Healthy Pet Blog

Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital

2135 Jericho Turnpike
Garden City Park, NY 11040


I Think My Pet Had a Seizure - 03/22/2018

What is a seizure?

Think of the brain as a network of electrical circuits.  When things are going well, electricity flows through the network in an organized fashion and everything works just fine.  During a seizure, the electrical impulses flow in a disorganized, erratic way, causing the central nervous system to go haywire. There are a many underlying problems that can cause a seizure.  Trauma, congenital deformities, toxins, infections, metabolic problems (kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, dehydration), inflammation (encephalitis), or brain tumors can all cause seizures.  When no apparent underlying cause is found, the condition is called epilepsy.

How do I know if my pet is having a seizure?

Seizures can be localized, and signs can vary and can include twitching of the eyelids/lips/body, abnormal leg movements (often can be stiff but can be flaccid), chatter of the teeth, and altered mentation.  Generalized (previously called Grand Mal) seizures result in a loss of consciousness and often incontinence of stool and urine. Animals can have abnormal vocalization during a seizure. Seizures may feel like they last forever, but in reality, they commonly last a few second to minutes. If your pet is having a seizure lasting more than a few minutes, they should immediately be taken to the veterinary emergency clinic for further care and treatment.

What to do during a seizure?

Make sure you stay calm. Seizures can be very scary for both owners and their loving pets. This is not a time to panic but instead be proactive by making sure your pet is in a safe place. You can use towels or pillows to protect or move your pets’ head and also to keep him/her steady without falling off the couch or stairs. During a seizure, owners can lower the lights or cover your pets eyes with a small towel or blanket. The decrease in stimulation can be calming to your pet as they come out of the seizure. If possible, record a video to show your veterinarian.

What NOT to do during a seizure?

While in a disoriented and confused state, your pet can accidently act aggressively and bite. It is important to not pick up or put your hands/face, other family pets or young children near your pet while they are have a seizure. Safety for everyone is the main goal of getting through a seizure successfully.

What to do after a seizure?

After a seizure it is important to continue to monitor your pet. They may have a post seizure phase that can involve them being very sleepy, confused and/or show signs that lead into another seizure. Another task would be to think back and record any triggers or clinical signs that may have occurred before your pet had the seizure. It is also a good idea to record; the date, time, clinical signs, how long the seizure lasted and how many seizures occurred. Lastly, please contact your veterinarian to discuss details/questions and schedule a visit. A complete examination and diagnostic testing will help to determine the cause of the seizures and what the appropriate treatment course is best for your dog or cat.

Dr. Stephanie Waters

Free Pee Jubilee 2018 - 03/09/2018

Free Pee Day!

Why do we want you to bring in your pet's urine? A complete urinalysis (which involves chemical and sediment analyses) can reveal so many diseases and provides an opportunity to prevent more serious illnesses.

The chemical analysis reveals changes in kidney function by looking at the urine's concentration (called the urine specific gravity) and evidence of protein. We may suspect diabetes if glucose or ketones are present. In both dogs and cats, increased drinking and urination can be signs of both kidney failure and diabetes. A urinalysis can differentiate between the two completely different diseases. The pH of the urine can confirm presence of urinary crystals and help us to make nutritional recomeendations. And if bilirubin is present in the urine, we may be concerned with liver disease.

The sediment analysis looks at any microscopic objects in the urine. We may find red and white blood cells when the bladder wall is inflamed. If we also find bacteria, we could diagnosis a urinary tract infection. Crystals in the urine are early detectors for bladder or kidney stones. Urinary tract stones can be life threatening, particularly in male cats and dogs, as they can urinary obstruction and lead to kidney failure. Early detection of crystals helps us make changes to your pet's diet that could avoid painful and dangerous urinary stones (which often require surgery to remove them). Abnormal bladder cells may also be found in the sediment, which may indicate cancer.

With just a teaspoon of urine, we can discover so much about your pet's health. If you bring in a sample of urine on April 12, 2018 we will analyze it at no cost. Just collect a clean sample from your pet that morning and bring it to us  Samples should be refrigerated and brought in within 4 hours of collection for the most accurate results. If you'd like to bring a sample from your cat, you can use some Nosorb non-absorbent  litter.  Stop in after April 1 t pick up urine collection kits for dogs or cats. Or, message us either on Facebook,  our Web Page, or from your Petsite account and we'll instruct you on how to collect a sample.  Sorry, we can't collect urine for you on the 12th, we anticipate a large volume of testing.

Sandy Wu

What Is On Your Pet Food Bag? - 02/22/2018

Dr. Sandra Wu

Those confusing pet food labels

We often hear the question “Which food is the best?” Well, there is no best brand, but here are a few tips and myths dispelled that we hope will help you make that decision.

What to look for on the bag's label

Who is AAFCO? AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials; they set the nutritional standards for pet food in the US. If the label says “this pet food is formulated to meet AAFCO standards”, the food has been made following standards but a feeding trial has not been done. If the label says “this pet food has undergone AAFCO feeding trials”, then rigorous feeding trials with this pet food have been done to document how well a pet does on the food. Very few pet foods carry the 2nd statement on their labels, but at the very least, the food should carry the first statement.

The food needs to state what life stage for which it provides nutrition. Here are the main statements you may see:

Kitten/puppy stage
Adult maintenance
All life stages

The tricky one here is “all life stages”. In order for the food to cover all life stages, it needs to be nutritionally complete for the most demanding life stage, which would be kitten/puppyhood. Therefore, these “all life stages” foods tend to be higher in calories and fat. So if you are feeding your adult pet an “all life stage” food, think twice if he or she is plump! Be sure to buy the correct life stage for your pet.

Organic, natural or holistic? If there is a USDA Certified Organic seal on the bag, the food complies with organic standards (only animal or vegetable fertilizers, no other chemicals). Natural is a legal term meaning it consists of natural ingredients not altered chemically. Holistic is not a legal term and therefore any food can claim to be holistic regardless of ingredients chosen.

By-products are not inferior ingredients. Vitamin E is a by-product of soybeans; flaxseed oil is a by-product of flaxseeds; chicken fat is a by-product; pork, chicken and beef livers are by-products that are even used for human consumption. All these by-products provide quality nutrition in pet foods.

Corn is not a filler. Fillers provide no nutrition. Corn provides a good source of protein, fatty acids, antioxidants, and carbohydrates needed for energy. It is also not a common source of allergies for pets.

So the next time you pick up a bag of pet food, examine that label carefully to ensure your furry friend is eating as healthy as yourself!

2018 Pet Insurance Review - 02/15/2018

It seems that Pet Insurance is the new hot topic at Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital.  Representatives from different companies are hounding the front desk staff.  Brochures appear in our UPS deliveries.  Posters to hang on our walls materialize out of nowhere.  And clients, you guys, keep asking us what you should do.  So, I thought I would do a little research and share my findings.  Before we start, I need to make one thing perfectly clear.  I am not endorsing or recommending any insurance company or policy.  In fact, insurance  may not be the best thing for you or your pet, it is ultimately up to you to decide.

The topic is very, I mean VERY complicated.  First, you need to decide if you want to insure your pet.  I will say, that if you have a healthy puppy of a breed that is prone to serious health problems, then you should definitely get insurance now. (that translates to Bulldogs and all related mixed breeds).  If you want to know if your pet is a high risk pet, message me on facebook..

Things To Consider When Looking Into Pet Insurance:

  • Pet insurance is not an investment.  It is more like car insurance.  You may not get back the amount that you pay into the policy, but if you have a catastrophic illness or injury you want to be protected.
  • Different plans have different coverages and different coverages come with different costs  
  • There are different deductibles and exclusions.
  • You must be sure that congenital and inherited conditions are covered and that insurance is in place before there is any evidence of these problems.
  • Wellness plans are available with certain companies.  Some will provide a bit of a discount for routine well care.
  • NO COMPANY will cover pre existing conditions.  You have to carefully check their definitions of pre existing conditions.  Especially as it pertains to orthopedic problems such as cruciate ligament surgery or hip dysplasia.
  • Dental disease is another grey area as far as what is covered and what is not.
  • Complementary therapies such as acupuncture or physical therapy are covered as part of the regular policy, as an additional rider (for an additional premium) or not at all.  You need to check the policy that you are looking at.
  • Some policies cover therapeutic diets. (some do not).  The same goes for supplements.

The cost of the policy will depend on a number of things.  First, the deductible and the caps.  I listed some of the companies with good ratings on line in the table below. I tried to use comparable policy offerings.  Look at the comparisons but by no means is this an exhaustive list.  You really need to do your homework.  The column under cost is based on Bella, a 3 year old terrier mix with a clean bill of health.  Your costs will most certainly be different (unless you have a 3 year old terrier mix with a clean bill of health as well).  Cats are significantly less expensive to insure.

Two of the plans in the chart have wellness coverage available.  The monthly premium listed does not include wellness care.  Most of the companies allow you to customize the deductible and the reimbursement.  You will need to go to the web page of that company and see what they offer as far as pricing. As of the publication of this blog, the wellness plan for Embrace Pet insurance amounts to a 10% savings, meaning you pay roughly $410 for $450 worth of wellness care.  I do not know what the other plans offer or cost.

Some companies give better coverage for congenital problems than others.  Genetic conditions are inherited, some companies give better coverage than others for these as well.  Do your research.

Each company name listed below is a link to their web page.  Go ahead, click around. Have a blast. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.  I might not know the answer but it will help if I decide to do a review next year.


$250 annual
Exam fee
No caps

80% of covered costs

$300 annual
$15,000 annual
80% of covered costs
$300 annual
$15,000 annual
80% pf covered costs
(wellness available)
$250 annual
Benefit Schedule
(wellness available)
$200 annual
$14,000 annual

80% of covered costs
Exam fee
90% pf covered costs

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost. Fear Free Veterinary Visits - 02/07/2018

Dr. Stephanie Waters

Dr. Waters is a Fear Free Certified Veterinarian at Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital.  She has been sharing her expertise, gained through post graduate training to encourage many positive changes for our patients, clients and our staff. Our goal is to use this knowledge to strengthen the human-animal bond.

How is Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital becoming a Fear Free Vet Practice?

Here at Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital, we believe in the Fear Free program as a way to alleviate anxiety, stress and pain in our patients and clients. In addition to our Fear Free appointments, our goals are to help educate and inspire owners to look after their pets’ wellbeing, both in and out of the home  as a way to encourage long, happy and healthy lives.

Some of the steps we have taken include:
-      Variety of delicious treats and toys throughout the appointment (Please tell us if anyone in the home has peanut allergies)
-      Non slip surfaces on the exam tables
-      “Go slow” techniques to build confidence in patients
-      Anxiety medications; long term or short term for stressful events as needed
-      Sheets to cover cat carriers while in the waiting room and towels for hiding during exams or procedures

-      Feline Only appointments on Thursday evenings (as a way to reduce any noise, such as barking dogs, within the practice)
-      House call appointments
-      Soft toned music if needed
-      Basket muzzles that can allow for feeding while encouraging safety for our staff
-      Behavioral modification suggestions for reducing anxiety at home because our office is not the only place that pets have anxiety
-      Resources of Fear Free Trainers and training equipment for at home support

We take pride in our ability to help improve the experience and health of our patients on a daily basis!

Prepare for your vet visit!

The best way to prepare for your veterinary visit is to take a step back and evaluate your pet. You are the person who knows your pet the best and that can help us to create a low stress and fear free visit!

We encourage owners to call ahead of time if they are concerned about their animal’s behavior while at our vet office or on the care ride over. Preparing for a low stress appointment can be very simple once knowing the triggers.

Does your pet get car-sick? Does he/she not like other animals? Do loud noises tend to make him/her anxious? Does a certain toy or treat make your furry friend happy? If necessary, we can dispense medications to use prior to the appointment to decrease stress.

If you have any other questions or concerns, we encourage you to call and visit Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital! We offer appointments Monday – Saturday, special Feline Only appointments on Thursday evenings and scheduled House Calls.




Day Open Close
Monday 8:30am 6:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am 6:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am 6:30pm
Thursday 8:30am 6:30pm
Friday 8:30am 6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am 3:00pm
Sunday Closed Closed

*By Appointment
**Hours can vary slightly due to circumstances beyond our control.  Please call first to confirm.

Online appointment request

 Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital - Garden City Park, NYGet Directions



Tell your friends about us!