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

Annie's Shenanigans

Featured article by Anna Kate

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This is a feature article written by Dr. Cooper's daughter to give us some insight into a trip to the vet. Thanks Anna Kate for writing such a wonderful blog!

          MMMMMMMMMM. That was a yummy dinner! Oh! Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. Hi, I’m Annie. I live in Houston, Texas, and I don’t mean to brag, but I might have been on the cover of dog monthly last month. That’s right. My fans just can’t get enough of me! I mean, I don’t blame them but the star life is just so tiring! Look, Steven Schnauzerberg, I appreciate the offer, but Pug Cruz and I just don’t get along! So anyways, I’ve been in movies, photoshoots, TV shows, but I’ve never gotten….uh…..what’s the word….that’s it… Nervous!!! I’ve never gotten nervous. But I got this awful feeling when my mom told me we’re going to the worst place a dog could ever dream of going…the Vet. I have never had this feeling before, but I’m so nervous I couldn’t even finish my doggy ice cream! “Annie, where are you? Time for bed”. Uh oh. Mommy’s calling me. Well, see you tomorrow.


          “Good morning Annie! Want to go on a little drive?” My mom said waking me up from my dream about chocolate. Wait a second… I know what she’s doing! We’re going to the vet aren’t we? No way I’m going! “I’ll give you a treat…” GOTTA GO! As we’re in the car, getting closer and closer to the vet, my paws start to sweat more and more. When we arrive, a nice lady walks me and my mom into an exam room. When the vet comes in, he looks in my eyes and ears, looks in my mouth and checks my pretty teeth, he listen to my heart and feels my tummy, he feels all my legs and paws and asks me to lay on my back so he can look at my tummy. (Which, I’m not going to lie, it felt pretty good). Then he watched me walk. When the nice lady walks me and my mom back out to the front of the vet’s office, she gives me a treat! No way! I love this place!

              On the way home, I started thinking, maybe the vet isn’t so scary after all! I got a treat, a tummy rub, and tons of people told me how cute I was (which I already knew, but it’s always refreshing to hear). Next time I go to the vet I won’t be scared at all! In fact, I’ll be super excited! Ugh, sorry, got to go. Steven’s calling again. 

May Top Dawg Winner

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Congratulations to Shaketra! She is our May winner of the Annie's Top Dawg Award!

Great job Shaketra! She was nominated 8 times this past month!

Shaketra has been working as an Animal Care Taker since February 2016 and is already making a name for herself. Her peers are well appreciative of her work ethic, good attitude, and teamwork.

She has been a big help to the technicians with medical boarders and was also recognized as going above and beyond to help keep our conference/lunch room clean. ßdouble props for this cause we all know there are not enough of us who clean up after ourselves!

Thank you Shaketra for your wonderful attitude and for making Westbury Animal Hospital a great place to work. Keep up the good work!

Congratulations to Sara

Friday, October 09, 2015

Congratulations to Sara! 

Sara is October's Top Dawg Winner! 

Sara has been working for Westbury for a year as a technician and veterinary assistant. She was nominated by her peers for going above and beyond in her work duties. Sara is a hard worker, and a pleasure to be around.

Sara takes initiative and has an extensive knowledge of veterinary medicine especially in behavior.  This experience has allowed her to excel at proper communication and recommending care to patients either in the exam room or by offering to call clients at home. Sara is always in tune to the appointment schedule and often points out cases that may need to be seen or prepared differently for an upcoming appointment and will often call these clients herself to ensure an efficient interaction takes place or that more critical pets are seen in a timely manner.

Congratulations to Melissa

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Congratulations to Melissa!

Melissa is one of a kind. She has been working hard as a veterinary technician at Westbury Animal Hospital since 2009. She especially flourishes as our in house laboratory technician as well as an assistant to Dr. Eckermann and to the pharmacy. 

Melissa has been nominated several times over the past few years and is a well deserving recipient. Melissa has trained the majority of the veterinary technicians hired at Westbury over the years; teaching them proper cytology, use of lab equipment, being an intermediary to lab companies, as well as proper client communication in the reporting of results and handling of specimens. She is well trained in the art of diagnostics and quality control. Thank you for passing on your knowledge Melissa!

Many of you may not know the importance laboratory diagnostics plays in the health of an animal, but ensuring all testing is conducted properly and timely can mean a big difference in an animal getting a diagnosis and treatment. She is always going above and beyond to maintain proper management of the lab (and I may be as bold to add that it may be one of the most consistently organized and efficient locations in the hospital)

Melissa is a wonderful co-worker and a pleasure to have at the hospital. Keep up the good work Melissa!

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!

Congratulations Fernando

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Congratulations to Fernando!

Fernando started as an Animal care taker at Westbury Animal Hospital and is currently excelling on the assistant team. 

Fernando has been acknowledged this month primarily by the CSR team for their appreciation of Fernando. He is a great example for the Top Dawg Award that it pays to help more than just your own team. Thank you Fernando for crossing boundaries and helping the westbury family to work more effectively and efficiently!

Fernando should also be recognized for his hard work as an assistant. He often juggles multiple tasks and has a great attitude that keeps everyone happy. He is great with people and always professional for our clients. Thank you for your hard work and going above and beyond!

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). 

Melts in your mouth not in theirs

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Happy Valentine's day to all the pet lovers out there! I love valentines day especially the extra treats my owners bring home for me and sometimes I may even get a new stuffed toy to rip to pieces! Ah, love is in the air. 

Not all joyous treats are safe for us animals though so lets keep in mind some special safety tips for this February Holiday!

1. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats! Keep your boxes of truffles well out of reach, or better yet, eat them all quickly so they are never in the house!

2. Flower Arrangements. Beautiful. Also potentially poisonous or a concern for allergens. Make sure especially if you have cats to not include lilies in your bouquets. 

3. Sweets: Many candied sweets and gums contain xylitol which can cause a severe drop in blood sugar in pets if they chew on these items. 

4. Candles: Feel free to set the mood, just keep the pets out of the way. We don't want them getting burned or inadvertently knocking candles over and setting fires.

Be sure to spread your love to your pets this next week. They give you love every day of the year!

Congratulations to Raven

Sunday, December 07, 2014
Congratulations to Raven for winning this months Top Dawg Award!

Raven has been working at Westbury Animal Hospital for 2 1/2 years as a receptionist and then as an Animal Care Taker.

Raven has been chosen this month for her wonderful teamwork and spirit. Raven is well known for her wonderful positive attitude and helpfulness. She even gave up her Thanksgiving holiday along with some of her other colleagues to make our holiday boarding a success. Raven has wonderful Westbury Family spirit and we can always count on her to participate in crazy scrub weekend and any other team activity!

Thank you for all your hard work keeping our facility clean and all the animals well cared for.

We thank you Raven for your positive attitude, and your drive to do your best every day!

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.


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