Veterinarian Ukachi Ugorji D.V.M. of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas identifies the causes and treatment of hairballs in cats.
By: Ukachi Ugorgi D.V.M.
Cats spend at least half of their waking hours licking themselves. They are trained to groom themselves from birth by watching their mothers. Cats lick themselves for several reasons aside from the obvious motive of hygiene. For them, grooming is a coping mechanism and form of self-comfort when they feel displaced or nervous. They also use grooming to regulate their body temperatures. The evaporation of saliva on their coats helps them to cool down in hot weather.
Cat tongues have tiny backwards-facing barbs that serve several purposes. The barbs (papillae) serve as the perfect grooming tool for your cat’s coat care. Their tongues are like a built-in comb that rakes their fur free of any dirt and debris. During this process, a cat’s free flowing hairs get raked up and can get swallowed.
Hairballs are an accumulation of free hair in the stomach. Generally, loose strands of hair pass through your cat’s digestive tract and are expelled in the feces. However, in some cases, the free hair that your cat swallows can get clumped together inside the stomach and is vomited up. Rare situations can result in a giant hairball called a trichobezoar.
A trichobezoar is a hard wad of hair that becomes lodged in the stomach that is too large to vomit or pass through the pylorus (opening of the stomach into small intestines). In extreme cases, hairballs can be fatal. If a cat is unable to pass the hairball, it can cause intestinal blockage that may require a gastro intestinal surgery to remove. Sluggishness, lack of appetite, and weight loss in your cat are all symptoms to cause alarm concerning your cat’s gastro-intestinal health. Speak with your veterinarian immediately if your cat won’t eat, or is retching and not producing anything.
To diagnose stomach or intestinal blockage a physical exam must first be performed by a Veterinarian. X-rays and ultrasound are methods by which your veterinarian can confirm that your pet has a blockage. After an ultrasound or X-ray reveals a blockage, depending on the location (stomach, esophagus, or intestine) and the size of the mass an endoscopy may be performed.
During this surgical procedure, a small tube with a camera attached is fed through the mouth and into the stomach to provide the surgeon with a view of the inside of the patient and remote grasping and loop tools are used to aid in the retrieval of the object. If the object, such as a hairball, cannot be removed by endoscopy then a full abdominal exploratory surgery may have to take place.
Hairballs, while relatively common, are not normal. There are a variety of underlying issues that can result in your cat vomiting up hairballs including stress, skin disease, allergies, parasites, and decreased motility of the gastro-intestinal tract.
Over-grooming is the most common cause of hairballs in cats. It is important to closely evaluate your cat’s environment for any causes of stress that could be compelling your cat to groom excessively. Note if there have been any recent changes in the household that could be triggering your cats, such as an addition of a new housemate or any unpleasant stimulus. Observe the interactions between your cat and the other members of the household to ensure that they are not stressful to your cat. Cats will also groom themselves out of boredom.
Ensure that your cat’s environment is enriched with toys to occupy themselves while they alone. Also, make sure they are getting enough attention and interactions while you are home.Hairballs can occur in long and short haired cats, although the problem is more persistent in cats with longer hair. It is especially important to maintain proper grooming and brushing to aid in the removal of loose hair in your cat’s coat. The more you aid in maintaining you cat’s coat the better you can prevent hairballs in your feline friend.Although hairballs are a natural part of a cat’s life cycle, they are not something that they have to suffer with if they become a problem. If you think your cat is having hairball issues you should discuss this with your Veterinarian.
By: Regina Toney
These adorable puppies belong to Juan and Vanessa of Las Vegas. DAK (pictured on the left) is a 5-month-old a Pitbull-Shepherd mix.He is full of energy and despite his size, he absolutely loves to play. DAK is a very active puppy and loves to go for runs. 3-month-old BLUE (pictured on the right) is a blue nose, Pitbull. BLUE is the newest edition to the family. He loves to play as well and to eat as much as he can.
They’re brothers, even though DAK is 3 times BLUE’s sizes and they’re only months apart and it doesn’t stop them from playing with each other. Because BLUE isn’t intimated from DAK’s size, they’re constantly playing tug a war with each other! “These boys are still puppies and both are so different but they bring nothing but joy & fun into our lives”
We couldn’t choose between the two, so congratulations DAK & BLUE, you boys tied for our May our 2017 Pet of the Month!
If you would like to submit your pet for Pet of the Month, please use the form here
(don’t forget a picture!) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mike Falconer
Here at Craig Road Animal Hospital our goal is to provide great pets with great care. In order to serve you more efficiently we have upgraded our online services to include:
* Access to a new, easier to use, Pet Portal.
* Ability to schedule appointments online in real time.
* Mobile access through the MyPetsWellness app.
Pet Portal and Online Scheduling:
The online pet portal allows you to have quick and easy access to see upcoming appointments, upcoming reminders and lets you request refills for prescriptions.
In addition, you have the ability to schedule appointments online, in real time, through the pet portal. Utilizing our online scheduling allows you to schedule your pet(s) next visit with us no matter what time of day it is and see actual availability of your pet’s doctor.
That is right, you can book an appointment for your pet(s) without having to pick up the phone!
To access your record online or schedule an appointment online:
MyPetsWellness Mobile App:
MyPetsWellness, is now available in the App Store for iOS devices and in the Google Play store for Android devices. The app gives you access to all of your vital pet health information at any time, from anywhere. You’ll be able to see each pet’s upcoming appointments, vaccine reminders, and prescriptions. You can even book an appointment, request boarding for your pet, or refill a prescription. And you can upload your favorite pet photos.
To view the iOS version of the app, click here.
To view the Android version of the app, click here.
Or, from either the App Store or Google Play store, simply search “MyPetsWellness” and you should find it.
The username and password for the MyPetsWellness app is the same one you use for your online pet portal. If you have been using our existing pet portal please switch over to the new system as the old system will be going away soon.
If you would like to see a little more about our new system you can watch our video below.
We hope you enjoy these new tools and find them useful. If you have any questions you can, of course, call us on 702 645 0331, email us at email@example.com , or ask any of our staff next time you are in the hospital.
For almost a year now, Craig Road Animal Hospital has been sending out surveys. Hospital Administrator Mike Falconer talks about why, and introduces some results for June 2013.
By Mike Falconer
As we promised last month, here are June’s customer service survey results. I was really quite pleased that we managed to improve in areas like “not very likely” and “not at all likely” to refer a friend to our animal hospital and the “unacceptable” wait times. We moved these three metrics from 0.7%, 0.7% and 1.4% respectively to zero! Unfortunately, at the other end of the spectrum, the “extremely likely” to refer a friend dropped by 7.2%. This month we have also included some quotes from the comments section of the survey.
We share these comments throughout the hospital, and use them extensively for staff feedback and training. We try to respond to any concerns as soon as we receive them – we want and need your feedback and we continue to appreciate you filling out our surveys and for reviewing us online.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me or leave us a message in the comments below!
early this month, we lost our 15 yr. old cairn terrier to a bad heart and old age. We are still trying to recover from losing her and Sissie is now coping with being alone when we have an outside commitment. She did not want to stay in the office this, so I think she sensed an earlier memory that had included her sister, Tilly, and knew she was missing her company. The Dr. Cared for her gently and lovingly and seemed to help calm her concerns. We very much appreciate the tender care she received and the affordable care we got as struggling seniors in a tough economy. We love our pets as much as any other pet lover and maybe even more, since our pets are sometimes the closest friend and companion we have. Our health depends on our pets being there for us and we realize it most when we lose one of our family members, furry or not. Thanks for your loving attention.
Always good service and care. Thank You Ruth and Lorraine
Dr. Whitcraft is exceptional to work with in the care of Ruby and Diamond, very caring and knowledgeable. All of the staff are personable and helpful.
Always are completely satisfied with Dr Hagstette and her summation and advice and suggested treatment. The staff at Craig is always very cheerful and positive and makes you feel very welcome. I appreciate the service we have received at Craig and will certainly continue and will recommend Craig to our friends.
Great people – great care -
Having recently located to Las Vegas, it was very important for me to find a vet for our Corgi Aly. We’ve had both wonderful and awful experiences in the past. So finding a good fit was extremely important to me. The entire staff was absolutely amazing. They were helpful, courteous and knowledgeable. I felt that Aly would be well taken care of any time she needed services. So glad we found you guys!
I drive over 40 miles round trip to see Dr. Mych because he’s so awesome!!
I really appreciate the caring and compassion I and my peta receive every time we come in.
I have felt very comfortable with having Tink treated for her wound. Also her birthday card was darling, thank-you so much. Tinker is our life and we hers. Margery Murooka
I’ve been bringing my pets to Craig Road since 1997. first two cats, Brutus & Sissy, now deceased. second Sammy, my beloved Shih Tsu. Sammy was allergic to everything. For years he was at Craig Road for an allergy shot every other day & he got so much love, he actually liked going to the vet! When Sammy died in 2011 I got Maxie. The excellent care, concern & love continues for him. I’d never go anywhere else.
I absolutely love this hospital, the best experience I’ve ever had. Great staff and doctors. Thank you
You cared a great deal for Mattie. We adore her and wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her.Thank you.
Dr. Stone was very helpful and professional. I would recommend her service to my friends. Stone brought to my attention to a few topics that I did not even ask about. Very happy to feel she covered everything and took time for the research of Buttin’s breeder in order to pick up the ball and tend to Buttin’s needs.
You have some of the most friendly and caring people working there that I have ever seen, it is apleasure to come in to the office.
I saw Dr. Whitcraft this visit, my babies regular Dr. Is Dr. Daniels, we absolutly love her! Generaly all the staff at Craig road is very good. I have recommened my friends and family to this office Thank you so much for caring for my babies.
The staff are always so nice and friendly, love taking of babies to Craig Rd Hospital, thank you
I have used Craig Road Animal Hospital since they opened! I use primary Dr. Mike and have also used variety of doctors when Dr. Mike wasn’t available. ALL doctors and staff are very professional and never had any issue with them. They are very up-to-date on todays medicine/tech/equipment etc. Even thou the visits and treatments are more expensive that other vet places, I believe it is becuase of the variety of needed meds/equipment needed for top notch care of our beloved furkids.
I brought my cats in for their rabies shots and was stunned that the exam was complimentary and I only had to pay for the rabies vaccine. Everyone at Craig Road Animal Hospital (all that I’ve dealt with) are friendly and they seem to really enjoy what they’re doing. Thank you!
Love Dr Roach..he was worth waiting for
Dr. Roach is the MOST amazing vet I have have ever had. I have had animals my entire life, and NEVER had such a caring, knowledgeable Dr. In my life! He is truly a miracle worker and have saved my friends dogs when they should have not made it! He truly has the most caring bedside manner with every animal. He is DEFINATELY the BIGGEST asset that clinic has! Besides Pam and Felicia the assts. They are truly amazing as well! Thank you Dr. Roach for again being the truly wonderful vet that you are!!!!!!!! WE will always stick with you! Thank you again for the care we are given by your staff as well!!!!!!!! Sarah Petcavage
tO ALL THE STAFF AT CRAG ANIMAL HOSPITAL, i CAN’T THANKYOU ENOUGH FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF bUGSY ,OUR RABBIT. hE RECOVERED NICELY AND IS DOING GREAT. i HAVE KEPT HIM IN MY BEDROOM; WHICH IS NOW LIKE A BARNYARD’ WITH HAY EVERYWHERE’ BUT HE IS A VERY HAPPY BUNNY. wE ARE BUILDING HIM A NEW CAGE THAT IS MUCH BIGGER. tHANYO . SINCERELY, cAROLINE mChUGH
The young lady who check us out Kristen had excellent customer service. Our Dr was excellent. The Tec seemed to rush through her job and not show compassion for our pet.
Everybody was great. I was in the exam room waiting for over 20 min. for the doctor to come in. I’m sure there was something going on but it would have been good if sombody poked their head in and explained what was going on. Felt like maybe I was forgotten about. Again, everybody was excelent & apologetic about the wait.
Everyone was friendly, helpful and professional.
I have never had to deal with one of my animals getting sick. When I seen Nala’s eye so swollen, I panicked. I rushed Nala to Craig Road Animal Hospital. The employees were outstanding. Got me in right away and showed they really cared about what Nala was going through. Today is the 2nd day since we been to the vet and Nala’s eye has improved 100%. I certainly would recommend someone to this Animal Hospital. Very friendly and caring people who work here. TWO THUMBS UP!
MY CAT JAMAAL HAS A NAIL PROBLEM. IT HAS BEEN TREATED 3 TIMES HERE AT CRAIG RD.—IT HAS NEVER WORKED– NEVER HEALED DUE TO MAYBE TREATMENT NOT BEING CORRECT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY HIS NOT TAKING HIS ORAL MEDS. THIS VISIT A PLAN HAS BEEN SUGGESTED(REMOVE PROB NAIL) I THINK THIS WILL WORK–IT WAS EXPLAINED TO ME IN DETAIL IN LAY TERMS . I WENT HOME WITH WRITTEN ESTIMATES AND A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT I NEED TO DO NEXT. I AM SO GRATEFUL. NOW WHEN I RETURN FROM MY TRIP IN A FEW WKS. JAMAAL WILL HAVE SURGERY AT CRAIG RD. HOSP. THANKS, JOYCE MORRIS
You guys are great!
I love this hospital and refer everyone I know here
Becky does the grooming for Lilah and Trent and has since the very beginning. She always does a wonderful job and also let’s me know when they are ready for pick up. My dogs are always very happy when I pick them up from seeing Becky. Thank you.
Dr. Roach and his tech were both super nice and explained everything beforehand. I really like the fact that they give you a written estimate before they do tests. I also love the personal follow up calls. They made me feel like they genuinely cared about my pet.
Everyone at Craig Road Animal Hospital has been so helpful and great! Dr. Tampira is awesome :0)
Dr. Daniels is by far and wide the best!
We boarded April and as usual, everyone made her feel loved.
I love bringing rocksy Lynn there. Everyone is very nice. I do wish we didn’t have to get checked in by the doc every time she comes in for boarding but understand and respect wanting to make sure she is good before I leave her.thanks for always being there.
Great staff. Great service. Most definitely recommended! Love this hospital. And staff was excellent and very professional! Thank you so much for your service on my dog Zuko. Wouldn’t go anywhere else!
I love the hours that you are open, Makes it much easier for a working person than many other vet clinics
The staff are extremely friendly and caring towards not just my animals, but any I see brought in. I have friends that also take their pets here for vet care and have always been impressed with the service. The only thing that was lacking when I visited was that Osiris’ s file had not been updated from the time before that I brought him in. It was very important information since Osiris is a diabetic feline. It was not a big deal and I brought the vet on staff up to speed.
We really like Dr Roach
You all are the best!
Well, it is too late to turn back now!
A nice thing about the open house project has been that we have been able to do a number of things that have been on the jobs list for quite some time. The really great thing about the open house project is that we have a definitive deadline for all involved – things have to be finished by the 28th, preferably well before!
Monday saw our the painting of our boarding suites completed. They are certainly colorful and it made a big difference in that area of the hospital.
On Tuesday, the stripping and polishing of our tile floor, which is all the floor for the tours of the hospital was started. Initially scheduled to take two overnights, a problem with a previous wax complicated matters considerably – extending the process to four overnights.
Wednesday saw the rough draft of the small video project for the open house completed. It also saw the completion of the first draft of our tour script completed. A second draft was completed on Friday ready for handing off to the staff who will be giving the tours.
Thursday gave us conformation that Denise Valdez from Channel 8 and a cameraman would be coming do do a piece on the hospital and our open house. Lots of excitement ensued and making sure that as much as possible of our open house preparations would be in place. Thankfully, Thursday also saw the installation of our final two infographics – they look fantastic. Our dental infographic in particular looks better printed than it did on the screen – which is rarely the case.
Friday saw our channel eight visit. Denise and her cameraman were great. Dr. White (also known as radio’s Dr. Debbie) from our sister hospital Lone Mountain Animal Hospital, did a great interview to camera and I think we got lots of great footage of surgery, exams, and clients. We should see the piece on air on Friday lunch time and later afternoon – just in time for the open house!
Roll on Sunday!
Things for the open house are progressing nicely.
For those of you who keep an eye on the Craig Road Animal Hospital Facebook page, we have chosen the winning captions for the six images that will help decorate our walls – it was a tough job as we got a lot of great submissions (thank you eveyone!) but we are very pleased with what we have. we are currently just waiting on the proofs from our graphics people.
Our two remaining infographics were finished and ordered last week which is a great weight off our minds – as was the signage for the front of the building (see below). Our event permit from the city of Las Vegas came through for the event itself which was also a big relief. we did not think there would be any problems but until you actually receive something like that you are always a little nervous. Finally, we made a good start on a video project that we want to have ready for the open house. Many thanks to Dr. Tampira who helped a great deal with making that all happen.
This week’s big jobs are to continue with the video project, the repainting of our boarding suites, and to start on the script for our tour guides.
Probably our biggest headache this week is the various building projects that we either have to get going on or just accept that they will not be ready for the open house – which would probably be fine, but we would like to be able to have the fun new things to show off.
There is also a bit of a waiting game going on at the moment as we wait for our signage materials to arrive and for our newspaper ad to appear.
The staff is beginning to get excited about the event itself, and we are being to sort out who is going to do what during the event.
See you soon!
In the first of a series of posts, Craig Road Animal Hospital’s Hospital Administrator, Mike Falconer, talks about the preparations for our upcoming open house!
Craig Road Animal Hospital is having an open house for our existing veterinary clients, and potential new ones, in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas on Sunday the 28th of April, 2013. We will be having vendors, a hospital tour, a petting zoo, a free new pet booklet and lots more from 10:00am till 2:00pm.
Oh, and we will be open and seeing patients before, during, and after, as normal!
We felt it might be a nice idea to give you a little behind the scenes look at our behind the scenes look at Craig Road Animal Hospital. Currently we a finishing off the details of the open house posters and other advertising materials with our marketing and graphics consultants. You can see where are at with this below.
For those of you who have had a tour of Craig Road Animal Hospital in the past; perhaps when you were looking at whether to choose us as your vet or to see our boarding facilities. You may have noticed the infographics and pictures we have around the building. We are adding two new infographics in time for the open house, one showing off how we provide dental care and other on internal parasites (or worms if you prefer!) These are also in the final stages of design and proofing, however these have been a huge challenge to get right so we are still concerned about making sure we have them installed in time.
The confirmed vendors for the open house, most of whom will be set up in our parking lot, is currently: Vegas Shepherd Rescue, Las Vegas Labrador Rescue, Trupanion Pet Insurance, Sit Means Sit, Lone Mountain Animal Hospital (our sister hospital), and Roos N Moore – our petting zoo vendor.
Still lots to do but we hope to see you there!