Henderson Animal Care Hospital

3462 US HWY 79 S
Henderson, TX 75654



De-stressing the stressful office visit - 02/23/2018

Does the thought of taking your pet to the vet make your blood pressure increase? Does your pet become uncontrollable outside of your home? Would you like to make your veterinary visit more comfortable for you and your pet?


Reducing stress starts before you even walk into our doors. There are many things you as an owner can do at home to reduce your pet’s anxiety as well as your own.

  • If you plan to bring your pet in a carrier, make the carrier part of their every day life. You may leave the carrier in a place they like to sleep to make them comfortable around and inside the carrier. You can also feed them or give them treats inside the carrier.
  • Frequently hold your pet. Touching their feet, ears, and tail at home will make them more accepting of a stranger doing the same things.
  • If you plan to bring your pet on a leash, make sure they are comfortable with the collar, leash, and harness before you ever leave your house.
  • You can take non-veterinary trips in your car at increasing lengths to acclimate the pet to a car trip. This also could help you as an owner identify motion sickness or car-anxiety. These can be treated with anti-nausea medications, tranquilizers, and other medications.
  • If you have financial limitations, please ask for an estimate when scheduling an appointment. For most routine visits, the receptionist can give you a range of cost to help you feel prepared. For non-routine visits, the receptionist will make a note of your concerns. During the visit, we can discuss our treatment plan with you and can adjust it as necessary.

When you bring your pet to the clinic, we do our best to make things as comfortable as possible.

  • Bring your pet to the vet for brief “just because” visits. We enjoy loving on pets and making their visits pleasant. Brief, positive interactions will make an unpleasant visit less stressful. This is especially helpful when socializing puppies. When a puppy is young, it is more accepting of new places, smells, and experiences. As a puppy grows and it becomes more suspicious of new things, it has already had pleasant experiences at the clinic.
  • If you would like assistance coming into or leaving the building, we would be more than happy to help.
  • We are flexible and try to accommodate every pet’s preferences.
    • We can work on the floor for larger dogs who are uncomfortable on a table.
    • We can use a towel to cover a patient’s face to make them feel more secure.
    • We encourage the use of treats to make a visit more positive.
    • We can perform services in many different positions, with the pet on their side, sitting, standing, or laying.
    • We can examine a pet inside a carrier (with the top removed).
    • We use and can prescribe sedative medications for extremely nervous pets.
    • We can take your pet to our treatment area to keep them from feeling the need to protect you.
    • We usually guide you directly to an exam room, eliminating the waiting room anxiety.
    • Unfortunately, we cannot let you hold your own pet during treatments due to liability laws, but we welcome you to talk to and comfort your pet during the visit.
    • Some pets enjoy lots of physical contact (petting, scratching, etc.) and some prefer not to be touched. We try to accommodate this as much as possible.
  • When a pet is injured or painful, we may recommend analgesia (pain medication) or anesthesia before examination or treatment.
  • Please ask questions if you are unsure of anything we are telling you. We want our clients to feel comfortable with any information we share as well as the treatment plan we recommend for your pet.

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There are many benefits of a stress-free visit. Besides the satisfying knowledge that your pet is more comfortable, you are more relaxed and may even have a more pleasant appointment than you have ever experienced before. There are medical benefits for your pet as well. A relaxed patient’s physical exam, vital signs, and blood tests are more accurate, they require less sedation, less immune system suppression, and experience less stress-related vomiting and diarrhea.

Our goal at Henderson Animal Care Hospital is to make your visit the most pleasant possible. We look forward to seeing you soon!




Does Acupuncture really work? - 02/16/2018

I am often asked the question: “Does acupuncture really work?” I always tell clients to let the patient tell us. Acupuncture (or any medical or non-medical treatment for that matter), does not have the “sugar pill” effect on animals as it does on humans. If a procedure or medication works, you will know it. With the previous statement in mind, I thought I would share an acupuncture case with you and allow you to see for yourself whether or not acupuncture works.

dovie acupuncture

This is Dovie. She is an 8 ½ year old American Eskimo Husky. She was rescued by her humans in Texas where her previous humans surrendered her to the American Eskimo rescue organization. So what’s Dovie’s problem? About a year prior to our first exam with her, Dovie started vomiting. She would vomit daily to several times a day, EVERY day. Mostly in the mornings or after drinking water. Dovie’s parents took her to their primary veterinarian. He ran labwork, xrays, eventually did an endoscopy exam; tried several medications, but nothing was helping Dovie. The treatments, diet changes, and diagnostics had been exhausted, and Dovie continued to vomit daily. As a last resort, Dovie’s dad called a veterinarian in Hawaii. He suggested that they take Dovie to a good dog acupuncturist. Luckily, they found a dog acupuncture clinic in Henderson, Texas.

On Dovie’s first visit she was nervous and our staff learned that she is very aggressive toward other people and that she WILL bite. Our first acupuncture session was eventful. Dovie was so apprehensive and anxious about others touching her that she screamed every time we placed an acupuncture needle. We finally applied all the points she needed and turned on our stim device. She relaxed some, but not a lot.

The week following her first treatment, Dovie did not improve much as far as her vomiting. During her second treatment, one week later, Dovie was a bit better on allowing us to apply her needles. This time, after turning on our stim device, Dovie relaxed. She closed her eyes and almost fell asleep during treatment. We continued to treat Dovie weekly for a while. After the third treatment, her humans let me know that she had only vomited once or twice the previous week!! Outstanding news!! And zero medication! A few weeks later, they told me that she was not vomiting at all!!!! Yay! At that time, we started increasing the length of time between treatments by one week. Almost two years later, we acupuncture Dovie every six weeks. If we go longer than six weeks, she starts vomiting every day that sixth week. Amazing.

So, does acupuncture work? I think so.

Some facts about medical animal acupuncture:

Veterinary or animal acupuncture was discovered when lame horses used in battle were found to become sound after being hit by arrows at distinct points. Acupuncture has been a form of treating a multitude of ailments and diseases for thousands of years. Veterinary acupuncture is very similar to human acupuncture with the exceptions of a few points due to anatomy.

Medical acupuncture is actually a scientific aid in the treatment of several medical conditions. Medical acupuncture uses points associated with blood vessels and nerves as opposed to random points used thousands of years ago; although, they are similar. Acupuncture works by stimulating nerves and blood vessels in the area of concern. It also releases endorphins to aid in pain control and to ease anxiety.   The main mechanism of action is to stimulate a neuron, which in turn travels to the spinal cord, gives a signal, and then returns to the area of concern. The area of concern is chosen by acupuncture “points” that have been studied and proven effective.

Acupuncture is not meant to completely replace modern medicine, but if used, the amount of medications needed can be significantly decreased and possibly discontinued. This is especially important in aging animals with chronic arthritis. The liver and the kidneys can only handle so much medication, and acupuncture allows these medications to be decreased, and often discontinued. Some patients are maintained on all natural joint supplements with acupuncture and no arthritis medicine is needed.

Acupuncture can also aid in the treatment of kidney and liver disease, as well as appetite stimulation and pain control in cancer patients. Acupuncture is used to stimulate the immune system in cases of allergies and auto-immune disorders.


I challenge you to try acupuncture for your dog, cat, parrot, horse, or cow!

Lori Cavitt, MS, DVM, cVMA

Henderson Animal Care Hospital

Henderson, TX 75654



horse acupuncture


Why is preanesthetic labwork important? - 04/18/2016

Does Fido have a broken leg? Did Fifi swallow her nylon dog bone? Does Bingo have a laceration? Or is your pet a going to have an elective surgery (spay/neuter)?

Patients of all ages can appear perfectly “normal” and “healthy”, yet their bodies have internal issues that we cannot see externally. Bloodwork not only helps us decide which anesthetic protocol to use, but it also gives your pet the best chance of recovery when we can use the anesthetic protocol that best suits your pet’s need before, during, and after anesthesia.

There are some diseases that can be potentially fatal if not detected before undergoing anesthesia. For example, PUPPIES can have kidney/liver failure. Yes, it is completely possible to have at such a young age. I have personally seen this multiple times during my career. Another example is something called a “portosystemic shunt”. This means that toxins, including anesthesia, bypass the liver and (instead of being filtered by the liver) are put directly into the rest of the body. This is extremely dangerous and is why it is so important to check how the liver/kidneys are functioning prior to anesthesia.

Heartworm testing is vital if the patient is not current on heartworm prevention.  Pets’ with a pre-existing heartworm condition are at a much greater risk of complications.

Thee are risk with anesthesia, however, the risk are much lower when we are able to see what is happening internally.

-Malia, RVT

Kitten Care Tips - 03/01/2016

Cats and kittens have a reputation of being low-maintenance pets. If you are living in the presence of such a creature, you know that they can be quite the opposite. People who are cat-lovers flood the internet with hilarious cat memes describing the peculiarity of the species.


We have compiled a list of the answers to the most common cat-related questions as well as some tips for keeping you kitty healthy and happy.

  • Kittens are born with maternal antibodies against deadly viruses such as Rabies, and Feline Leukemia. Maternal antibodies eventually leave the body and a kitten needs vaccinations to continue immunity. We base our vaccination schedule on the latest research recommendations and use the best vaccines available.
  • Protect your kitten from parasites.
    • Flea and tick prevention comes in many different forms and can protect your pet from allergy issues and diseases carried by these parasites.
    • Some forms of flea prevention have intestinal parasite protection added.
  • We recommend feeding a good quality kitten food for the first year. (We would be happy to share our brand and type recommendations.)
    • Avoid Raw Diets that can contain bacteria such as salmonella, parasites, and protozoa.
    • Corn and other grains in a prepared food are cooked, therefore easily digestible and are not common causes of food allergies.
    • By-Products are not low quality ingredients. Nutrient-rich broth, gelatin, and clean parts other than meat (i.e. liver) are labeled as by-products.
    • We recommend feeding a diet that consists of wet and dry food to promote healthy weight, supplement water intake, and broaden the cat’s food preferences.
  • Cats thrive in low-stress environments and do not like sudden changes. This means that the less change they have to endure is better.
    • If you do have to change food, litter, or toys it is recommended that you place the new item next to the old item for several days to allow the cat to choose the change.
    • If your home is a busy place, make sure your cats have access to a dark quiet area to help them feel safe.
  • Cats need high quality food provided in a quiet area.
    • Cats prefer bowls that allow them to eat and drink without touching their whiskers to the sides. Wide, shallow dishes and saucers work best for this.
    • If you have more than one cat, have separate food bowls for each cat.
  • Provide clean, fresh water at all times. Some cats prefer a drinking fountain.
  • Place litter boxes in private, quiet areas to ensure the cat feels safe.
    • It is recommended that you provide a litter box for each cat in the household plus one extra.
    • It is important to remove waste from the box daily. Cats are clean animals and will choose to eliminate in a clean spot, even if they soil your rugs, laundry, or other items.
    • Cat’s noses are very sensitive to smells. Most cats prefer a fine-textured and unscented litter.
  • Provide your kitten with lots of opportunity to play. This keeps your kitten active and helps maintain a healthy weight.
    • Play with interactive toys keeps your kitten from going after your hands and feet as well.
    • Cardboard boxes and paper sacks make for inexpensive toys.
    • It also helps to rotate toys so that the cat will not get bored with one toy.


  • Cats enjoy hiding, watching, and sleeping from a perch (off of the ground). They also like to look out of windows.
    • If necessary, purchase inexpensive shelving or a kitty condo.
    • If possible, keep blinds and curtains raised a small amount so that the cat doesn’t damage your window coverings.
  • It is normal for cats to scratch. They use scratching areas to define territory visually and by smell.
    • Most cats prefer a vertical scratching post, but some do like a horizontal area.
    • Purchase a sturdy post covered in rope, rough fabric, or wood.
    • Locate the post near a window or a sleeping area as some cats like to use it to stretch upon waking.
    • Kittens can be trained to use a post or designated area to prevent them from destroying unwanted areas.
  • Cats communicate with body language. Pay attention to the position of the cat’s ears, tail, and hackles. It is also good to know his or her “normal” behaviors, (i.e. activity level, food and water consumption, elimination behaviors, grooming habits, sleeping habits, and vocalization) because even slight changes can indicate an illness.
  • Keep your cat carrier in a quiet place with bedding inside so that your cat may become more comfortable inside of it. If it is a pleasant place that the cat is used to, trips to the veterinarian office may be less stressful.


Puppy Care Tips - 02/01/2016

Who doesn’t love watching a new puppy grow? They are all clumsiness, fun, and love. As puppies mature, pet owners can teach them good habits as well as bad habits.  In order to help your puppy to have a long and happy life, we have gathered some basic care and training tips. Training requires a little effort, but to raise a well socialized dog is worth every bit of time it takes.


o    Puppies are born with maternal antibodies against deadly viruses such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. Maternal antibodies eventually leave the body and a puppy needs vaccinations to continue immunity. We base our vaccination schedule on the latest research recommendations and use the best vaccines available.

o    We recommend feeding a good quality puppy food until the puppy is 1 year old. (We would be happy to share our brand and type recommendations.)

o    Avoid Raw Diets that can contain bacteria such as salmonella, parasites, and protozoa.

o    Corn and other grains in a food are cooked, therefore easily digestible and are not common causes of food allergies.

o    By-Products are not low quality ingredients. Nutritious broth, gelatin, and clean parts other than meat (i.e. liver) are labeled as by-products.

o    Protect your puppy from parasites.

o    Heartworm disease is a very prevalent problem in our area. Heartworm prevention comes in many different forms to fit your schedule and your pet’s preferences.

o    Intestinal parasite protection is added to most forms of heartworm prevention.

o    Flea and tick prevention is also available in many different forms and can protect your pet from allergy issues and diseases carried by these parasites.

o    House Training Basics

o    When first starting, take the puppy outside every hour. Most puppies will be able to “hold it” for the number of months old they are plus one. (A 3 month old puppy can probably go 4 hours.)

o    During training, supervision or confinement is not an option. Any time the puppy has an accident in the house that you do not see are essentially your fault, and only lead to confusion for the puppy. Punishment will not work to prevent an accident in the future.

o    Crate-training is a popular and very successful method of potty training. Any time you cannot have full attention on the puppy, he should be in the crate. The crate should be just big enough for the puppy to stand (without head touching) and turn around in.

o    A common way to keep puppy close and in your view is on a leash tied to your belt.

o    Use a command such as “go potty” only when you want a puppy to eliminate right where they are, and use a word such as “outside” when you want to call the puppy to the door.

o    If you see the puppy start to have an accident inside, distract the puppy with a word such as “outside,” pick up the puppy, and promptly take it to an appropriate place and say “Go potty.”

o    Keep a regular feeding schedule. A puppy will usually need to defecate 10-15 minutes after a meal.

o    If the puppy does not eliminate while outside, especially if they will have an accident as soon as you take them back in, put them directly into the crate. Take the puppy back outside after 2-5 minutes. Puppies have a short attention span and will often be distracted by the exciting things going on outside and forget why they are there in the first place. Returning them to the crate reminds them that they need to go.

o    Use an enzymatic cleaner on any accidents in the house to remove the odor. If you do not remove the scent, a dog’s instincts will draw him back to the same place.

o    Teaching your dog basic commands i.e. sit, stay, down, can be helpful in stressful or exciting situations. A command that they know how to respond to will help to calm the puppy in a situation that they do not understand. Reward a puppy as soon as they perform the command, not after they get up.


o    Teaching the command “no” will help your puppy know when their behavior is unacceptable. Also, when your puppy is misbehaving, it helps to distract the puppy with a loud noise, an acceptable toy, or a command.

o    Early socialization (learning to be a part of society) is important to help your puppy grow up to be healthy, both physically and mentally. Between 3-12 weeks, puppies are very accepting of new things. After about 12 weeks, puppies start to be very cautious of anything they have not encountered yet. Puppy training classes help your puppy to become used to new people, places, and other dogs.

o    When your puppy wants to play bite, use “ouch” or “no,” remove your hand, and replace it with an acceptable chew or play toy.

o    For your puppy’s safety, wearing a collar and a leash are very important.

o    We sell Lupine brand leashes that are guaranteed, even if chewed.

o    Place the collar on the puppy at a time when there are other things going on, i.e. meal time or play time.

o    The puppy will probably scratch and fight the collar. When this happens, use a toy or play to distract the puppy’s attention away from the collar. Do not take the collar off when puppy is bothering it. Wait until puppy seems to be distracted.

o    To stop or prevent jumping, teach the dog to sit when a person approaches. Have everyone interacting with the puppy to say “sit” when approaching him. When you are expecting guests, either leash or confine the dog for 15 minutes until it has settled down.

o    Veterinary Partner has a series of articles on canine behavior that may help answer any other questions or address any issues you are having.

White Boxer Dog Loki Puppy

White Boxer Dog Loki Puppy