Many life-threatening diseases in animals can be prevented with regular examinations and vaccinations. Puppies and kittens should be seen regularly between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. They require repeated vaccines, fecal testing, and physical exams to detect any developing problems.
After these initial visits, they should be seen once a year for a routine visit until they become seniors (approximately 8 years for dogs, 10 for cats) at which time they should be seen every 6 months. Dogs and cats (unfortunately) age much quicker than people so their problems arise quicker as well. The sooner we diagnose a problem, the more options we have for treatment. Heartworm preventative (for all dogs) and flea and tick protection for both cats and dogs is crucial to prevent many serious diseases and/or infestations. There are many options and we can help advise you on which one(s) are right for your animal.
We carry a variety of prescription foods from Hill’s, Purina, and Royal Canin. Some of the diseases that are treated in part with diet are kidney failure, diabetes, urinary tract disease, skin allergies and thyroid disease. If we don’t have the diet you need, you can either get it at our online pharmacy VetSource or we can special order it for you.
We have a fully equipped, up-to-date laboratory in-house where we can do white/red cell counts, evaluate liver and kidney function, check thyroid levels and more. We also send blood work to a local outside lab if we need more specialized testing. In-house blood work is available within 30 minutes – which allows us to begin any necessary treatment immediately. Outside lab work is usually ready the next day.
In December 2013 we acquired a digital xray processor. This allows us to process xrays within seconds, focus in on areas of concern, and most importantly, send the images to a boarded radiologist at Angell Animal Medical Center and get a reading the same day. There is an additional charge for this reading so we only do it on more complicated cases. We also have a veterinarian who comes in most Tuesdays to do ultrasounds. He does both cardiac and abdominal ultrasounds, which is a tremendous tool in diagnosing an treating our patients.
Dental disease is a common problem in cats and dogs and can lead to more serious health problems. We perform routine dental cleaning and polishing which can help avoid more complicated dental diseases. All animals need general anesthesia to adequately remove all the tartar, polish and apply fluoride. Once the teeth are cleaned, a thorough oral exam is done to determine if any extractions are needed. Digital dental x-rays are taken if needed to assess bone and root health and to aid in the extraction process. If there are extractions, we provide pain relief during surgery and when the animal goes home.
Surgery and Anesthesia
We have a fully equipped operating room with state of the art anesthesia. We provide routine surgical procedures including spays and neuters but also perform more complex surgeries under the direction of our residency trained veterinary surgeon Dr. Lori Gordon.
We are committed to providing the safest anesthesia possible. We always do a thorough physical exam prior to anesthesia to be sure that no new problems have arisen since your pet's last appointment. We highly recommend pre-operative blood work, especially for the older animals, to be sure there are no underlying problems that may interfere with anesthesia. There is a veterinary technician at the side of each animal during their surgical procedure. An IV catheter is placed prior to surgery to give medications and fluids during the procedure. Each animal’s vitals are closely monitored – which include ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen and breathing rate. In addition to safety, pain management during and after surgery are a high priority.
We use opioids (similar to morphine), anti-inflammatories and sedation to ensure that every animal is as comfortable as possible. All animals go home the same day as their procedure as soon as they are alert enough to walk around and eat and drink.
We have a complete veterinary pharmacy on hand including antibiotics, ear medications, thyroid medication, heartworm preventative and flea and tick control. If you prefer the convenience of ordering online, we have an online pharmacy, VetSource. We offer this through one of our distributors so we can monitor quality and address any problems or reactions if they occur. We also work with a veterinary compounding pharmacy to get specially flavored medications or transdermal (applied to the skin) for those hard-to-medicate animals.
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End of Life Care
One of the few faults of our beloved animals is that they just don’t live long enough. We make every effort to help them live as long as possible, but when the time comes when they can’t do the things they once enjoyed, we’ll help you decide the best way for that precious life to end.
If they are comfortable, we’ll advise you on how to keep them peaceful at home until they pass. If they are restless or in pain, and you choose euthanasia, we will do so in the most humane way possible. We consider it fortunate that we can relieve the suffering of a dying animal. We usually sedate the animal before giving the final injection. Once the animal has passed we offer a variety of options to take care of your pet’s remains.