AN EMERGENCY HOSPITAL RAISING THE BAR FOR YOUR PET WITH CUTTING-EDGE CARE AND REHABILITATION
WHAT SETS YOUR PRACTICE APART FROM OTHER ANIMAL HOSPITALS?
We are not a primary care veterinarian office but an emergency hospital available twenty-four, seven, not just nights and weekends. That allows us to have patients in the Intensive Care Unit where we can be available for care as well as continue ongoing care for critical patients. You also don’t need an appointment. And we additionally specialize in physical rehabilitation therapy, which is critical to a patient’s recovery. We have patients referred to us for physical rehab after having surgery at other hospitals such as at Texas A&M’s veterinary surgery department.
WHAT PART DO MEDICATIONS PLAY IN REHABILITATING A PET AFTER SURGERY?
We have a multi-faceted approach. Anti-inflammatories have their place but we like to optimize rehab but sometimes add “non-medications” and concepts, including options such as CBD, as well as underwater treadmill, laser therapy and massage too. You have to give medicine for the correct purpose. I’m also a professional bodybuilder and my belief is that without healthy mobility, quality of life and longevity for a pet are diminished, more so than with people. An active pet is a healthier pet.
PEOPLE OFTEN SHOW THEIR LOVE BY SPOILING THEIR PET WITH EXTRA FOOD, TREATS, AND TABLE SCRAPS. HOW HEALTHY IS THIS?
Depriving them of extra treats and food is more loving than over-indulging. People should listen to their primary vet about appropriate body weight for their pet. Some people are put off by that but two pounds overweight can make a difference. We have had people come in who feed their dogs exactly what their family eats around the clock, like sandwiches and spaghetti. Dogs are not meant to have human food. Make sure their food has high quality protein and is well balanced again from veterinary recommendations rather than fancy commercial marketing.
WHY ARE DOGS GENERALLY STOIC AND RELUCTANT TO SHOW THEY ARE IN PAIN EVEN WHEN SICK OR LIMPING?
Dogs may be in chronic pain but the last thing they want to do is burden us. I’ve had dogs come in with their teeth falling out and not talk about it. Dogs come in with a broken leg and sometimes dont even cry. Pain in a dog isn’t always expressed by crying or acting the way we do as people.
WHAT IMPACT HAS COVID-19 HAD ON YOUR PRACTICE?
We haven’t had people come in with concerns about their pets and the virus. But, for some reason we have been busier than ever, which is why we decided to make our practice available twenty-four, seven. It might be because people have extended time at home with their pets or have rescued pets from a shelter during the pandemic. It may be because primary veterinarian offices are understaffed because of the virus as we all have protocols in place like curbside care. Also, more than ever, pets are true family members, not “here’s the family and here’s the dog”. They are part of the family and shown additional love and compassion which we see from our veterinary role when they are our patients.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DOGTV, WHICH IS DESCRIBED AS SCIENTIFICALLY DEVELOPED TO APPEAL TO A DOG’S SENSES?
I think it speaks volumes to where dogs find themselves in the household now. They are integral members of the family. We find their favorite shows as we would for our kids.
About the Expert
Dr. Jennifer Hennessey
Animal ER of Northwest Houston
Jennifer Hennessey is a 2005 Cum Laude graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and is a member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists. Dr. Hennessey is also a professional bodybuilder, the 2020 United States of America Mrs. Alaska and the newly crowned 2020 Ms. Texas World Universal. She writes for Texas Veterinarian Magazine and is a frequent guest on Houston-area TV networks. She started the ER (www.animalernwh.com) in 2014. She is married to Army Sergeant Major Greg Bremseth and has a son and daughter.
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