Foxtails are arriving…minimize your pet’s risk!

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

With the arrival of warm weather comes one of the canine’s (and sometimes feline’s) worst summer foes:  the foxtail.  Foxtails are sadly one of the reasons why spring and summer months at Irving Pet Hospital are so busy.  Animals are often presented to us with symptoms such as sneezing, head shaking, squinting or limping – all of which could be symptoms of a pet being affected by a foxtail in its body.  Before you go hiding in your house thinking that foxtails have invaded the streets of San Francisco, take a moment to learn about what a foxtail is, and find out why this seemingly harmless plant can be a hazard to your pet.

What is a foxtail?

Foxtails are grass awns, or seeds, that are especially prevalent in the Western United States.  These seeds form bushy spikes that resemble the tail of a fox, which allows the foxtail to easily cling onto animals.  At first glance, they almost resemble wheat grass in appearance. These plants generally sprout up in spring, and are often found along the edges of grass lawns or wild fields.  The sad truth is that as long as your pet goes outside, it is almost impossible to eliminate all chances that your pet will come across a foxtail.  Foxtails are very light in weight and can easily be carried by wind so they can practically be found anywhere outside.

Why should pet owners worry?

As the weather warms, foxtail plants dry out and the pointy seed pods begin to scatter. These seeds have one-way barbs that allow the seed to work its way into an animal’s skin, coat and mucous membranes, but not work its way back out.  This irritating physical quality almost makes it impossible for the seed to detach from an animal’s skin once it penetrates the surface.  Foxtail weeds also shed tiny black seeds which can also work their way into the animal’s coat and skin and cause irritation.

We often find foxtails between the toes (most common), in the nose (also very common), and in eyes, ears, mouth and basically everywhere else on the body.  Animals with long hair coats are at a greater risk.  Once a foxtail enters the body, it can even work its way through into the interior body cavity such as lungs and abdomen, causing very serious infections as they migrate through and get lodged in body tissues.  If left unattended, a tiny foxtail in the skin can cause a baseball-sized abscess, requiring surgical removal that can sometimes almost be as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack!


Foxtails removed from nose

Sore on foot from a foxtail track

Signs to look for

Some of the common symptoms seen in pets that are affected by foxtails are

  • Excessive licking of a specific area on the body
  • Swelling between the toes or on other parts of the body
  • Drainage
  • Pawing at the nose or muzzle
  • Head shaking
  • Sneezing (especially if nasal discharge is bloody)
  • Squinting (foxtail hidden beneath the upper or lower eyelid)

*If you notice any of the above signs, call us to consult with a medical staff member immediately.  Finding and removing a foxtail before it can embed and cause an infection will save a lot of trouble.  These grass seeds will rarely fall out on their own so the problem tends to worsen the longer you wait.


Removing a foxtail can be very difficult and painful for an animal and should therefore be performed by a veterinarian.  A doctor will often provide the animal with an analgesic and/or sedative to minimize their discomfort. An antibiotic may also be prescribed to treat or prevent infection.

Preventative measures

Keep areas outside your house where your pet has access to free of weeds, and keep pets away from dry grassy fields or roadsides when you take them out for walks.   Since it’s almost impossible to have complete control over what your pet will come across when they are outside, it is also extremely helpful to conduct a full body inspection for foxtails after every walk.  Concentrate on areas between the toes, in and around the ears, armpits and groin.  Keeping your pet’s coat clean and well groomed will decrease the chances of seeds accumulating. Clipping the hair between paw pads in dogs will also greatly reduce the potential for clinging foxtails and allow easier screening.

Part of being a responsible pet owner is to pay close attention to your pet on a regular basis. They don’t know what is good and bad for them so it’s up to you as an owner to be educated and aware.  If you are ever in doubt that your pet may be a victim of a foxtail, don’t hesitate to call us and speak with a medical staff member.  Although foxtails can be a hazard to animals, taking proper precautions and paying close attention to your pet will greatly reduce the chances of it causing any problems.  So go out there and enjoy the sun!  Don’t let the fear of foxtails keep you and your pet inside this summer!

Updated Recall Information

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012



Diamond Pet Foods Expands Voluntary Recall of Dry Pet Food Due to Potential  Salmonella Contamination 

Batches of the brands manufactured between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 are affected

Consumer Contact: 866-918-8756
Media Contact: 816-255-1974


Diamond Pet Foods today announced that it is expanding a voluntary recall to include batches of nine brands of dry pet food formulas manufactured between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 due to potential Salmonella contamination.

In April 2012, Diamond Pet Foods initiated three voluntary recalls of Diamond manufactured dry dog food. Although none of the additional products being recalled have tested positive for Salmonella, the company is pulling them from store shelves as a precaution. Diamond Pet Foods is coordinating efforts with federal and state health and regulatory agencies and decided to independently expand the recall to ensure the safety and well-being of customers and their pets.

The company stated: “We have taken corrective actions at our Gaston, S.C., facility and voluntarily expanded the recall out of concern for our customers and their pets.”

Brands included in the recall include:

  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
  • Country  Value
  • Diamond
  • Diamond  Naturals
  • Premium Edge
  • Professional
  • 4Health
  • Taste of the Wild

To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production codes on the back of bags that have a number “2” or a “3” in the 9th position AND an “X” in the 10th or 11th position. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed above are December 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.

The following graphic is an example of how to read the production code and best before date:

The recall affects only products distributed in the following U.S. states and Canada.  Further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred.

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Canada

The Kirkland Signature products included in the recall include:

  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)

To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production codes on the back of bags must have both a number “3” in the 9th position AND an “X” in the 11th position. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed are December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013.

The recall affects only products distributed in the following U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New  Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Canada
  • Puerto Rico

Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any issues this may cause consumers and their pets. Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 1-866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST.  Consumers may also go to a special website,, for more information. The company is working with distributors and retailers to ensure all affected product is removed from shelves.

Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. People who believe they may have been exposed to Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who are more likely to be affected by Salmonella include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS and people receiving treatment for cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have received a limited number of reports of salmonellosis, the illness caused by Salmonella. We are working with the CDC, but due to patient confidentiality, we cannot comment further.


For more information, please visit the FDA website and Diamond Pet website.

Diamond Pet Food Recall

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

We apologize this is a bit late.  These foods were NOT recalled in California.


Diamond Pet Food issued a recall on April 10, 2012 for a limited number of dry dog food bags. That recall was expanded today to include certain lots of its Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul dog food. Laboratory analysis completed by ODA’s Consumer Protection Laboratory showed the pet food tested positive for Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain. The illness primarily impacts young children, frail and elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. Most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill. Anyone exhibiting signs of a Salmonella infection should contact a healthcare provider.

“People typically contract a Salmonella infection by ingesting food or water that has been contaminated,” said Dr. Beverly Byrum, ODA Laboratory Director. “In this case, however, an infection can occur by putting objects or fingers that have touched a contaminated product, such as pet food, into the mouth or by touching a pet or, in extreme cases, a person, that is infected.”

Pets that have consumed food contaminated with Salmonella may also become ill. Signs of an infection in a pet include decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may also become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and may vomit. If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.

“It is important to note that healthy pets can also be carriers of Salmonella, even if they are not exhibiting signs of illness, and they can still infect other animals or humans,” said Dr. Byrum.

Consumers who believe their pet has consumed the recalled product should limit contact with the animal by humans and other animals, and be sure to thoroughly wash any hands or objects that come in contact with the animal.

Update: specifics regarding lots/formulas are as follows: 

We encourage consumers who have purchased Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food with the specific production codes and best before dates to discard the product. Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any potential issues this may have caused our customers and their dogs.  No dog illnesses have been reported.

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula – dry dog food:

35 lb – CLF0102B31XCW,    Best by Date 27/JAN/2013

35 lb – CLF0102B31XCW,    Best by Date 28/JAN/2013

35 lb – CLF0102B32XWR,    Best by Date 28/JAN/2013

6 lb – CLF0102B3XALW,     Best by Date 28/JAN/2013

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods and was distributed in Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia, who may have further distributed the product to other states, through pet food channels. The company is working directly with distributors and retailers who carry these products to remove them from the supply chain.

(information provided from



Diamond Pet Foods Voluntary Recall of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula and Diamond Puppy Formula

Diamond Pet Foods has issued a voluntary recall of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula dry dog food and Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food. The company took this precautionary measure because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No dog illnesses have been reported.

Customers who have purchased the following product with the specific production and “Best Before” codes should discontinue feeding the product and discard it:

Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula – dry dog food:

6lb – DLR0101D3XALW, “Best Before” Date 04 Jan 2013 

20lb – DLR0101C31XAG, “Best Before” Date 03 Jan 2013

40lb – DLR0101C31XMF, “Best Before” Date 03 Jan 2013 

40lb – DLR0101C31XAG, “Best Before” Date 03 Jan 2013 

40lb – DLR0101D32XMS, “Best Before” Date 04 Jan 2013

Distributed in:
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

Diamond Puppy Formula – dry dog food:

6oz Samples – DPP0401

8 lb – DPP0401B2XALW, “Best Before” Date 07 Apr 2013 

20 lb – DPP0101C31XRB, “Best Before” Date 11 Jan 2013

20 lb – DPP0101C31XME, “Best Before” Date 11 Jan 2013

20 lb – DPP0401B22XJW, “Best Before” Date 06 Apr 2013

40 lb – DPP0101C31XME, “Best Before” Date 11 Jan 2013

40 lb – DPP0401B22XJW, “Best Before” Date 06 Apr 2013

40 lb – DPP0401A21XAW, “Best Before” Date 06 Apr 2013

40 lb – DPP0401B21XDJ, “Best Before” Date 07 Apr 2013

Distributed in: 

North Carolina
South Carolina

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

People infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Pet owners, who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods at 800-442-0402, 8 am – 6 pm EST, Monday through Friday, or visit

(information provided from

Meet NEKO! Our May Pet of the Month!

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Greetings!  My humans call me “Neko”, short for “Maneki Neko” because they think I look like a Japanese “Lucky Cat”.   Of course, they can’t pronounce my real name.  They also think I resemble a Turkish Angora, but since I don’t like talking about my past they haven’t been able to find out for sure.

As I said, I prefer not to talk much about my past – I much prefer to enjoy the present.   However, I will tell you that I chose my current humans approximately two and half years ago.   My previous caretaker had become unable to take care of me, so I started exploring the neighborhood for new guardians.  Once I found suitable candidates, it didn’t take long to convince them to take care of me.

I am approximately 80 cat years old (thats 14 of your human years).  Like many 80-year olds, I have a number of chronic medical issues.   Luckily, Dr. Fong and the staff at Irving Pet Hospital were able to bring them under control.   I’ve even learned to use an inhaler to control with my asthma.  Generally, I don’t like doctors (really, ask them – many are afraid of me), but Dr. Fong and the folks at Irving are the best.  Sometimes, they’re so helpful I even forget to fight them.

I like to spend my time sleeping, eating (as long as its top-quality food), cleaning my fur  (or having someone else brush it) and sitting on laps.   At my age, I don’t run around as much as I used to, but I still enjoy a good hunt (there are quite a number flies on strings around my house for some reason), especially when its followed by a quick snack and a nap.  I’m really enjoying my retirement here – I highly recommend the life-style if you can manage it.

Anyway – I think I should get going.   If my humans saw me using the computer, they might get suspicious about other things I might be up to.   We cats like to keep some of our activities secret…

Meet our Pet of the Month…Yogi!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Hi! My name is Yogi.  I am a terrier (of some kind)/dachshund mixed breed doggie.  At least that’s what they thought at the small dog rescue where I was placed at the age of 6 months after my first family gave me up for adoption because they were not allowed to have a dog at their apartment.  I was adopted by my 2 daddies Louis and Frank.  I sealed the deal when they came to take a look at me at the foster home I was in, and I went up to each one of them and gave them a doggie kiss, aka, I licked their faces.

That was 13 years ago and we have been a happy family ever since.  I am spoiled, to be sure.  I have them wrapped around my little finger (paw) and I get lots of doggie treats by being cute and begging.  I am a finicky eater and will hold out from eating until I get something better than the dog food they try to serve me.  I even hold out at times for the ground beef and rice they cook for me until they give me something better, like whatever they are eating for dinner!

I was a feisty and crazy puppy.  I chewed everything in sight including books, video cassettes and the T.V. cable!  I had endless energy and could walk or run for hours at the park.  Now that I’m older and more mature, I have slowed down a bit, but still love my many walks.  I also love my naps which I will take anywhere in the house that I find comfortable, as you can see from the picture.

I am looking forward to many more years of joy with my daddies.  That will happen, I’m sure thanks to the doctors and nurses and all the great staff at Irving Pet Hospital. They are the best!

Things You Should Know About Parasites: Fleas, Heartworm and Intestinal Parasites

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

What you should know about fleas?

Your pet’s scratching could be an early sign of fleas!

Adult Flea

Adult fleas are small, flat, wingless, and have three pairs of jointed legs. They have siphon-like mouthparts and feed on the blood of their hosts by piercing and sucking. Dogs and cats are prime hosts, but three of the four stages of the flea’s life cycle are spent away from the host. The life-cycle stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult.  Under optimal conditions, the life cycle averages about 28 days. When conditions are not favorable, the life cycle can be longer. Because fleas prosper in warm, humid environments, temperature and humidity changes can affect the length and success of their life cycles.

The adult flea spends all of its time on a host, and this is the life-cycle stage.



First, adult female heartworms release their young,called microfilariae, into an animal’s bloodstream.Then, mosquitoes become infected with microfilariae while taking blood meal from the infected animal. During the next 10 to 14 days, the microfilariae mature to the infective larval stage within the mosquito. After that, the mosquito bites another dog, cat or other susceptible animal, and the infective larvae enter through the bite wound. It then takes a little over 6 months for the infective larvae to mature into adult worms. In dogs, the worms may live for up to 7 years. Microfilariae cannot mature into adult heartworms without first passing through a mosquito.



How do roundworms cause disease in pets?

Section of roundworm infested intestine

In your pet’s intestines, roundworms absorb nutrients, interfere with digestion and can damage the lining of the gut. Animals with mild infestations of roundworms may not show any signs of disease. Animals with more severe infestations may be thin, have dull hair coats and develop a pot-bellied appearance. Some may become anemic and show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. Rarely, in severe infestations, the roundworms can cause obstruction of the intestines. A cough may be observed in some animals due to the migration of the worm larvae through the respiratory system. In young animals the migration of the larvae in the lungs can cause pneumonia. Adult worms may be seen in the feces or vomit. The worms are round on cross-section (hence the common name) and look a bit like spaghetti.

Are roundworms of any danger to people?

Accidental ingestion of roundworm eggs by people may cause blindness, nervous system damage or damage to internal organs.


Section of a hookworm infested intestine

Hookworms (Ancylostoma) are one of the most common intestinal parasites of dogs and cats (especially puppies and kittens), and can cause severe disease including anemia and serious diarrhea. Hookworms have either teeth-like structures or cutting plates with which they attach themselves to the wall of the intestine and feed on the animal’s blood. The mucous membranes e.g., gums will appear pale, the animal will become weak, and sometimes black, tarry stools can be seen. Growth in young animals is stunted, and the hair coat may appear dull and dry. Animals may become emaciated and eventually die from the infection.

Are hookworms of any danger to people?

Hookworm larvae can penetrate the surface of a person’s skin (usually through bare feet) and migrate through it, causing a disease called “cutaneous larva migrans” or “creeping eruption”. The lesions appear as red lines under the skin and sometimes break open at the skin’s surface. These lesions cause severe itching. Usually the larvae will die in several weeks and the condition will disappear. In severe cases the larvae may make their way through the skin and enter deeper tissues. This may cause lung disease and painful muscles.


Whipworm eggs visible on a fecal test

The whipworm is one of the four most common intestinal parasites of dogs. Whipworms reside in the cecum, which is inside your dog’s body where the small intestine and large intestine meet. Dogs become infected with whipworms by swallowing infective whipworm eggs in soil or other substances that may contain dog feces.

Dogs that are infected with a few whipworms may not have any signs of infection. More severe infections can cause bloody diarrhea. If an infected dog is not treated, then severe whipworm infection can cause serious disease and even death. Whipworm infections can be prevented by removing your dog’s feces regularly from your yard.

There are many of products out there that will get rid of some of these pesky parasites.  The ones we recommend are:



Frontline Plus: is a monthly topical flea and tick preventative for dogs and cats.



COMFORTIS: chewable tablets kill fleas and are indicated for the prevention and treatment of flea infestation on dogs. (1 tablet monthly)



Heartgard Plus: is a real-beef chewable tablet for dogs that provides protection against heartworms, and treats and controls roundworms and hookworms. Heartgard Plus is given monthly and requires a prescription from your veterinarian.


Advantage Multi: Monthly heartworm and flea prevention in one easy topical application. Prevents heartworm disease. Kills fleas and treats flea infestations.  Treats and controls hookworms and roundworms. Treats and controls whipworms (Dogs).  Treats and controls ear mite infestations (Cats).



Trifexis: is a once-monthly tablet that kills fleas, prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections. And since it’s beef-flavored, you can offer it as a treat.



For any additional information on any of these products, please click on hyperlink next their images – you will be redirected to each of the companies websites.  If you are unsure on which product would be best for your pet, please contact us for further information.  If your pet has not been in for a recent Heartworm test or Health Maintenance visit, these may be required before we can make any recommendations.


Monday, February 27th, 2012

Squeakers, Chester, Barney, Waffle and Beau Dennehy



My name is Squeakers and I rule! The red boy is my buddy Chester.
We have been in the Dennehy household the longest. We celebrated Chester’s 4-year gotcha day on February 18th and will celebrate my 10-year gotcha day March 22nd. That makes us 9 and 13 respectively.



Mutt and Jeff there are Barney and Waffle.  The big guy came to us from Taiwan last summer (poor pup spent 2 years in a shelter there) and Waffle has been with us only a few weeks. We think they are both six.





The old guy is Beau.  He’s pretty blind and a bit deaf, but that boy can smell. I mean, just look at that snout! He’s been with us just over a year. We think he’s about 16.



We all get along well and are a happy family. Mom and Dad tell us how much they love us and how happy they are that we are all together.

We are happy to have the wonderful staff at Irving Pet Hospital to keep us well!

Meet Pippa!!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012


Pippa is a 6 year old Persian.  She was rescued as an adult cat by her owner a few months ago.  Pippa has a condition called “brachycephalic syndrome.”   This condition is commonly seen in dogs and cats bred to have a “short” head such as the Boxer, Boston terrier, Persians, Himalayans.  Due to this Pippa was having a difficult time breathing.  Her daily life consisted of always snorting, and occasionally she would pant like a dog, which is very abnormal for a cat.  Luckily we were able to fix her condition.  Some extreme brachycephalic cases are not as successful.

Pippa Pre-surgery



Dr. Sean Wells performed an alapexy which involved removing a small wedge from each side of her nostrils.  Because her nares were so stenotic, she could not pass air through them like a normal cat.



10 days post op Pippa is feeling great and breathing much easier!  Her owner reports that she has also become much more energetic. She is a  very sweet kitty and we are so happy to have helped her feel better.

Pippa Post-surgery

February is DENTAL month!

Friday, February 10th, 2012

What is dental disease and why is it harmful to my pet?

Dental care for our pets is just as important as it is for us. Dental disease is the most common diagnosis in dogs and cats and is something that can be prevented!  Dental disease starts as bacteria combines with saliva and food to form plaque, and over time it accumulates and hardens to form tartar. Tartar then starts to grow under the gum line destroying the tooth and surrounding bone and tissue.  Studies show that swallowing all the bacteria from dental disease can move into the bloodstream potentially causing problems in the heart, liver and kidneys.

Indications of dental disease are bad breath, red and bleeding gums, not wanting to eat or any pain or swelling around the mouth.  If you do notice any of these signs bring your pet in for an exam so a proper treatment plan can be made, and if a dental is needed blood work and additional tests may be necessary to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.

What happens during a dental cleaning?  Does my pet really need to go under anesthesia?

Anesthesia is necessary because to properly evaluate the mouth all surfaces of the teeth need to be assessed as well as back in the throat or under the tongue. Also the use of the mechanical and sharp instruments would be impossible if the animal was awake.

The teeth are cleaned using and ultrasonic scaler to knock away tartar on the surface of the tooth and under the gum line, then polished to smooth any irregularities made during the cleaning. Charting and a full mouth exam is done to find anything abnormal such as periodontal pockets, fractures, loose teeth, oral masses or to see if x-rays are necessary.  A plan is then formed as to the best way to treat the problematic areas whether it be removing teeth or trying to save them with root planning.  For the more complicated procedures specialty veterinary dentists are available.

Is there anything I can do for my pet at home?

The best way to prevent dental disease and minimize the amount of anesthetic procedures for your pet is with regular home dental care.  To start brushing your pet’s teeth make sure you have a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically for animals. Be sure to start slow by allowing the m to lick the toothpaste off your finger and then gradually introduce the toothbrush.  Bushing daily is ideal, but for those unable to, there are other options such as chews, diets and rinses.

Catching dental disease early and preventing at home can save against an extensive procedure and discomfort in your pet. Call today to get your pet’s teeth checked and save $40 on all dentals during the month of February.

We are HIRING for an experienced Customer Service Representative & Veterinary Assistant!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Customer Service Requirements:               

Email us:

You must be able to think quick, follow directions and work well with fellow staff members. We are a very close group of coworkers and we are seeking someone who will mesh well with our current team. Previous veterinary experience is recommended.

Personal attributes include:
Professional attitude
Neat appearance
Self confidence
Familiarity with medical terminology
Warm and welcoming manner
Good communication between fellow staff members
Ability to deal with the emotional demands of being in the presence of critically ill, dying pets and their emotionally distraught owners
The ability to have compassion, use tact and diplomacy when dealing with clients

Job responsibilities include:
Managing a multi line phone system efficiently
Taking accurate messages
Greeting clients and processing their appointments/procedures efficiently and in a friendly manner
Being able to multi-task at least 3 items at once
Checking out clients from appointments/procedures (entering charges and going over discharge instructions)
Handling client complaints in a friendly, professional manner, and providing the first level of solving those complaints

Veterinary Assistant Requirements:

Email us:

Kindness, compassion, and dedication to a team environment is expected and required to be considered as part of our great team

Minimum 1yrs experience in small animal hospital and be skilled at the following areas:
Radiology and Lab procedures
Assisting doctors in exams
Familiarity with vaccines and medications
Blood draws
Catheter placement
Proficiency in computers a must

*Knowledge of small mammals is a bonus

Physical demands of both positions:
Ability to stand for a long period of time
Ability to work in a fast paced environment
Ability to lift 50 pounds

We are hoping to fill 2 long term (3+ years), full-time position, which will consist of 4 ten-hour days, including working evenings and Saturdays. Your weekly schedule may vary in order to best accommodate the each employee’s as well as the hospital’s needs.

All full-time employees are eligible to receive medical and dental benefits , 401(k) retirement plans, and discounted medical pet care.

If you are interested in either position, please email us at the above addresses. Please copy an paste your resume into your response with either IPH Receptionist or IPH Vet Tech in the subject line and remember to tell us about yourself. We look forward to meeting you!

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