Tag Archives: Food

It’s Allergy Season! Feeling Itchy?

Although we’re all beyond ecstatic that the weather is finally getting warmer, a pesky side effect of Spring is that it’s allergy season, too! Are you or your pet feeling itchy and scratchy? One of the most common reasons for your pet to come into the vet clinic is because of allergies. Unfortunately, it can be a very frustrating situation for pet owners to be in. The purpose of this blog post is to open your eyes to the many different facets of pet allergies



What is an allergy?


It is a lifelong, incurable condition where the body reacts to an allergen in a negative way. Allergies are frequently known to cause secondary issues, such as skin and ear infections.



What causes allergies?


An allergy can form if your dog or cat has been exposed to a specific allergen at least twice. This sounds kind of confusing, I know, so let me try to explain this a bit better! Say your dog develops an allergy to dust. The first time he is exposed to it, his immune system will produce antibodies. Each exposure that occurs after this will cause a reaction to occur between the dust and the antibody. This reaction will release a large abundance of white blood cells and a chemical called histamine, which causes all of the symptoms we see in our pets a “allergic reactions”. As they try to get rid of these allergens, skin, digestive, and respiratory issues can appear. In essence, their immune system is registering the allergen as being a dangerous substance that it must get rid of. For example, you will likely see itching or swollen skin. Just like with humans, heredity can play a large part in your pet developing allergies. It has been statistically proven that some breeds are more likely than others to develop allergies, as well.



Canine breeds that are more likely to get allergies are:


  • Mastiff breeds (Bulldogs, Boxers, Pit Bulls)
  • Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos
  • Bichon Frise
  • Retrievers (Labradors, Goldens, Chesapeake Bay, Shar Pei, Spaniels, Springers, Brittanies, Labradoodles, and Goldendoodles)
  • Terriers (Especially Wheatons, Yorkshire, and Jack Russells)
  • German Shepherds


Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos

These breeds are so allergic to grasses, dust mites, molds, pollens, etc (allergy syndrome called “atopy”) that they actually have less than a 50% chance of allergy desensitization shots working. Other dog breeds have a 75% allergy cure or control rate with monthly allergy shots. You know your Shih Tzu or Lhasa has allergies if they lick their paws, or the paws are stained a reddish brown from stealth licking they sneak when you are not looking (like when you are sleeping.)

It's Allergy Season! Feeling Itchy?


Common Allergens:

  • Pollens
  • Mold spores
  • Dander
  • Dust
  • Fleas
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Food: beef, chicken, corn, wheat
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products



Signs & Symptoms:

  • Skin: itchy, red, moist, scabbed
  • Scratching
  • Runny eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Licking (especially their paws)
  • Swollen, red skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Hair loss (from secondary yeast or bacterial skin infections)


It's Allergy Season! Feeling Itchy?


What happens if you leave allergies without treatment?

If left untreated, your pet will likely get progressively more irritated and will continue to lick, itch and scratch every area that is bothering them. This can lead to additional sores that could lead to secondary infections.

Types of Allergies

The first step is to treating allergies is to isolate and determine the allergen which is causing the reactions. There are four main categories of allergens that it could fall under: fleas, environment, contact, and food. Fleas and environment are the most probable causes of allergies in your dogs and cats.

Flea Allergies

One of the most common types of allergies are caused by fleas. However, it isn’t the actual fleas that trigger the allergy. It is actually the proteins found in the saliva of fleas that cause the allergic reaction! Even a single bite from a flea can cause your pet to itch for 5 days. This is just another reason why it is so important to use a flea preventative. Flea allergies are the most common form of allergies seen in dogs. You may not think that you see fleas on your pet, but they are likely there.

It's Allergy Season!

Flea Dirt

Contact Allergies

These are the reactions that occur when your pets skin gets in physical contact with a specific allergic material. Common materials can include flea collars, household cleaners, fertilizers, and insecticides.



Food Allergies

Food related allergies typically develop over time as your pets immune system develops. It is most commonly triggered by an animal protein, but also by carbohydrates, preservatives or dyes. If your pet has this type of allergy, they will likely need a specialized diet (see section below). The best way to determine if your pet has a food allergy is to do an elimination diet. This is when you would take away all potential allergens and introduce them one by one until they have another reaction. When the reaction occurs, you SHOULD know what the culprit allergen is. Unfortunately, you may need to try a few different diets before you find the plan that doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.



Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergens are those that are inhaled, such as pollens and molds found outside (especially in spring and summer). Your pet will likely be seen itching their feet, ears, groin, and underarms. In dogs, environmental allergies can even lead to hair loss in spots around the body from persistent scratching and chewing.



Canine Atopic Dermatitis (airborne allergies)

This is a genetic inflammatory skin disorder where your dog will become sensitive environmental allergens like pollen and mold. It can be season or all year round, depending on the allergen they are sensitive to and can occur within 1-3 years of exposure. An easy way to think about atopy is that your pet inhales an allergen, but instead of sneezing, they get itchy skin. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple and it isn’t even fully understood yet. The main thing to keep in mind is that these allergens come from the air and will only affect someone who is genetically programmed to be bothered by the allergen. Seasonal itchiness from atopy typically begins between the ages of 1 and 3 years. Food allergies, on the other hand, become apparent closer to 5-6 years of age.

Immunotherapy for Allergies

Immunotherapy for Allergies

Secondary Infections

These types of infections involve bacteria and/or yeast at sites on the body where your pet is commonly itchy. Since these microorganisms live on the skin naturally, when your pet scratches, they are irritating the skin and allowing the organisms to gain access to the inner tissue layers and reproduce. Secondary infections are typically recurrent issues.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to treat allergies unless we know exactly what is causing the reactions in your pet. Various things can be done to try to treat allergies. These range from immunotherapy to antihistamines to steroids to eliminating diets.



Treating Allergies


Treating allergies can vary drastically from pet to pet, so it is ESSENTIAL that you speak to your veterinarian as soon as you begin to see signs of allergies in your pets. There are many diseases and health issues that show similar symptoms as allergies, so it is important not to self-diagnose your pets!! Nonprescription treatments can be used to treat some allergies. This includes antihistamines, which have been known to alleviate 20% of allergies in pets. These are far less harmful than steroids, but will not work nearly as well.


Cats are SIGNIFICANTLY more responsive to antihistamines, but they must be medicated twice daily. However, make sure you talk to your vet before giving your pet any medication for proper dosing instructions. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids can be given, but can take over a month before any sort of improvement is seen. They work by disrupting the production of inflammatory chemicals that are found in the skin. What’s great about these, is that they may postpone the need to use steroids. The not so great thing about them is that they can take a while before any improvement is seen. Another thing to keep in mind is that antihistamines and fatty acids work synergistically together. This means that they help each other out when used at the same time and end up working even better when compared to being used alone. Frequent baths using prescription shampoos can definitely help relieve itchiness. Make sure you let the shampoo sit for 3-5 minutes. Topical sprays and creams can also be given and typically contain either an antihistamine or steroid. However, make sure you speak to your vet about what should be given.

Omega 3 Supplements

Omega 3 Supplements


Prescription treatments are typically more effective at treating allergies. Steroids can be used to relieve signs of allergies, but they can have some negative long-term side-effects. However, they are typically the first line of defense for allergies. A dog with atopy will typically respond within a couple of days. Side effects of steroids include excessive thirst, hunger, and urination and potential suppression of the immune system. Cyclosporin typically relieves symptoms in nearly 75% pf pets. This is because it works by targeting the CAUSE of the disease; however, it should only be used for the stubborn pets that don’t respond to other treatments. In essence, this product modulates the immune response. A new “miracle” product, Oclacitinib, begins alleviating symptoms within 4 hours of dosing and lasts for 24 hours. As mentioned in other sections of this blog post, prescription diets can also be given to treat food allergies. Injections are other options that can be given to your pet, but it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months before any results are observed. A safer route than injections is sublingual therapy. It has the same end result, but is overall safer for your pet.


Itching to Learn More?

Itching to Learn More?

Itching to know more about allergies?

Check out these helping links that I used to write this blog:






http://www.naturalpets.com/pets-with-allergies.html http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/common-dog-allergies.html










National Pet Dental Health Month

This month is National Pet Dental Health Month!!


To celebrate, Long Meadow Veterinary Clinic is offering 15% off of all dental procedures and care for National Pet Dental Health Month.


National Pet Dental Health Month


Does your dog or cat have terrible breath? This could be a major risk to their health and could be a side effect of damaged teeth or gums. Did you know that if your pet has dental issues, it could cause, or be caused by, other significant health issues? When your pet comes in for their semi-annual exams, their teeth should be checked for any signs of problems.


However, if any of the problems listed below seem to be occurring, it might be a good idea to bring them in for a quick check-up.


  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Retained baby teeth
  • Extra teeth
  • Abnormal drooling, chewing, or dropping the food from their mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Refusal to eat or reduced eating
  • They appear to have pain around or in their mouth
  • Bleeding or swelling in or around the mouth
  • Behavioral changes


National Pet Dental Health Month



Did you know that your pets can have a lot of the same dental issues that we can have?


  • Broken teeth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Teeth abscesses
  • Oral cysts or tumors
  • Teeth misalignment
  • Broken jaw



Check out this quiz to see how much you know about pet dental health!


National Pet Dental Health Month


Daily Tooth Brushing


A great way to ensure your pet’s dental health is a daily tooth brushing. Check out this video that goes into great detail about how to properly brush your pet’s teeth. Unfortunately, if brushing isn’t done every day, then it won’t be doing much for helping the overall health.


National Pet Dental Health Month

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is the most common condition that occurs in both dogs and cats. The crazy thing about it is that it is completely preventable! As pets age, starting around 3 years old, evidence of this disease will become apparent and will get worse over time if nothing is done to prevent it. If this disease progresses, it can cause problems in other parts of the body including the kidney, liver, and heart.


So how does this disease start? Plain old tartar! With a simple dental procedure, we can safely and effectively remove all of the tartar above and below the gum line. During the dental procedure, radiographs (x-rays) will sometimes be completed to see if the roots of the teeth are affected and to determine the severity of the disease.


There are different stages of periodontal disease, on a scale of 0-4, with 0 being the best. I’ve linked a FANTASTIC website to see how each of the stages looks like. It has both regular photos and radiograph images. Try to determine where your pet sits on the scale!


National Pet Dental Health Month

National Pet Dental Health MonthNational Pet Dental Health Month

National Pet Dental Health MonthNational Pet Dental Health Month


Additional Readings:


I used some great articles to get information on the topic of dental health. For more information check out the links below:










Discaimer: All photos were found on the wonderful world of Pinterest

Fido’s Home Pet Inn & Spa

Fido’s Home Pet Inn & Spa is having an Open House Carnival this weekend!!


Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? Check out Fido’s Home Pet Inn & Spa Open House Carnival on Saturday, November 21st from 11 AM – 3 PM! They are a great new boarding and daycare facility in the area that is looking forward to meeting you!


Fido's Home Open House Carnival


There will be a pet adoption event, vendors, giveaways and raffles for the adults and face painting, pony rides, and photo opportunities with Fido himself! Grab you pooches and the kids and enjoy your afternoon. If you’re looking for a new boarding facility, this may just be it!

Happy HOWLoween: Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Harry Potter Houses

Harry Potter Houses

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, especially in Texas. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and the best holidays are about to begin! First up on the holiday list is… HALLOWEEN! I love seeing all the cute kids in the neighborhood dressed up in their costumes, but even more so, I love seeing how people dress up their pets! For example, my dachshund mix will be a hot dog this year… Stereotypical, I know, but he looks so cute! Although this holiday is fun and exciting, there are some threats to your pets that you should be aware of. Below are some great tips to reduce the risk of harm to your fur babies this holiday.



  1. Costumes



The first Halloween pet safety tip deals with their outfits! If you are putting your dog or cat in a costume, make sure that it fits properly! I know this sounds strange, but if there is a strap that goes across their chest, it may restrict their breathing if it is too tight. Also, you want to make sure that they aren’t stressed out about having some out of the norm clothing on them. On top of this potential stress, make sure to supervise them just in case they decide to destroy the costume. Your dog or cat could either get tangled and injure themselves or consume parts of the costume.


2. Trick

TRICK or treat

TRICK or treat

Do you have a protective or shy pooch? If you’re taking them on a walk while kids are trick-or-treating, make sure to keep a watchful eye on them. Your pet may get spooked from the screaming kids or seeing dogs and humans alike in costumes that they are not used to seeing. One of my dogs that I rescued gets scared very easily. Just the other day, I had a towel in my hair after a shower and she wouldn’t come near me!

Are your dog’s your personal alarm system and doorbell? Mine are! So when the doorbell rings, and there are some strangers in costumes and masks at the door, your dogs could react by running away or acting defensively. So just use caution when opening your door when your pets are near.


3. Or Treat

Trick or TREAT

Trick or TREAT


One of the most obvious threats to your pets on Halloween is all of the chocolate and candy that’s up for the grabbing! There is a pretty decent chance that your dog may get their paws on some chocolate at one point or another. We should all know by now that chocolate (or the cocoa found in chocolate) is poisonous to both dogs and cats, but did you know that candy is also very dangerous? Most candy has a chemical known as Xylitol that is used to sweeten, when it is consumed by dogs and cats it can lower the blood sugar or even cause live failure. Also keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it will be for your pets. This is because it likely has a higher cocoa content than lighter chocolates (milk chocolate, white chocolate)Foils from candy wrappers and lollipop sticks are also dangerous if consumed because they can get stuck in the stomach or GI tract. If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep your pet away from these dangers, then you could potentially keep them in a separate part of your home. Another concern that you wouldn’t think of is raisins! These are one of the most poisonous foods to dogs and can cause kidney failure. If your dog has consumed any raisins, grapes, or currents, it is essential that you get in contact with your vet, the Pet Poison Helpline (   http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/   ), or get them to an emergency hospital.


4. Holiday Decorations




Fake spiders and their webs are exciting new toys for your cats to play with, but these decorations could obstruct the GI tract and seriously harm your pet. Use caution when decorating your house for ANY holiday! I know that my cat loves to play “soccer” with any loose object and it will forever be lost. Also bear in mind that carved pumpkins can cause a couple of hazards:

  1. Your pet could knock it over and a fire could start if there is a lit candle inside.
  2. They could decide to EAT the pumpkin and cause some upset stomach. This might shock some because we know that pureed pumpkin is commonly used to ease upset stomach. However, too much of a good thing isn’t great!


Beanie Baby http://www.purewow.com/entertainment/20-Ways-to-Dress-Up-Your-Dog-This-Halloween

Beanie Baby


Would you like to read more helpful tips and tricks to keep your pets safe during the Halloween season? Check out these good reads:







We hope you have a safe and spooky HOWLoween this year!!




Pet Friendly Restaurants in the Houston Area

Now that the weather is finally beginning to cool down, our pets seem to enjoy spending more and more time outside. You yourself have probably been enjoying sitting outside to eat your meals, but would make these meals more enjoyable? Having your dog right at your feet enjoying the season!


Picture via www.nautidawg.com

Picture via www.nautidawg.com


We’ve compiled a list of some of the pet friendly restaurants in the Houston area for you and your pooch to enjoy on these blissful fall days.



  1. Antidote Café



This trendy café is located in the Houston Heights! Your dogs are welcome to come visit them on leashes and enjoy their outside sitting area with some free, fresh and cold water! Website


2. Barnaby’s Café




This café located in River Oaks sounds like an oasis for dogs of all sizes! This place sounds great! Check out this review that someone left on their website:


“I needed to meet a prospective adopter. I was told that Barnaby’s was dog friendly so I thought I could give it a try. We went to Barnabys on Shepherd. A friend went early and secured a table in the shade. When I showed up with my Doberman in tow we were greeted by a very pleasant waiter who promptly brought water for me and a water bowl for my foster. Being June and hot I expected to be miserable while waiting for the adopter but with the large umbrellas and the very large fan it was quite pleasant. The waiter checked on us frequently. He brought my foster a doggie ice-cream which she thoroughly enjoyed. He quickly became her best friend and every time he pasted our table she would eagerly watch him. When the potential adopter showed up with his dog, a Doberman also, they got the same royal treatment. We ordered dinner and had a wonderful time chatting about dogs etc. There was a pug at the next table and a poodle across from us. The food was very good, the service was excellent and it was a very enjoyable experience. I would recommend it to anyone.”




3. Beck’s Prime Restaurant on Kirby Rd.





What dog wouldn’t love some fresh water and a little treat while out on an adventure? Stop by Beck’s Prime for a tasty burger on their nicely shaded outdoor patio. Website


4. No Label Brewing Co.




This  unique local brewery is operating out of an old rice silo in Katy and love to meet all of your pups! They are open every Saturday from 12-3pm for tastings, food vendors, and some live local music.  So bring your own chairs, food, and other beverages to enjoy a nice afternoon outside with family and friends! Website


5. World of Beer




These next two restaurants are located in La Centerra in Katy and are great for people AND duck watching! World of Beer has a huge outdoor patio area great for hanging out during this great season. Website


6. Zoe’s Kitchen



Also located in the bustling La Centerra in Cinco Ranch, this restaurant serves great Mediterranean style dishes wish a decent sized patio directly beside one of the lakes. Sit back and relax with your dog while you watch all the ducks waddle around. Website


Not enough suggestions? Here is a full list of all pet friendly restaurants in Texas, so no matter where you go, your dogs will be welcome somewhere! Website

Scare Away the Pounds Contest

Did you know that the number one nutritional disease affecting our pets is obesity? Over 54% of pets in the US alone are obese, which can have very detrimental effects on their health and overall wellness. Join us this October to increase awareness of obesity in pets and help get pets back on track to a healthier body condition.  Keep reading for some helpful ideas to “Scare Away the Pounds.”


So how do you know if your dog or cat is overweight? This helpful link asks questions that describe the overall appearance and behavior of obese pets. The diagram below is a helpful tool used by many to decipher the general body size and wellness of a dog or cat.

Which one does your pet look like?

Which one does your pet look like?

There are a number of steps that can be taken to get your fur baby back in shape! One of the primary steps is to check that they are getting a balanced diet. Their food bags will show the ideal amount of food to give for their weight. To prevent giving them too much food, scoop the food with a measuring cup. You can even split the food into smaller servings to help with weight loss.


Aside from changing the diet, exercise is key to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Take you pooch to the park to play fetch or if there isn’t a park near to you, try to take your dog out for a walk at least once a day! To take a typical walk up a notch, try doing intervals of walking, jogging and running. Not only will your dog love the change of pace, but you’ll get a bit of a workout in as well! Cats may be a bit more difficult to get active, so you may need to try out a few different exercises.  Use a cat laser or small flashlight and let your little hunter chase it around the room. Some cats love to jump, so using a toy that dangles from a string will be a great way to get them soaring!


For more tips and tricks of weight loss for your pets, go to the Hills Pet Nutrition website.


Contest Announcement:

For the month of October, we will be having a Scare Away the Pounds contest! When you purchase a bag or a case of cans of the Hills Metabolic feline or canine food, your name will be placed into a drawing to win a free bag/case of food! In addition, if you bring in your pet wearing a Halloween costume, you will win a free bag of Hills Metabolic treats! If your dressed up pet is overweight, their name will also be placed in the drawing for the free bag of food!



Open House!

open house


The staff at Long Meadow Vet Clinic would like to invite you to our all age first annual Summer Open House! Please join us Saturday, May 30th from 10 am to 3 pm for Fun, Food, Gifts, and Giveaways! All pets are welcome. During our Open House we will having all sorts of fun and exciting activities such as:


♦ Tour of the Clinic


♦ Professional Pet Photos


pet photo


♦ Meet and Greet the Staff


♦ Teddy Bear Surgery


Dr. Teddy

Dr. Teddy


♦ CPR Demo

♦ Animal Care Q & A


♦ Wellness Care in a Nutshell


Dog Vaccination


♦ Dental Care in a Nutshell


♦ Coloring Tables


♦ Gifts and Giveaways


dog gifts





lil caesars



♦ And More!



See you there!