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Client Education

Flea and tick season– Flea and tick season is year round in the Houston area due to our mild winter temperatures and year round humidity. A flea infestation can not only be harmful for your pet, but a frustrating problem for you and your family. Adult fleas (those that you can see) only account for 5% of the total flea population, while the other 95% is the larvae, pupae, and eggs. This 95% lives in your carpet, furniture, and bedding. One adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day which then roll off your pet into the environment. This is not a parasite you want infesting your home.

Heights Veterinary Clinic offers the latest in oral and topical monthly flea prevention solutions for your pet to help avoid this problem. It can take 8 weeks or longer to get a flea infestation under control as this is the length of the total life cycle from egg to adult. We shouldn’t assume that just because our pets may only spend a short amount of time outdoors that they do not run the risk of bringing fleas inside. Flea prevention should be part of a year round prevention program to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Parvo – Parvo is a potentially deadly disease that is highly contagious among unvaccinated and under-vaccinated dogs. Parvo affects the intestinal tract which in turn causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Parvo is vaccinated against during initial puppy vaccines and then on a yearly basis. Vaccinated dogs have nearly a 0% chance of contracting Parvo. Please ensure that your dogs are up to date on all of their vaccines to avoid them becoming sick.

Canine Influenza – There are now two different strains in the United States that we vaccinate against in order to protect your pet. The first strain reported in early 2004 was an H3N8 influenza A virus. In 2015 a second strain was identified when an outbreak occurred in Chicago caused by a separate canine influenza virus, H3N2. Since the outbreak in Chicago 2015, thousands of dogs have been confirmed positive for H3N2 canine influenza across the U.S. Canine influenza is a highly infectious viral disease that affects the canine population and causes upper respiratory symptoms that can range between mild to severe. Mild symptoms are lethargy, reduced appetite, and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection. Many, if not all dogs whom come in contact with this disease are susceptible as it is something they have never come in contact with and therefore do not have an immunity to. To combat the spread of this disease, Heights Veterinary Clinic is recommending the Bivalent Canine Influenza vaccine as part of our annual vaccine package, which protects against both H3N8/H3N2 strains. We are requiring it for any dog that is boarded or hospitalized in our clinic. In addition, many boarding kennels across the city are requiring the vaccine be given prior to boarding your pet in their facility. The canine influenza vaccine requires an initial vaccine in puppies greater than 6 weeks of age and then a booster of that first vaccine 3-4 weeks later. The vaccine is then given yearly along with the pet’s annual vaccine package. The staff of Heights Veterinary Clinic believe that this is best medicine for the protection of your pet.

Canine Distemper– Canine distemper is an airborne disease and can be transmitted between dogs very easily through contact or simply sharing space. Canine distemper is a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, lethargy, dry nose, mucus from the eyes and nostrils, and jaw spasms called “chewing-gum fits.” Mortality rates for this disease in young dogs can be as high as 90%. Although treatments are available, they are often costly and very hard on the animal. The best treatment for canine distemper is prevention by way of vaccination.

Ticks– Ticks are difficult to control and eradicate. In addition to being disgusting, ticks serve as transmitters of disease both to dogs and humans. We have all heard about the danger of ticks transmitting Lyme Disease to dogs and humans, but there are several more diseases that are transmitted, likewise. We have the latest product available for tick control on dogs – Credelio by Elanco. In addition to ticks this product also protects against fleas. Credelio is an oral preventative that starts killing fleas and tick in just 4 hours.

Rabies – A yearly study of rabies occurrences in Harris County can be found at the Texas Department of State Health Services. In 2017 there were 35 cases of rabies confirmed in the bat population. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected animal. Once the rabies virus enters the body, it travels along the nerves to the brain. Animals with rabies may show a variety of signs, including fearfulness, aggression, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, staggering, paralysis and seizures. Rabies vaccination and animal control programs, along with better treatment for people who have been bitten, have dramatically reduced the number of human cases of rabies in the United States. This goes to show the value of a good rabies vaccination protocol like one offered here at Heights Vet.

Care Credit – We accept Care Credit as a form of payment. Care Credit is a healthcare specific credit card that offers payment plans of 6 months no interest for those in need of an economical payment plan. You can apply for Care Credit here, click on the apply now button next to Heights Vet Clinic and you will receive an immediate answer.

Scratch Pay – Scratch Pay provides payment plans to help you manage their veterinary expenses. You can visit scratchpay.com from your phone or computer and fill out a simple 90-second application. You instantly get approved for payment plans and get to move forward with your pets healthcare, without affecting your credit score.