Health Care Services

So you just got a new family member and are overwhelmed by everything the internet is telling you to do with your new pet. Never fear, River Oaks Animal Hospital is here to help you. Come see us to get your pet on a great new start to life. We will help you determine vaccines needed, supplies that are “really” necessary, what food is best, as well as point you in the right direction for training and grooming. Our team is experienced with puppy and kitten house training and can help you during this frustrating phase as well.

Vaccines are very important to the health of your pet. For all puppies we recommend distemper, parvo, adenovirus, and rabies vaccines. Kittens will need FVRCP (Feline rhinotracheitis, calici, and panleukopenia), feline leukemia, and rabies. There are other vaccine options available that are recommended based on lifestyle which will be discussed during the GreatStart physical exam.

Your pet is no longer a puppy or kitten and is due for their first “adult” examination and vaccines and we are here to help. During adulthood your pet’s needs will likely change based on lifestyle and growth changes. Our annual WellCare visits will help us determine what vaccines are necessary during these changes. If your pet is now going to the groomer, daycare, or the dog park his needs will be different than a pet that just sunbathes daily on the lanai.   Consistent WellCare visits during adulthood can help us detect diseases and problems earlier which hopefully will lead to faster recoveries and success stories.

Just like with us, aging is a bummer; however, we can help keep your pet healthy and happy for a long time. Senior pets can develop many of the same diseases that we can such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer. With regular six month Senior WellCare visits, our hope is to discover these diseases and conditions sooner so that treatment can be started. Your pet ages much faster than you do, on average 5-7 years for every one human year, which is why we stress the need for more frequent “nose to tail” examinations. Your veterinarian or Healthcare Nurse might recommend bloodwork as well to detect any early signs of disease. Blood pressure as well as eye pressures may also be discussed. Vaccine needs may also change during the “Golden Years” and we will discuss our recommendations with you.   Sometimes our pets become overweight and lazy as they age but we can help with this too, with dietary recommendations and behavior consultations. There is no expiration date on your pet and we want to keep them happy and healthy for a long time!

River Oaks Animal Hospital will work with you to determine what vaccines will be beneficial for your pet. We follow the guidelines set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Feline Practitioners, and the Companion Animal Parasite Council. We believe in best medical practices and will not “over-vaccinate” your pet. We also offer vaccine titers as an alternative to vaccinating if needed. Our team has been through Fear Free Training and generally can distract with yummy treats while the doctor vaccinates, making the experience much more pleasurable than previous methods.

Over 6 million pets enter US shelters each year, many of which are lost family pets. Unfortunately only 3-4% of dogs and less than 1% of cats are microchipped. Without an ID, 90% of these pets will not return home. A microchip is the only form of pet identification that is permanent, with a unique number than cannot fall off, be altered, or be removed. Implanting a microchip is a simple process that can be done easily during a WellCare visit or while your pet is here getting spayed or neutered. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted into the scruff of your pet’s neck like a vaccinations. We take care of all the registration so that you do not have to worry about a thing! River Oaks Animal Hospital utilizes the HomeAgain chip which can be read by a universal scanner in case you are planning on traveling outside of the country with Fido!

What is the best food for my pet? This is a question that we hear over and over again. We understand how overwhelming this can be, especially when you go to the pet store and see all the aisles of food options. Our team has been trained to help you make the right choice. Proper nutrition is a very important part of your pet’s health. A well balanced and measured diet is key to maintaining steady growth or healthy weight which leads to a long life. Sometimes your pet will actually need to be prescribed a particular diet if there are health problems which may be managed with diet. River Oaks Animal Hospital carries a wide variety of Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet, and Purina Prescription food to fit your pet’s needs.

River Oaks Animal Hospital is passionate about pain control in our patients. Every patient that has a procedure requiring sedation or general anesthesia is provided with pain control and sent home with pain medication as well. Our team will take all necessary steps to relieve any pain before, during, and after your loved one’s surgical procedure.

As your pet ages they will get aches and pains, just like us. Our team can discuss options such as chronic pain medication, cold therapy laser, or referral for alternative therapies.

Can you imagine telling your dog, “Let’s go to the vet!” and seeing her tail wag? How about getting out your cat’s carrier and seeing him come running? Well hopefully we can make that happen for you. In 2016 we became a part of a new initiative sweeping veterinary medicine designed to ease the stress, fear, and anxiety so many pets experience while at the veterinarian.

Known as Fear FreeSM, the training and certification program helps veterinarians modify their procedures, handling, and facilities to help pets feel safe and comfortable while receiving the medical care they need.

Founded by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free training program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.

To become certified, our team was required to complete a comprehensive, 8-part educational course and exam. They also have to take continuing education to remain certified.

Utilization of Fear Free methods and protocols leads to reduction or removal of anxiety triggers, which creates an experience that is rewarding and safer for all involved including pets, their owners, and veterinary health care teams. Learn more at

Make sure to bring your pet hungry and let us know of any allergies that your pet or yourself may have to food. We use a ton of cheese and peanut butter but we will ask permission first!

Pet parents today want the very best for the pets. There has been a huge change in current owners from pet owners just a few years ago. Animals provide us so much love that I argue they are just as important to us as we are to them. The argument could be that they actually take care of us. In our profession we have seen plenty of pets bring smiles to their pet owners’ faces but here are just a few other things that pets provide:

  • Reduction of anxiety and stress.
  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Reduction of heart disease risks
  • Prevention of allergies in children
  • Helping children with Autism
  • Healing veterans with PTSD
  • Increasing social interaction
  • Supporting longer life

Understanding and supporting the human animal bond will have great impacts on how we can help your pet but also the pet parent.

If you’ve ever had the experience of having a wart frozen off, then you’re already familiar with the procedure known as cryosurgery. Our pets can also benefit from cryosurgery, which is an effective non-invasive way to treat small skin and eyelid masses. Cryosurgery uses nitrous oxide to freeze off the unwanted tissue. Because cells are made up of mostly water, ice crystals form inside of them when they are exposed to freezing temperatures provided by cryotherapy. The frozen cells then rupture and die, and over time, the affected tissue with fall off. This procedure is especially useful in small benign skin masses which are common in older dogs. Cryosurgery is quick and non-invasive, and while sedation is sometimes needed, often a local anesthetic is all that is required for most skin masses. Most of the time this is an outpatient procedure and can be performed during your normal office visit. If your pet is plagued by small skin tags or warts, ask us if cryosurgery is an option.

If your pet is feeling pain, has inflammation, or a wound, the laser is a sterile, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment. River Oaks Animal Hospital uses the Companion Therapy Laser which is a laser light delivered through a non-invasive hand-piece to treat the affected area. Your pet will feel a gentle and soothing warmth. As the laser is administered, many pets will relax, much like you would experiencing a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate. The laser works by sending photons (packets of light energy), deep into tissue without damaging it. These photons are absorbed within the mitochondria of the cells and induce a chemical change called “photo-bio-modulation”. This light energy then inspires production of ATP in the cell. ATP is the fuel, or energy, cells need for repair and rejuvenation. Impaired or injured cells do not make this fuel at an optimal rate. Increased ATP production leads to healthier cells, healthier tissue, and healthier animals. Laser therapy is a fantastic adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis and other causes of pain.

River Oaks Animal Hospital is a veterinarian located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We provide pet wellness services, health care services, diagnostic services, pet dental care, boarding, grooming and emergency services at our veterinarian clinic.

974 International Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579

© 2017 - 2024 River Oaks Animal Hospital, All rights reserved.