5 Tips for New Pet Owners

Bringing a new pet into the home is usually a fun, happy time for a family. If you’re a new pet owner, MobileCare Veterinary Clinic wants to help you prepare for this exciting journey so your companion can live a long, happy, healthy life. The following five tips for new pet owners will help get you started. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for your canine or feline friend, give us a call at 210-241-6343.


House Training

This, of course, is one of the most important aspects of owning a pet. You will want your four-legged friend to be house trained as soon as possible. Regardless of which method of training you choose (crates, newspapers, litter box, etc.), always be patient and consistent with your actions during training. If your pet has an accident or exhibits an unpleasant behavior, gently scold them and demonstrate the appropriate behavior. Remember to also reward your pet with praise and a treat when they succeed.

Dog and Cat Food

Your pet’s diet is another important thing to consider as a new pet owner, as it can have a major impact on their health and lifespan. A high-quality, well-balanced food is the best choice for a pet’s overall health. When selecting a food, always read the ingredients first. Ingredients are listed in weight order, so the first ingredient that’s listed is the ingredient that’s most prevalent in the food. Another thing to consider is researching the brand ahead of time. Of course, you can also speak with your veterinarian for some of the best food options for your pet’s age, breed, and lifestyle.

Feline Scratching Prevention

If your new companion is a cat or kitten with claws, scratching will likely be an issue, especially if you have furniture with textured material. Scratching is a natural, instinctive behavior for cats, but that doesn’t mean your upholstery has to suffer. To prevent your feline friend from scratching, you can use a deterring spray or double-sided tape. You can also use a displacement method; purchase a mixture of scratch posts, cat trees, and/or perches and place them in your home in the areas where your cat frequently scratches. Of course, trimming your cat’s claws regularly will also help protect your furniture.

Biting Prevention 

Biting is a natural, playful behavior for puppies and kittens. While it may seem cute and innocent at this age, if the behavior is allowed to continue into adulthood, it can become a real problem. Discourage biting as soon as you notice it in your new four-legged friend. If they bite you, react in a way that lets them know that biting is not acceptable, such as yelping like an injured animal would. Or, you can simply say “no” in a stern voice. Replacement therapy also works great; if your pet likes to chew on hands, feet, shoes, or any other undesirable item, replace it with a chew toy. When your pet learns to play without biting you, reward them with a treat and praise.

Dog and Cat Toys

With the dozens of options for toys on store shelves, choosing the best ones for your pet can be difficult. For dogs, rubber and rope toys work great for dogs that like to chew on things. Soft toys are recommended for fetch. Many dogs also love to snuggle with their soft toys. Cats are typically fans of dangling toys and things they can chase, so consider wand, teaser, or mice toys. Laser light toys are also great for chasing. Many cats love to hide, so purchasing a tunnel, cube, or cocoon type toy would be a great choice.

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What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

jack russell dog sleeping in bed with high fever temperature, ice bag on head, thermometer in mouth, covered by a blanket

There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

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Easter Pet Poisons


The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.


SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

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Dental Care is so Important for Pets

Pet Dental Care in San Antonio, TX

MobileCare Veterinary Clinic stresses the importance of ongoing pet dental care for the health of your best friend. We advocate ongoing preventive care to help provide longer, healthier, and happier lives for our companion animals. Dental disease is a very common concern for pets and it often goes untreated for far too long. We believe in proactive dentistry to help our veterinarians identify signs of oral health concerns.

A pet’s complete dental will include the following treatments:

  • Scaling
  • Polishing
  • Tartar and plaque removal
  • Extraction of diseased teeth, if necessary
  • Complete oral radiographs to check for underlying signs of decay

During your pet’s complete dental care, we’ll strive to eliminate bad breath through the scaling off of tartar and the removal of bacteria from below the gumline. Bacteria beneath the gumline is especially dangerous as it can get into the bloodstream and affect other organs such as the liver and kidneys!

Help keep your pet healthier and safer, with ongoing dental care.

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3 Fun Winter Activities to Do with Your Pet This Season

Winter Activities to Do with Your Pet This Season

During the winter months, it’s easy to get a little cabin fever. And you know what? Our pet’s aren’t immune to that same feeling! That’s one of the reasons it’s important to try and stay active and energized. MobileCare Veterinary Clinic would like to help keep your pet healthy and happy, which usually means active and entertained! Check out some of the fun pet-friendly activities we suggest:

  1. Take a hike. Going out one a park trail, whether paved or not, can be a fun wintertime activity for you and your pet! Even if it’s just a half hour hike, it gets the blood flowing and muscles moving.
  2. Play a game inside. Sometimes our pets can be stimulated by an active inside game too. Even if you don’t have a lot of space for your pet to run, a game of hide-and-seek or chase can be really fun! If your dog is large, you may need to “puppy proof” the room you’re playing in first to avoid accidents.
  3. Strengthen your pet’s brain. Cognitive games for pets are very popular right now and can really benefit your pet. Plus, they can be quite fun! You can pick up some interesting cognitive games at your local pet supply store or online. It can be fun to see what your pet is capable of!

No matter what life stage your pet is in, they can benefit from physical activity, bonding with you, and cognitive exercise. It’s easy to squeeze these activities into our day during the summer, but in the winter it can be a lot easier to let things slip. Add daily pet time to your to-do list this winter and watch your pet get healthier and happier. Who knows, it might benefit your health too!

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The Importance of Testing for Cancer in Pets


No one wants to hear the “C word,” whether it’s about themselves, their family, or their pets. Trust us, we feel the same way! However, the one fact about cancer that no one can deny is that early detection offers greatest chance for successful treatment. For this reason, we recommend that all pets be tested for cancer annually.

What is my Pet’s Risk of Cancer?

All pets, just like all humans, are at risk for cancer, but there are some pets with greater risks. It’s even more important to test pets that are middle-aged or seniors (over the age of 7), pets that are overweight, and pets that already have existing health conditions.

Early Signs of Cancer in Pets

While some signs of cancer may simply be signs of other illnesses, pet owners should be vigilant about all symptoms exhibited by their pets. Some signs to be aware of and to call to your veterinarian’s attention are:

  • Abnormal discharges
  • Abnormal odors
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in bathroom habits
  • Coughing or breathing trouble
  • Evidence of pain and discomfort
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Unusual lumps and bumps
  • Weight loss
  • Wounds that are not healing

Not all of these symptoms are indicative of cancer, but most will be present in the case of any health problem. If these signs are noticed, it is even more important to have your pet checked for cancer or another health condition.

Please contact our team if you have any questions about your pet’s health care needs. That’s what we’re here for!

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Zoonotic Diseases

In 64 million American household’s pets are a source of joy and perhaps even the key to longer, healthier lives. However, pet-owning households with young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems need to be aware that their animals can play host to disease-causing microorganisms.

Humans are not likely to catch a disease through their pets, but in very rare cases it can happen. Fortunately, most of these diseases rarely occur in healthy individuals, are mild and can be easily treated. Others, like toxoplasmosis, can be far more serious. Diseases transmitted from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases usually live out their complex life cycles in animals, but sometimes cross into human bodies. Usually contracting a pet-borne disease requires very close contact with animals or their excretions, so zoonotic diseases can be avoided with common sense, cleanliness and regular pet examinations and vaccinations.

Children often put their hands in their mouths, providing an easy route for bacteria to travel into their bodies. For example, children who eat dirt are more susceptible to contracting zoonotic diseases. Children also are more susceptible to pet-borne illness because they carry fewer antibodies than adults do. The same holds true for puppies and kittens, making them more likely to carry disease than older dogs and cats.

Although the chances of getting a zoonotic disease from your pet are slim, these are some common pet-borne illnesses that can make people sick:


This bacteria generally makes its way into human bodies through contaminated food. The bacteria can be passed through animal feces and may cause symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea and exhaustion.


Roundworm eggs and microscopic adult worms can be excreted in the feces of dogs and cats infected by the worms. Children may be at a higher risk for contracting roundworms because they play near pets or touch infected feces and put their hands into their mouths. Because of the risk to children, all cats and dogs should be taken to their veterinarians for regular fecal examinations. Also remember to cover all sandboxes when not in use to prevent children from contacting contaminated feces. Symptoms can include fever, cough, loss of appetite, weakness and lung congestion.


Cat Scratch Fever

This bacteria is usually transmitted from cats to humans through scratches. The bacteria is found on nails or claws and can cause high fever, loss of appetite, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. In otherwise healthy people, Cat Scratch Fever is usually mild and resolves itself. However, the bacteria caused by Cat Scratch Fever can be extremely dangerous or even fatal if left untreated in immune-compromised individuals. It’s important for these pet owners to tell their doctors they own a cat. Young children should be sure to wash scratches thoroughly with soap and water.

Strep Throat

Though your pet is probably not the culprit bringing strep into your household each year, the possibility does exist. Recently, researchers have found that it’s more likely that people are infecting their pets. In any case, keep your children from kissing, licking or exchanging food by mouth with their pets.

A fungal infection of the skin, hair or nails, ringworm starts as a rapidly spreading hairless, circular lesion. Humans can be infected through use of contaminated objects like hair brushes, towels or clothing or by contact with infected animals like cats, dogs, mice, rats and guinea pigs.


Also called sarcoptic mange, scabies is a skin disease caused by itch mites which burrow under the skin. Scabies cause intense itching and scratching that can result in severe eczema. Humans can be infected through contact with infected animals.

The most effective way to prevent zoonotic diseases and ensure your good health is to ensure good health for your pets. This means taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular exams and vaccinations. Most pet owners find that by following their veterinarian’s nutritional and health recommendations, their pets will lead happy, healthy lives with little risk of zoonotic infections.

SOURCE: https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/general_health_care/diseases_transmitted_by_pets.aspx

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Why Choose Mobile Veterinary Care?


In recent years, we have seen a rise in the popularity of mobile veterinary care and the MobileCare Veterinary Clinic team is so excited to be offering this service to the greater community around Bulverde, TX. Our mobile veterinary care combines two of the most important aspects of veterinary service that most pet owners our looking for: convenience and exceptional veterinary services.

Who Benefits from Mobile Veterinary Care?

The MobileCare Veterinary Clinic team believes that any pet owner can benefit from the convenience of mobile veterinary service, but we understand there are a variety of reasons why someone would choose to seek out mobile veterinary care. Some of these reasons might be:

  • They own pets that do not travel well, whether because of anxiety, stress, or motion sickness
  • Transporting pets can be too difficult, whether because of the large number of pets in the household or because of the pets’ behavior
  • The pet owner has difficulty managing the logistics of travel
  • The pet owner has a family with children that are difficult to transport along with pets

Some of the reasons a pet owner may choose to take advantage of mobile veterinary care include:

  • Convenience
  • A low-stress environment for veterinary care
  • Close to home treatment
  • Keeping pets relaxed and comfortable during care
  • One-on-one time with the veterinarian
  • No other pets to encounter in the waiting room

Learn more on our website!

Get Started with Us

Are you ready to try MobileCare Veterinary Clinic to see if mobile veterinary service is for you? Contact us today to schedule your first visit!

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