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Pet Pointers

We both want healthy animals. Here are some tips to ensure your pet is healthy, happy and strong.

Posted on Tuesday, July 28 '15

Pet Pointer: Is Grain Free Healthier?

4 dogs sitting in front of their food bowls Many pet food companies now advertise their products as grain free. Are these foods healthier for dogs? Are they easier to digest and do they really help control food allergies?

According to Dr. Joseph Wakshlag, Associate Professor of Clinical Nutrition at Cornell, there are no known advantages feeding a grain free diet. In human nutrition, people on a gluten free diet avoid grains because many grains contain glutens. This school of thought has now been applied to pet food diet markets although it has not been shown that dogs have the same gluten sensitivities.

Digestibility is not a problem for dogs that consume diets containing grains since most grains and non-grain sources (such as potato or peas) have similar digestibility. Grain free is not a concern unless your dog has been diagnosed with a food allergy. In this case, a food trial may be indicated where a specific food is eliminated for a specific time. Veterinarians are able to help determine the best diets for pets with a food allergy that may involve grains.


Posted on Tuesday, May 26 '15

Pet Pointer: Former Military Working Dogs Need Homes

Many former military working dogs need homes with loving owners. Some organizations that facilitate adoptions:

The Warrior Dog Foundation

This foundation receives and finds new homes for working dogs, including combat heroes. http://warriordogfoundation.org/faq/

The Military Working Dog School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

The School "allows the adoption of military working dogs to law enforcement agencies, former handlers, and other persons capable of caring for these dogs." The application process can take up to 18 months. http://www.37trw.af.mil/unites/37traininggroup/341sttrainingsquadron/

Pets For Patriots

Creates opportunities for veterans to adopt homeless dogs and cats. http://petsforpatriots.org


Posted on Friday, March 20 '15

Pet Pointer: Dog Breeds With The Greatest Risk Of Cancer

golden retriever A study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reviewed causes of death for nearly 75,000 dogs from 1984 to 2004. The following breeds in descending order had the greatest incidence of cancer.

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Golden Retriever
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Bullmastiff
  • Irish Setter
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Gordon Setter

Lymphomas (cancer that originates in the lymph nodes) are one of the common cancers in dogs. A new study in Biomedical Reports calls mammary cancer one of the most prevalent tumors in female dogs.

Prevention? Studies show that dogs that are spayed early in life are found to be less likely to develop mammary cancer.


Posted on Friday, December 19 '14

Pet Pointer: For Bird Owners!

bird sitting in a cage NEVER use corncob bedding, aspen or pine bedding, coconut shells or any other organic material to line your bird’s cage. These bedding types are notorious for growing dangerous fungi such as Aspergillus that can lead to life threatening pneumonias for your bird. Newspaper should be changed every 1-3 days to avoid buildup of ammonia from urates in the bird’s droppings and bacterial buildup on wasted food that falls to the bottom of the cage.


Posted on Wednesday, December 03 '14

Pet Pointer: What Is The Biggest Misconception About Pet Food Ingredients?

dog holding fork and knife eating ready to eat

The biggest misconception about pet food ingredients is that it is inferior to what humans eat. Pet food diets may be better than what most of us are eating because of the balance of healthy ingredients. Plus, our pets are routinely fed the same diets with few trips to the fast-food drive-through.


Posted on Wednesday, October 15 '14

Pet Pointer: Is Your Cat Nervous?

cat resting on couch Cats with overactive thyroid glands may appear "nervous". The disease (hyperthyroidism) most commonly affects older cats. Other symptoms include a healthy appetite (initially) with weight loss and increased activity. Owners can be fooled into thinking their older cat is doing great because he or she is more active and has lost weight when actually they are seeing early symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The nervousness, increased appetite and activity are due to the revved up metabolism that occurs from elevated thyroid hormones. Another health problem that may cause "nervousness" in cats is hypertension. Cats are well known for their ability to hide illnesses until the disease is well advanced. Watching for behavioral changes can be one of the best early indicators of disease in cats.


Posted on Wednesday, August 20 '14

Pet Pointer: Pets Apparently Influence Sleep

Dog sleeping next to owner A recent Mayo Clinic study suggests that pets may have an influence on how well you sleep. Patients at the Mayo Clinic completed an extensive sleep questionnaire in 2013, answering questions about number and type of pets, where pets sleep, pet behavior traits, and whether their pets disturbed their sleep.

Of those surveyed, as many as 10% of pet owners felt that their pets disturbed them while they were sleeping. Although few felt that the sleep interruptions were not intolerable, a higher percentage experienced irritation.

Dogs, cats and birds were the most popular pets owned. Reported sleep disturbances included whimpering, whining, wandering, squawking, medical needs, letting pets out and even snoring.

Dr. Krahn, author of the Mayo Sleep study concludes, “When people have these kinds of sleep problems, sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimize their sleep.”


Posted on Monday, June 30 '14

Pet Pointer: Cats Can Have Arthritis Too

Just like people, cats can have osteoarthritis. Usually seen in older cats, the symptoms can be subtle and hard to detect. It's best to catch the signs of this painful disease early to get them back to their playful selves. If you notice any of these signs in your cat, be sure and take him or her in to your veterinarian to be checked out.

-  Decreased grooming
-  Increased or decreased sleep
-  Avoiding human contact
-  Hiding
-  Doesn't want to be stroked or brushed
-  Urinating or soiling outside the litter box
-  Reluctance to jump
-  Not jumping as high as usual  

Posted on Wednesday, February 26 '14

Pet Pointer: Broken or Chipped Teeth in Pets

Dog with bandage around head because of broken tooth Common objects that can cause broken teeth in dogs include bones, cow hooves, ice cubes, hard dental chews, hard rubber bones or nylon bones. It is important to do what you can to prevent broken or chipped teeth in your dog. Anything that is HARD and thicker than a pencil in diameter can cause a broken or cracked tooth. Broken teeth often become abscessed causing chronic pain and infections in your pet. Broken teeth should always be treated before they become infected. Because of advances in veterinary dentistry, composites and other treatments can be used to repair broken teeth- so that these fractured teeth rarely need to be extracted. Be sure that your doctor examines the teeth when doing your pet's examination (since your pet can't tell you when they hurt).


Posted on Thursday, February 13 '14

Pet Pointer: Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol) Toxicity in Dogs

Dog eating chocolate cake Keep chewing gum and other products containing the artificial sweetner xylitol out of reach from your pets since eating these products can result in low blood sugar and potential liver damage. Sugar-free gum is the most common item, but xylitol can also be found in jam, syrups, candy, chocolate, mints and many dental products such as toothpaste (why you should not use human toothpaste on your dog). New products and medications with xylitol have been introduced to markets, including baking goods, ice cream products, Jell-O sugar-free pudding snacks, energy drinks mixes, chewable vitamins, antacids and some prescription drugs. One stick and a half of sugar free gum containing xylitol can poison a 10 lb dog. Seek emergency care immediately (remember to take the box or container with you).


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Laura Roberts says...

I brought in a stray that had been hit by a car. The care was immediate and excellent. I was very impressed with the facility and quality of service. Thanks so much for the crate to transport him. It was very helpful!

Richard Jezek says...

High five kudos to Dr. Killman! She, with the help of the entire treating staff saved our TomTom’s life! Dr. Killman, Dr. Welch and Dr. Smith have renewed my faith in the caring veterinarian that we were looking for.

Brenda Rowland says...

Would like to thank the staff and doctors for the great care they gave our Tabby. The care given to Tabby was so kind and courteous. I am so grateful I chose I-20 Animal Medical Center.

Laura and Ricardo Grant & Nunook say...

Dr. Doherty and all of the vet techs that helped Nunook were so great. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate the great work everyone did for Nunook. He is our baby and he makes our family whole. Thank you for all that you do.

Marcia Marrow says...

Dr. Welch is amazing. She has a very calming nature, just what I needed when my Lhasa Apso was injured by a pit bull. She clearly explained everything in an understandable way. She also checked in with us (while we were there) to let us know what was going on. Thank you very much!

R. and B. Boone say...

The technical staff in the ICU is excellent and equally professional in providing the care, we feel, brought about Brandi’s recovery.

Don and Holly Michel say...

I20 is the greatest !! They gave us four extra years with our precious Yorkie, Cujo, and are helping us take care of our other precious Yorkie, Carrie, who is diabetic. They are deep in our hearts.

Alicia Patterson & Percy said...

I cannot thank you enough for everything the doctor and the rest of I-20 Animal Medical Center did to save my cat, Percy. Your care and compassion for my family during this emotional time was overwhelming.

Michelle & Greg Lacy say...

Greg and I could not be any more pleased with I20 Animal Medical Center for always being there for us when we need you most!

Yvonne Fiore says...

This was our first experience at I-20 Animal Medical Center. I was so impressed by Dr. Bloom, her real care, concern and understanding for my Cinnamon. My pets have been as loved as my children, thus, I expect excellent loving care and I and Cinnamon got this per Dr. Bloom and Jessica. Thank you!

Kristin Rush says...

The staff was wonderful and you can tell that they are real animal lovers. They were very thorough when checking out my dog and I didn’t feel at all like Jack was “just another dog”. They genuinely cared and explained everything very well. Loved them

Heather Matson says...

I have recommended I-20 to friends due to the compassionate and wonderful service we have received. Thank you for everything you have done for us. The doctors are wonderful as well as the techs and the rest of the staff. Thank you

Rhonda Holley says...

I have been to lots of vet clinics. Yours is the best in every way that I have ever seen! Thanks for restoring my faith in excellent veterinary care!

Matt Smoot says...

Dr. Bloom is wonderful! She put our mind at ease and alleviated all of our concerns about Spice’s surgery. We plan on using her for all of our pet’s needs in the future and will highly recommend her services to our friends and family! Thank you I-20 Animal Medical Center.

Staci Thomas says...

The service was amazing! I came in as a referral for a critical condition. I was extremely upset and concerned about my pet’s life. The staff quickly attended to us making efforts to stabilize Sebastian and provide me with a quiet and calm area. I really appreciated the service I received

Leah and Ron Bullard say...

We very much appreciate the skill and training you have and it was very evident in the procedures you performed on our dogs. Each of them had issues, some serious, and each of them are much better now, thanks to you and your staff.

Valerie Jordan says......

My family and I were so impressed by every contact we had with the staff. I have been to medical doctors for procedures and did not get such service. I have already called family members and recommended you guys, keep up the great work!

Maryann Livengood says....

The staff was extremely concerned and courteous- Dr. Stinson saved my cat's life! Also pricing extremely reasonable for a 24-hr care facility.

Paula Emmons says....

I-20 Animal Medical Center is amazing!! All the doctors, technicians and staff are the best. We had to take one of our dogs in for an emergency and everyone who helped us was great with our dog and with us. They encouraged us to call when we had to leave him and always answered and updated us on how he was doing through the nigh (even with many calls in a very short amount of time). The next morning Dr. Welch called and said that they had found something. She told us that Mikey was not going to make it and let us have hours to say goodbye. They answered all our questions and never once made us feel like we were imposing on her or her time. We have found a new clinic for all our dogs because of Dr. Welch and all the staff

Save A Mexican Mutt Rescue says...

I would like to thank the staff of I-20 for a great experience with one of our rescue dogs, Cuervo. Shortly after his rescue, we realized he had a broken canine tooth that would require a root canal. For sure we were not going to find a veterinary dentist in Mexico. So, I-20 Animal Medical Center came to the rescue! Dr. Bonnie Bloom and Dr. Ken Karger took great care of Cuervo upon our arrival. The staff at I-20 is always so friendly, professional, and socially in tune to rescue.

Jim and Kay Marshall say...

Excellent Care! I highly recommend you to our friends. Thanks to all the staff, especially Dr. Welch - we have a healthy dog once again. The love you and the girls showered on Rainey showed me how much you all love animals.

Janice Bunting with Tye says...

Our vet Dr. Litsey, referred us to you when Tye needed special boarding. We were very pleased with his care. We also really appreciated the staff's willingness to talk with us every time we called the ICU to check on him. It made it so much easier to be away from him. He came home a healthier and spunkier dog. Dr. Long was great with Tye and felt she took very good care to properly diagnose his condition and treatment.

Dave and Pamela Reitzel say….

“Cutie was a stray. When I took Cutie to I-20 Animal they were concerned for her health, and made arrangements to see her the next day. I-20 Animal set me at ease about Cutie after her exam. Now knowing that she is and was in good hands, I-20 Animal will be where I will take both my pets. VERY IMPRESSED!!.”

Nancy Schultz says…

“The doctor called the next day to check on Sophie and was genuinely interested in how she was doing. Very well done”

James Jacobs says...

“Huge thanks to the staff and doctors for the excellent care that Sasha received. The explanations about her care and pricing were first class. Thank you once again”

J. Headland says...

I cannot say enough how great Dr. Stinson and the staff were with Dirk and explaining the procedures. We have found a "new" place that I feel confident will take care of and actually care about Dirk. I have and will continue to tell our firends, family and co-workers how much we love I-20 Animal Medical Center.

LaTonya Thomas says...

"Shasha get's excited every time we exit the freeway to come to the I-20 Animal Clinic. Everyone there is so friendly and concerned about my pet's well being. Thank you all for such outstanding service."

J. Beed says...

"I just wanted to say thanks for your help yesterday! Mr. Fluffers had a great time getting his shots and I actually think he wanted to go back instead of driving home! :) Lauren and Kimberly were great! I'm sure Mr. Fluffers hopes to see them when he gets his booster in a few weeks. Thanks again!"

Laura Roberts says...

I brought in a stray that had been hit by a car. The care was immediate and excellent. I was very impressed with the facility and quality of service. Thanks so much for the crate to transport him. It was very helpful!

Richard Jezek says...

High five kudos to Dr. Killman! She, with the help of the entire treating staff saved our TomTom’s life! Dr. Killman, Dr. Welch and Dr. Smith have renewed my faith in the caring veterinarian that we were looking for.

Brenda Rowland says...

Would like to thank the staff and doctors for the great care they gave our Tabby. The care given to Tabby was so kind and courteous. I am so grateful I chose I-20 Animal Medical Center.

Laura and Ricardo Grant & Nunook say...

Dr. Doherty and all of the vet techs that helped Nunook were so great. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate the great work everyone did for Nunook. He is our baby and he makes our family whole. Thank you for all that you do.

Marcia Marrow says...

Dr. Welch is amazing. She has a very calming nature, just what I needed when my Lhasa Apso was injured by a pit bull. She clearly explained everything in an understandable way. She also checked in with us (while we were there) to let us know what was going on. Thank you very much!

R. and B. Boone say...

The technical staff in the ICU is excellent and equally professional in providing the care, we feel, brought about Brandi’s recovery.

Don and Holly Michel say...

I20 is the greatest !! They gave us four extra years with our precious Yorkie, Cujo, and are helping us take care of our other precious Yorkie, Carrie, who is diabetic. They are deep in our hearts.

Alicia Patterson & Percy said...

I cannot thank you enough for everything the doctor and the rest of I-20 Animal Medical Center did to save my cat, Percy. Your care and compassion for my family during this emotional time was overwhelming.

Michelle & Greg Lacy say...

Greg and I could not be any more pleased with I20 Animal Medical Center for always being there for us when we need you most!

Yvonne Fiore says...

This was our first experience at I-20 Animal Medical Center. I was so impressed by Dr. Bloom, her real care, concern and understanding for my Cinnamon. My pets have been as loved as my children, thus, I expect excellent loving care and I and Cinnamon got this per Dr. Bloom and Jessica. Thank you!

Kristin Rush says...

The staff was wonderful and you can tell that they are real animal lovers. They were very thorough when checking out my dog and I didn’t feel at all like Jack was “just another dog”. They genuinely cared and explained everything very well. Loved them

Heather Matson says...

I have recommended I-20 to friends due to the compassionate and wonderful service we have received. Thank you for everything you have done for us. The doctors are wonderful as well as the techs and the rest of the staff. Thank you

Rhonda Holley says...

I have been to lots of vet clinics. Yours is the best in every way that I have ever seen! Thanks for restoring my faith in excellent veterinary care!

Matt Smoot says...

Dr. Bloom is wonderful! She put our mind at ease and alleviated all of our concerns about Spice’s surgery. We plan on using her for all of our pet’s needs in the future and will highly recommend her services to our friends and family! Thank you I-20 Animal Medical Center.

Staci Thomas says...

The service was amazing! I came in as a referral for a critical condition. I was extremely upset and concerned about my pet’s life. The staff quickly attended to us making efforts to stabilize Sebastian and provide me with a quiet and calm area. I really appreciated the service I received

Leah and Ron Bullard say...

We very much appreciate the skill and training you have and it was very evident in the procedures you performed on our dogs. Each of them had issues, some serious, and each of them are much better now, thanks to you and your staff.

Valerie Jordan says......

My family and I were so impressed by every contact we had with the staff. I have been to medical doctors for procedures and did not get such service. I have already called family members and recommended you guys, keep up the great work!

Maryann Livengood says....

The staff was extremely concerned and courteous- Dr. Stinson saved my cat's life! Also pricing extremely reasonable for a 24-hr care facility.

Paula Emmons says....

I-20 Animal Medical Center is amazing!! All the doctors, technicians and staff are the best. We had to take one of our dogs in for an emergency and everyone who helped us was great with our dog and with us. They encouraged us to call when we had to leave him and always answered and updated us on how he was doing through the nigh (even with many calls in a very short amount of time). The next morning Dr. Welch called and said that they had found something. She told us that Mikey was not going to make it and let us have hours to say goodbye. They answered all our questions and never once made us feel like we were imposing on her or her time. We have found a new clinic for all our dogs because of Dr. Welch and all the staff

Save A Mexican Mutt Rescue says...

I would like to thank the staff of I-20 for a great experience with one of our rescue dogs, Cuervo. Shortly after his rescue, we realized he had a broken canine tooth that would require a root canal. For sure we were not going to find a veterinary dentist in Mexico. So, I-20 Animal Medical Center came to the rescue! Dr. Bonnie Bloom and Dr. Ken Karger took great care of Cuervo upon our arrival. The staff at I-20 is always so friendly, professional, and socially in tune to rescue.

Jim and Kay Marshall say...

Excellent Care! I highly recommend you to our friends. Thanks to all the staff, especially Dr. Welch - we have a healthy dog once again. The love you and the girls showered on Rainey showed me how much you all love animals.

Janice Bunting with Tye says...

Our vet Dr. Litsey, referred us to you when Tye needed special boarding. We were very pleased with his care. We also really appreciated the staff's willingness to talk with us every time we called the ICU to check on him. It made it so much easier to be away from him. He came home a healthier and spunkier dog. Dr. Long was great with Tye and felt she took very good care to properly diagnose his condition and treatment.

Dave and Pamela Reitzel say….

“Cutie was a stray. When I took Cutie to I-20 Animal they were concerned for her health, and made arrangements to see her the next day. I-20 Animal set me at ease about Cutie after her exam. Now knowing that she is and was in good hands, I-20 Animal will be where I will take both my pets. VERY IMPRESSED!!.”

Nancy Schultz says…

“The doctor called the next day to check on Sophie and was genuinely interested in how she was doing. Very well done”

James Jacobs says...

“Huge thanks to the staff and doctors for the excellent care that Sasha received. The explanations about her care and pricing were first class. Thank you once again”

J. Headland says...

I cannot say enough how great Dr. Stinson and the staff were with Dirk and explaining the procedures. We have found a "new" place that I feel confident will take care of and actually care about Dirk. I have and will continue to tell our firends, family and co-workers how much we love I-20 Animal Medical Center.

LaTonya Thomas says...

"Shasha get's excited every time we exit the freeway to come to the I-20 Animal Clinic. Everyone there is so friendly and concerned about my pet's well being. Thank you all for such outstanding service."

J. Beed says...

"I just wanted to say thanks for your help yesterday! Mr. Fluffers had a great time getting his shots and I actually think he wanted to go back instead of driving home! :) Lauren and Kimberly were great! I'm sure Mr. Fluffers hopes to see them when he gets his booster in a few weeks. Thanks again!"