We know it’s never easy when your pet becomes ill, which is why we are always ready to provide top-quality service.
Physical examination of your pet is crucial to their health. We recommend annual wellness exams to keep our patients feeling their best! During a wellness exam, we will discuss your pet’s medical history and all current concerns. Our doctors will conduct a thorough physical examination at Livingston Animal Hospital to help detect any potential problems before they become major health concerns. There are many pet health problems that can be avoided through regular physical exams, which is why we recommend that your pet has at least one examination per year. While physical exams are critical to animal health, you can do your part by being a vigilant pet owner. If you notice any irregularities with your pet, take detailed notes and bring him or her toLivingston Animal Hospital for a consultation with one of our doctors.
What exactly does a physical exam include?
A physical examination includes the external evaluation of your pet from nose to tail, ensuring their ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, skin, limbs, and joints do not appear abnormal. The doctor will also listen to your pet’s heart and lungs and feel their abdomen and lymph nodes.
If something abnormal is noted, additional tests may be recommended to better diagnose and treat your pet.
Senior Pet Exams
Did you know that pets age faster than people and can be considered “seniors” at around seven years of age? Just as our health care needs change as we age, your pet’s health care needs also change. Nutritional needs, exercise habits, and many aspects of your pet’s daily routine can change as your pet ages. But how can you tell the difference between “normal” aging and a medical problem? As in humans, some health issues that affect older pets can begin with very subtle changes that may go unnoticed until the problem has become serious.
Regular wellness visits are important for every stage of your pet’s life, so don’t forget to keep your senior pet’s scheduled wellness appointments. The best way to help protect your pet as he or she ages is to understand the aging process in pets. We understand that process and can help you help your pet. Even if your senior pet is already being treated for a medical condition, treatment recommendations can change as a condition progresses. Sometimes medication dosages need to be adjusted, or medication may need to be changed. Routine wellness blood work and other routine diagnostic testing are important for senior pets because these tests allow us to evaluate how your pet’s health is either responding to current management strategies or changing with age.
Your senior pet’s wellness examination is also your chance to have us address any of your questions or concerns about your pet. We welcome your questions and encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your pet’s health care.
Older pets make wonderful companions, and thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever! You are an important ally in your senior pet’s health care. We are here to help ensure that your pet is safe and happy throughout the “golden years.”
Our in-house laboratory allows us to run a wide range of tests and obtain accurate results very quickly. Most in-house lab tests can be done during your appointment with results before you leave. More specialized tests are sent to our outside laboratory.
Radiology (X-rays) is routinely used to provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). It can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to provide a list of possible causes for a pet’s condition, identify the exact cause of a problem, or rule out possible problems.
When a pet is being radiographed, an X-ray beam passes through its body and hits a piece of radiographic film. Images on the film appear as various shades of gray and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Bones, which absorb more X-rays, appear as light gray structures. Soft tissues, such as the lungs, absorb fewer X-rays and appear as dark gray structures. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
Ultrasonography (ultrasound) is a diagnostic imaging technique similar to radiography (X-rays) and is usually used in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body.
Ultrasound can be used for a variety of purposes, including examination of the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder, etc. It can also be used to determine pregnancy and to monitor an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses.
A transducerh (a small handheld tool) is applied to the surface of the body to which an ultrasound image is desired. A gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin surface and create a more accurate visual image.
Sound waves are emitted from the transducer and directed into the body, where they are bounced off the various organs to different degrees depending on the density of the tissues and amount of fluid present. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are reflected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects.
When traveling with your pet(s), there may be animal health requirements specific to that destination. As soon as you know your travel details, contact your local veterinarian to assist with the pet travel process. Factors to consider may include meeting time frames for obtaining a health certificate, updating vaccinations, diagnostic testing, or administration of medications/treatments.
It’s important to note that improper or incomplete paperwork for your pet can derail your travel plans and end up costing you time and money. Livingston Animal Hospital wants to help simplify traveling with your pet. Let us assist you throughout this process!
Please click here for more information on specific requirements for your specific destination from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Domestic Travel Certificates
Many states require an up-to-date Certificate of Veterinary Inspection from a licensed, accredited veterinarian when traveling. Your pet must be examined by a veterinarian in order for a health certificate to be issued. This certificate indicates that your pet is healthy for travel and that he or she is not showing signs of disease. This certificate is required by most airlines in order for your pet to travel within the continental United States. We strongly recommend contacting your individual airline to understand their specific travel requirements. Oftentimes, airlines require that your pet be examined by a veterinarian and a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel. Check with your airline to ensure that your paperwork will be in order.
If necessary we are able to add a certificate of acclimation to your pet’s travel papers. This certificate is written at the discretion of our veterinarians and is based upon our vet’s assessment of your pet’s health allowing him or her to travel above or below certain temperatures.
International Travel Certificates
Many countries have their own pet health certificates and travel requirements. If you are traveling to a country without an approved health certificate, please download the United States Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals.
The International Health Certificate should be issued by one of our USDA-certified veterinarians at Livingston Animal Hospital as near to the travel date as possible but not more than 21 days before travel. The certificate should indicate the following:
- Name of pet
- Age of pet
- Country of origin
- Name/address/phone number of the owner of pet
- Confirmation that pet is healthy and free of parasites
- Vaccinations given, including type, manufacturer, and batch number
Generally, the rabies shot must be given at least 30 days, but not more than 12 months, before travel, although some countries have different requirements. However, you must enter your destination country before your pet’s most recent rabies vaccination has expired.
Along with an international health certificate, there may be additional requirements for traveling abroad. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the international pet travel requirements specific to your destination. If you have any questions, our staff is happy to help.
Though busy, our staff prides themselves in caring for each animal as if it were their own pet. All pets are supervised throughout the day, ensuring that any problems are immediately brought to the attention of our veterinarians.
Our kennel is equipped with private runs complete with indoor and outdoor access, as well as comfortable individual cages reserved for smaller dogs. Cats are housed in a separate room to help them remain calm and relaxed throughout their stay.
We know that it can get scary when the unexpected happens. Not to worry, we offer an after-hours answering service so that we can be there when you need us most.
Many of the diseases that can affect dogs and cats are preventable through proper pet vaccinations. Starting your pet on the right schedule early is one of the keys to a long and healthy life. Vaccines are special proteins that prime the immune system to fight off specific infections. They work in two ways: to reduce the severity of such diseases should they strike or to completely prevent infection.
We understand that getting to your normal veterinarian during regular business hours can be difficult. We’re open late on weekdays and on weekends to ensure that your pet can get the vaccines they need on your schedule.
Why is this important?
There are several diseases that can afflict cats and dogs, but most pets can be protected from the worst of them if they are vaccinated properly. For dogs, these include parvovirus, distemper, and infectious hepatitis. For cats, these include panleukopenia, feline herpesvirus, and feline calicivirus; for outdoor cats, protection can include feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus.
Does your best friend have bad breath? Despite what many pet owners may believe, “dog breath” is not just a nuisance—it’s a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth. The result is bad breath, reddened gums, and other common signs of dental disease. As dental disease progresses, other signs can include drooling, discomfort while chewing, and loose or missing teeth.
Even if you’re using treats and chews to help control tartar, these are frequently not enough to keep dental disease in check. Ask us about the best ways to control plaque and help protect your pet from dental disease.
Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health because dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease. But how do you know if your pet has a healthy mouth?
Let us examine your pet’s teeth and gums to help determine if there are any dental issues you should know about. After a brief visual examination, we may recommend a more detailed examination (which requires sedation), a dental cleaning, or options for at-home dental care.
Even if you think your pet’s teeth and gums are fine, we can offer expert advice to help you keep them that way! Dental health shouldn’t be taken for granted. Fortunately, many dental problems can be managed through at-home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings.
We want your pet to live a long, healthy life, and we understand that maintaining a healthy mouth is part of that. Your pet’s health is important to us, so let us help you with this commitment. Call today to discuss your pet’s dental care needs and how we can help!
We understand that surgery can be a source of anxiety for you and your family. That’s why it’s important to trust the people who will be taking care of your pet. Our experienced team of doctors and staff make it their number one priority to focus on pain management and patient safety, and we use the most current surgical practices to ensure your pet receives the best veterinary care. Our team will be working with you before, during, and after surgery to address any questions or concerns you may have about the surgical procedure, anesthesia, or postoperative care. In short, we don’t cut corners and we don’t compromise on care.
Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.
By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety.
Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.
By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behavior, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety.
Each year, thousands of pets go missing, and many don’t make it back home. Many pets (especially indoor pets) don’t wear collars or tags. Even if your pet wears a collar and identification tag, collars can break off and tags can become damaged and unreadable, so these forms of identification may not be enough to ensure your pet’s safe return. Your pet needs a form of identification that is reliable and can’t get lost, stolen, or damaged. A microchip is a safe, simple form of identification that can significantly increase the chance that your pet will return safely.
A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is placed underneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Microchip implantation takes only a few minutes and is very safe. Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about your pet—including your name, address, and contact information. When a microchip is implanted, the pet owner is given a registration form to complete. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and animal control offices across the country are equipped with special electronic scanners that can detect the microchip and read the identification number. If a lost pet is picked up by animal control or found by a good Samaritan and presented to a veterinarian, a quick scan of the microchip reveals the identification number. A toll-free phone call to the pet recovery database alerts the microchip company that a lost pet has been identified. The pet owner can then be contacted and reunited with his or her pet!
Young puppies and kittens can receive microchips, but even if your pet is already an adult, you should consider microchipping. Even indoor pets can get outside accidentally and get lost, so if you’re relying on other forms of identification, you could be placing your pet at risk. Microchipping is a safe, effective way to help ensure your pet’s return if the unthinkable happens.
When you trust our animal hospital with bathing services, you can always expect your pet to receive quality, compassionate care. Whether your pet is just here for a quick bath, nail trim, anal gland expression, or more extensive treatment, such as a medicated bath, de-matting, ear cleaning, or a sanitary clip, our veterinary team will always treat your pet as one of their one. We strive to keep your pet as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout the grooming appointment, and we’ll give you a call as soon as your pet is ready to be picked up.