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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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Tips on Choosing Your Next Animal Hospital

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.

- Surgery

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 service.

- Ultrasound

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

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

is mandatory.

- 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.

- Microchip Installation

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.

- Hospice/Euthanasia

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.