Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital welcomes you to our website!
The doctors and team at Star of Texas believe you should be as much a part of your pet's care as you want. We have an open door policy; we allow and encourage you to come in and tour the hospital, meet our doctors, visit your boarding or sick pet, and even watch your pet's dental procedure. We welcome you to feel comfortable and at home in our hospital. Even if you are not a client of ours, please feel free to stop by for a tour and to meet our wonderful team!
Receive 10% off all dental procedures in the month of February!
For more information on dental procedures and why they are an important part of your pet's overall health, please read below.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3 years. Indications of periodontal disease include bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth, or depression. However, your pet may not show any of these outward signs, even if periodontal disease is present. If your pet is older than 2 years, or if any of these signs are present, he or she should be seen by a veterinarian for a dental exam. Just as in humans, plaque (which is bacteria) accumulates on your pet’s teeth. If the plaque is not removed from the tooth surface, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) can develop. If the plaque is not removed from the tooth surface it calcifies and forms calculus (tartar).
Without proper dental care, plaque and calculus buildup can lead to periodontal disease. Unlike gingivitis (which is reversible), periodontitis is not reversible. We can stop the progression of periodontal disease by cleaning your pet’s teeth under general anesthesia and implementing ways to reduce the rate of plaque and calculus build up once your pet is back at home. Periodontitis can cause red, swollen and tender gums, gum recession, bleeding, infection, pain and bad breath. If left untreated, periodontitis can result in tooth loss.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include yellow/brown calculus (tartar) buildup along the gum line, red inflamed gums, and persistent bad breath. The infection caused by periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and adversely affect the heart, liver and kidneys. Periodontal disease is common in all dogs, regardless of their size, so annual dental exams are important for every breed. However, small breed dogs are particularly prone to periodontal disease because their mouths are smaller, forcing their teeth closer together and making it especially difficult to keep the teeth clean. Because of this, small dogs often need dental checkups and professional cleanings more frequently than larger dogs.
Periodontal disease is also common in cats, but in addition to periodontal disease, cats can also develop painful “cat cavities,” called feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs). Although the cause is unknown, FORLs are quite common, affecting 30-50% of cats. Signs that your cat may have one of these “cat cavities” include drooling, bleeding from the mouth, or difficulty chewing. It is important to realize, however, that a majority of affected cats do not show obvious signs but are indeed experiencing pain. After these painful teeth are extracted, cats that were shy and withdrawn often become more active, social members of the household.
In order to help prevent dental disease, we recommend:
1. Scheduling a dental exam and, if needed, a professional dental cleaning under general anesthesia. Call us to schedule a dental exam. We will let you know if a cleaning is recommended, and can arrange for one if needed.
2. Establishing an at-home dental care regimen that can include any or all of the following:
• Regular tooth brushing. It’s best to start brushing while your pet is young, but adult dogs and cats can also learn
to tolerate, and even enjoy having their teeth brushed. Toothpastes for dogs and cats are specially formulated to suit their
taste buds (i.e. malt or chicken flavor), and are safe for the pet to swallow. Human toothpastes are not recommended
because they can upset your pet’s stomach (pets don’t spit out the toothpaste like we do).
• Feed Your Pet a Special “Tooth Diet.” Certain pet foods have been developed which show some efficacy in the removal of
plaque and calculus (tartar). Encourage chewing with safe chew toys. Chewing on compressed rawhide, for example, can
clean the teeth, and is considered safe because it breaks up into small pieces and should not cause an intestinal blockage.
However, it is important to ensure that the size of the rawhide chew is appropriate for the size of the dog.
• Increase your pets chewing activity. Use of safe chew toys and large fresh knuckle bones aids in plaque removal.
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We are Cat Friendly Certified!
We are 1 of 5 hospitals in Austin and were one of the first in all of Texas to be certified! We love all our patients, but sometimes, our patients get a little stressed out when visiting us. This is especially true of some of our feline patients! So, in conjunction with the American Association of Feline Practitioners, we have followed the strict guidelines to become a certified Cat Friendly Practice! Here are a few details:
The Cat Friendly Practice program seeks to transform and elevate the delivery of feline veterinary care by:
- Laying the groundwork for the delivery of care to the under served feline population.
- Identifying trends and baseline species information essential for understanding cats.
- Acknowledging the essential role of the cat owner in the veterinary visit.
- Providing support to veterinarians and their teams to create a cat friendly practice environment.
- Outlining strategies for introducing changes in the delivery of care that incorporate a better understanding of the cat?s distinct needs and behaviors.
We have been working hard to make Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital comfortable for you and your cat. We have made one exam room "Cat Only". We have always had completely separate cat boarding area far away from the hustle and bustle of daily veterinary work. Please drop by and ask to see our cat room and boarding!
Cat Room and Cat Boarding includes: Zen music, scratching posts, Feliway Diffuser, comfy beds, rug, tree, and other furniture to have a more home-y feel, cushion on the table top, treats, and catnip. Cat boarding also includes plenty of peace and quiet!
We understand the special role your pet plays in your family and are dedicated to becoming your partner in your pet's health care. We treat your pet as we would our own. Our goal is to practice the highest quality medicine and surgery with compassion and an emphasis on client education. Our entire healthcare team is committed to providing personal attention to the unique concerns of each individual pet owner.
At this site, you will find information about our practice philosophy, our services, helpful forms to assist you and an extensive Pet Medical Libraryfor you to search for additional pet health care information.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our veterinary practice and the services we offer. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact us at (512)291-1600 for all your pet health care needs.