Apart from these sections, there are grooming and health care divisions in most animal hospitals. Grooming services ensure that the outer appearances of pets are clean and well-maintained.
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When trying to find the ideal veterinary practice to care for your pets, you should ensure the
veterinarians and vet clinic provide full service. The below list of veterinary services should be a
minimum offered by your next animal hospital.
- Immunization and Wellness Care
Prevent illness whenever possible. The time and effort invested in wellness programs has rewards for
both pets and owners. Wellness programs should be designed specifically for each of your pets by your
veterinarian and include comprehensive physical exam, oral assessment, internal parasite testing, heart
worm and flea control, vaccination program, spay and neuter package and specialized blood tests for all
life stages. Risk assessments for each pet should be offered to help you decide which protocols your pet
needs for optimum protection against disease and illness. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all
- Dental Care
Regular professional cleaning is important in maintaining the teeth. Life expectancy has been shown to
increase 3-5 years with routine dental cleaning. Modern and safe ultrasonic and hand scaling should be
used to clean each tooth thoroughly, above and below the gum line. As part of this dental care, your
next animal hospital should do a complete oral and neck exam, chart each tooth for any problems and
then polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface more resistant to tartar buildup. A barrier
sealant should also be applied to the teeth and gums to help slow plaque and tartar buildup. Digital
dental radiography should be available to diagnose hidden problems along with advanced dental surgery
to treat them. Home care dental supplies and recommend routine dental hygiene should be available.
General surgery needs to be one of the vet clinic services provided to include spays, neuters, growth
removals, hernia repairs, hematoma repairs and other. Electronic cardiac monitoring, comprehensive
blood testing, oxygen saturation monitors and intensive post-operative surgery care need to be part of
This noninvasive, state of the art technology uses sound waves to painlessly examine specific internal
organs, primarily the heart and abdominal organs, along with pregnancy exams is a staple of a good
practice and should be offered. Cardiac ultrasound is a growing tool to evaluate and monitor heart
disease in our pets allowing them to live longer, happier lives.
Radiology (X-ray) is a must as it assists veterinarians evaluate musculoskeletal, cardiovascular,
cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary systems.
- Emergency and Critical Care
In any emergency, seconds count. The veterinary staff must be equipped to administer basic life support
- Airway, Breathing and Circulation/Cardiac compressions. IV and heart monitoring and pain medication
administration while the pet is being treated are essential. If emergency care is not offered outside
regular business hours, immediate and easy referral to a local, fully staffed veterinary emergency center
- Nutritional Counseling
Some pets require special food, and all pets benefit from a balance diet. A Fit-For-Life Weight
Management certified animal hospital staff is important to help you choose the right veterinary diet to
keep your pet happy, healthy and active. Pet nutrition has become so advanced, that there are even
preventive diets such as breed specific and Early Care diets.
- Pain Management
Veterinary patients feel pain and discomfort under the same circumstances as people. Recognizing and
alleviating pain in animals is the essence of good patient care. Whether it is surgical pain or chronic
osteoarthritis pain, protocols to keep your pet happy and comfortable must be offered. Multimodal
approach to pain management through specialty diets, physical therapy, veterinary medicines and
specialized therapies should be considered.
Microchips have helped reunite thousands of pets with their families. If you are in a hurricane prone
area, a microchip can save your pet from homelessness if disaster strikes and this service should be
- Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
Physical therapy and rehabilitation has long been known to speed and strengthen healing for people
after injuries or surgery. Although this service is not a must have, a Certified Canine Rehabilitation
Practitioner on the veterinary staff you select is a real bonus. A rehabilitation plan for your pet, whether
it is for complete healing or for lifelong management of a specific problem, can be constructed.
- Veterinary Products
A wide range of high quality veterinary drugs, including heart worm and flea control with mailing service
should be offered.
Saying goodbye to a long time friend is painful. This service needs to be offered and include taking care
of the remains as directed by the client and/or arranging cremation services.
In searching for your next animal hospital, check that the practice provides the above services. There is
no need to use two or more practices if one veterinary clinic provides everything you may need to care
for your pets.