Your Pet is Part of Our Family – Serving Comal County for over 40 years!

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Canyon Animal Clinic


Rio is a handsome boxer that suffered some traumatic events in a very short amount of time. One of which, was a horrible bite of some kind. Rio was bitten by an insect or spider that ended up causing a serious wound and infection. Rio suffered severe tissue damage and loss. Rio endured weeks of healing and therapy. Through it all, Rio and his owners were super troopers and Rio was always a great patient. We are happy to say that Rio is as good as new!

Canyon City Animal Hospital

princessPrincess is a black lab who comes weekly for doggie day care! One evening Princess was very sick and had a bloated abdomen. After an emergency exam it was found that Princess had a twisted stomach! This requires emergency surgery! Dr. Leakey dove right in and performed surgery! After a few days in the hospital, Princess is as good as new and back to her old self & back in day care! Her friends missed her! (She does not slow down – as you can see by the blurry picture!)

August 2014 by Dr. Ryan Bullock

I remember the frantic phone call well last summer when my brother’s wife was on the other end of the line telling me that their English Setter “Belle” had just been bitten several times by a rattlesnake (3 times in the neck and 5 times in the chest to be exact) while out on their land. My first thought was to get her emergency care, but my second thought was “thank goodness I had given her a rattlesnake vaccine 3 weeks prior when I had her in the clinic for a dental cleaning”. Belle spent several days in the hospital, but she eventually pulled through and is doing great now! I have no doubt that she would have died if she hadn’t been vaccinated.

In 2005, a company called Red Rock Biologics ( developed a “rattlesnake vaccine”. The purpose of the vaccine is to lessen the severity of damage done by a rattlesnake bite and hopefully save pet’s lives. It works by producing protective antibodies in your pet’s body that will help to neutralize the venom. It is most effective with Western Diamondback bites, but is also at least partially effective against all other rattlesnakes except the Mojave. It is effective against Copperheads, but IS NOT effective against Water Moccasins (Cotton Mouths) or Coral Snakes.

The vaccine only lessens the severity of the bite, but does not entirely mitigate all of its effects, so you should still seek emergency care in every case! Factors such as size of pet, size of snake, location of bite, and amount of venom injected all contribute to the end result. Every snake bite is different and all need emergency veterinary care!

So what results have we seen? Last summer, we had 13 dogs come into the clinics with rattlesnake bites. Of these, 6 were vaccinated and 7 were not. All 6 vaccinated dogs survived and are doing well now. Of the 7 that were not vaccinated, 3 passed away as a result of their bites, and the other 4 survived and are doing well. Some of the deceased received the full course of treatment with antivenin, some did not due to finances. All in all, I am impressed with the results and recommend vaccination for any “at risk” dog. I know “Belle” highly recommends it to all of her dog buddies!

Canyon City Animal Hospital

nylajulypotmMeet Nyla! Nyla came in with a severe hookworm infection. Because of this infection, Nyla was very sick and very anemic. The owners decided to start treatment right away and save her life. Dr. Bullock’s dog, Andi, donated blood and we were able to offer Nyla a blood transfusion. She is recovered and is now a happy and healthy puppy! Be sure to keep your pet’s on a heartworm preventative that also helps prevent hookworm infection.


Canyon Animal Clinic


Ruff Ruff! It’s Duke! Duke is a new patient of ours! Duke was recently placed in a new home by one of our clients. He was rescued from a bad situation just a few months ago. He is already adjusting to his new home and has warmed up to us here at the clinic when he comes in! We are thankful he is in a new home and living and loving life! Welcome to the family, Duke!

July 2014 by Dr. Ryan Bullock

In many pets, the rumble of an oncoming thunderstorm can cause fear and anxiety. Some pets will quietly shake in their bed, while others can become much more destructive while dealing with their anxiety. For many pet owners, they sometimes match their pet’s anxiety because they know they will be the ones dealing with a scared and sometimes destructive pet all night. Here are three tips to help your pet deal with their anxiety the next time the thunder rolls:

1) Calming methods: Try to accommodate your pet with a quite room where they cannot see the flashes of the lightening. Add background noise like a noise machine or turn the TV on loud to drown out the thunder. Try to distract them with their favorite toy or game. Medications such as Alprazolam (generic Xanax) work very well to decrease anxiety and can be given on an “as needed” basis. In more severe cases, sedatives such as Acepromazine can be used. Consult with your veterinarian about medications for storm anxiety.

2) Behavior modification: This method requires more work on your part, but has chance for longterm success. Play recordings of storms at low volumes for short durations (3-5 minutes) and associate these times with positive things such as treats, toys, or games. Over time increase the volume and duration of the recordings. Never reprimand your pet during these sessions if they become afraid as this will only worsen anxiety. It’s also important to never reinforce their stressed behavior by praising them and telling them its “OK”.

3) The ThunderShirt: In 2008, the ThunderShirt was developed to help pets deal with anxiety – most specifically thunderstorms and separation anxiety. The idea behind the ThunderShirt is similar to that of swaddling infants to comfort them. The shirt applies constant, gentle pressure to the pet which is soothing to some. My personal experience with this is product is very hit or miss. My mother swears by her Bichon’s ThunderShirt, while I have had other clients say it did not help their pet at all. My impression is that it’s about a 50% chance that the ThunderShirt will help. Check out for more information.

If your pet is afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks, consult your veterinarian about some of these tips and hopefully you will be able to work out a strategy so that both you and your pet can get some rest the next time a thunderstorm rolls in at midnight.