Pet Health Maintenance Services in Carolina Forest

Internal MedicineRiver Oaks Animal Hospital is a full-service, state-of-the-art animal hospital staffed by a skilled, caring veterinary team. Beyond our comprehensive wellness services, we also offer expert treatment for eye disorders, allergy and dermatology treatment, cancer treatment, nutrition counseling and prescription diets, behavior counseling and more.

Whether your pet is a playful puppy or kitten, active adult dog or cat, or a senior pet entering his or her golden years, we use a personalized approach to high-quality pet care in Carolina Forest based on your pet's breed and lifestyle and your expectations. Dr. Duncan and the entire staff at River Oaks Animal Hospital are passionate about ensuring your pet receives the best care available in a professional, loving environment. As a part of our commitment to you and your pet, we're also happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about caring for your cherished companion.

Internal Medicine for Your Carolina Forest Pet

Despite the very best preventive care, your pet can become sick. When this happens, it is stressful for you and your pet, especially because you can't simply ask your companion what's wrong. You need a skilled veterinarian you can trust to accurately diagnose and effectively treat your pet.

While the focus of our medical practice at River Oaks Animal Hospital is your pet's wellness, an important part of our services is the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of diseases that can affect your pet's internal organs and body systems. Dr. Duncan, supported by River Oaks Animal Hospital's advanced diagnostic technology, has expertise in diagnosing and treating complex internal medicine cases such as kidney, heart, respiratory, immune-mediated and endocrine diseases. For illnesses requiring more specialized care, we will refer you to an skilled and trusted internist not far from our practice.

Allergies and Skin Problems in Dogs and Cats

Allergy-related and dermatological conditions are very common in pets. They are typically due to fleas, but can also be the result of food or an inhaled irritant like dust or pollen. It is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms, because if left untreated they can become serious health concerns for your pet. These include:

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, please make an appointment to have him or her seen by Dr. Duncan at our animal hospital in Carolina Forest. We will evaluate your pet, determine the most effective method of treatment, and explain how you can best prevent future problems. If left untreated, your pet's allergic reactions and skin conditions can become serious medical concerns.

Glaucoma PreventionGlaucoma Prevention

Glaucoma is a common condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases, resulting in damage to the optic nerve followed by loss of vision and blindness. There are two types of glaucoma. Primary or chronic glaucoma is hereditary or develops as your pet ages. Secondary or acute glaucoma develops as the result of an injury or illness. Because secondary glaucoma can progress rapidly, it is considered an emergency situation requiring immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of glaucoma to look for include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Pain
  • Cloudy-looking eye
  • Bulging eyeball

For your pet's comfort and safety, we use a handheld tonometer to measure the fluid pressure inside his or her eyes. This is a noninvasive, simple procedure that should not cause your pet any discomfort or stress.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy uses stem cells from your pet's body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. Stem cell therapy is most commonly used to treat Osteoarthritis in dogs and cats, but clinical research continues to explore other uses for stem cells, including repairing bone, ligament and spinal cord injuries and treating kidney and liver disease. Dr. Duncan is certified to perform stem cell therapy through VetStem.

How is stem cell therapy performed?

After it is determined stem cell therapy is an appropriate treatment for your pet, there are three steps:

Most cases will be performed as an outpatient procedure. Other than rest and supportive measures, minimal special care is required after treatment. Dr. Duncan will discuss your pet's specific risk factors with you before treatment.

Nutrition and WeightYour Pet's Nutrition

Proper nutrition and a balanced diet along with fresh, clean water are essential ingredients for your pet's overall good health. As your pet's caregiver, nutrition is the most significant health variable you control.

Feeding your pet the highest-quality food you can afford is one of the best ways you can contribute to his or her health and vitality. Although the differences between premium and budget varieties may not be apparent on their nutrition labels, they are in the quality of the ingredients. Both may contain the same amount of protein but be very different when it comes to digestibility and nutritional value. Making the best nutritional choices for your dog or cat not only affects general health, but will improve the quality and length of your pet's life.

To support your efforts Dr. Duncan performs a thorough body condition evaluation during each physical examination and gives recommendations based on what she observes. We can also provide you vital information on proper serving size, nutrient needs and feeding strategies and help you navigate pet food claims so you can make informed choices.

Prescription Diets

Some pets have serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions that benefit from a special diet. When that is the case, we may recommend feeding a special prescription diet. Making this change can have a significant positive impact on your pet's overall health and well-being.

Prescription diets benefit medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney disease, digestive problems, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and more. For your convenience River Oaks Animal Hospital carries Hill's Science Diet, Royal Canin and Purina prescription foods.

Behavior Counseling

Even with the right training and lots of attention and love, your dog or cat can develop bad habits or unwanted behaviors. If your pet is exhibiting unwanted and troubling behaviors, we can help. River Oaks Animal Hospital offers behavior counseling for many of your pet's problems, including inappropriate urination or defecation, aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate chewing and barking and introduction of new pets into the household.

Causes of behavior problems can be environmental, such as a schedule change or introduction of a new baby or pet; learned, as a result of unintentional positive reinforcement; or genetic. Furthermore, any painful disease or condition or degenerative changes associated with aging can cause or contribute to behavior problems. Addressing the underlying medical problem or providing pain relief, along with behavior modification techniques, can often resolve some of these problems.

Our assessment begins with your pet's clinical history and a thorough medical examination. Before beginning behavior therapy, any medical problems that have been diagnosed will be treated. We then work closely with you in developing a specific plan to help eliminate your pet's unwanted behavior.

TreatmentTreating Your Pet's Cancer

The word cancer strikes fear in all of us; however, there is hope if your pet is diagnosed with the disease. New advances in veterinary medicine have made possible much longer lives and greatly improved quality of life. Successful cancer treatment often lies in early detection. Early detection can be difficult because cancer may not present itself as a lump on the skin, but may develop inside the body. If possible, Dr. Duncan will removal your pet's tumor surgically.

Your pet's cancer, depending on the specific type, may be responsive to chemotherapy, including a variety of oral and injectable drugs. Dogs and cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy well and rarely develop side effects similar to humans. If chemotherapy is recommended, we will be happy to refer to you an experienced oncologist for your pet's treatment.


To best meet all of your pet's needs, Dr. Duncan refers patients to the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center when necessary. The veterinary team at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center is skilled and experienced in cardiology, dentistry, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, physical therapy, surgery, radiology consults and emergency and critical care.

If you would like more information about the Carolina Forest veterinary health maintenance services River Oaks Animal Hospital offers for your pet or to schedule an appointment at our animal hospital in Myrtle Beach, please call (843) 236-6080.