Taking care of your “Senior Pet” is different than taking care of a young, active dog. Dogs and cats don’t lose weight simply because they are getting old. Most of the time there is an underlying disease that is causing your pet to eat less or lose weight. We recommend yearly exams and bloodwork on your senior pets starting at eight years of age. The bloodwork monitors liver and kidney function, does a complete white blood cell count, red blood cell count, checks for diabetes and thyroid diseases just to name a few. Arthritis is common in older pets and your vet can recommend a daily pain medication to make them more comfortable. There are many things that can be done to improve the quality of life of your beloved pet. Talk to your veterinarian at your next visit to see what is best for your senior pet.
One of our most important goals as veterinary professionals is to prevent illness (i.e. wellness care). We recommend yearly head to tail physical examinations for every pet. Our pets are experts at hiding problems, and thorough physicals can illuminate dental disease, heart murmurs, parasites, or other issues that can be addressed before the pet actually becomes ill.
Each pet has unique needs based on breed, age, environment, activity level and many other factors. Recommended vaccinations, parasite testing, blood testing and heartworm, flea and tick preventative are tailored to YOUR pet.
Don’t forget the cats!
It is often said that cats are “masters of disguise”. This is very true. Many cats are independent and hide their diseases very well. It is in their nature to hide any signs of weakness or illness to protect themselves from their predators out in the wild. Often, when our feline pets are sick, they just lie around, sleep a lot and bask in the sunshine. When our cats are doing well, they lie around, sleep a lot and bask in the sunshine. That is why we often do not realize ours cats are sick until much later in the course of their illness. In many cases, if we can catch these illnesses early we can cure or slow down their progression. Better yet, if we can prevent some of these diseases all together our cats will be healthier and, hopefully, will live longer. Preventing diseases in our pets is healthier and cheaper in the long run. Taking your cat to the veterinarian regularly is an important first step in trying to prevent many of these diseases and trying to catch illnesses quickly.
To both the owner and the cat, it is often very difficult and stressful to get your feline friend to the veterinarian clinic. Helping your cat become comfortable with his pet carrier is often the first step in this process. Here is a link with some helpful suggestions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RGY5oSKVfo.
In addition to acclimation of the cat to the carrier, it is sometimes helpful to give medications to a cat at home before the vet visit to make this whole process go a little smoother for everyone.
Contact us about any questions you may have about bringing your cat to the veterinary clinic for regular examinations and preventive health care. By taking your cat to the veterinarian regularly and providing preventive care, we can help our cats living longer and healthier lives.
Puppies & Kittens
Puppies need a series of vaccines to prevent deadly diseases such as parvo virus. Your puppy can start his vaccines at 6 to 8 weeks old, and they need to be administered monthly until the pet is at least 16 weeks of age. At his last puppy visit, a one year rabies vaccine is given. Heartworm and flea/tick prevention is given at each visit. Stool samples are examined at two separate visits, and appropriate deworming medication is administered if necessary. Our registered veterinary technicians will counsel new puppy owners on crate training, house breaking, play biting, and anything else needed. A veterinarian will also examine the puppy at each appointment. We recommend spaying or castrating your puppy at anywhere between six and eight months of age depending on breed.
A kitten’s first visit to the vet should occur between six and eight weeks of age. At the first visit, a feline leukemia test is performed to ensure that your beloved new family member does not have this deadly disease. Like puppies, vaccines are started at the first visit and will continue monthly until the kitten is at least 16 weeks old. Stool samples are examined at several visits, and appropriate deworming medication is prescribed if necessary. At the final visit, a one year rabies vaccine is administered as well. Behavioral counseling for common feline behavioral issues such as inappropriate elimination (urinating or defecating outside of the litter box) or scratching on inappropriate surfaces is provided throughout the kitten visits. Depending on the kitten’s environment and exposure, heartworm, flea and tick medication may be prescribed. We recommend spaying or castrating your kitten at 5 to 6 months of age.
Animal Aid Clinic South provides the highest quality medical services available for your pets. We treat a wide variety of illnesses on a daily basis. Some of the most common things we see are skin and ear problems, vomiting and diarrhea, and injuries and lameness. We also treat many more complicated illnesses, such as diabetes, ocular disease, pancreatitis and even cancer. We have a wide array of diagnostic equipment available to help the veterinarians in making a diagnosis on a sick pet. We offer digital radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy and in house bloodwork. Our Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT’s) are on hand all day and provide excellent nursing care to our hospitalized patients. Even in ICU or Isolation, your pet will feel loved and comforted in order to speed up the healing process.
Animal Aid Clinic South offers a wide array of surgical services for dogs and cats. Spays (ovariohysterectomy) and castrations are done on a routine basis to help control the pet population. There are also many health benefits to these procedures such as reducing the risk of cancer, less behavioral problems and also decreased skin and allergy problems.
Dr. Nelson also does many orthopedic procedures including repairing torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) and fracture repairs among others.
Some of the most interesting surgeries that we perform are foreign body removal. Many dogs eat things they shouldn’t and these items become lodged in their stomach or small intestines and must be removed. You just never know what you will find in there. We have removed rocks, toys, carpet, blankets, plastic sacks, pacifiers, coins, and the list goes on and on.
What to expect when you drop your pet off for surgery
We ask that you fast your pet overnight and don’t offer any food after 6pm the night before surgery. Water is fine up until they arrive at the clinic at 8am. Just like humans, sometimes anesthesia may upset your pet’s stomach. Having an empty stomach helps decrease this complication.
When you arrive at the clinic, a receptionist will take a brief history from you about your pet and verify what they are here for. Options at the time of surgery include pre-anesthetic bloodwork and placing a microchip. The bloodwork checks your pet’s liver, kidneys and blood glucose to make sure there are no underlying problems. Next, a veterinarian will perform an examination on your pet to make sure they are healthy enough for surgery. Your pet will be given pre-anesthetic pain medications and will get an individually tailored anesthetic prior to their surgery. During surgery our highly-skilled technicians will monitor your pet’s heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, blood pressure and ECG. Once surgery is finished, the technicians continue to monitor your pet until they are fully awake. Additional pain medication is given as needed and will be sent home with you to keep your pet comfortable as they recover.
Radiographs (commonly known as X-Rays) are needed to diagnose many medical conditions. We have a state of the art digital radiograph machine that allows us to transfer your pets x-rays to computer monitors in the exam rooms for the owners to view. We also have ultrasound technology that allows us to detect pregnancies and common abdominal illnesses.
Dental health is very important for the overall wellness of your pet. Although dogs and cats do not complain about dental pain the way that people do, there is sufficient evidence that shows that infected or fractured teeth do cause significant discomfort. Often, symptoms of dental pain are very subtle and develop gradually. Often, owners of pets who have been treated for significant dental disease will report that the dog or cat acts better than they have for many years.
Annual dental screenings are done during your pet’s wellness examination. The veterinarian will determine the stage of dental disease and may recommend a dental cleaning. Most pets will need their teeth cleaned several times in their life, but some much more often. Occasionally, due to fractured teeth or infected roots, teeth may need to be extracted. Our state of the art dental equipment is used for cleaning and extracting teeth. Many owners become wary of having their pet’s teeth extracted. It’s important to remember that a fractured or infected tooth is painful and the pet will feel much better once it is removed. Dogs and cats rarely have difficulty eating without their teeth.
All patients must be anesthetized for a thorough dental scaling to be performed. Beware of situations where “anesthesia free dentistry” is advertised. Anesthesia allows for teeth to be scaled under the gum line (this would be far too painful for an awake patient). It also allows for full mouth radiographs (x-rays) to be taken of the patient’s teeth. This is incredibly important since 60% or more of dental disease is located under the gum line.
Obesity is one of the most common diseases in pets today. We can help you tailor a diet to meet your pet’s individual needs to ensure a longer and healthier life. Please call today for your consultation!
We are comfortable seeing a variety of exotic pets, including rabbits, ferrets, rats and guinea pigs. Although many exotic species do not require annual vaccinations (ferrets are an exception to that rule), an annual examination is essential to evaluate dental health, weight, nutrition, etc. At the time of examination, we will discuss with you the health benefits linked to spaying or neutering your pet.
Behavioral problems are the leading cause of pet abandonment. It is our goal to make sure this doesn’t happen to you! Many behavioral problems can be improved and cured with proper training and occasionally medication. It is important to remember that behavioral problems are developed due to a medical problem. If you have a pet that you feel has separation anxiety, aggression, is urinating outside of the litter box, or any other behavioral problem, don’t hesitate, call today!
All of the veterinarians and technicians have extensive training in animal behavior. We are available for consultation for any of your pet’s behavioral needs. A veterinarian and technician will work together to help your pet and your family.
We are also here to help you with new pet selection. We can help you pick the proper pet and breed for your family and lifestyle. Just ask!