bringing your pet in has general knowledge of your pet and is authorized to give written consent to surgical consent forms and estimates. We are happy to make other arrangements for you if necessary.

We will schedule your appointment for discharge when you drop off. Please allow about 15 minutes for this appointment. You will receive discharge instructions and can have any questions concerning recovery answered at this time. Please note that the discharge appointments are between 5 pm and 7 pm in order to provide our staff enough time to recover all surgery patients for the day, prior to beginning our discharge appointments. 

Feeding and medication instructions for surgery are as follows:

• No food after 10 pm the night before surgery.
• Please allow your pet to have access to water throughout the night until you bring him or her in to be dropped off.
• If your pet is on medication we want you to give it as scheduled. Please let the nurse know what medications you have given that morning. If you have questions about your pet's medication let us know beforehand and we can speak with your doctor and verify instructions for you.
• Owners of diabetic pets, please call for feeding and insulin instructions. Instructions may be patient specific so we need to verify with the doctor if you have not already discussed this. Do not withhold food and give insulin!

We will call you 2 days prior to surgery to confirm your appointment. If you have any questions at any time, please feel free to call us at 210-695-4455. You can also email your questions to clientrelations@hillcountryanimalhospital.com

Please keep in mind that the order of procedures is determined by the doctor on the day of surgery once all patients have been checked in. We will make every effort to contact you regarding your pet's status by 2:30 p.m.. If you have not heard from us by then, please feel free to call and you will be directly connected to your pet's nurse. Please reference your pet's name when calling.

Since some decisions are time sensitive, it is extremely important that you provide a telephone number where you can be reached while your pet is here with us.  We want to assure you that your pet's health and well-being are our top priority and we take the trust you place in us very seriously. Thank you for choosing Hill Country Animal Hospital and we look forward to working with you to ensure that your pet lives a long and healthy life.

An Alternative to the Cone of Shame

If you have been looking for an alternative to elizabethan collars, your search is over! The Palms Pet Resort & Spa now carries Cover Me pet onesies by Tui. These onesies are 100% hypoallergenic cotton with convenient potty flap.

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From Facebook:

This was my first visit with a dog that I had had for a week and a half. I wanted him thoroughly examined for health and a neuter. I had a number of questions since it's been a long time since I have had a younger dog and Dr. Rooker took all of the time necessary to answer all of my questions. I'm afraid I kept everyone there late and I really appreciate the excellent experience. You are my new veterinarian.
Dori O., Helotes, TX
Dr. Macias and staff always deliver first class service. I cannot elaborate enough how their team makes you feel like family.
Rene H., Helotes, TX
Dr. Krick and your whole team are wonderful. In addition, the overall high standards of Hill Country Animal Hospital as a whole are excellent. It is why we have remained clients over the years even after moving away from Helotes.
Paul M., San Antonio, TX
I was very impressed with the welcoming facility and how much Harley was catered to. She never leaves the house but she felt at home in her exam room roaming around and jumping on counters. She even greeted everyone with open arms even though she was in a new place. She as well as her sister will be coming back if the need arises.
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