Allergic Skin Disease

Allergic skin disease is a common malady that affects many dogs and cats in East Texas. There are numerous allergens that can make animal itch, sometimes to the point of causing skin damage or infection. In the initial exam of every patient the question is asked, “What came first, the lesion or the itch?” If the itch came first, it’s usually allergy induced.

Fortunately, we have several new treatments that provide more relief and are safer to use than ever before. Oral tablets, given regularly, can provide relief and can usually be decreased in dose overtime. For those dogs that do not take pills well, an injection can be given that is not a steroid, therefore causing no steroid effects such as urinating more. If no skin infection is present, it usually stops the itch within 1-2 days and may be repeated monthly or less often during that animal’s allergy season. Nutritional supplements can be helpful, as well as certain medicated shampoos. If infection is contributing to the problem certain antibiotics will be given.

Let us use the full gamut of diagnostics and treatments available to diagnose and treat your pet’s allergic skin disease. Both you and your pet will sleep better.

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Anesthesia and Surgery

Dr. Reece and his Surgery Team perform many anesthetic and surgical procedures. Surgical patients are monitored by trained technicians watching oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, heart rhythms and temperature. A clear airway is maintained, and anesthesia is regulated by technicians who work beside the surgeon. Technicians continue to monitor patients until they awaken.

Many types of surgeries are performed at TPC. Spays, neuters, mass removals and laceration closures are commonplace. More involved procedures may include intestinal foreign body removal, bladder stone removal, hernia repair and fracture repair. Some patients are sent home the afternoon of surgery but others may require continued hospitalization.

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Trinity Pet Clinic provides boarding in our indoor kennel for dogs and cats. We want you to feel comfortable when leaving your pet in our care for any length of time, so to protect your friend from potentially dangerous diseases, we require all boarding animals to be current on annual vaccinations.

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Dental Care

Dental care is vital to the overall health of any pet. Bacteria which cause dental infections will enter the bloodstream and commonly settle on a heart valve, deforming it and causing a heart murmur. The liver and kidneys can be affected. Tooth root abscesses are known to be severely painful and rotten teeth eventually become loose and fall out.

Clients often first notice a bad breath odor when their dog or cat gives them a kiss. On closer inspection, they may see a dark covering over the cheek teeth and reddened gums which indicate dental disease (also called periodontal disease) is already present. If detected early enough, a thorough ultrasonic dental cleaning under anesthesia, followed by cleaning below the gumline, polishing the crown and applying fluoride, will correct the problem. If teeth have already been loosened by disease, are unstable or suffer a lack of attachment due to deep pockets around the tooth, extraction will usually be necessary, which will allow the gums to heal and the pain to subside.

To prevent dental disease, it is best to either brush your pets’ teeth or provide healthy toys which actually help clean the teeth when chewed.

We have several types of dental friendly chew treats to offer.
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Your pet’s skin is the largest organ of the body. Allergies, parasites, infection, malnutrition, hormonal conditions and other diseases can all manifest as abnormal or itchy skin.

We offer specific diagnostic tests to determine the cause of skin problems including microscopic analysis of hair and skin, fungal testing, biopsies and cultures. A complete history and physical examination can also give clues.

No matter the cause, we will strive to find ways to lessen the discomfort or even cure the problem with proper treatment.
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Digital X-Rays

The Trinity Pet Clinic is proud to be on the cutting edge of medical technology. X-rays allow us to see inside the body in a non-invasive way. Digital x-rays can be taken and developed more quickly, can be darkened or lightened, made larger or smaller and stored more easily than conventional film methods. They can also be sent digitally to certified Radiologists for consultations, with results often received the same day.

When we take x-rays digitally, we can show them to clients and explain the findings more easily. It is a diagnostic tool we can use to better detect disease or confirm wellness in patients.
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Hospice and Euthanasia

Saying goodbye to your pet can be extremely difficult. The process can be emotionally and mentally draining. We don’t want you to be alone at the end stages of your pet’s life and we will do all we can to make this day easier for you and painless for your pet, treating every case with understanding and care.

Knowing the right time to make this decision can be difficult. Though several criteria may be used, we believe the main consideration should be the quality of life of the animal, and sometimes the owner as well. If a pet’s future days are to be filled with chronic suffering from a terminal illness or debilitating condition, euthanasia can be the last, loving gift an owner can give.

We will be beside you when that day comes. Euthanasia literally means, “Good Death” and is accomplished painlessly. Options as to the pet’s final rest include home burial, cremation or cremation with the animal’s ashes returned to the owner. Our talented staff can also make a baked clay pawprint, painted with the pet’s name and with favorite toys or scenes depicted. In the end, what is really important is how well an animal lived and how much it was loved by those whose lives were touched by it.
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In-House Laboratory

At TPC we are able to do most of our own lab work, taking minutes instead of days to get the information we need to make a diagnosis or confirm a hunch. Besides the usual heart worm, feline leukemia, FIV and fecal parasite tests, we also see real time results of complete blood counts, profiles of the health of abdominal organs, blood sugar, electrolyte levels, urinalysis and some hormone tests within 15-20 minutes of drawing blood or collecting urine. Other test results from cultures, tissue samples and those requiring advanced diagnostics or a specialist’s opinion will be evaluated and relayed to the owner as soon as possible.
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Individualized Vaccination Plans

Not all pets are exposed to the same disease threats. Certain “core” vaccines are listed as essential for all dogs and cats but others depend on age, health status and exposure. Some pets, due to certain chronic diseases, cannot be vaccinated at all.

To determine an individualized vaccine strategy , we consult with owners as to the lifestyle of each patient. If dogs travel across the country in the owners’ RV, more threats will be encountered. If a dog spends time in a city and likes to romp in a dog park, additional vaccinations should be considered. If an animal explores the woods where wildlife and ticks are present, more dangers exist. If a pet was not vaccinated on time with proper vaccines, new schedules must be followed. Show dogs or groomed dogs are also at higher exposure for certain diseases.

Let us help you determine the best care for your pet. We will explain why your pet needs, or does not need, a particular vaccination.
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Intensive Care Hospitalization

Unfortunately, some animals are so sick they have to stay the night in the hospital. Pets may have to stay on IV fluids, require oxygen or just need more time to recover before going home. Our hospital is supplied with equipment enabling us to provide supportive care through the nighttime hours. IV fluid pumps, oxygen cages and supplemental warmth all help patients recover. Should medicine doses be required after hours, Dr. Reece or a trained technician will give them at the appropriate times.
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Lump/Bump Screening

Does your pet have a lump or bump that is not supposed to be there? Just as in human medicine, some lumps are not dangerous, but others are. For those lumps under the skin or bumps on the skin, casual disregard is not the treatment of choice. We believe all undiagnosed skin lumps should be identified as to what they are, sooner rather than later. We will perform a need a biopsy to determine if it is cancer, and usually we can determine what type of cancer it may be. Most skin cancers are benign, meaning not likely to spread, others are malignant.

Some that look benign on the surface are actually malignant and therefore, dangerous. Some benign tumors can also grow to such proportions an attempt at surgical removal would bechallenging.

We recommend a microscopic evaluation be made. Let us check out that lump, just to be sure.
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At TPC, we are happy to offer microchipping as a way to permanently identify your pet as your own. Every year thousands of pets go missing.

They may be stolen, found by others who adopt them, be put in a shelter or simply be lost and unable to find their way back home. Not knowing where your pet is can be a helpless, hopeless feeling. A collar with a rabies or other ID tag can be helpful but collars with tags can be lost or removed.

There is a simple, safe and effective way to verify the ownership of your pets. A microchip is implanted below the skin between the shoulder blades. It is a quick and relatively painless way to permanently identify a pet as your own. Our office has found several pets who had been lost and we are able to return them to their owners because of the presence of a microchip.
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Monthly “Critter Corner” Articles

Each month Dr. Reece will write an article concerning some aspect of veterinary medicine. Some will be informative, some entertaining as he draws from 35 years of experience working with pets and hearing their stories. Others will discuss medical issues which may be of interest or new products and treatments. Check it out on this website.

See The Critter Corner

Pet Pain Management

Pets that are in pain are miserable, and by association, so are caring owners. For this reason, we offer several ways to help keep your pet as comfortable as possible. For possible pain after surgery, we will send with the owner 2-3 days of oral liquid pain medication for dogs or apply a topically absorbed pain relieving liquid to cats which lasts for four days.

Early arthritic pain in dogs can usually be helped with a tasty new joint supplement which eliminates most joint pain within 16 days. In more advanced or chronic cases of arthritis, pain control can often be achieved by using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications alone or in combination with other types of pain meds. We also use an injectable product first used in race horses to build back healthy joint cartilage and thus reduce pain. A new type of pain injection for arthritic cats is now available which also holds much promise.

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The pharmacy of TPC is available at all business hours for our clients to refill needed prescriptions. By calling in the refill request prior to pick-up, our technicians can record the medication desired, gain approval by the doctor, fill the prescription, type the label with clear instructions and take it to the receptionist who will have it ready to be picked up the same day. We can also mail prescriptions to those clients who live farther away or cannot drive, with delivery commonly between 2-3 days. People who arrive unannounced to request medication refills usually wait no more than 15 minutes. Doctors who approve the refills may also wish to visit with the client about how the patient is doing and when a recheck visit may be warranted.

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Puppy Training

We at TPC take time at each puppy visit to discuss puppy training. Not just house training but also obedience training (Sit, Stay, Come), food bowl training, no-bite training, heeling, and handleability training. Some pups are great students, some are “hard heads”, but with appropriate reward-based puppy training, all can show improvement and better develop into the well-mannered dogs we hope they will become. We will show you how to train, treat and praise your pup.

The time you take training now will allow you to reap the rewards of a well-trained adult dog for possibly the next 10-15 years. Ask us for our training aids and literature at your first puppy visit.

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Life is hectic. Most of us have to be at work on time. With prior notice, our staff can admit a drop-off appointment as early as 7:30 a.m.

Park the car, ring the door bell and an employee working the early shift will open the door for you. We’ll take your pet, provide the forms for you to sign and have you on your way. We will examine your pet as soon as we can and provide whatever care it needs after contacting you by phone or text.

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Scheduled Work-Ins

If an owner calls with a pet that is discovered to be ill or injured and needs to be seen, our doctors will try to work in these pets that day.

There are times, however, when this will not be possible. If that is the case, we will try to help you find veterinary assistance elsewhere.

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Senior Wellness Screenings

Due to improved diets, better veterinary care and indoor living more pets are living longer, well into their “Golden Years”. Large dog breeds, 6 years or older, and small dogs and cats 8 years or older are considered Seniors. Just as in humans, aging brings forth gradual changes in physical and mental status. Impaired sight or hearing, heart issues, cancer, arthritis and dental disease are, unfortunately, more common in any aging population.

To help your Senior pet age more comfortably, we suggest complete physical exams every six months and wellness screenings annually.

Examining an animal every six months helps us discover potential health issues sooner and monitor them more closely. Wellness screenings include multiple medical tests to check for problems that have not yet become apparent. Blood tests, x-rays and a urinalysis are the basic tools we use to monitor results from year to year. If troubling trends are detected, medical intervention or diet changes can be started earlier to limit or stop the disease process.

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