Prevention, General Care, Diagnostics and Surgery
We offer a wide variety of routine and advanced veterinary services for your dog, cat, ferret, gerbil, or any other small animal that you love and care about.
We have listed many of our services here, however they are quite extensive. We encourage you to call Providence Veterinary Hospital at 610-872-4000 to ask your specific question or use our contact form and inquire online.
In an emergency, call our hospital at 610-872-4000. Although we are not open 24 hours a day, this does not mean that emergencies can not happen at any time of the day or night.
When you call our hospital at 610-872-4000, a person (not a machine) will answer and direct you to either an open and ready-for-service emergency veterinary hospital or to one of our two veterinarians that may be on call. Either way, your pet will be seen by a competent licensed veterinarian. Often, a pet will receive life saving emergency care and then spend time as an in-patient at our hospital, while recovering from the illness or trauma.
Emergency calls are very important to us and we take pride in knowing that we stand ready 24 hours a day to handle your call.
Did your dog consume chocolate? Use the calculator below to determine the level of toxicity your pet consumed.
What is a laser?
A laser is a device that generates an intense beam of light at a specific wavelength.
How does a laser work?
Our patients are treated with a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the most widely used type of medical laser in the world. CO2 lasers produce an invisible beam that vaporizes the water normally found in the skin and other soft tissue. Because the laser beam can be precisely controlled, it removes or “cuts” only a thin layer of tissue at one time, leaving the surrounding areas unaffected. This level of control allows us to be extremely precise in every laser surgery procedure.
Why laser surgery?
Less Pain – The laser seals nerve endings as it “cuts”, so your pet may require less anesthesia during the operation, reducing the risk of complications. Pain after surgery is also reduced.
Less Bleeding – The laser seals small blood vessels during surgery.
Less Swelling – Laser energy does not crush, tear or bruise because there is no physical contact with the tissue.
What does this mean for my pet?
Reduced Risk of Infection – The laser sterilizes as it removes diseased tissue, killing bacteria that cause infection.
Precision – The laser can remove unhealthy tissue without affecting or removing surrounding healthy tissue.
Quick Return to Normal Activities – Healing is rapid and there is less post-operative discomfort. Laser procedures reduce the trauma to your pet, improve healing, and may shorten time spent in the veterinary hospital.
Are lasers new?
No. Laser technology has been in use for more than 20 years – medical doctors have used lasers to help many thousands of people. We are pleased to be among the first veterinary practices to offer laser surgery specifically for animals.
What types of procedures can a laser perform?
A laser is ideal for a wide variety of surgical procedures for dogs, cats, birds and other animals. Laser surgery can correct many common conditions such as cysts, tumors, warts and infections that may occur around the eyes, ears, in the mouth, and anywhere on the skin. Specialized internal procedures are also possible. Your veterinarian at Providence Veterinary Hospital will be able to tell you if your pet’s procedure can be performed with a laser.
General Care: Cleaning, Polishing and Digital Dental X-rays
Specialty Care: Restorations, Reconstruction, Root Canals and Extractions
The teeth and gums are part of the digestive system. Lack of care can lead to far reaching disease in other parts of the body. Sinusitis, heart disease, kidney disease, and respiratory disease are a few examples of diseases that can be traced back to a diseased mouth.
We recommend that your pet have their teeth examined once a year. It is very likely that a professional scaling and polishing will be recommended once your pet reaches the age of two or three years. Simply put: If you take care of the teeth and gums your pet has, your pet will live longer. If you do not pay attention to the mouth of your pet, your pet may acquire systemic disease because of diseased gums, and die an early death. Systemic disease can include kidney, liver, lung, heart, sinus, and gastrointestinal disease.
Did you know that about 75% of all dental problems serious enough to be seen by a veterinarian and almost all teeth lost in adult dogs and cats are a result of periodontal disease? It is associated with 95% of all cases of bad breath. It can also be associated with loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, heart disease, kidney disease, and just plain irritability.
You can perform your own home examination to determine if your pet is in need of a dental cleaning:
At Providence Veterinary Hospital, we can clean your pet’s teeth, repair fractured or broken teeth, perform root canals, treat apical abscess, periodontal or gum disease and can treat many more dental diseases your pet may encounter. We recommend that your pet should be examined for dental disease at least once per year. If your pet is prone to disease, then the examination should be performed more often.
We are fortunate to have a NovaDent high speed and low speed drill for treating teeth and a Piezo electronic scaler for efficient teeth cleaning.
All living creatures eventually enter a sunset phase of their lives. For pets, it seems that their lives are much shorter than ours. It seems that way because it is shorter. We live our lives for 70 or 80 years, while your pet may live for 10 or 20 years.
As your pet ages, more maintenance is needed to insure that your pet lives as normal a life span as possible. By finding little problems as your pet ages, the big problems are put off or prevented. The effort results in your pet living longer.
We recognize the need for special care and detection of little problems as your pet ages. We call this geriatric care program the “Wellness Program” much like your aging parents get as they get older. The more diligent we are in detecting small problems in aging pets, the less likely they will die prematurely.
The Wellness Program is designed to maintain health and prevent illness during your pet’s declining years by promoting early detection and treatment of illness. This is done by getting a baseline of information on the health of your pet through diagnostic procedures before it shows sign of illness. After establishing the baseline of information, the wellness program involves regular examinations and periodic testing specific to each individual. The baseline information will help to determine whether your pet is in an early disease state. This information also provides you with more effective and often less costly treatment options, a longer life for your pet and fewer surprises.
Bathing a dog or cat or other pet in the hospital serves many purposes:
● A pet can be bathed for the obvious reason… it’s dirty and needs to be cleaned.
● A medical condition has been diagnosed and bathing a pet with a specific shampoo can be very therapeutic.
Shampoos act as tools to the veterinarian. One shampoo or another can make the difference as to whether your pet’s skin condition improves. If your dog has scaly, dry skin, bathing that dog in a shampoo designed for scaly dry skin will improve your dog’s coat. If a different shampoo is used, let’s say a grooming shampoo or a supermarket generic, then your dog’s coat and skin will not improve nearly as much.
Sometime pet owners will confuse the words bathing and grooming. Bathing is the washing, drying, and combing of your pet. Grooming is done by a professional stylist that personalizes and cuts your pet’s fur. A groomer will bathe your pet during the grooming process, much like you get your hair washed before it gets cut. On the contrary, one does not usually get a haircut every time one takes a bath.
Boarding your pet can be an unsettling experience. It’s like dropping a child off for summer camp or taking your older child to college for the first time and saying good bye.
Fortunately, we understand those feelings and make every effort to care for and comfort your pet while boarding with us. Sometimes this means that your pet needs a special medical diet, or likes to have its special blanket with your scent, or requires bottled water to drink. Whatever the need, if it can be met, we will meet it so that your pet maintains its level of comfort while during your vacation or business trip.
We have over 50 kennels reserved for boarding. It is advisable to make a reservation during busy boarding seasons. Times such as the summer, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and any holiday you would consider vacationing, other pet owners probably are planning to do the same thing. Reservations are easy. Call the hospital at 610-872-4000 to make a reservation to ensure we can accommodate your pet.
If you board your pet with us for three consecutive days, we offer a bath at half price so your pet can come home clean and smelling fresh.
When a patient is scheduled for surgery, or for that matter, any anesthetic procedure, certain options are offered to the owners to insure their pet’s safety and comfort. Like you, our greatest concern is the well-being of the patient. Before putting your pet under anesthesia, we will perform a full physical examination. However, many conditions, including disorders of the liver, kidneys or blood, are not detected unless blood testing is performed. Such tests are especially important before any kind of surgery or putting your pet under anesthesia. Our laboratory is fully equipped and staffed to perform these important blood tests for the safety of your pet. Results will be immediately available to examine before anesthesia and/or surgery.
Our hospital has a machine that can measure internal temperature, heart rate, and the amount of oxygen in your pet’s blood stream on a continual basis during anesthesia. We require every dog and cat get “EM” or Electronic Monitoring during their procedure. We can tell how your pet is doing on a moment to moment basis.
When these parameters are measured on a moment to moment basis, adjustments to your pet’s anesthesia and temperature control can be accomplished by our technicians during surgery long before any clinical signs develop. This insures your pet the utmost comfort and safety during short or long surgical procedures.
Quite possibly, after surgery, your pet will experience some pain upon coming out of anesthesia. We suggest and can administer pain medication to your pet for the purpose of alleviating pain after surgery, if needed.
All the above mentioned items, pre-operative blood testing, laser surgery, and pain management are all listed on our surgery consent form prior to your dropping off your pet for surgery. For the safety and comfort of your pet, we recommend that all options be answered “yes”.
Whether you have a healthy pet or a sick pet, Providence Veterinary Hospital is ready to advise you on the nutritional needs of your pet. By feeding appropriate nutrition to your pet, and most important, taking into consideration the condition of your pet, we can optimize the health of your pet.
We carry the following lines of special medical diets:
Hill’s Prescription Diets offer a variety of formulas to support the treatment of your pet’s’ adverse reaction to foods, cardiovascular disease, fiber responsive diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, hepatic disorders, renal disease, obesity, oral health, pre and post-surgery, urolithiasis, urinary tract disease and more. Please see us to determine which Prescription Diet product is right for your sick pet. Hill’s carries a line of healthy pet diets as well. You may want to explore Hill’s Prescription Diets on your own by going to the Hill’s Prescription Diets website.
Iams Veterinary Formula Diets and Royal Canin Veterinary Diets are also helpful in aiding similar medical conditions as well as having a full line of normal diets. Since there are so many diets to choose from, we have provided links to the Iams Veterinary Formula website as well as Royal Canin Veterinary Diets website so you may familiarize yourself with their product lines.
We feel that by offering a variety of the best diets for your pet, one specific diet will appeal to your pet’s taste and make treatment easier. If your pet looks forward to dinner and you know you are doing the right thing by feeding your pet a special diet, everyone wins!
Many of the surgical procedures performed at Providence Veterinary Hospital are routine such as spaying, declawing, laceration repair and castrations. We also perform specialized procedures such as:
Ear: Reconstructive ear surgery, ear crop, lateral ear canal resection, vertical ear canal ablation and whole ear canal ablation.
Eye: Reconstructive lid surgery, ectotropion, entropion, removal of the nictitating membrane (third eye lid), tumors of the eye and lids, nictatans flap, ulcer treatment, and enucleation.
Dentistry: Cavities, fractures of the teeth, root abscess, root canal, and Endodontics
Digestive: Repair and reconstruction of the palate, dental surgery, gum flaps, neoplasms of the oral cavity, gastric dilatation, intestinal anastamosis, diaphragmatic repairs, and biopsies of abdominal organs.
Respiratory: Thoracotomy and lung lobe removal.
Urogenital: Nephrectomy, removal of bladder and urethral stones, bladder tumors, perineal urethrosotomy in the cat, episioplasty, C-Section delivery and descended and retained testicles.
Hernia: Repair of umbilical, inguinal, perineal, and diaphragmatic hernias.
Skin: Mammary tumors and reconstructive mammary surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery of the skin, elbow hygromas, ear crops, and skin growths.
Lymphatic: Tonsillectomy, lymph node biopsy, removal of the spleen and bone marrow biopsy.
Muscle and Tendon: Repair of torn muscles and tendons.
Bone and Joint: Decompression of cervical herniated disk, anterior cruciate repair, atlantoaxial instability, thoracolumbar disc herniation, femoral head resection, and spinal trauma.
Fractures: All bone fractures using splints, casts, pinning and ASIF bone plating.
Orthopedics: Excision of the femoral head and neck, meniscectomy, collateral ligament injuries, cranial and caudal cruciate ligament injury, ununited anconeal process, OCD of the shoulder, bone grafting, and arthrodesis.
When a pet becomes sick and the owner brings it to PVH to find out why, an examination is performed. During the examination, questions are asked to determine what clinical signs are present. It’s like having a bunch of clues and it is up to the veterinarian to determine exactly what is wrong. Part of the “behind the scenes” work to determine if our suspicions are correct is the diagnostic service.
We have the ability to get multiple diagnostic blood values in minutes with our Heska CBC Auto Reader and Heska Blood Analyzer. We can get complete blood counts and blood chemistries that help us make the proper diagnosis.
We can measure your pet’s intraocular pressure with our Tonovet tonometer. This device is used in the diagnosis, follow up, and screening of glaucoma. The Tonovet is based on the new patented induction based rebound method, which allows intraocular pressure (IOP) to be measured accurately, rapidly and without local anesthesia.
Part of our diagnostic capability is our x-ray service which is discussed in a different section.
In addition to the blood analyzer and x-ray service, other lab services are available and are used frequently to determine your pet’s illness. A few of our test capabilities are listed below in order to give you an idea of how we might proceed in determining what is wrong with your pet:
Many dogs and cats are destroyed at shelters because their owners can not be found. The HomeAgain Microchip Identification System is an excellent method of insuring that your pet has a chance of being reunited with their owner. This system is available at our hospital and takes about as long to put in place as a vaccination.
How Does the Microchip Work?
Permanent identification is provided by a tiny microchip that can be implanted quickly and safely in your dog. The microchip, approximately the size of a grain of rice, is encased in bio-compatible glass. It has no active parts. It is programmed with a unique, unalterable code number that can be identified with a hand-held scanner (similar to the hand-held scanners used in grocery stores).
Implantation of the microchip is similar to a vaccination. Using an injection, the microchip is inserted between the dog’s shoulder blades as part of an office examination. The identification number is read when a scanner passes over the microchip. These scanners are in use at thousands of veterinarians’ offices, animal shelters, and animal control agencies around the country.
When your lost dog is brought to us or one of these other locations, the identification number is retrieved and called in to the AKC Companion Animal Recovery Program. The database network is expertly managed by the American Kennel Club, Inc. (AKC), an organization with more than 100 years of experience in maintaining animal registries. The AKC presently maintains the nation’s largest high-tech database of purebred dogs. This data base is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through a central 800 number. You are contacted immediately and every possible step will be taken to reunite you and your dog.
AKC Companion Animal Recovery will enroll dogs identified with a microchip from any manufacturer. However, the AKC has formed an alliance with Schering-Plough Animal Health, marketers of the HomeAgain Companion Animal Retrieval System. The AKC recommends the HomeAgain system, which uses the Destron microchip.
HomeAgain provides safe, lifelong identification and enhances the chances of retrieving a lost dog. This system is available through Providence Veterinary Hospital and other veterinary hospitals. Schering-Plough Animal Health has more than 40 years of experience in animal health.
About the Scanners
Schering-Plough Animal Health is distributing scanners to veterinarians and animal shelters across the U.S., creating a nationwide network for identification. There is no universal scanner available (one which reads all microchips). However, the HomeAgain scanner can identify the presence of most microchips from other vendors. If a scanned dog is identified as having a microchip from another vendor, the AKC will make every effort to locate an appropriate scanner to read the microchip.
Lifetime Dog License In Pennsylvania
You can get a Lifetime license by coming in to the hospital and getting your dog microchipped. We then fill out a special form. Go to the court house and get your permanent, Lifetime license. You will never need to register your dog again or pay another license fee.
For more information, visit the HomeAgain website.
Accreditation is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that deputizes licensed veterinarians to perform regulatory functions on behalf of Pennsylvania and the USDA.
Dr. Peter Herman is an accredited veterinarian permitted to sign both domestic and international health certificates for dogs and cats traveling domestically and internationally.
International (USA to Another Country)
If you are planning to transport your dog or cat to another country, you will need an international health certificate. Please make your plans and consider that it could take three to four weeks to get the international health certificate in your hands once it is approved and stamped in Harrisburg. It is your responsibility to check with the country to which you are traveling and find out if they require additional documentation, requirements or restrictions. You may also need a temperature tolerance certificate for the airline if you are flying your pet.
Domestic (from State to State)
Most domestic airlines require a domestic health certificate for transportation from one State to another. A domestic health certificate does not require the waiting time and can be issued at the time of the examination. You may also need a temperature tolerance certificate for the airline if you are flying your pet. You will need to check with the specific airline.
Part of our full service in veterinary medicine is the service of grooming your dog or cat. Dogs and cats get dirty and matted and sometimes it’s not practical to groom your own pet, just as it’s not practical to give yourself a haircut or perm. Sometimes, it’s just nice to treat your pet to a grooming, even if you can do it yourself. Professionals will usually do a better job and make your pet look its best.
Talk to our groomer, Donna Wendell, before your first appointment with her. She will explain your pet’s options, styles and cost. That way, the groom will turn out just as you expect and both you and your pet will be very satisfied.
Donna Wendell is our groomer, stylist and artist. Scheduling a grooming appointment is as easy as picking up the phone, calling 610-872-4000, and picking a Tuesday, or Saturday that is convenient for you and your pet. You can also request a grooming appointment online by using the link at the bottom of this page.
Donna’s prices are equal to or below most of the pet grooming places in the area, Pet Smart included.
Grooming, unlike bathing, requires time and concentrated effort. Donna will style and cut your pet’s fur. Therefore, we usually do not take more than four appointments per grooming session. Our technicians can bathe (wash) your pet any day except Sunday.
You can save time during your visit to Providence Veterinary Hospital by completing the necessary forms prior to your visit. Our convenient New Patient Information Form, Safety and Comfort Form and Surgery Consent Form can be opened and filled out in your browser window using your desktop or laptop, then printed or they may be downloaded and filled out by hand. Visit the patient forms downloads page here.
It’s easy to be forgetful with the busy life style most people have. Our computer never forgets an appointment or when to bring your pet back for care. Here at Providence Veterinary Hospital our computer to tracks exactly when your pet is due for a booster vaccination, follow-up examination, or any type of return visit that may be forgotten.
Each month, post card and email reminders are sent to those owners whose pets are due for routine boosters or tests. Every week our computer generates reminders to those owners that need to come back in a few weeks for a follow-up visit. We also track grooming appointments and know when your pet has grown it’s fur long enough to be groomed.
We work hard to remember what you may forget. Preventive care and medical treatment often need to be administered in a timely fashion. By sending reminders, we strive to keep the preventive care of your pet on a timely schedule.
You can order prescriptions, refills, over the counter products, flea and tick products, dental products, heartworm preventives, Iams Veterinary Formula products and more online and have it delivered to your home, provided we write the prescription, when required, and we first set your account up. This service is meant to provide you with a safe, convenient way of doing your prescription and pet care shopping through online storefront. For details about using our online storefront, please click here.
The Pet Health Care Plan began at Providence Veterinary Hospital over thirty years ago. The plan has provided many pet owners the opportunity to enjoy fixed costs for pet health care. The Pet Health Care Plan is not an insurance policy. It is a promise to deliver necessary and predictable health care to your special pet at a reduced fixed cost.
Generally, pet owners have been able to save 40% or more on predictable care, providing the necessary procedures to keep your pet healthy. For over thirty years, our Pet Health Care Plan has been a resounding success among our clients.
Each pet owner is different and each pet will have different needs. However, there is a common denominator for puppies and kittens and one for adult dogs and cats. Puppies and kittens need certain basic care such as initial vaccinations. As pets get older, their needs change, yet the basic needs mixed with preventive health care are predictable. If you are interested in discounting those predictable needs by 40% or more with ourPet Health Care Plan, please contact us today or during your next visit.
Like us, you probably spend a fair amount of time and money on your pet. They have become close family members and deserve no less. But we want you to spend more time playing with your pet instead of managing their care schedule. Download our free PetDesk app and you can quickly request and confirm appointments, get reminders, and have all of your pet’s information in one easy to use pet app. It’s never been easier to request and confirm appointments with Providence Veterinary Hospital.
What is laser therapy?
Laser Therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light to treat painful and or debilitating conditions.
How does laser therapy work?
Light energy (like sunlight on a plant leaf) enters the damaged cells and stimulates inter-cellular activity. This reduces pain in the area and speeds recovery of the damaged cells. Once the cells recover, the healing process is complete
What can I expect during treatment?
MLS Laser Therapy is a painless treatment that lasts an average of 3 minutes. Your pet may experience a comfortable sensation at the point of application.
What can be expected after the treatment?
Most patients see positive results in one to three treatments. Acute conditions can subside with as few as one set of treatments. Chronic conditions can be managed with regular monthly treatments. There are no known negative effects.
The benefits of MLS Laser Therapy
● Relief of chronic pain, such as arthritis
● Relief of acute pain, such as trauma
● Strong anti-inflammatory effect
● Stimulates healing of damaged tissues
● Speeds recovery of the structural integrity of injured tissue
● Improvement of local blood supply
● Post-operative pain relief and faster wound healing.
We are proud to offer MLS Laser Therapy as an effective, proven, pain free treatment option for our clients who want to ease their pet’s pain and inflammation in addition to increasing mobility.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is the most common, inheritable orthopedic problem seen in dogs. It afflicts virtually all breeds of dogs but is especially problematic in large and giant breeds. Clinically, the disease manifests itself in one of two ways: 1) a severe form that typically afflicts the younger animal and is usually characterized by marked pain and lameness, or 2) a more chronic form with more gradual onset of clinical signs such as mild, intermittent pain, stiffness and restricted range of motion in the hips as the dog ages. In many cases, the chronic form may be clinically silent.
Dog owners and veterinarians have long sought a reliable method to accurately predict the likelihood of a dog developing CHD and passing that genetic trait to any offspring. It was generally recognized that the traditional diagnostic methods of hip evaluation were associated with disappointing progress in reducing the frequency of CHD. The PennHIP method was developed to address this problem.
PennHIP is a scientific method to evaluate a dog for Hip Dysplasia. In 1983, Dr. Gail Smith from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine began to actively research and develop a new scientific method for the early diagnosis of Canine Hip Dysplasia. This research resulted in a diagnostic method capable of estimating the susceptibility for CHD in dogs as young as sixteen weeks. The method has shown distinct advantages over other diagnostic methods that recommend final evaluation be performed when the dog is two years of age or older.
The radiographic procedure involves a special positioning of the dog so that the dog’s passive hip laxity can be accurately measured. In simple terms, passive hip laxity refers to the degree of “looseness” of the hip ball in the hip socket when the dog’s muscles are completely relaxed. Research has shown that the degree of passive hip laxity is an important factor in determining susceptibility to developing Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) later in life. Radiographic hip DJD, also known as osteoarthritis, is generally accepted as confirmation of CHD.
To obtain diagnostic radiographs, it is important that the patient and the surrounding hip musculature be completely relaxed. For the comfort and safety of the dog, this requires deep sedation, or based on our preference, general anesthesia. Typically, three separate radiographs are made during an evaluation.
The PennHIP method can be performed on dogs as young as sixteen weeks, compared with two years of age using the standard technique. An early estimate of a dog’s hip integrity is invaluable, whether the dog’s intended purpose will be for breeding, for working or as a family pet.
For the breeder, the information compiled in the PennHIP database permits informed selection of breeding stock based on hip tightness relative to other members of the same breed. Studies show that the selection process for tighter hips can be imposed without sacrificing other desirable traits.
For the pet owner, the ability to identify your pet’s susceptibility to develop DJD will allow you and our staff to plan lifestyle adjustments to minimize disease expression, if necessary.
For everyone, breeders and pet owners alike, the PennHIP method offers an accurate and early appraisal of passive hip laxity. We are certified PennHIP collaborators and would be happy to discuss the procedure with you.
X-Ray service is essential for diagnosing problems found in your pet and usually is a part of other diagnostic procedures used in making a definitive diagnosis.
Many problems can only be diagnosed with an X-Ray or radiograph. Bone or soft tissue diseases like a fracture of a bone or a stone in a bladder sometimes can only be diagnosed by X-Ray. At Providence Veterinary Hospital, we utilize a Bennett 300MA X-Ray machine capable of penetrating the largest of dogs and a digital X-Ray processor. X-Ray images can be magnified or enhanced to better help make a definitive diagnosis. Coupled with computer storage of images, copying images to DVDs, computer retrieval and backups, our x-ray service is state of the art.
In addition, Providence Veterinary Hospital also offers dental x-ray service for diagnosing dental disease in your pet’s mouth. Endodontics, such as root canals, cannot be performed without dental films.
When you bring your pet in for a dental cleaning, always asked to have your pet’s teeth and gums radiographed. Without this service, the roots can not be evaluated for abscesses or fractures or other disease. If an abscess or fracture goes undiscovered, it can become an emergency when you least expect it.
Allergies –What Are They
An allergic reaction is one in which an individual reacts to a normal substance in the environment. These substances re called allergens and include pollens, mold, animal hair, house dust, fleas, foods and many more. Allergens cause reactions through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Allergic animals posses IgE antibodies to the specific allergens. These antibodies cause biochemical canges in the ody which produce symptoms.
How does an animal show signs of allergy?
While the causes of allergies in humans and animals are the same, the clinical signs displayed may differ. In humans the classic signs of allergy are nasal and respiratory. In animals however, it is far more common to show signs of skin irritations with intense itching. Cats show more respiratory distress.
The classic signs of an allergic animal begin with scratching, feet licking, and chewing and face rubbing. As the allergies become more severe, the chewing may lead to bacterial infections and large open sore. Food allergies can also cause skin problems, although it is not uncommon for them to cause vomiting and diarrhea.
My Pet Allergies Diagnosed
After a complete exam, your veterinarian will decide if allergy testing is indicated for your pet.
A small sample of your pet’s serum is submitting to the lab for evaluation. The serum will be tested for sensitivity ti inhalants such as pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, and shrubs. In addition, fungi, house dust, mites and food ingredients will be tested.
Allergy shots are formulated based on the results of your pets test. The treatments are given in increasing concentrations. This builds up tolerance of the patient to the offending allergens so it can live more comfortably.
Food allergies need to be avoided and we will help you find acceptable non allergenic pet food.
Vaccinations ensure that the common diseases that can make your pet very sick or even cause death, do not occur. Few people can conceive of not vaccinating a child against polio or diptheria. Today we vaccinate dogs and cats against diseases that are as lethal as those for a child.
Our recommended vaccinations for dogs are:
5/CVL* (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus)
Our recommended vaccinations for cats are:
FVRCPP* (Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Pneumonitis)
FeLV (Feline Leukemia Vaccine)
FIV (Feline Infectious Virus – AIDS)
*Required for boarding or for in-patient care.
All vaccines are repeated at regular intervals to boost the immune system. When a vaccination reminder arrives in the mail, it is important to come in to the office so that we can give your pet the proper vaccine booster to insure continuous protection.
Even if your pet received vaccinations as a puppy or kitten, without boosters your pet will loose that immunity over time.
Parasites or “worms” in your pet rob your pet of much needed nutrition and magnify any disease condition. The kinds of parasites found in pets can be divided into areas of the body in which they thrive and develop.
In the ideal condition, parasites do not kill your pet. Their goal is to rob just a little bit of nutrition to live and not kill the host. Often, you will not be aware of your pet having parasites. Sometimes, because of the great number of parasites, or because your pet is very young or very old, parasites can be fatal! It is very important that we look for these nasty parasites when we examine your pet. Often, a request for a stool sample will be made when your pet is due for vaccinations. A Heartworm test is scheduled for your dog once a year. During the flea and tick season, careful examination is made of your pet to detect the presence of these parasites.
Parasites can be classified into those living in:
● The digestive system
● The blood vessels and heart
● On the skin or outer body
The Digestive System:
Roundworms or ascarids are intestinal parasites found in both dogs and cats. But, the common ascarids of cats do not infect dogs and vice versa. Roundworm infection can be fatal in young puppies and kittens. Infection in healthy adult pets is seldom serious, but can cause a general unthrifty look to your pet.
Hookworms are bloodsucking parasites found in both dogs and cats. But, the common hookworm of dogs does not infect cats and vice versa. Hookworm infection can cause severe, even fatal blood loss, especially in pups.
Tapeworms are common intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Fleas, rabbits, mice, rats, and other animals carry the intermediate stage in the life cycle of tapeworms. Dogs and cats become infected by eating these carriers. The most common tapeworm of dogs and cats is carried by the flea. If your pet is exposed to fleas, watch for tapeworm segments passing with the stool.
Whipworms are intestinal parasites of dogs. They are usually found in the large intestine and cause a mucous and sometimes bloody diarrhea.
Coccidia are intestinal parasites of dogs and cats, which can cause diarrhea and weight loss. Coccidiosis usually affects young animals, especially those from places where large numbers of pets are kept together, such as kennels, catteries, and pet shops.
Toxoplasma are intestinal parasites of cats that can infect people. Cats become infected by eating mice, rats, birds or meat containing Toxoplasma cysts. This parasite is especially dangerous to women who are pregnant.
Giardia are intestinal parasites of dogs. They are very difficult to detect. They cause diarrhea and are usually found in places where large numbers of pets are kept together.
All intestinal parasites should be treated at the hospital. We do not recommend pet store treatments.
Blood Vessel and Heart Parasites:
Heartworms are most common in dogs, but cats have been known to be infected. They are blood parasites that spend their adult life in the heart and large blood vessels. They are transmitted by the mosquito.
They can be prevented with a heartworm test once every year and regular preventive medication every month of the year. There are two product choices you can make regarding heartworm prevention. The generic medication, Iverhart, is given monthly in the form of a tasty, chewable tablet. The brand name medication, Trifexis, is also a tasty monthly tablet. Trifexis will also control adult fleas (not ticks). By thinking the tablet is a treat, it could not be easier to give your dog safe and effective heartworm prevention.
The Skin or Outer Body:
Ticks carry many diseases and live in specific areas of the country. Depending on where you live, you will find different species. In the Northeastern USA, specifically in the Philadelphia area, the Deer tick, the Brown dog tick, and the American dog tick are threats to your pet. Ticks are out from April through October, but this timing can vary depending on the kind of weather we are having.
Ticks are blood-sucking pests that target dogs and cats, as well as humans. Dogs and cats trying to get relief from ticks will scratch frequently, many times breaking the skin and causing infection, which ultimately lowers your pet’s resistance to disease.
Two products that would be effective in protecting from ticks are Parastar Plus and the Preventic Collar.
Flea control is very important to the health and well being of your dog or cat. Flea bites cause discomfort and irritation, and they are responsible for a serious skin condition known as flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, fleas often carry tapeworms, a harmful intestinal parasite. One female flea can lay approximately 300-400 eggs in three weeks! Fleas can quickly infest your home and even attack humans.
To understand the magnitude of the flea problem, let us look at the life cycle. The flea develops in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and finally, adult. The adults live on your dog or cat where the females lay eggs. These eggs fall off the dog or cat into your home. There they hatch and pass through the larva stage and pupa stage. They then develop into adults. These new adults jump onto your dog or cat and the cycle begins all over again.
Pet owners see adult fleas and recognize them as the source of aggravation for their pet. Owners get satisfaction in killing the adult flea because they think the problem is solved. What they do not realize is that for every one adult flea they kill, there are at least 10 eggs, 7 larvae, and 2 pupae developing to take their place. A single adult is backed by at least 19 pre-adults rapidly maturing to add the discomfort of your pet and the your frustration.
Parastar Plus is effective against the adult flea. Knockout Area Spray can be used for the house to prevent fleas and ticks and their eggs from hatching and living in the rugs, furniture, etc.
A note about store bought flea and tick collars:
In our experience, we have taken many, many pet shop and store bought flea and tick collars off pets with fleas and ticks. They are called “over the counter” products. Usually, the owner just assumes the collar is working and to their surprise and disappointment, it is not working. Avoid them!
This note is not a scientific study, just our opinion… for what it is worth…
Ear Mites are very small insects that infest the ear canal of dogs and cats and are highly contagious from pet to pet. They are not contagious to humans. Common signs of ear mites include scratching at the ears, and or shaking the head. A black dry crusty material can be seen in the ears. If you suspect your pet has ear mites, please make an appointment so we can diagnose the problem and treat it. If left alone, secondary complications such as bacterial infection, yeast infection, or worse – a broken blood vessel of the ear (Aural Hematoma), which would require surgery are all waiting for your pet.
At Providence Veterinary Hospital, we are constantly striving to provide you and your animal companions with the best service and medical care possible. Please take a moment to click here and email us with your feedback on your recent visit.