Tag: veterinary

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Canine & Feline Acupuncture Therapy in Las Vegas

Veterinarian Dr. Erica Monaco of Craig Road Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, discusses the benefits of acupuncture therapy in cats and dogs.

Dr. Erica Monaco

By: Erica F. Monaco DVM  MSPH  cVMA

Acupuncture is a technique that allows the practitioner to interface with the nervous system and tap into the body’s own mechanisms for modulating pain perception, inflammation, endocrine and metabolic functions as well as healing. This complementary therapy is used to treat pain and other conditions in humans and animals. We integrate traditional and non-traditional approaches to medicine to provide high quality evidence-based veterinary care.

Acupuncture is administered by strategically placing very thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body commonly referred to as “meridians.” There are 150 main acupuncture points on the animal that serve to treat different illnesses and ailments. By stimulating these points the doctor can alleviate a host of health-related conditions in your pet.

The body naturally makes its own narcotics to manage pain sensation. Acupuncture works by changing the way that the brain perceives pain signals, by discharging pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory neurotransmitters into the body. Neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins modify and lessen the pain felt by patients.

There are 150 Acupuncture points on the animal that serve to on the animal that serves to treat different illnesses and ailments.

Veterinarians use this therapy in conjunction with modern medicine to help decrease inflammation in their patients, promote healing, stimulate neuro-retraining, and break chronic pain cycles. Clinical studies that have been conducted show progressive results in both human and animal trials.

According to research conducted by Georgetown University Medical Center” The practice of acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of blood hormones and peptides secreted by the sympathetic nervous system.”

The hair-like needles used in acupuncture are so tiny that they activate different nerve receptors than those triggered by painful stimuli. These needles are designed not to cause tissue trauma but rather go between tissue fibers to elicit nerve responses. A licensed veterinarian, who has completed formal training in the practice of veterinary acupuncture, is the best person to recognize and properly diagnose an animal’s health related problems to determine if the pet will benefit from the treatment.

These needles are designed not to cause tissue trauma but rather go between tissue fibers to elicit nerve responses.

Acupuncture is beneficial for neurologic  pain conditions as well as sports injuries in agility dogs. Pets that experience muscle and or joint pain should be seen to discuss a trial round of acupuncture with a veterinary acupuncturist. If your pet is currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or post-operative rehabilitation you should talk to your veterinarian about beginning an acupuncture regimen as it will aid in the speed of the recovery process.

Acupuncture session times vary depending on the animal’s specific needs. First time sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes while subsequent sessions are between 20 -30 minutes. As certain points on the body that produce a calming effect on the patient, after your session, it is not uncommon for your pet to sleep for several hours after returning home. Pain relief from acupuncture can take place as quickly as 20 minutes to a few hours or days depending on your pet’s response to treatment.

Pets that experience muscle and or joint pain should be seen to discuss a trial round of acupuncture with a veterinary acupuncturist

There are three types of acupuncture that we may choose to administer to your cat or dog.

Traditional: The needles are strategically placed into the skin at named acupuncture points.

Electro-acupuncture: Electrodes are hooked onto the needles and low levels of electricity are slowly released to help stimulate nerves an increase neurotransmitter release.

Dry Needling: Needles are placed into muscle bellies where there is increased tension or knots

To determine how your pet will respond to acupuncture, we ask that you commit to an initial three visit trial period performed on a flexible schedule. Acupuncture therapy can provide relief of a wide variety of ailments, the list below provides examples of some conditions commonly treated.

    1. 1.Neurological disorders including paralysis, seizures, and anxiety.
    2. 2.Musculoskeletal problems including, arthritis, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), sports injury, hip dysplasia, and generalized pain.
    3. 3.Asthma
    4. 4.Skin conditions and allergies.
    5. 5.Gastrointestinal problems such as IBD, motility disorders, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and appetite stimulation.
    6. 6.Post-operative healing and pain relief.
    7. 7.Urogenital problems including incontinence and reproductive dysfunction.

Apr 19, 2017 0 462 Views

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Craig Road Animal Hospital Externship Program: JENNIFER

Meet our newest extern, Jennifer


By: Regina Toney

We’re excited to introduce Jennifer, our latest D.V.M extern at Craig Road Animal Hospital. Growing up in Sacramento, California, Jennifer had a wide variety of pets, including birds, bunnies, rats, fish, cats, and dogs. “I’ve always wanted to be a vet, I took a nontraditional route experimenting with engineering but ultimately I came back to my love of animals.”

Jennifer completed her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology at The University of California, Davis. Jennifer is currently attending Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona where she is pursuing her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

Jennifer has an active interest in “ One Health Initiative,”  this organization is a coalition dedicated to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. She currently serves as President of Midwestern University’s One Health Initiative Club.

Jennifer expects to learn as much as possible, complete more “Hands on training” and come away with unique experiences from Craig Road Animal Hospital’s Externship Program. She’s most excited for the diversity of career opportunities that becoming a veterinarian will afford her.

Although she doesn’t currently have pets, her parents still care for their 13- year-old golden retriever named Gabby. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending lots of time outdoors. She most enjoys activities such as hiking, golfing, soccer and recently learned Argentine tango dancing.

Apr 4, 2017 0 196 Views

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Craig Road’s New App and Online Access

Mike Falconer, Hospital Administrator

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 info@craigrd.com , or ask any of our staff next time you are in the hospital.

Feb 23, 2017 0 1401 Views

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Belts, Gravel, & Other Appetizing Things

Nalu, a Labrador Retriever Mix, came in to Craig Road Animal Hospital after a weekend camping trip with his owners. Nalu was vomiting and did not want to eat. Dr. Courtney Daniels suspected that Nalu had eaten something that he shouldn’t have, in other words, a foreign body.

According to Dr. Daniels, the symptoms that a pet has ingested foreign body can vary widely, “From nothing early on to vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and pain.” Dr. Daniels continues, “Sometimes the foreign body doesn’t cause symptoms related to an obstruction, but more from the toxins leeching from the object itself. For example, an animal could eat a penny and all the owner notices at first is the dog’s gums and whites of the eyes turning yellow as a result of the toxins from the penny being absorbed.”

Dr. Courtney Daniels & Blaze

When the owner of Blaze, a Pitbull Terrier Mix, noticed that half of his belt missing he quickly brought him to Craig Road Animal Hospital before any symptoms could occur. With foreign bodies, the prognosis worsens when symptoms start.

X-Ray of Nalu with apparent foreign material.

Pieces of belt visible in Blaze’s X-Ray

To find the foreign bodies, Dr. Daniels decided to take X-Rays of both Nalu and Blaze. Radiographs (X-Rays) are a way of looking at structures inside of our pets’ bodies. After reviewing the X-Rays, foreign material was found in both patients. In Nalu, there was an intestinal blockage and a stomach full of foreign material was noted in blaze. Also known as a bowel obstruction, or blocked bowel, an intestinal blockage is often caused by a pet swallowing something they shouldn’t have.

Dr. Daniels retrieving foreign bodies from Blaze.

Things like rocks aren’t something you’d normally associate with being appetizing, but for Nalu this turned out to be the case. There are several reasons why dogs would exhibit this behavior, but one of the most common ones is simply boredom. It’s also possible for dogs to be lacking certain nutrients, which can lead to them trying to find these nutrients by eating non-food items. If your dog exhibits this behavior you can try things like rotating chew toys every few days to keep your dog occupied and entertained.

Gravel removed from Nalu during surgery.

Foreign material removed from Blaze.

The effect of a foreign body in the digestive tract can prove devastating to the body. The pressure of the foreign body against the intestinal wall can result in poor blood circulation to the tissues which can cause the necrosis (dying off) of those tissues. Eventually, the intestinal wall may break down and even perforate. Once this occurs, the contaminated intestinal contents leak into the abdomen. In addition to being extremely painful, this results in peritonitis (infection of the abdominal space) and sepsis (infection of the blood stream).

Blaze feeling relieved after surgery.

Fortunately for Nalu and Blaze, after exploratory procedures were preformed and a couple of days of hospitalization, both came out of these worrisome situations feeling happy and healthy. A week or so after the foreign bodies were removed, Nalu and Blaze returned to have their sutures taken out with Dr. Daniels. We’re happy to report both of these pups made a full recovery.

Nalu feeling happy and healthy with Dr. Daniels!

Nov 14, 2016 0 1606 Views

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How To Clean A Dog’s Ears

Cleaning a dog’s ears at home is fairly simple as long as the ears are not infected or damaged. Ensure proper ear care for your loyal companion by watching our How-To Video
with Dr. Tampira!

Nov 7, 2016 0 1298 Views

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Pitbull Puppies

Teamwork is something that we treasure here at Craig Road. Check out how our team worked together to help this Mama Pitbull deliver her pups safely!

Apr 4, 2016 0 1137 Views

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The other reason you should spay your pets

Veterinarian Dr.Tiffany Major of Craig Road Animal Hospital discusses an often fatal infection, pyometra. It is most common in older female dogs that have not been spayed though it can occur in spayed dogs as well. This the story of Blueberry, a female pit bull living in North West Las Vegas.

By Tiffany Major, DVM

Blueberry saying hello!

Blueberry’s parents started to notice she wasn’t acting herself. She was very lethargic, and laying down a lot. They knew something was wrong, but when they couldn’t find anything, they started to worry. Due to her rapidly changing behavior, they decided to bring her to Craig Road for a check-up.

When I met them in the exam room, I asked them about her clinical signs. They told me that Blueberry was having trouble with her hind legs giving out on her, and that she wasn’t as active as she normally is. Also that Blueberry, who was housetrained, suddenly started urinating all around the house uncontrollably.

That was when I asked if Blueberry was spayed, and they told me she wasn’t.

I suspected she had a pyometra but I wanted to be sure. This is a very nasty infection of the uterus, and if left untreated, is usually fatal. Pyometra is something that all unspayed, female dogs are susceptible to and even with aggressive treatment, can still be fatal.

A pyometra typically follows a dog’s most recent heat cycle. When the animal is going through heat (estrus), white blood cells are blocked from entering the uterus, so that sperm can enter without being attacked. White blood cells usually prevent infections. After a heat cycle has ended, the uterus walls thicken and the progesterone hormone levels elevate to prepare the body for pregnancy and fetal development. When the dog has several of these cycles without becoming pregnant, the uterine wall continues to thicken until cysts start to form. These cysts then start to secrete fluid and becomes the ideal environment for bacteria.

While a pyometra can happen to any intact female dog at any age, the infection is most common in older females.

X-rays were recommended, to diagnose this potentially deadly infection. When I looked at Blueberry’ x-rays, the uterus was engorged as if the dog was pregnant. However, these were not puppies, the uterus was completely filled with pus. It was clear that Blueberry had a pyometra. I let her parents know that the best option was to have surgery right away to remove her uterus, or this infection was likely to be fatal.

Blueberry under anesthesia.

We immediately prepped Blueberry for surgery. The removal of the infected uterus is a similar procedure as a regular spay, but with the added complication of a major whole body infection, risk of rupturing the uterus, increased risk of hemorrahage, and a much more complex recovery. After the infected uterus was removed, it was weighed and found to be four pounds! Other patients have been found to have infected uteri up to 10 pounds!!

Removal of the pyometra.

There are two forms of pyometra, open and closed. Blueberry was experiencing a closed pyometra, which is the more deadly form because the pus cannot drain from the body. Pus then builds up within the uterus, causing the abdomen to swell, and eventually the uterus to rupture, killing the patient. Blueberry wasn’t getting up because her uterus was so enlarged that it caused discomfort while moving. Blueberry was lethargic due to the toxins that build up from the infection. She was drinking a lot of water in attempts to flush the infection out of her body. Both of which, leads to the inappropriate urinating around the house.

In an open pyometra, the infection within the uterus is able to drain from the body, resulting in the dog having a foul smelling, vaginal discharge. More often than not, even if the pet has an open pyometra, it quickly turns into a closed pyometra. Either way, chances of a pet surviving an open or closed infection are extremely low without aggressive treatment.

Blueberry showing Dr. Major some love!

Because Blueberry’s parents were so in tune to their dog’s behavior, they were able to notice something was wrong right away, and seek appropriate medical advice. It was for this reason they were able to catch the infection early on. Blueberry’s chances of surviving the surgery was much higher than if they had waited.

We are so happy to see you better, Blueberry!

Blueberry’s procedure went very well, with no major complications. She made a full recovery and a few days post-surgery, was able to go home. Her parents are so happy to have their healthy baby girl back to normal. It was great to see her back to her usual self!

***WARNING*** The image below may be disturbing to viewer

This is what was inside Blueberry’s pyometra and making her ill.

Mar 22, 2016 0 1368 Views

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“Calling Dr. Murphy” Part III

Tianna Winters

Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is the final addition of her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.

You can catch up here for the first article or here for the second!

7:15 p.m. I meet Dr. Murphy in the doctor’s office where he is able to sit down for the first time. He takes one bite of his sandwich before being called to another room. It’s another vaccine exam for a very playful bulldog puppy.

7:45 p.m. – The new bulldog owners are full of questions and Dr. Murphy answers them all. They apologize for keeping him. “You’re already the best kind of puppy parents because you have questions, ask away,” Dr. Murphy says.

8:00 p.m. – Dr. Murphy takes a few more bites of his sandwich (apparently finishing an entire snack is very rare) while researching some possible reasons for the cat’s lethargy. Two of the other doctors huddle around him, sharing their thoughts. Theories range anywhere from anemia to constipation. Dr. Murphy will have to wait until the test results are back to be able to narrow down a potential diagnosis. Another emergency is brought in and Dr. Murphy walks out of the office.

Dr. Murphy having a moment with a new patient!

8:05 p.m. – The emergency is a tiny pup that had been involved in a dogfight. This time it’s a long-haired Chihuahua weighing in at four pounds. He’s shaking, but still manages to kiss anyone he comes in contact with. Dr. Murphy checks everything. His eyes, ears, chest, legs, and stomach. He listens to his heart and lungs. And X-rays are taken.

9:15 p.m. Dr. Murphy discusses the extent of the injuries and care options with the family. One of his eyes is going to have to be removed. The dog has a few punctures around his torso and will have to have a tooth extracted but other than that, it looks like he’ll be okay.

9:50 p.m. The Chihuahua is prepped for surgery and given anesthesia. After the dog goes under, Dr. Murphy scrubs in to perform the eye enucleation (removal). He also cleans and stiches the Chihuahua’s puncture wounds and extracts damaged tooth.

11:15 p.m. Dr. Murphy is done with another successful surgery. He calls the parents and says that they can pick up their pup in the morning and that he is doing well, though he is a little drowsy.

Dr. Murphy sits down for a few minutes and checks his voicemail. He then gets back up to take a walk through the patient ward to see how everyone is doing.

The hospital technically closes at 10 p.m. but the doctors are on-call for emergencies 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I didn’t stay past the surgery but I do know that two more emergencies were brought in after midnight.

Following Dr. Murphy was everything I thought it would be and so much more. Yes there were a lot of cute puppies to play with, but there was a lot of science, compassion, and care. From the slides to surgeries to research, no wonder they go to school for so long!

Feb 25, 2016 0 1488 Views

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“Calling Dr. Murphy.”

Tianna Winters

Craig Road Animal Hospital’s very own Marketing Manager Tianna Winters shadowed Dr. Shane Murphy during one of his shifts to get a feel of how the hospital runs and its culture. Below is her personal account of what it’s like to be a veterinarian in North West Las Vegas.

By Tianna Winters

I never thought that being a veterinary doctor was easy, but I also did not realize it would be quite so hard.

Their patients don’t talk. They squeak, bark, and meow. Sometimes they even growl. If my skin is terrible I go to a dermatologist. If my sight is blurry I go to the optometrist, and if I have a toothache I go to the dentist.

If any of these ailments are affecting my pet, I go to the vet. A doctor of veterinary medicine’s (DVM) education is never ending, even after the eight to 10 years it takes for them to receive their title. They have many different hats- a dietician, dentist, cardiologist, dermatologist, surgeon – the list goes on. A veterinarian must specialize in everything. They wear these different hats every day and sometimes multiple hats at the same time.

I decided to follow one doctor around. And to be honest, I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day…and I was just watching. I was there for appointments, walk-ins, and emergencies (that’s where the juggling really gets interesting).

2:00 p.m. – My “shift” has started. I’m following Dr. Shane Murphy, and I’m excited because I found out he shares my love for Star Wars and metal music, so we can have something to chat about during the slow periods. I think it must be nice to start in the afternoon, having your mornings all to yourself, until Dr. Murphy checks up on the emergency he had at 4 a.m.

Dr. Murphy was the “on-call” doctor the previous night. A Pomeranian was rushed in due to seizures. Dr. Murphy had to give the dog an injection to stop the seizures, run blood work, and then place a collar with bells attached to monitor for additional seizures. The patient had one more seizure that night and Dr. Murphy didn’t leave until 6 a.m., when the first doctor of the morning shift took over.

2:15 p.m. – Dr. Murphy’s first appointment of the day is an adorable Labrador puppy coming in for his first round of vaccines. This puppy is very playful and sweet. Dr. Murphy examines him while discussing new puppy care and how he is adjusting with his new family. Dr. Murphy then administers the vaccines right in the exam room. “Well that was easy,” he says.

Dr. Murphy checking in on one of his patients.

2:30 p.m. – “Dr. Murphy room seven.” His next appointment. As he walks into the exam room, he is also called again, this time to room four. He has now had three rooms in less than 30 minutes.

As we walk into room seven, we are greeted by a friendly Pit Bull mix with a huge smile on his face. The owner does not share his enthusiasm and has a look of distress. The dog has a mass that has sprouted between his toes and his Dad is worried it could be cancerous.

Dr. Murphy takes a look and proposes to take the dog into our treatment area to retrieve a sample. He explains that depending on what it is, there could be a few different ways to remove it. “The good news is that you brought him in as soon as you noticed it, and that could be very important,” he tells the owner.

2:50 p.m. – Dr. Murphy gives the dog to his exam room assistant to the treatment area while he goes and starts room four. Here we have a five-year-old Border Collie checking in for a laparoscopic spay, which is the removal of the reproductive organs using a smaller incision than the traditional spay. This type of spay uses a monitor and tiny camera to assist in the removal of the ovaries. Dr. Murphy explains the procedure to her parents and also, because of the dog’s age, suggests to have pre-operative blood work done to see if there are any health issues that could affect the surgery. They agree, and they let their baby know they’ll be back soon, and we’re off with the dog leading the way.

Next week: Find out just how we go about deciphering the cells in the mass. I also encounter my first emergency call. Stay tuned!

Feb 12, 2016 0 1470 Views

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Periodontal disease can affect more than your pet’s teeth

Orlena Tampira, DVM

Veterinarian Orlena Tampira of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas discusses the importance of proper dental care for canine and feline teeth.

By Orlena Tampira, DVM

Dental hygiene is just as important for your pets as it is for you. Not only can your loved one experience pain while chewing and bad breath, dogs and cats can experience the same diseases as humans like gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay. Without proper care, this bacteria can travel to the liver, kidneys, and heart through the blood stream.

Upper 4th premolar extracted due to extensive decay.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is very common in pets. Studies show that 85 percent of pets have gum disease by the age of three. A professional cleaning, is the only way to remove harmful plaque and bacteria, and assess the health of the mouth.

A proper dental cleaning involves placing your pet under anesthesia then scaling, polishing, and evaluating each tooth. Without anesthesia, these steps could not be performed properly thus decreasing the benefit of performing a dental.

Tartar build up on canine teeth.

Things that you can do at home involve daily tooth brushing with pet toothpaste and certain foods or treats.

Dental health is very important in keeping a happy, healthy pet. Signs that your pet may need a cleaning could be bad breath, drooling, pawing at the mouth, loose or missing teeth, or discomfort while chewing. As always, it is best for a veterinarian to evaluate the mouth, any of our doctors would be more than happy to help you out with any questions or concerns you have.

Want to watch the entire dental cleaning process? You can see what a difference we made on Chip, a Greyhound, here:

Jan 25, 2016 0 1454 Views

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Pet of the Month December 2015

Our Pet of the Month for December 2015 is Linus!

Meet Linus, a beautiful long-coated Dalmatian. The six-year-old has a long list of jobs attached to his resume including a therapy dog, agility competitor, and has even modeled! But his favorite role is being his mom’s best friend. He is an absolute lover and is completely attached to mom who rescued Linus from a shelter in Waco, Texas.  

Congratulations Linus, you’re our December 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 info@craigrd.com .

Dec 2, 2015 0 1545 Views

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“Why does my dog eat poop?!?”

Kurt Mychajlonka, DVM

Veterinarian Kurt Mychajlonka D.V.M. [Dr.Mych] of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas identifies the causes why a dog might eat his own feces, aka coprophagia, and shares some helpful tips on how to nix the dirty habit.

By Kurt Mychajlonka, DVM

Yes, dogs eat poop, no matter how horrified the owner may be. But eating poop-technically known as coprophagia-is actually a common canine behavior.

When puppies are first born, mother dogs clean their puppies and ingest their feces and urine in the process. And yes, cat mothers do the same thing. Newborn pups are pretty helpless in the beginning-they can’t see, they can’t walk. The nest would get unsanitary very quickly if the mother were to allow the waste to accumulate. It is only when the puppies start eating solid food and are able to leave the nest to relieve themselves, that mom doesn’t have to worry about those little snacks left around.

“Thanks for the clean-up, mom!”

Although this behavior is recognized as natural canine behavior, it shouldn’t be ignored and may require medical attention or behavior modification.
In the instance of indoor accidents, dogs may develop a connection between punishment and presence of fecal material. Dogs may ingest their own feces so they won’t get into trouble. This is why it is important to not use negative reinforcement when housebreaking.

Boredom can be another reason for dogs to eat feces. A busy dog doesn’t have time to be bored, so increase your dog’s daily exercise through walks, playing ball, or practicing obedience commands or tricks. Give your dog a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter, or their favorite treat, to keep your dog entertained and distracted.

Another strategy to combat coprophagia is to change to a different variety of dog food. Your veterinarian may recommend a prescription or hypoallergenic diet to address underlying digestive problems. Ask your veterinarian about your individual dog’s health and diet recommendations. Always mix the new food in with the old to gradually change it over a period of 7 to 10 days.

Coprophagia can be caused by a multitude of medical and behavioral symptoms.

Another tool to break the stool eating habits are food additives like CoproBan, a roast beef flavored soft chew which is fed along with a meal and has the effect of making the stool taste undesirable. Yes, as if stool didn’t already sound undesirable tasting enough!

If none of the above works, there may be a medical problem going on with your pet. Intestinal parasites can cause dogs to eat waste due to changes in their stool. Provide a fresh fecal sample to your veterinarian to screen for any parasites. Underfeeding, a poor quality diet, or going too long between meals, may contribute to coprophagia. Your veterinarian can help evaluate your dog’s weight, provide a dietary recommendation, and provide an individualized feeding schedule that best suits your dog’s needs.

Constant outdoor supervision combined with positive reinforcement training is another method to help kick your dog of this particular habit. You’ll need a collar or head halter for the dog, a leash, and some small treats that they favor. If your dog is easy to handle, just a collar will suffice. A head halter is used for dogs more motivated to ingest feces as it will give you more control of the dog’s mouth than a collar alone. Always use the leash when taking your dog out to use the potty. The moment your pet’s waste hits the ground, call the dog over to you while keeping the treats out of sight. As soon as your dog reaches you, praise them and give them the treat. Then back away, call them again, and give them another treat. Repeat this process three to four times and the dog will have completely forgotten about his poop.

Make sure to clean stool up immediately, but only when your dog isn’t around. The best way to combat the desire to eat poop is to not have it near them. Not only is it unhealthy for your dog to eat waste, it isn’t sanitary to have feces lying around for you either. It is important to start intervention as soon as you notice your dog eating his own waste. The less time the habit gets to develop the easier it will fade. As with many behavior problems, supervision is key. Do not leave your dog unsupervised in the backyard- you cannot prevent what you aren’t witnessing!

If you encounter your dog in the act of snacking on feces, resist the temptation to yell and chase him about. Yelling and chasing may serve as reinforcement of this “game” in the future. The better strategy is to distract your dog with a squeaky toy or running in the opposite direction- either game is more fun and will distract your dog from the fecal treat nearby.

So don’t feel too bad when you notice your dog treating themselves to their own or someone else’s poop as a snack. You’re not alone, and neither are they.

Nov 13, 2015 0 2027 Views

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Beware of the monsters inside

Katherine Ballor, DVM

Veterinarian Katherine Ballor of Craig Road Animal Hospital discusses what you can do to help detect parasites in your pet’s gastrointestinal tracts. These invisible monsters can make you and your loved one very sick. The following are the most common parasites found here in North West Las Vegas.

By Katherine Ballor, DVM

Fecal tests are one of the easiest forms of preventative care for your pet.

It isn’t because we enjoy dealing with poop, it’s because it allows us to check your dog or cat for internal parasites. Parasites are fairly common and because they are invisible to the naked eye, a fecal check is the only way to detect them. The initial stages of infection often have no symptoms. Did I mention that many of these parasites can be transferred from your pet to those living in your household? Children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals are at the highest risk of contracting these freeloaders. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), roundworms, initially contracted by dogs and cats, infect up to 14 percent of humans living in the United States.

Roundworm-Toxocariasis [courtesy of CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin]

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website tracks and shares infection rates by state and county. In Clark County, roundworms were found in 1 out of 111 dogs tested. Roundworms are usually found in poop or vomit and the adult worms resemble spaghetti. This parasite feeds on the intestinal wall of the infected animal. Puppies tend to be at the highest risk for this parasite. Deworming your puppy as early as six weeks old is recommend and we also suggest deworming any female animals before they breed and during their pregnancy.

adult roundworm [courtesy of CDC]

Roundworm infections can come from eating infected small mammals such as mice, or drinking milk from a contaminated mother. Soil can also be a source of infection-particularly potting soil. The best way to help prevent the spread of roundworms is by picking up your dog’s feces regularly. Keep children from playing in the areas where animal feces are found to avoid possible pet to human infection.

Hookworm is another nasty parasite that can have a severe effect on your pet, and is potentially fatal in extreme cases. In Clark County, according to CAPC, hookworms have been found in 1 out of 170 dogs tested. Like roundworms, hookworms can also thrive in cats, and humans. There are three different species found in dogs and some can infect humans by simply migrating through the skin. Trust me, you don’t want these in your body. The hookworm gets its’ name from literally hooking itself to the intestinal wall. It feeds on your pet’s blood and tissues and can even detach itself to move onto another spot, leaving ulcers behind.

A hookworm attached to the intestinal wall [courtesy of CDC]

Most hookworms are passed through the feces and the larvae will hatch under moist, warm conditions. They can also be ingested when your dog licks the ground or grooms themselves where the larvae may be present. And as mentioned earlier, they can migrate through the skin, typically through the paws and stomach. Signs your pet may have an infection are weight loss, pale gums, diarrhea, and a bloody stool. To reduce the chances of contracting hookworm, pick up pet waste on a daily basis and keep areas where humans have direct contact to the ground clean.

Another common parasite found in Las Vegas is Giardia. This parasite can be transmitted to humans and is completely invisible by the naked eye. Giardia infection often shows no symptoms in most dogs until the later stages after the parasite has already colonized in the intestines. The parasite then feasts off of the intestines preventing the animal from receiving the nutrients it needs causing diarrhea and weight loss.

An electron micrograph view of Giardia.
[courtesy of CDC/ Dr. Stan Erlandsen]

The diarrhea caused by a Giardia infection is frequent, urgent, and is often paired with a very bad smell and mucus. While Giardia, like all parasitic infections, is treatable, it can take a significant amount of time and be extremely frustrating due to the pet re-infecting itself while grooming. Your pet can initially get this parasite from drinking contaminated water, playing in parks, and from infected food.

Giardia is something that can only be diagnosed by a veterinarian from a fecal sample. This parasite often infects puppies and is very common in dogs under three years old.

While there are currently no preventative vaccines for Giardia, you can help prevent contamination by always providing clean water when on walks and not allowing your dog to drink from natural sources. Also eliminate any standing water sources like puddles or drainage in areas around the home.

To protect your pet, and by extension your family, from parasites we recommend fecal examinations two to four times in the first year of life and then one to two times a year after that or at any time you suspect your pet may infected. The fresher the stool sample the better the results! A same day sample is preferred. We aren’t afraid of poop, so don’t worry about us. We just want you to have a healthy, happy pet. I cannot stress enough how important these tests are in preventative care for your loved one.

Happy pooping!

Oct 16, 2015 1 1289 Views

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They call him Dr. Google

Tiffany Major, DVM

By Tiffany Major, DVM

We’ve all done it. Whenever we start to feel like we are coming down with something, we type out a list of our symptoms and send them over to “Dr. Google”. While some find answers, others have scared themselves into believing that what they thought was the flu is now full-blown Ebola.

Most doctors feel that googling treatments isn’t the best idea, and we agree. When it comes to diagnosing your pet, I only have this to say: the internet is no easy answer. As humans, we have the gift of speech. We are able to communicate with others to let them know when we don’t feel right. And when we are getting worse.

Your pet on the other hand cannot always let you know what is wrong, and sometimes, the symptoms only show when it is too late. Annual check-ups are strongly recommended and one of the most important factors in preventative care. But too often I see emergencies where a pet is brought in with an exacerbated condition because their owner decided to treat them with a Dr. Google prescription.

Not everything on the internet is bad. While some “Ask a Vet” websites could be useful when asking non-emergency questions such as “can I give my dog turkey on Thanksgiving?” or “what’s the easiest way to crate train?” These are non-threatening questions and don’t need emergency medical care.

And there are many websites that provide useful information for our pets to live long, happy lives including ours. I cannot speak for all websites, but I know that craigrd.com is here to help you identify signs that you may need to seek medical help from a professional. Our website is here so that you have information on what to do in the first few minutes of an emergency until you can get to a professional, and information online so that you know when you need a professional.

Performing a routine check up.

But when your pet is experiencing rapid weight loss, vomiting, pale gums, coughing, having diarrhea or anything along those lines, please get professional help.

We would never diagnose anything over the phone or through our website because just like humans, all animals are different. The only way to know what is wrong is to bring in your pet to get checked out. Just like many other states, Nevada law says it is illegal for a veterinarian to diagnose, treat, or prescribe anything to a pet if they haven’t completed a physical exam on them within the past 12 months or if they have a new condition.

Common problems I run into when owners’ google signs and symptoms on their own are misdiagnosis, giving their pet the wrong treatment and even death. One client came in with a very sick dog and told me that they read on the internet that you can give your dog any human medication. No, you can’t. As a result, they gave their dog human pain medication and poisoned a four-legged family member. By the time we saw her, she was near death.

While there are human medications safe for your pet, it is always best to check with a professional prior to giving to ensure it is okay to give, and the proper dosage to give.

A 10 to 20 pound dog cannot take the same dosage as a 60 pound dog or a 200 pound human being. Furthermore, human medications can be poisonous for your pet if given at an improper dose – just like some foods are.  

We love our pets and never want them to be in any kind of pain, but one of the reasons why Dr. Google is no good is because it is purely information without any context.  Veterinarians have over eight years of schooling plus years of experience in the field. We call it “practice” because we practice veterinary medicine throughout our careers.

If you ever feel that something is wrong with your pet, please don’t wait. Come see us, our job is to give the best care possible so that your loved one can get back to their normal selves.

Sep 23, 2015 0 1835 Views

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Pet of the Month September 2015

Our Pet of the Month for September 2015 is Cali!

Cali is what her mom calls a “free spirit”. This two year old bulldog comes from a rescue in California. Cali loves people and becomes quite a ham when she notices a camera around. She loves playing with children and puppies, but her favorite hobby is taking a dip in the pool. This fashionista also has quite an extensive wardrobe, mostly full of pink dresses. Cali loves to cuddle and share kisses. when she isn’t swimming the pool, you can find this love bug curled up on her mother’s lap. Congratulations Cali, you’re our September 2015 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 info@craigrd.com .

Aug 31, 2015 0 1807 Views

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How Well Are We Doing June 2013?

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.

Mike Falconer, Hospital Administrator

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!

Donna K.

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.

Lorraine S.

Always good service and care. Thank You Ruth and Lorraine

Valerie K.

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.

Jeri W.

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.

Jackie R.

Great people – great care -

Alexandra A.

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!

Terry S.

I drive over 40 miles round trip to see Dr. Mych because he’s so awesome!!

Thelma S.

I really appreciate the caring and compassion I and my peta receive every time we come in.

Margery M.

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

Betteann M.

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.

Hillary R.

I absolutely love this hospital, the best experience I’ve ever had. Great staff and doctors. Thank you

Carol P.

You cared a great deal for Mattie. We adore her and wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her.Thank you.

Ben J.

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.

Calvin L.

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.

Anna R.

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. :)

Nancy B.

The staff are always so nice and friendly, love taking of babies to Craig Rd Hospital, thank you

Carol K.

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.

Sharon B.

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!

Kim K.

Love Dr Roach..he was worth waiting for

Sarah P.

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

Caroline M.


Cristina O.

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.

Matt L.

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.

Karen R.

Everyone was friendly, helpful and professional.

Bridgette R.

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!

Joyce M.


Karen B.

You guys are great!

Rebecca G.

I love this hospital and refer everyone I know here

Shannan A.

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.

Richard H.

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.

Melanie R.

Everyone at Craig Road Animal Hospital has been so helpful and great! Dr. Tampira is awesome :0)

David A.

Dr. Daniels is by far and wide the best!

Beverley M.

We boarded April and as usual, everyone made her feel loved.

Sarah S.

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.

Sabrina G.

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!

Sue E.

I love the hours that you are open, Makes it much easier for a working person than many other vet clinics

Carrie D.

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.

Nancy S.

We really like Dr Roach :-)

Mickie O.

You all are the best!

Jul 10, 2013 0 5796 Views

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Channel 8′s News Now Segment on Craig Road Animal Hospital

Apr 27, 2013 0 3624 Views

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Six Days Until the Open House!

Mike Falconer, Hospital Administrator

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.

Dr. Debbie White being interviewed by Channel Eight’s Denise Valdez.

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.

Dr. Tampira and Jessica, on of our veterinary assistants, performing an ear exam under the camera’s watchful gaze.

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.

Ray, one of our Licensed Veterinary Technicians, being filmed while performing a dental procedure.

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.

Dr. Mych being filmed while performing a laparoscopic spay.

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!

Dr. White (Radio’s Dr. Debbie), and Channel Eight’s Denise Valdez.


Apr 22, 2013 2 4026 Views

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20 Days Until the Open House!

Mike Falconer, Hospital Administrator

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.

One of our wall images that our Facebook fans kindly submitted captions for.

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.

The final completed banner for the front of the building. Note the logos for our vendors at the bottom.

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!

Apr 8, 2013 0 3339 Views

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27 days until the Open House!

Mike Falconer

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.

Still some modifications to make but our materials for the open house will look something like this!

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!

Apr 1, 2013 2 4144 Views

phone: 702.645.0331 | fax: 702.645.5009 |
5051 W. Craig Road Las Vegas, NV 89130
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