A dental prophylaxis consists of a complete dental cleaning, polishing, radiographic and periodontal evaluation under general anesthesia (the only way to accurately determine the patient’s oral health). The cleaning consists of scaling and polishing using very similar techniques and equipment as in human dentistry. The periodontal evaluation is an essential portion of the cleaning that determines the health of the underlying bone and tooth attachments and is performed using a dental probe and visual observation which again requires general anesthesia. The radiographic evaluation is probably the most essential portion of the prophylaxis by which the health of the entire tooth can be determined. Without radiographs, only ½ or less of the actual tooth is evaluated. Without radiographs, disease, abnormalities and the extent of infection can not be accurately accessed.
Endodontic therapy (root canal therapy) is the process by which the tooth, in many cases is saved from extraction. In animals, this procedure is identical to the procedure used in humans. A fractured tooth is vulnerable to infection which can lead to a tooth root abscess. To avoid this painful condition, the pulp of the tooth is removed and a substance is placed in the canal to allow the tooth to remain firmly attached in its socket. Although the tooth is technically dead, it will remain in place and allow the pet to function normally. Chewing food, retrieving toys or performing a particular task is maintained. In some cases, dogs require the use of their large canine teeth for a particular job as in police dogs however the best reason for root canal therapy is the fact that the large amount of bone and its periodontal structures holding the tooth in place is saved and remains healthy. One of the most common dental problems seen requiring root canal therapy is the canine tooth, the largest tooth in the dog and one with the longest root. This tooth can be easily fractured in dogs for many reasons. If treated in time, a tooth root abscess can be avoided as can the potentially painful process of extraction. The most common breeds of dogs who require Endodontic therapy are German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers however any breed that is aggressive with its mouth or is allowed to chew hard bones and toys are vulnerable to fractured teeth and tooth root infections.
Periodontics is the practice of periodontal therapy. This procedure consists of treating the immediate area surrounding a tooth. The periodontal ligament holds the tooth firmly in place however it is vulnerable to disease (periodontal disease). When infection begins, the periodontal structures become irritated and inflamed. Using specialized dental instruments, the area around the tooth is treated and in many cases brought back to a healthy state thereby saving the tooth and avoiding a painful infection. Certain therapeutic agents are used when treating the periodontal structures and when placed, can create renewed attachment for the tooth and help prevent the progression of infection. The smaller breeds of dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Poodles and Maltese are among the most common that require periodontal therapy however individual large breed dogs can also be affected by periodontal disease and require this specialized treatment.
As in humans, dogs and cats sometimes have poorly positioned teeth. Although a beautiful smile is important in any pet, it’s the treatment and relief of pain due to traumatic tooth contact that is the goal of orthodontic therapy. Most commonly seen in puppies, the deciduous (baby) teeth do not fall out when they should. The adult teeth erupt but because of the baby teeth, have nowhere to go and as a result, erupt in the wrong direction. Sometimes they are too far inward and eventually impale the roof of the mouth. In other cases, a malocclusion has developed causing traumatic tooth contact and results in painful tooth root infections. If caught early, an orthodontic device can be placed that slowly directs the wayward teeth into the correct position not only saving the teeth but relieving the pain a pet is suffering every time it closes its mouth.
Exodontic therapy (tooth extraction) is usually the unfortunate result of “too little too late”. Periodontal disease, trauma and poor home dental care are most commonly the reasons that teeth require extraction. Although a last resort, exodontic therapy can allow a pet to resume a normal, healthy and most importantly, a pain free life. If periodontal disease has been left untreated and the tooth or teeth are too far gone, removing the teeth will stop the infection and allow the periodontal bone and structures to heal. If left in place and untreated, diseased teeth and their infection can spread to the vital organs of the body such as the kidneys and heart compounding not only the oral pain but creating systemic conditions. The goal of our Veterinary Dental service is the maintaining of healthy teeth. In some cases however, removal of these teeth to maintain a healthy pet is the only choice.
Hospice and Euthanasia Services
Are you having problems caring for a terminally ill pet at home? Does your pet have a medical condition that is painful or causing poor quality of life? Are you afraid that your sick or elderly pet is suffering?
Saying good-bye to a beloved pet is one of the most difficult situations a pet owner will ever encounter.
but trying to decide when it is time to say good-bye can be even more difficult. There are times when all the capabilities of medical science have been exhausted and euthanasia is the only way to prevent an animal from suffering needlessly. However, the decision regarding when to euthanize is fraught with medical, financial, ethical, religious, moral, and sometimes legal considerations. Euthanasia is therefore a medical procedure that needs to be discussed (however painful that discussion may be) and considered thoroughly before a final decision is made. Let us help you through this difficult time.
Our staff of compassionate, caring professionals can help you through this painful experience.
We offer hospice services and will work with you to ensure your pet's comfort and dignity during his or her last days and final moments. Do you have special requests? Do you have questions about care of your pet's remains? We can help you with these concerns and will make every effort to accommodate your wishes at this very difficult time.
Deciding when your pet may need hospice care or euthanasia is a very personal and private decision.
but that doesn't mean you have to make this difficult choice on your own. Our hospice and humane euthanasia services are conducted with respect, compassion, and care. Before you struggle through one more day with a sick, elderly, or terminally ill pet that is suffering, call us to learn how we can help.
From the very first day you bring a new pet home through the final days of its life.
nutrition plays a critical role in your pet's overall health and well-being. Many pet owners take nutrition for granted, in part because the availability of so many nutritionally complete commercial diets has taken much of the guesswork out of choosing a suitable diet for a pet. However, did you know that your pet's nutritional needs change with age and activity level? Did you know that specially formulated diets can assist in the management of various medical conditions, including kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease? Do you know how many calories your pet should have each day and whether you are over- or underfeeding? Are you comfortable reading and interpreting pet food labels?
Whether your pet has special dietary needs or simply needs to shed (or gain) a few pounds.
our nutritional counseling services can help you accomplish your goals and keep your pet in good health. We offer counseling in dietary selection and feeding practices for pets during various life stages, such as growth, pregnancy, nursing, and the golden years. If your pet has a medical condition, we can help you select the most appropriate diet to suit your pet's needs.
It can be easy for a pet owner to become overwhelmed by the available selection of pet foods, all of which claim to have specific benefits for pets.
We can offer expert advice to help you negotiate the complicated array of choices. Let our nutritional counseling service help you achieve and maintain optimal nutrition for your pet.
Oral Health Screenings
We offer FREE dental exams.
Please call to schedule an appointment with Brent, our dental technician. He can evaluate the health of your pet's teeth and give an estimate for any needed dental work and cleanings.
Parasite Prevention and Control
There was a time when parasites like fleas, ticks, and roundworms were considered mostly a nuisance.
Now, however, we know that parasites can cause serious illness and even death in pets. For example, ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella – the bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans. Another type of parasite, called a heartworm, is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworms live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing damage to these organs, and sometimes even death. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, also threaten pets and are even transmissible to humans.
You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites.
Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks are very tiny (only the size of a pinhead), so they are very difficult to find. Intestinal parasites like roundworms can cause diarrhea and other problems, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all.
Fortunately, we can recommend tests to tell if your pet has parasites.
We can also examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks, or other parasites. Our expert staff can recommend medications to help control fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Preventing parasites in your pets also helps protect children and other family members, so let’s work together to protect your pets and family.
Veterinary examinations and parasite testing are important ways to protect your pet’s health.
Let our knowledgeable staff provide you with a comprehensive parasite control program. We can recommend a schedule for parasite testing, discuss what signs of parasites you can look for at home, review ways to control parasites in and around your home, discuss treatment options if your pet has parasites, and recommend ways to control and prevent parasites in the future.
Parasites are not just a nuisance.
They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. Let us help you protect your pet. Call today to find out how!
Sometimes the veterinarian may suspect that your pet has eaten something which is creating a blockage in their intestines. An intestinal obstruction is a life threatening condition. To determine if an animal may have an intestinal obstruction, the pet is orally given a special radio-opaque dye called barium. When sequential x-rays are taken, the barium can be visualized as white areas on the screen and can be seen moving from the stomach and through the intestines as digestive peristalsis occurs. If an obstruction is present, the barium may stop moving or the object creating the obstruction will be better visualized as barium surrounds it. Above are two x-rays, taken with some time between them. The barium can be seen moving through the intestines and eventually reaches the colon at the end. In this case, an enema and medical management were used to relieve this dogs discomfort.
Stones in Bladder
When the veterinarian suspects that your pet has stones in their bladder, an x-ray is an excellent way to confirm that diagnosis. Often, the best way to treat bladder stones is to surgically remove them in an operation called a cystotomy, although some types of bladder stones can be relieved through diet and medical management. The pictured radiograph shows bladder stones. The patient also has bladder stones, however in this case, the stones are very small and more like gravel within the bladder. Our digital x-ray system allows us to take a picture and then magnify certain areas as is done below with the dogs bladder. This bladder gravel was also removed surgically.
When the veterinarian suspects that your pet has a broken bone, an x-ray is an excellent way to confirm that diagnosis as well as determine where the break is and how that break may be repaired. Here at All Animals Veterinary Hospital we are fully equipped to perform orthopedic surgery. The pictured radiograph shows a Miniature Poodle with a distal fracture of the front right radius This young dog was hit by a car and as a result, the distal end of the patients right femur was fractured. This extreme fracture was repaired very successfully with 3 bones pins - the surgery can be viewed here.
Post-operative x-rays show the very successful placement of 3 bone pins - repairing this fracture. A young dog was hit by a vehicle, fracturing the distal end of the right femur. A temporary splint is placed until the surgery is performed. The patients temporary splint is removed after being anesthetized.
When hardware is placed during orthopedic surgery, radiographs are an excellent tool to use in determining if the bone pin, screws, or wire are placed properly. Later, it is also useful to determine if the hardware is continuing to be successful.
Although humans and animals are different in many ways.
Some advances in human medicine are also very useful for veterinary patients. One of these advances, diagnostic ultrasound, has proven to be a powerful tool in veterinary medicine. As a practice, one of our goals is to offer state-of-the-art medicine and diagnostic testing; so we are pleased to offer ultrasound services as a means of providing a higher level of quality care to our patients.
Ultrasonography is a type of diagnostic technique that uses ultrasound waves to produce an imaging study.
This means that when we perform ultrasonography, we can see internal images of the patient’s body. Unlike some other imaging studies, like x-rays, ultrasonography does not use radiation. Instead, ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound (ultrasound) waves to create a picture of what is inside your pet’s body. Ultrasonography is a completely non-invasive, painless way to diagnose and evaluate many common diseases.
An ultrasound machine generates ultrasound waves.
The machine is connected to a small probe that is held gently against your pet’s skin. The probe sends out painless ultrasound waves that bounce off of structures (for example, organs) in your pet’s body and return to a sensor inside the ultrasound machine. The ultrasound equipment collects these reflected “echoes” and uses them to generate images that are viewable on a screen. Ultrasound waves can generate excellent images of abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and kidneys. It is also useful for assessing fetal health and monitoring pregnancy in breeding animals, and it can help us diagnose and stage (determine the severity of) some forms of cancer.
Because ultrasound images are produced in real time.
his technology can be used to evaluate the heart as it beats. This can help us detect abnormalities in the motion of heart valves, blood flow through the heart, and contractions of the heart muscle. It can also be used to assess the heart for defects. As we strive to provide our patients with the highest quality medicine and diagnostic testing, we are pleased to offer ultrasound as one of our diagnostic capabilities.
Although humans and animals are different in many ways.
Some advances in human medicine are also very useful in veterinary patients. One of these advances, endoscopy, has proven to be a powerful diagnostic and therapeutic tool in veterinary medicine. As a practice, we consider it a goal to offer state-of-the-art medicine and diagnostic testing; so we are proud to offer endoscopy as a means of providing a higher level of quality care to our patients.
A fiberoptic endoscope is a long, narrow tube with a tiny camera at the tip.
An endoscope can be rigid or very flexible, depending on what procedure it is used for. It can also be sterilized so that it can safely be inserted into the body. Endoscopic equipment can have many uses in veterinary medicine. For example, with a patient under anesthesia, an endoscope can be inserted into the mouth (to examine the esophagus, stomach, and upper intestine), nose (to examine the trachea [windpipe] and main airways), or anus (to examine the colon and lower intestine). An endoscope can be inserted through a small incision into a body cavity to permit us to examine the surface of organs, such as the liver or kidneys, or to look inside a joint, such as the knee. We can even use an endoscope to remove small objects that dogs and cats sometimes swallow or to perform biopsies of internal organs.
Endoscopy provides us with a full-color, magnified view of the area of interest.
Additionally, endoscopic procedures are usually non-invasive or minimally invasive. We strive to offer our patients the highest level of medicine, and we are glad to be able to offer endoscopy as one of our diagnostic procedures.
Each year, thousands of pets go missing, and many don't make it back home.
Many pets (especially indoor pets) don'?t wear collars or tags. Even if your pet wears a collar and identification tag, collars can break off and tags can become damaged and unreadable, so these forms of identification may not be enough to ensure your pet'?s safe return. Your pet needs a form of identification that is reliable and can't get lost, stolen, or damaged. A microchip is a safe, simple form of identification that can significantly increase the chance that your pet will return safely.
Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure.
A veterinarian simply injects a microchip for pets, about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required.
A HomeAgain microchip is permanent pet ID.
The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pets shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary to transmit the microchips unique cat or dog ID code and positively identify the pet.
HomeAgain is the only dog & cat microchipping product on the market today.
That has the Bio-Bond patented anti-migration feature to help ensure that the microchip will stay in place so that it may be easily located and scanned. If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip to read its unique dog or cat ID code. This is the number used by HomeAgain to identify the pet and retrieve your contact information, which is used to contact you and reunite you with your pet.
Get the Facts About Microchipping
Having a microchip implanted will hurt my pet.
No anesthetic is required for a microchip implant. The procedure is performed at your veterinarianâ??s office and is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination.
Pet microchips work like global positioning devices (GPS) and tell me my petâ??s location.
Pet microchips are not tracking devices. They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet. Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS. When a microchip scanner is passed over the pet, the microchip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the microchip's ID number. Since there's no battery and no moving parts, there's nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. The microchip will last your pet's lifetime.
My pet wears a collar with tags, so he doesnâ??t need a microchip.
All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their owner, but only a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read.
Microchips are expensive.
The average cost to have a microchip implanted by a veterinarian is around $45, which is a one-??time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database. If your pet was adopted from a shelter or purchased from a breeder, your pet may already have a microchip. Consult your pet adoption paperwork, or have your pet scanned for a microchip at your next vet visit to reveal the unique microchip ID number and register it.
Only dogs, not cats, need to be microchipped.
Both cats and dogs need to be microchipped. Cats often do not wear collars, and may not have any other form of ID. A recent study showed that less than 2% of cats without microchips were returned home. However, if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped.
My contact information is contained in the chip, and anyone with a scanner can access it.
Microchips carry only a unique identification number. If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file with your pet'??s microchip. It is vital to keep your contact information up to date so that you can be reached.
I need to microchip my pet more than once.
A microchip will normally last the lifetime of your pet because it is composed of biocompatible materials that will not degenerate over time. The HomeAgain® microchip has the Bio-Bond patented anti-??migration feature to help ensure the chip stays where it'??s implanted. Also, since microchips require no power source and have no moving parts, there's nothing that can wear out and need to be replaced. Pet owners can also check to make sure their pet's microchip is still working by asking a vet to scan it during their pet'??s next checkup.
Having a microchip gives a pet the best protection if he gets lost.
A microchip is only the first step! You must register your pet's microchip to give your pet the best protection. Register your pet's microchip in a national pet recovery database such as HomeAgain with your contact information, so you can be contacted when your lost pet is found. Also, remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers.
Of a Evaluations, PENN Hip Certified
Preliminary evaluations for animals under 24 months.
OFA policy on Releasing Preliminary Evaluations to the Public Domain.
Frequently, breeders want early knowledge of the hip status on puppies in a given litter. Preliminary hip evaluations may be as valuable to the owner or breeder as the final OFA evaluation. This allows early selection of dogs for use as show/performance/breeding prospects and dogs best suited for pet homes.
The OFA accepts preliminary consultation radiographs on puppies as young as 4 months of age for evaluation of hip conformation.
If the dog is found to be dysplastic at an early age, the economic loss from the cost of training, handling, showing and so forth can be minimized and the emotional loss reduced. These preliminary radiographs are read by the OFA veterinary radiologists and are not sent to outside radiologists. The same hip grades are given to preliminary cases.
A recent publication
compared the reliability of the preliminary evaluation hip grade phenotype with the 2 year old evaluation in dogs and there was 100% reliability for a preliminary grade of excellent being normal at 2 years of age (excellent, good, or fair). There was 97.9% reliability for a preliminary grade of good being normal at 2 years of age, and 76.9% reliability for a preliminary grade of fair being normal at 2 years of age. Reliability of preliminary evaluations increased as age at the time of preliminary evaluation increased, regardless of whether dogs received a preliminary evaluation of normal hip conformation or HD. For normal hip conformations, the reliability was 89.6% at 3-6 months, 93.8% at 7-12 months, and 95.2% at 13-18 months. These results suggest that preliminary evaluations of hip joint status in dogs are generally reliable. However, dogs that receive a preliminary evaluation of fair or mild hip joint conformation should be reevaluated at an older age (24 months).
The Ofa's Hip Radiograph Procedures
General Overview:Radiographs submitted to the OFA should follow the American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations for positioning. This view is accepted world wide for detection and assessment of hip joint irregularities and secondary arthritic hip joint changes. To obtain this view, the animal must be placed on its back in dorsal recumbency with the rear limbs extended and parallel to each other. The knees (stifles) are rotated internally and the pelvis is symmetric. Chemical restraint (anesthesia) to the point of relaxation is recommended. For elbows, the animal is placed on its side and the respective elbow is placed in an extreme flexed position.
The radiograph film
must be permanently identified with the animal's registration number or name, date the radiograph was taken, and the veterinarian's name or hospital name. If this required information is illegible or missing, the OFA cannot accept the film for registration purposes. The owner should complete and sign the OFA application. It is important to record on the OFA application the animal's tattoo or microchip number in order for the OFA to submit results to the AKC. Sire and dam information should also be present.
Radiography of pregnant or estrus females should be avoided due to possible increased joint laxity (subluxation) from hormonal variations.
OFA recommends radiographs be taken one month after weaning pups and one month before or after a heat cycle. Physical inactivity because of illness, weather, or the owner's management practices may also result in some degree of joint laxity. The OFA recommends evaluation when the dog is in good physical condition.
Chemical restraint (anesthesia) is not required by OFA but chemical restraint to the point of muscle relaxation is recommended.
With chemical restraint optimum patient positioning is easier with minimal repeat radiographs (less radiation exposure) and a truer representation of the hip status is obtained.
For large and giant breed dogs.
14" x 17" film size is recommended. Small film sizes can be used for smaller breeds if the area between the sacrum and the stifles can be included.
If a copy is necessary ask your veterinarian to insert 2 films in the cassette prior to making the exposure.
This will require about a 15% increase in the kVp to make an exact duplicate of the radiograph sent to OFA. Films may be returned if a $5.00 fee and request for return are both included at time of submission. Good contrast is desirable (high mAs, low kVp). Grid techniques are recommended for all large dogs.
Proper collimation and protection of attendants is the responsibility of the veterinarian. Gonadal shielding is recommended for male dogs.
The radiograph, application and fees should be enclosed in a mailing envelope. These may be paper clipped together. Use the mail service of your choice. Obtain large envelopes from office supply store, veterinary hospital or other radiology department. The envelope should be sealed with tape. Light cardboard may be included to stiffen the package, but is not required. Avoid using boxes, tubes, padded envelopes, stapling check and application, bending/folding radiographs, or taping application or check to envelope.
OFA's Handling Procedures
When a radiograph arrives at the OFA, the information on the radiograph is checked against information on the application. The age of the dog is calculated, and the submitted fee is recorded. The board-certified veterinary radiologist on staff at the OFA screens the radiographs for diagnostic quality. If it is not suitable for diagnostic quality (poor positioning, too light, too dark or image blurring from motion), it is returned to the referring veterinarian with a written request that it be repeated. An application number is assigned. Radiographs of animals 24 months of age or older are independently evaluated by three randomly selected, board-certified veterinary radiologists from a pool of 20 to 25 consulting radiologists throughout the USA in private practice and academia. Each radiologist evaluates the animal's hip status considering the breed, sex, and age. There are approximately 9 different anatomic areas of the hip that are evaluated. Craniolateral acetabular rim, Cranial acetabular margin, Femoral head (hip ball), Fovea capitus (normal flattened area on hip ball), Acetabular notch, Caudal acetabular rim, Dorsal acetabular margin, Junction of femoral head and neck, Trochanteric fossa.
Accuracy of Data
When results of 1.8 million radiographic evaluations by 45 radiologists were analyzed, it was found that all three radiologists agreed as to whether the dog should be classified as having a normal phenotype, borderline phenotype, or HD 94.9% of the time. In addition, 73.5% of the time, all three radiologists agreed on the same hip phenotype (excellent, fair, good, borderline, mild, moderate or severe). Twenty-one percent of the time, two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within one hip grade of the other two. Two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within two hip grades of the other two 5.4% of the time. This percentage of agreement is high considering the subjective nature of the evaluation.
Other Radiographic Findings
In addition to assessing the dog's hip conformation, the veterinary radiologist reports other radiographic findings that could have familial, inherited causes such as transitional vertebrae or spondylosis. Transitional vertebrae are a congenital malformation of the spine that occur at the junctions of major divisions of the spine (usually between the thoracic and lumbar vertebral junction and the lumbar and sacral vertebral junction). Transitional vertebrae take on anatomic characteristics of both divisions of the spine it occurs between. The most common type of transitional vertebrae in dogs is in the lumbo-sacral area where the last lumbar vertebral body takes on anatomic characteristics of the sacrum. Transitional vertebrae are usually not associated with clinical signs and the dog can be used in a breeding program. The OFA recommends breeding the dog to another dog that does not have transitional vertebrae. Spondylosis is another incidental radiographic finding where smooth new bone production is visualized between vertebral bodies at the intervertebral disc spaces. The new bone production can vary in extent from formation of small bone spurs to complete bridging of adjacent vertebral bodies. Spondylosis may occur secondary to spinal instability but often it is of unknown cause and clinically insignificant. A familial basis for its development has been reported. Like transitional vertebrae, dogs with spondylosis can be used in a breeding program.
The practice of high-quality veterinary medicine focuses on the entire patient.
From medical issues that affect physical functioning, to emotional and psychological issues that affect well-being. Experiencing pain can affect the body’s physical functioning and can have a detrimental effect on a patient’s well-being and state of mind. That’s why pain management is among our primary considerations when we are treating a pet for any medical condition.
Our approach to pain management involves anticipating potentially painful procedures.
Taking steps to manage pain from the outset as well as continuing to manage pain throughout your pet’s treatment and recovery process. Did you know that various types of pain can look different in animals? For example, a dog with chronic arthritis may exhibit very subtle signs of pain that can go unnoticed unless you know what to look for. Fortunately, our staff of compassionate, caring professionals is skilled in recognizing signs of pain in animals and developing an individualized plan for managing pain in our patients.
From routine procedures (such as a spays or dental cleanings).
to more advanced medical treatments (such as bone surgeries or cancer treatments), to chronically painful conditions (such as arthritis or back pain), we are dedicated to providing safe and effective pain management to every patient. We will also help you recognize signs of pain in your pet so that we can modify his or her pain management plan when necessary.
Recognizing and alleviating pain in our patients is at the very heart of quality.
Compassionate patient care. We don’t take pain management for granted and will employ all our skills to help ensure your pet’s comfort, well-being, and full recovery.
Puppy and Kitten Care
Do you have a new puppy or kitten?
Congratulations on this addition to your family! One of the first things you should do when you bring your new pet home is to introduce him or her to us – your veterinary care team. Puppy and kitten visits offer a unique opportunity to get you and your new pet off on the right foot!
Your puppy or kitten visit will include a full “nose-to-tail” physical examination.
We will look for any signs of illness and make sure that your new pet is in good health.
Do you have questions about nutrition, training, vaccinations, grooming, parasite protection, or overall health?
What about tips for introducing your new pet to other pets and family members? Even if you are a very experienced pet owner and have had puppies or kittens before, each pet is unique and offers an opportunity to learn something new! We welcome your questions and look forward to addressing any concerns you may have. The more educated you are about your pet, the better you will be able to care for him or her, so we strive to offer you all the support you need.
Puppy and kitten wellness visits also present an opportunity to discuss your new pet’s recommended vaccine schedule and the best plan for parasite testing, treatment, and prevention.
Our doctors and other staff members are well-educated about veterinary vaccines and parasite control, and our goal is to give you the best advice for your puppy or kitten. We will review your pet’s vaccine and deworming schedule and discuss the best way to continue, so don’t forget to bring any records that you have received.
We will work hard to help you understand your pet’s health considerations.
we encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your puppy’s or kitten’s health care. Puppy and kitten visits are an excellent way to get your new pet started on the road to a happy and healthy life. Let’s take these important first steps together.
Senior Wellness Programs
What is a Senior Care Wellness Program, and how does it work?
Our Senior Care Wellness Program is a formal program that is designed to help our clients provide the best possible healthcare for their pets as they get older. We are recommending the same types of things that we as veterinarians, technicians, and front office support staff members feel strongly about doing for our own pets (i.e., regular check-ups and testing, and prompt medical treatment for any problems that we find). We all recognize that pets are a very important and well-loved part our family. We want to keep them happy, healthy, and with us as long as we can. Through our Senior Care Wellness Programs, we can help you provide the same for your pet.
At what ages are dogs considered to be in the "senior" category?
The age varies primarily based on the size of the dog. Once your pet reaches senior age category, more frequent visits to the hospital for examinations are indicated. This will be addressed as you bring your pet into our hospital for visits. Dogs are considered to be "seniors" at the following ages: 20 pounds or less - 8 years, 20 or more pounds - 7 years.
At what age are cats considered to be entering their "senior" years?
Why is it important for older pets to be examined and tested more frequently than younger animals?
As your pet ages, just as occurs in humans, many of their normal organ functions gradually begin to decline. Their eyes, ears, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys may start to function less optimally, and this can lead to significant medical problems. It is more difficult for older pets to fight infections, and problems such as arthritis frequently set in.
It is ideal for older pets to have their owners and veterinarian work closely together to find and treat problems as early as possible..
It is our goal with the Senior Care Wellness Programs to help you identify your pet's medical problems as early as possible. With early diagnosis, just as is true for medical problems in humans, we have a much better chance of success. We want to keep you and your pet together for as many years as possible!.
What types of tests are done in the Senior Wellness Programs
There are 3 different levels of testing.
All 3 programs include a thorough consultation during which your veterinarian will discuss various health issues with you regarding your pet. The consultation is followed by a thorough physical examination.
Various lab tests and in some cases radiographs (x-rays) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) are done as part of your pet's overall evaluation.
These tests vary among the various program levels and your veterinarian will help you decide which program will best suit your pet.
What types of things will be discussed during your pets routine health check consultation?
These issues include questions and discussion about.
Any signs of possible medical problem (vomiting, change in water consumption, change in urination, stiffness, or decreased activity).
Nutrition (Is your pet eating the correct food for his/her age and condition?
Behavior issues (Is your pet still mentally sharp, or do you notice any signs of dullness, decreased recognition of you or surroundings, aggression, etc.?)
Preventative health programs (heartworm tests, fecal exams, etc.) will be discussed.
Any other pertinent points that you feel are important and would like discussed.
What are some of the things that a veterinarian looks for on physical examination of an older pet
Below are listed, by area, some of the changes that your veterinarian will be evaluating as the physical examination is performed on your "senior" pet.
Eyes - Vision quality (normal, decreased, absent), clouding, redness, discharge, evidence of decrease in tear production, squinting, eyelid tumors, swelling around eyes.
Bones/Joints - Pain, difficulty in rising, limping.
Body weight - Normal? Below normal? Overweight?
Attitude - Depressed? Disoriented?
Can't I just wait until my pet gets sick before I start having tests done?
This is not a wise approach, because the more advanced a problem becomes the more difficult it is to treat successfully. Early detection of a condition is always the best approach. Often your pet will show only subtle signs to something that may be of great concern.
How frequently should senior pets be examined by a veterinarian?
It is best that your senior pet be examined at least twice a year. This is so that a physical examination and discussion of your pets condition can be performed. Remember that your pet will age at a faster rate than you!! Examining your senior pet twice a year is similar to you going to your physician for a check-up every 2 years. We recommend that blood and urine tests be performed once a year for your senior pet unless otherwise indicated.
Weight Management Programs
Why is Obesity so Dangerous for Pets?
Obesity is just as dangerous for pets as it is for humans. The extra pounds weigh on an animals cardiovascular and respiratory systems, exacerbating existing problems and causing new ones. Fat cats and dogs are also prone to injury, more at risk in surgery, and predisposed to conditions such as diabetes. And the laundry list of problems doesn't end there. Decreased stamina, diminished immune function, and digestive disorders are all potential consequences of obesity.
How do I know if my dog is overweight
Excess weight is a heavy burden for a pet to bear.
When a dog becomes obese, additional stress is placed on the animals heart, lungs, and joints.
So monitor your dog's weight.
You probably won't convince him to step on the scale each morning, but you can periodically give him a quick examination. Here'?s how. First, run your hand along your dog's side, as if you are petting him. Pressing gently, you should be able to count your dog'?s ribs as your run your hand over him. Then look at your dog objectively.
When viewed from above, does his body angle in in front of his hips, or has he lost his waist?
If these simple tests make you suspect that your pup is getting porky, take him to the veterinarian for a proper examination.
Being severely overweight can significantly diminish your cat or dog'?s quality of life.
So when your porky pet pleads with you for an extra treat, remember that saying no may be the kindest response.
Understanding Your Dog's Body Condition
Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance.
No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible.
No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat.
Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
Ribs palpable without excess fat covering.
Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed.
Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering.
Waist is discernible viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
Ribs palpable with difficulty; heavy fat cover.
Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present.
Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure.
Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.
Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail.
Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distention.
Exercising with your Dog
Exercising with your dog not only strengthens the bond you two share.
it also helps control his weight and maintain a healthy heart, lungs and muscles.
As you exercise with your dog.
consider his needs and present physical condition. Leisurely walks may be best for an older dog while a young dog has ample energy for a vigorous exercise program.
If your dog has more energy to expend than you do, teach him to fetch a ball or a flying disc.
The activity may be just right for you and a challenging exercise for your dog.
If, for whatever reason, you have not exercised your dog regularly and decide to launch a regular exercise program.
go slow at first. Begin with short periods of activity at slow speeds and gradually increase the time, speed and distance.
Begin walking or running your dog on soft surfaces such as dirt, sand or grass until its pads toughen.
Keeping your dog on a leash gives you control when walking or running.
Avoid exercising your dog immediately before or after he's eaten.
A full stomach may cause digestive upsets. Provide only small amounts of water before and directly after exercise.
Weather conditions are an important consideration as you exercise your pet.
Dogs can suffer from frostbite and heat stroke just as people do. If you walk your dog in the snow, be sure to wipe the paw pads to remove any snow and ice buildup or possible salt that may have gotten caught. Remember that your dog'?s feet can be damaged by hot asphalt during the summer.
If you walk your dog in wooded areas during the summer
check his eyes, haircoat and feet for foxtail, seeds and dirt. Also check carefully for ticks. Dogs with short, smooth haircoats may require the warmth of a dog coat or sweater when they go outside during cold weather.
Check with local authorities to find out what local laws allow.
Your police department or animal control department can tell you more about laws in your municipality.
As you walk your dog.
train him to walk at your side to help control him so he won't jump on children, other dogs or adults, frightening them or possibly injuring them.
If your dog has a history of medical problems, work with your veterinarian to plan an appropriate exercise program.
Whatever exercise program you pursue, remember that your dog loves to spend time with you and you can make that time special.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Dog owners can take several different steps to help control their dog's weight.
The first is to cut back on treats and snacks.
These are generally high in calories and may contribute to weight gain.
The second step can be to feed less of the regular dog food.
This usually means measuring the amount of food that's put into the dog's dish to prevent the serving size from increasing over time. Remember that the suggesting serving amount on the package of dog food is a guideline based on average dogs. An individual dog may need less, or more, than the average amount.
Third, owners can increase a dog's exercise with additional walks or playtime each day.
This may help the owner as well as the dog, and has the additional benefit of increasing the amount of time the dog and owner spend together.
Finally, a dog owner could consider switching to a low-calorie food.
These products are designed to allow an owner to serve a nice-size portion while still reducing the calories the dog eats. It is always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian before putting a dog on a weight-loss program. The veterinarian can help tailor a weight-loss program for an individual dog and can track progress and help troubleshoot along the way.
Exercising with your Dog Checklist
Keeping your dog fit through exercise helps them lead happier, healthier lives. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Energetic dogs do best with a fun, high-energy activity like fetching a ball or a flying disc.
Leisurely walks may be best for an older dog.
Go slow. For dogs who haven't exercised regularly, start out slow and work your way up with the intensity of their activities.
Start easy. Begin walking or running your dog on soft surfaces such as dirt, sand or grass until his pads toughen.
Easy boy. Avoid exercising your dog immediately before or after he'?s eaten.
Watch the weather, ?hot or cold. The summer sun can cause dehydration, or worse heat stroke. Be sure your dog has easy access to water all day, every day!.
Keep an eye out. Dogs can pick up foxtail, seeds dirt and ticks so be sure to check their eyes, coat, and feet.
Mind your manners! Train your dog to walk at your side to help control them from jumping on children, other dogs or adults.
Be safe. Talk to your veterinarian before starting any new exercise program.
How do I know if my cat is overweight
Humans aren't the only ones living large.
The obesity epidemic is affecting our cats, too. In fact, between twenty-five and forty percent of pet cats are obese or likely to become obese.
Unfortunately, cat owners don'??t always realize that their once-trim tabby has become a fat feline.
Without proper weight management, their cats continue to grow and become at higher risk for diabetes, arthritis, and other conditions.
So keep an eye on your cat's weight.
When you pat her, gently press down. If you are unable to feel her ribs, consider taking her to the veterinarian for a proper exam. After ruling out any underlying medical causes, your veterinarian can help you develop an appropriate nutrition and exercise plan.
Understanding Your Cat's Body Condition.
While some pet owners think a fat cat is a healthy cat, there are easy ways to find out if your cat has the ideal body condition. Allowing her to get heavy can have a major impact on her health, mobility and lifespan. Use the following tips to better understand your cat'??s body condition and determine if your cat is too thin, ideal or too heavy.
Ribs visible on short-haired cats; no palpable fat; severe abdominal tuck; lumbar vertebrae and wings of ilia easily palpated.
Ribs easily visible on short-haired cats; lumbar vertebrae obvious with minimal muscle mass; pronounced abdominal tuck; no palpable fat.
Started by Dr.John Shontz and Dr. Katherine Settle of Sanford Animal Hospital, the hospital opened for business in April 1991 to serve the citizens of west Sanford/Lee County and reached into Chatham County as well. The hospital was originally created to provide services for "All Animals Great and Small", unfortunately over the years due to service demands and increasing specialization we have chosen to emphasize the care of our small animal patients and no longer provide services for large animals. In 2007 we moved into our state of the art facility located 2 ¼ miles north of our previous location on Highway 421.