Emergency Veterinary Care - Central Texas Area
Below are resources for emergency veterinary care when your regular vet is closed and cannot be reached. These are courtesy listings and are not intended as a specific recommendation. These facilities are open at night and the weekends. CALL AHEAD and confirm times and location please.
Emergency Animal Hospital 512-899-0955. They are located at the Central Texas Veterianry Specialty Hospital, 4434 Frontier Trail, Austin. From Wimberley take FM3237 to FM1826 to I45 which changes to Mopac. Take first exit which is Hwy290, turn right at light (290) feeder and then turn right on first street, Frontier Trail, clinic is on right.
Sunset Canyon Veterinary 512-894-0266. They are located at 3710 Hwy 290 in Dripping Springs.
Emergency Pet Center 830-609-2873. They are located at 280 N. Business IH35, New Braunfels.
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS FOR DOGS
If your dog spends time in the yard, make sure there is plenty of fresh water and shade. A kiddie pool is inexpensive and serves as drinking water and a place to cool off. Change the water frequently so mosquitos do not start breeding.
When walking your dog, please remember the ground radiates heat, especially on pavement and this affects the dog more than us, especially short dogs. The pavement is also very hot on the pads of their feet. Bring water along for your dog. Keep your dog cool by misting him gently with a squirt bottle. Periodically stop in the shade and give your dog a rest.
Water activates are fun for everybody. Remember, not all dogs are created equal. When going to the river keep in mind the physical condition and age of your dog. Not all dogs have webbed feet for swimming, and when on a boat all dogs should have a life vest. In case of emergency the shore can be a long swim for a dog and they do panic with deathly results.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A CAR. It is fun to take your dog with you for a drive. Most dogs love a car ride. If you do find yourself in a position where you have to run into the store, keep the car running with the A/C on. Even though it may seem like you're running in the store for a quick errand, temperatures in a car can easily reach in to the 120's and higher after mere minutes. Dogs overheat quickly in a car even if the windows are cracked open. It is against the law to leave your dog in a locked car. Please be responsible.
SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE
Excessive panting, excessive drooling and thick saliva, frantic breathing, tongue and gums are bright red, vomiting, staggering, confusion and collapse. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, cool them down with water immediately, use a water hose, wet towels or place them in the bathtub. Get them into the air conditioning either in your house or your car. Take your dog to the Veterinarian immediately. It is a matter of life and death.
Summer means fireworks, fun for us and a nightmare for many dogs. Please think of your dogs and how terrifying fireworks can be. To protect your pet on the Fourth of July, take these precautions:
What is Parvo?
What are the signs seen with Parvovirus infection?
There are three main manifestations of Parvovirus infection:
The intestinal signs include:
How is Parvovirus infection diagnosed?
How is Parvovirus infection treated?
Many puppies infected with Parvovirus need to be hospitalized for supportive care. Hospitalization is typically about 5 days, sometimes longer. Surviving the first three days is usually a good sign for long term survival.
How long does Parvovirus last in the environment?
The Virus can withstand wide temperature ranges and most cleaning agents. Parvo can be brought home to your dog on shoes, hands and even car tires. Dogs and puppies can contract parvo even if they never leave their yard. Parvo virus, despite what you might hear, is NOT an airborne virus. It is excreted in the feces of infected dogs, and if someone -- human, dog, bird, etc. -- steps in (or otherwise comes in contact with) the feces, the possibility for contamination is great. Be sure to keep feces (and any vomitus) picked up in the yard and kennel area as well.
How can I disinfect an area contaminated by a dog infected with Parvovirus?
How can I protect my dog from becoming infected?
I heard that some breeds of dogs are more susceptible, is this true?
Canine Heartworm Disease
Heartworms are a severe problem in Texas, along with the rest of the United States. Heartworms have been found in all 50 states, and continues to spread. Heartworms (Dirofilaria immitus) are literally worms that invade a dog's heart and lung vessels.
Heartworms are transmitted via female mosquitoes. The mosquito bites an infected dog and then the mosquito harbors the parasite. When they bite another dog the parasite is transmitted to that dog. If the dog is not on heartworm preventative, infestation will result. All dogs, regardless of breed or housing location (indoor or out, by water or not) are equally susceptible to this disease.
There are two components to the heartworm process. The mosquitoes transmit immature worms, microfilaria, into the dog's tissues. The microfilaria mature into adult heartworms and move into the bloodstream to take up residence in the dog’s heart. These adults reproduce more microfilaria and the cycle continues, producing more and more adult worms in the dog's heart. The entire maturation cycle can take up to 6 months.
Heartworm disease represents a serious health risk to the animal. The worms interfere with the normal blood flow from the right side of the heart into the lungs. If left untreated heartworms reduce the dogs quality of life, cause congestive heart failure, organ damage and ultimately death.
Signs and symptoms of heartworm disease vary depending on the duration of infection. Dogs may not show any signs in the early stages. As the heartworms grow and mature, symptoms include fatigue, tiring easily after exercise, occasional to persistent cough and anemia. As the case advances, congestive heart failure may develop along with liver, kidney and blood flow problems.
If your dog is diagnosed with heartworms, they can be treated. However, treatment is very costly (up to 5 times the cost of a year's supply of prevention) painful & traumatic on the dog, compared to prevention. The drug used for treatment is Melarsomine, administered via deep intramuscular injection into lumbar muscles, and is the only drug approved by the FDA for heartworm treatment. This treatment method consists of giving a series of three injections of an arsenic based drug to kill the adult worms. Regardless of the stage of the disease, the three-injection alternative protocol is the treatment of choice of the American Heartworm Society, due to the increased safety and efficacy benefits and decreased possibility that further treatment with Melarsomine would be necessary. Furthermore, by initially killing fewer worms and completing the treatment in two stages, the cumulative impact of worm emboli on severely diseased pulmonary arteries and lungs is reduced.
There is a critical shortage of Melarsomine and there is a huge back order on the drug. December, 2009: Due to "unforeseen technical difficulties" Merial announced that they are experiencing production shortages of Immiticide (Melarsomine dihydrochloride). Immiticide, currently the only drug approved by the FDA to treat adult heartworms, will not be back in production until April of 2010. Veterinarians and shelters can no longer order the amounts they need through their representative, but instead are being asked to call the Merial Customer Care line at 888.637.4251. In order to receive the drug, Merial technicians now have to approve each and every sale of Immiticide and will screen patient medical information to determine which animals will receive the drug. Merial is currently approving Immiticide only for emergency patients and those with the greatest need for the drug on a case-by-case basis.
Many shelters are now at a loss of how to handle the current drug shortage situation as they rarely allow clients to adopt out dogs with heartworms and don't necessarily have enough space to kennel the heartworm-positive dogs for four months or more, while they wait for supplies of Immiticide. This may result in additional euthanasias for shelter animals who are being housed in shelters without a "no-kill" policy.
After treatment, the animal must be kept confined and quiet for 4-6 weeks. The dog is not allowed any activity that increases their heart rate. This rest period is done because the adult worms, now dead, must be reabsorbed and eliminated by the body. During this recovery phase, a portion of a dead worm can move into the blood vessels of the lungs and cause a clot which can kill the dog. After treatment, the dog is placed on heartworm preventative to prevent re-infection and kill any remaining microfilaria that might still be resident in the tissues. Dogs not placed on preventative can become re-infested.
Heartworm disease is completely preventable. There are several products are on the market today which prevent heartworms by killing the microfilaria. Most are given in a single monthly dose. The medication must be given year round for the remainder of the dogs' life, most especially in Texas. Puppies should be started on heartworm prevention as early as possible, preferably no later than eight weeks of age.
Heartworm prevention manufacturers actually warranty the effectiveness of the prevention. The makers of Sentinel/Interceptor and HeartGard will pay for heartworm treatment if your dog is on their product for at least six months and becomes heartworm positive. You must provide proof of purchase from your Veterinarian. Prevention is not only best, but it comes with a guarantee!
For more information on heartworms, please visit the Heartworm Society website.
All dogs should be tested annually for heartworms. Currently available heartworm antigen tests detect protein secreted mainly by adult female worms. The earliest that heartworm antigen and microfilaria can be detected is about five to six months post-infection. Thus, there is no need or justification for testing a dog for antigen or microfilaria prior to about seven months of age.
WAG Rescue tests all of our dogs for heartworms and each dog is given heartworm preventative monthly along with flea & tick preventative. We also treat all of our dogs that are heartworm positive before they are adopted. Please read about Milo.
NEW INFORMATION JUNE 2012:
HEARTWORM PREVENTION - Due to closing of the manufacturing plant Novartis, Interceptor and Sentinel will no longer be available. It is unknown if and when these products will be available on the market again. Novartis claims that there is no problem with either of the products. There is, however, a potential problem with the plant that manufactures them. The plant, located in Lincoln, Nebraska manufactures medications made for animals as well as several human medications. According to the Novartis website, this plant also makes the human products Excedrine, NoDoz Alertness Aid and Gas-X. Here is a statement from the website: