Parasites are not only gross but are a threat to your pet, inside and out. Parasites can infect your pet any time of the year. External parasites such as fleas and ticks can survive in the house during the winter months, creating an uninterrupted life cycle. Other internal parasites, such as worms, may affect your pet all year long. That is why it’s important to talk with our team to create a year round parasite control program. By following a few simple guidelines, you can better protect your pets and family.
- Practice good personal hygiene (wash your hands after picking up poo!)
- Use a preventive flea and tick treatment year-round such as Nexgard or Bravecto
- Only feed pets cooked or prepared food (not raw meat).
- Monitor exposure to high-traffic pet areas (such as dog parks).
- Clean up your pet’s feces regularly.
- Visit us regularly for annual testing and WellCare visits.
- Ask us about parasite risks and effective year round prevention that can be given monthly.
Pets can’t say how they’re feeling—it’s usually how they look or act that tells you something is wrong. You play a key role in helping your pet combat illness and stay as healthy as possible. Awareness of the warning signs and regular preventive health screens, including a physical exam and blood work, are the best ways to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy, and happy life.
River Oaks Animal Hospital has a complete laboratory which allows us to get quick results and start treating patients as soon as possible. We are able to run complete blood chemistries, urine testing, fecal / parasite examination, thyroid testing and much more. We also have relationships with outside reference laboratories should more detailed testing be required.
Bloodwork is necessary during sick and emergency situations as well as before surgical procedures to help with anesthetic safety.
There are times we will recommend preventive care screening because the signs that your pet is sick are not always obvious. Preventive care screening not only uncovers disease before it’s too late, but can also help you avoid significant medical expenses and risks to your pet’s health.
We will also require periodic bloodwork while your pet is on certain medications as some of these medications can have side effects. Routine bloodwork can find any problems early and allow your veterinary team to make necessary changes and to ensure the dosages are correct.
What happens when your pet is sick or injured and we need to take a closer look? Our doctors may suggest a radiograph in order to diagnose an ailment. A major benefit of imaging is that it is non-invasive, which means that no incision is necessary to produce an image of your pet. Radiographs, also known as x-rays, are particularly useful for diagnosing fractures, arthritis, and sometimes things that your pet may have eaten. However, not all diseases and conditions are apparent through radiographs and for that reason we may recommend other types of imaging.
River Oaks Animal Hospital utilizes digital X-ray so that the results are immediate. We also send your pet’s radiographs to a veterinary radiologist for their interpretation in order to reach a diagnosis and form a treatment plan.
Sometimes we have to take a closer look within your pet to find the reason they are sick. We can utilize our ultrasound which is especially useful in detecting abdominal diseases and are often able to provide a diagnosis when x-rays cannot. One of our most favorite ultrasounds to perform are pregnancy checks!
Millions of animals suffer rom allergies , yet only a small fraction are ever properly diagnosed and treated. River Oaks Animal Hospital utilizes Allercept Serum IgE Testing which is the industry’s leading test and allows us to choose between two effective treatment solutions. Allergy is a disease caused by the immune system reacting abnormally to everyday substances such as pollens, animal danders, mold spores, mites, and certain foods. Common signs of allergy is itchy skin which leads to scratching, biting, excessive face rubbing, excessive grooming, hair loss, and recurrent ear infections. The usual locations of itching are the belly, feet, base of tail, and face. There are a number of ways to treat allergies such as avoidance of the offending allergens in conjunction with environmental control. Medications such as steroids, antihistamines, or a special food may control clinical signs. In pets with severe allergies, or year round allergies, specific allergy treatments such as immunotherapy may be needed.
Immunotherapy is one of the safest, most effective long-term treatments for allergy. It is the only therapy that targets the root cause of allergic reactions, unlike other treatments that just cover symptoms.
Our doctors have a relationship with a veterinary dermatologist for those cases needing more specialized diagnostics and treatment.
If you are traveling outside of the country and have decided to take your pet with you, give us a call! Depending on where you are traveling to, there may be pet health requirements specific for that destination. It is very important to understand that many of these destinations have specific time frames needed for obtaining a health certificate, updating vaccinations, diagnostic testing, and/or administration of medications or treatments. Dr. Heather Duncan is certified to perform the testing and complete these health certificates. Keep in mind that most of these certificates need to also be endorsed by a federal agent which is coordinated through River Oaks Animal Hospital. Traveling with your pet can be very confusing and frustrating, give us a call and we will walk you through it and help you in any way that we can. If you are planning to travel, visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel for more information.