Westbury Animal Hospital
713.723.3666 · 4917 S. Willow Dr. Houston, Texas 77035 

Annie's Shenanigans

January Top Dawg Winner

Friday, January 29, 2016
Congratulations to Jose! 

Jose is January’s Top Dawg Winner! 

Jose has been with Westbury for 2 years, working hard as an Animal Care Taker as well as a veterinary assistant.

Jose has been nominated by his peers for going above and beyond to help other teams. He is also appreciated for helping the ACT team over the busy holiday rush. Jose is a great exam room assistant, always making clients feel welcome and is also known to be quite the “cat whisperer”. 

Thank you for all you do Jose! Keep up the good work! 

Handling the unwanted creatures in your yard

Friday, May 08, 2015

Recently I have been the repeated victim of attacks coming from a feral cat in the neighborhood. My curious nose and naive encounters with anything other than a friendly feline have left me shocked that there are cats out there who do not enjoy my company. I have to admit I have been found crying out and rolled onto my back in submission while being chased by this ferocious feline. 

However, for every story there is always two sides! With a little more looking it turns out this feral cat has been harboring kittens in the fence and her attempts to take my life have only been self-defense for her newborn babies. 

Tips to handling unwanted feral cats:

1. Check with your neighbors to find out if anyone owns this pet, especially if you as a human can approach the cat.

2. You can contact animal control or consider working with your neighbors to safely trap the cat and any possible kittens in a live trap for safe transport to the humane society or local shelter.

3. By trapping the cat yourself you can take the initiative to have the cat neutered/spayed, and release them back to the neighborhood with proper vaccines and flea control. By releasing the now altered pet back they will prevent other feral cats from taking over their territory.

Avoid feeding feral cats in your neighborhood unless you want to catch them or take care of them properly with complete wellness requirements. 

Feral cats harbor lots of disease that can be spread to you or your pets. These include fleas, intestinal worms, and viruses such as leukemia, FIV, herpesvirus, and of course rabies. By feeding these pets you are enabling them to spread more disease and shed flea eggs through your neighbors yards. Feral cats in the yard can also be a source of stress to healthy indoor cats. You may find your normally compliant house pet now urinating all over your house or vomiting on your carpet. 

The feral cat population in Houston is astronomical. Take these steps to help make happier, healthier communities!

Moving with your cat

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This month my human parents have moved homes. My cat companion and I have been taken to a new place to live. Now, I am really fast at adjusting to new environments and love to explore new places. The cat, however, is how do I say this nicely?.....sensitive.

When moving with a cat there are several things you need to take into consideration to keep his or her delicate nature in balance. The last thing anyone needs is a stressed out cat! Stressed out cats lead to cat urine in your bed or hours of vocalizing. Every time.

Before the Move:

Keep in mind that the stress of moving begins well before the actual move. Make sure you keep the cat area the same as much as possible before moving. For example, dont decide to move the litterbox into a different room as you are packing to suit your needs. 

Stick as close as possible to their normal feeding schedule.

Start laying our boxes for moving weeks in advance. These can be fun for some cats and allows them time to adjust to new smells. 

Set out the cat carrier at least a week in advance so they are not startled into hiding just when you are ready to catch them.

If you are moving your cat via airplane and especially if you are moving out of country, discuss your move with your vet weeks to months in advance. Some countries require special testing up to 6 months prior to moving.

During the Move:

Consider where you will keep your cat while the move is happening. A friends house or a boarding facility are both safe options to prevent lose cats and minimize stress as much as possible. 

If your move is long, only open the carrier when absolutely necessary in a secure location. Avoid opening the door to soothe your pet if they are in a location easy for them to escape. 

After the Move:

Cat proof your home. Tuck away all cords and hazardous substances.

Set up a room in your new home with the cat litter box, food, and water and allow your cat a day or two alone in this new room to settle down and feel secure. Spend time in this room performing low key activities such as reading.

Once your cat becomes curious and starts to explore, you can start to open your home up room by room to allow your cat to explore the new area. 

As necessary with cat ownership in general, make sure your pet has plenty of areas to hide and climb. Cats feel the most secure when they are high up and can survey their surroundings alone. Set up your cat tree or other perch items in advance. 

Be sure to offer your cat plenty of affection if they desire your interactions and try not to change too many other variables (their food choice or litter type). 

Thanksgiving Safety

Friday, November 21, 2014

Reviving a wonderful article by Dr. Chalkley for Thanksgiving advice this next week!

Thanksgiving Holiday: Food Safety for Your Cat and Dog

by: Jeff Chalkley

Around the Thanksgiving Holiday most of the emergencies that are seen at Westbury Animal Hospital are associated with food and pets.  Eating too much food, eating food in the trash can, or eating the wrong type of food – any one of these incidents could cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even more serious diseases (e.g. Pancreatitis).

I remember four (4) years ago I was on call for Thanksgiving when a black Labrador named “Bella” came in Thanksgiving night. Bella’s family was just sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner when they realized the basket of dinner rolls was left in the kitchen.  Much to their surprise when they entered the kitchen, the rolls were missing.  This otherwise sweet eight year old lab had counter surfed and found an amazing treasure, 24 dinner rolls. Within minutes the dinner rolls started expanding in poor Bella’s stomach.  She became so uncomfortable and painful that the Thanksgiving meal had to be canceled for the family. Bella was rushed to Westbury Animal Hospital for treatment, where within 24 hours she had made a full recovery. The family was so happy that she had recovered that they planned a celebratory dinner for Saturday night with a few of the people who had been at their house for Thursday night’s dinner.  Thankfully it was a smaller number of people because Bella struck again. This time only 12 dinner rolls, not the 24 she had eaten only two (2) days earlier.

Even the most unsuspecting food item can cause serious trouble for your cat or dog. We have included a list of food items to be careful with this coming Thanksgiving.

Turkey – A little nibble of turkey is fine for your cat or dog, but you should make sure it’s free of bones, that it is fully cooked, and it is white (breast) meat. White meat is less greasy and usually tolerated better by cats or dogs.  If you do give them turkey, make sure they don’t overindulge and run the risk of getting an upset stomach. Most of the other table scraps from the big feast are not a good idea for your cat or dog.

Alcohol – If you have a cat that likes to sneak a sip of people’s drinks, make sure you keep drinks with alcohol out of their reach. Many things can go wrong if a pet consumes alcohol.

Batter with raw eggs – Raw eggs can put your cat or dog at risk for salmonella, which could cause food poisoning. So make sure they do not lick the spoon or bowl to help you clean up after cooking.

Bread dough – When cats or dogs eat raw bread dough, body heat can cause the dough to rise in their stomach. The rising can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating and may require surgery.

Candy – Chocolate is toxic to all pets. Any candy containing xylitol (e.g. Sugar free gum) is also dangerous for cats and dogs to ingest.

Onions and garlic – Both onions and garlic are popular ingredients in some holiday dishes and both can be toxic to cats.

Raisins, grapes and macadamia nuts – All three of these items are nice additions to holiday recipes but should be kept out of reach for cats and dogs as they can be toxic.

Rich and spicy foods – Rich and spicy foods may be a great treat for you, but they are not a good option for your pets and can cause more than an upset stomach. Stick with your pet’s regular meal options.

Sage –Sage and other herbs that contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten in large quantities.

Make this holiday season special, and try to avoid a trip to the emergency room at Westbury Animal Hospital. Have a safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

November Top Dawg Award Winner

Friday, November 07, 2014

Annie’s peers have made their selection! Congratulations to Rochelle!!

There were a lot of nominees this month, but from all these staff members pushing to go above and beyond, Rochelle was chosen to represent Westbury as November’s winner!

Rochelle has been working at Westbury for two and a half years as a Client Service Representative. She has been nominated many times this month as well as in the past by her peers for her excellent team work and communication. Rochelle has been mentioned favorably in reviews by clients and is well known for her positive attitude. 

Rochelle is always on top of her duties and willing to help anyone out in a pinch. She handles herself professionally with challenging clients which is more than appreciated.

We thank you Rochelle for your positive attitude, your drive to do your best every day, and for your excellent communication to keep things at WAH running efficiently.

Way to go Rochelle!

Congratulations to Sergio

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Congratulations to Sergio!

Sergio is September's winner of the Annie's Top Dawg Award for going above and beyond for patient care, customer service, and teamwork!

Sergio has been working at Westbury Animal Hospital for 2 1/2 years as an Animal Care Taker. Sergio was nominated by his peers for his work ethic, professionalism and courtesy, his team attitude, and his attention to detail. 

Sergio has been complimented to management by many clients who enjoy his kindness and caring abilities with pets. 

Over the 2 1/2 years that Sergio has worked with Westbury, he has literally saved the lives of at least 3 boarders who were suffering from severe illnesses that Sergio picked up on and brought the pet to the attention of a doctor. Sometimes the most subtle changes in a pet is an indicator of a serious problem. His actions are that of a true animal lover.

We thank you Sergio for your positive attitude, your drive to do your best every day and for being a true team player!

Congratulations to Chelsea

Friday, August 08, 2014
Annie's Top Dawg Winner for August
Congratulations Chelsea for going above and beyond!

Chelsea has been working at Westbury for 2 years as an Animal Care Taker and then she moved to work as an exam room assistant. Here is what her peers are saying about her:

Chelsea has gone above and beyond by assisting CSR’s with challenging client interactions, she has been a big help to her team lead with accomplishing tasks to help Westbury excel, being a team player and knowing when other colleagues are in need of a break and offering to help them in anyway she can (even if that means bringing them lunch, covering the front desk, or holding pets)

We thank you Chelsea for your positive attitude, your drive to do your best every day, and to try new things! Way to go Chelsea!

Also to note, pictured with Chelsea today is Lorenzo a wonderful Labrador puppy who donated blood this month to save a life so if there was a Top Dawg Award for pets, it would go to Lorenzo!

Cats can get heartworms too

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hello Blog Followers!

I just love every month when my persons give me a big lump of peanut butter with my heartworm medication to keep me healthy. It is a delicious treat! My parents even have fun reminders set on their phone that will bark at them every month to remind them of my treat... Sometimes the barking startles me and I bark back, but that's another issue...

Did you know that cats can get heartworm disease too? It is true that cats are more resistant to getting infected but they are susceptible none the less! And to top it all off there is no medical treatment for cats! Many cats will die suddenly from heartworm disease when they go into acute respiratory distress and no one was the wiser!

Some cats will have subtle signs for years such as coughing, weight loss, or even infrequent vomiting. It is recommended that all cats stay on monthly heartworm prevention in this part of the world, even if they are indoors. Don't mess with the deadly diseases! Get those feline friends on some prevention!

Check out more information about feline heartworm disease here:

Westbury Animal Hospital Care and Commitment 24 hours a day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Westbury Animal Hospital is unique in that we offer emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with a doctor being on call every night and on the premises until midnight. I want to take a moment to highlight our urgent care hours that have become very popular. 

This past year, Westbury has been offering additional hours for sick patients that need to be seen but are not critical. These urgent care hours come at a regular office fee as long as your pet is not critical and the times are as follows:

            Monday- Friday   4pm-8pm                                                                                                    Saturday      12pm- 4pm

We have two emergency veterinarians who work during these hours in addition to serving as our in-hospital doctors all evenings until midnight. You should get to know Dr. Noe Galvan and Dr. Alissa Koschany who are here for your pets needs after regular business hours. 

We strive to get your pet’s visit processed quickly during these urgent care hours and pets are seen on a first come-first serve basis. Just like human urgent care facilities, pets that are more critical are always pushed ahead and seen as an emergency. We appreciate your patience as we work to get to your pet assessed a timely manner. You can assist us in helping you by considering some of the following:

1. Call ahead so we can pull your medical chart and prepare any equipment necessary to stabilize your pet.
2. Bring any pill bottles or medications your pet is taking and medical records if seen by another facility. If your pet suffers from any chronic illness (diabetes, glaucoma, hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease etc) please make us aware at the time of admission.
3. If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxin please bring the original container or a photograph of the plant. Knowing the toxic ingredient allows us to determine the proper treatment and give you a better idea of prognosis.
4. Keep all pets on a leash and all cats in a carrier.
5. Sometimes our technicians need to bring your pet to our treatment area for immediate attention before the doctor speaks with you. This allows our medical team to assess your pet and determine if any initial life saving procedures are necessary. The doctor will discuss the findings and work on a plan with you as soon as he/she feels your pet is stable enough.
6. If you are being seen for one pet, please remember there are usually many other sick patients awaiting the doctor’s attention. Keep the visit focused on your pet’s current illness and save wellness questions for an appointment with your regular veterinarian if possible.

7. It is best to choose one family member to act as your pets advocate and only one easily accessible phone number so that decisions can be made quickly if your pet needs life saving treatment.

We are always open during regular business hours for appointments if you know your pet is not acting normally, but we understand pets don't just get sick during the day and are happy to provide you with round the clock service when needed!

Congratulations to our Top Dawg Winner Michelle

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Congratulations to Michelle!

Michelle has been working at Westbury Animal Hospital for 7 months as an Animal Care Taker and is the winner of this month's Top Dawg Award! Michelle was nominated by her peers based on her recent hard work and caring attitude. She may be new but she has made a great impression!

Michelle is chosen for her great attitude and for rising to the occasion to help out her team. She has helped take over many of the boarding responsibilities formerly held by leadership positions to ensure all animals are cared for, all charges are entered appropriately and to uphold excellent customer service.

Michelle is well known for her willingness to help, her caring attitude towards every animal she works with, and her team spirit when it comes to assisting her fellow co-workers. Thank you Michelle for going above and beyond this month and for being a model team player with your great attitude!


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