When it comes to your pet’s health care, prevention is the key. Our veterinarians recommend that your pet receives a physical exam at least once a year, more often for senior pets. Regular physical exams are just as important for your pet as they are for you. Exams give a complete picture of your pet’s health and are useful in detecting diseases and other health problems in the early stages-before they become more difficult, and more expensive, to treat.
Our veterinarians perform a complete examination of your pet, nose to tail. We listen to the pet’s heart and lungs, evaluate his or her vision, hair coat, skin-checking for fleas, check for unusual lumps, look at your pet’s teeth and ear canals, and check your pet’s joints for swelling or stiffness.
If your pet is having any specific problems or concerns, those may be addressed specifically through a more focused or diagnostic evaluation. Blood testing, radiographs and a urinalysis often allow us to assess your pet’s health beyond what we can see, feel or hear during routine exams.
Over the years, vaccines against dangerous diseases have saved millions of pets and virtually eliminated some fatal diseases that were once common. Unfortunately, many infectious diseases still pose a threat to dogs and cats that are unvaccinated. Although vaccine programs have been highly successful and vaccines are considered routine today, pet owners cannot afford to become complacent about keeping their pets up to date on their vaccinations.
Many vaccines are available for use in dogs and cats, but not every pet needs every available vaccine. We consider some vaccines core vaccines that should be administered to all pets, and we consider other vaccines optional. We take into consideration your pet’s lifestyle, age, overall health, their risk exposure to disease, their travel habits and regional considerations. Each pet is unique and no single vaccine program will be ideal for every pet. We will give you the best advice for keeping your pet healthy.
One of the most important aspects of any preventive medicine regimen is the ability to analyze how well your pet’s internal organs and processes are functioning. We can detect many diseases and conditions that may go unnoticed in their early stages. For example, are the kidneys and liver doing their jobs to remove waste from the blood stream? Does your pet have internal parasites? Is a growth on your pet’s skin benign?
Laboratory testing allows your veterinarian to gain a view inside your pet’s body in order to assess overall systemic health, often without the need for invasive and expensive procedures.
Radiology, the most common form of diagnostic imaging, allows us to view the shape, size and location of organs inside your pet’s body. A radiograph (sometimes called an x-ray) is extremely helpful in diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. Radiographs can be used to evaluate bones as well as the size, shape and position of many of the body’s organs. The size of organs is important because some medical conditions-such as kidney, heart or liver disease- can alter the size of these organs. The shape and position of organs can be altered or distorted by certain medical conditions, including intestinal blockage or cancer. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also be detected using radiography. Radiography can also be used to diagnose bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases and a variety of other conditions.
At Canyon Pet Hospital we have digital radiology equipment which allows detailed images and enhances the veterinarian’s ability to detect problems. To help us arrive at a diagnosis, radiographs are easily submitted electronically to a board certified radiologist for review.
Canyon Pet provides a wide range of surgical services for our patients. From routine surgical procedures, such as spays and neuters, to more complicated emergency and soft tissue surgeries. Prior to each surgery, each patient receives a thorough physical examination to identify any existing medical conditions. However, because not all conditions can be detected on examination, we also perform pre-anesthetic blood testing. These tests not only give us a more complete picture of your pet’s health but allow us to tailor an anesthetic plan that is specific for your pet.
We know that surgery can be a source of anxiety and stress for many pet owners. With our focus on patient safety, pain management, patient monitoring before, during and after surgery we will take care to ensure a safe and complete recovery for your pet. When your pet is ready to go home, we will review your postoperative care and medication instructions. Questions are always welcomed whether it is at the time of your pet’s discharge or at any time during the postoperative period. Call us-we are just a phone call away. We will make every effort to ensure that your pet receives the very best of care.
Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health. Dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease.
Signs of dental problems
- Bad breath-one of the first signs of dental disease often caused by bacteria.
- A yellowish or brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums indicating possible gingivitis which occurs when plaque hardens into rough, irritating tartar.
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Loose or missing teeth, often the result of periodontal disease
You can make sure that serious dental problems keep from happening by making sure your pet receives regular dental exams and teeth cleanings.
Each year, many pets go missing and don’t make it back home. Many pets (especially indoor pets) don’t wear a collar or name tag. Yet even collars can break off and tags can become damaged and unreadable. 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 cannot get lost, stolen or damaged. A microchip is a safe, easy form of identification that significantly increases the chance that your pet will return safely.
A microchip about the size of a grain of rice is implanted under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique number that corresponds to a national database that includes your contact information. A quick scan of your pet reveals your pet’s unique identification number and if your pet is found by someone and taken to a veterinary hospital or animal shelter a scanner can detect the number. A phone call to the microchip company with the pet recovery database traces the pet to the owner so that the pet and worried owner can be reunited.