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Small Animal Services

Surgery

We offer a variety of surgical procedures at Washington Animal Clinic. This includes, but is not limited to: spays, neuters, declaws, mass removals, cesarean sections, hernia repairs, laceration repairs, intestinal foreign body removals, ACL repairs, cherry eye corrections, tail docks, fracture repairs, amputations, as well as many other elective and emergency soft tissue and orthopedic procedures. In addition, we are able to refer you to a board-certified surgeon for more advanced procedures if needed.

What to Expect:

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                                  Surgery If your pet is undergoing surgery, we make every effort to fully discuss the recommended procedure, expected results, and any possible complications that may occur. We work closely with you so that you are informed and comfortable that the best choices are being made for your pet. Pre-operatively, we perform a full exam and may perform blood work to identify and minimize anesthetic and surgical risks. While undergoing surgery, your pet will be monitored carefully during the entire procedure. Post-operatively your pet will continue to receive the best care to ensure their comfort. Your pet will recover from their surgical procedure in a recovery cage. Also, we believe that pain management is essential in your pets healing process. We offer a variety of pain medications to manage your pet’s pain before, during, and after surgery.

Important Details:

We do elective surgeries on weekdays by appointment. Food should be withheld after midnight the night before surgery. Drinking water, however, is encouraged to ensure that your pet is well hydrated on the day of surgery. Please drop off your pet between 8 and 9 AM. Arrangements can be made to drop off the afternoon prior to surgery if you cannot drop your pet off the morning of. Any blood work, radiographs, or other pre-surgical testing can be done the same day of surgery and can be discussed with you when you drop off your pet.

Small Animal Surgery Why Spay and Neuter Your Pets?

We recommend spaying and neutering dogs and cats at 6 months of age. Spaying females reduces the risk of ovarian, mammary and uterine cancer, especially if performed BEFORE their first heat cycle. Neutering males eliminates the development of testicular cancer and reduces the incidence of prostatic disease. Spaying and neutering pets, especially at an early age, reduces the chance of developing aggression, roaming, marking, and other unwanted behaviors. Also, population control is very important. For pets that are not raised for breeding purposes, it is important to eliminate the possibility that they accidentally become pregnant or breed any females. Some sobering statistics: 56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized on a national average; approximately 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States. Please help us reduce the number of animals in shelter situations, thus reducing the number of animals euthanized, by spaying and neutering your pets!

Medicine

Checking the Microscope At Washington Animal Clinic, we provide superior internal medical diagnostics and treatments. Our in-house diagnostic capabilities include radiography, ultrasound, ECGs, hematology, and serologic testing, just to name a few. We also maintain close relationships with outside laboratories for those tests that we are not equipped to perform. Our veterinarians and staff are highly trained to handle many aspects of companion animal internal medicine, including cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, nephrology and urology, reproduction, oncology, geriatric medicine, and respiratory medicine. Once diagnosed, diseases are treated either aggressively in the hospital or on an out-patient basis.

Our approach to internal medicine involves tailoring each diagnostic workup to the patient and taking a direct, cost-effective, step-by-step approach to diagnosing and treating your pet.

Dermatology (Skin)

Dermatology refers to the study of the skin. Skin disease is a frequently observed problem in dogs and cats. Diagnosing a skin problem in your pet may simply require an examination by a veterinarian; however, most skin diseases or problems require additional steps to accurately obtain a diagnosis. Additional diagnostic procedures may include blood work, urinalysis, skin scraping, biopsies, etc.

The cause of skin problems range from hormonal disorders to the common flea. You should book an appointment for your animal if you notice any excessive itchy behavior, loss of hair, and/or the presence of scabs or scale on the skin.

Checking dogs eyes Ophthalmology (Eyes)

Dogs and cats can develop several disorders associated with the eye, which we are well equipped to handle. We have the ability to test your dog or cat’s eyes for excess pressure easily and safely with a tonometer. This test allows us to diagnose glaucoma. Eye problems are important to diagnose early so that they do not progress and cause blindness or excessive pain.

Endocrinology (Hormones)

Endocrinology is the study of hormones and there are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats. There are many signs found in pets with endocrine diseases. These signs include (but are not limited to) the following: abnormal energy levels, abnormal behavior, increased drinking, urinating and eating behavior, excessive panting, skin disorders, GI disturbances, and weight gain or loss.

Cardiology (Heart)

Cardiology checkup A heart problem can affect your pet at any age although it is more often found in older pets. Heart failure occurs when the heart no longer has the ability to pump blood around the body effectively. Many heart problems can be identified on physical examination. Additional tests are usually required to accurately identify the cause and side effects of the heart disease. Additional tests include EKGs (electrocardiograms), radiographs, and ultrasounds. Heart disease can be serious and life threatening, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life.

These are just a few examples of commonly encountered internal medicine categories that we address at Washington Animal Clinic. There are many other body systems where problems can develop and many are inter-related. Please schedule regular preventative exams for your pet, as early intervention is paramount in managing diseases that develop.

Preventative Care

Preventative care for your pet is important to avoid development of disease. Our main goal with healthy pets is to keep them healthy! We accomplish this by thorough annual examinations, vaccinations, deworming, fecal flotations, heartworm testing, and sometimes blood work to screen for underlying diseases. Also, monthly heartworm, flea and tick prevention is paramount.

Dog Physical Exam Complete Physical Exam

From puppies and kittens to our geriatric patients, preventive medicine keeps your pet healthy and prolongs his life. Occasionally, we get the question: “Why do we need to do a physical exam every 6 months? Why can't we just give the pet his vaccines and be done?” The exam is the most important part of your pet's visit. Because our companion animals cannot talk to us and are often stoic, we don't always know something is wrong until the problem has progressed to a critical point. We can find things on a physical exam that may be causing your pet discomfort that you might not be aware of, such as skin or ear infections. Or, we may find something more serious such as a heart murmur or lymph node abnormalities. This helps ensure early intervention if a problem is detected.

Vaccinations Protocols

Protect your pet... for life! Vaccinations are an integral part of a complete wellness program for your animal and when used in conjunction with annual physical exams can greatly improve both the quality and span of your pet’s life. Even indoor pets can benefit substantially from vaccinations, as indoor pets are capable of fostering a variety of diseases and parasites as well.

Vaccinations for kittens start at 8-9 weeks of age and for puppies start at 5-6 weeks and continue until 16-20 weeks of age. Protocols will be tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

Feline Vaccinations:

Rabies virus is a neurological disease that is a public health concern. The first rabies vaccination can be given at 12 weeks of age. We use a 3 year vaccine, but due to the prevalence of rabies in this area, we recommend a yearly vaccination against rabies.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that is the most common cause of cancer in cats. It may cause a decrease in blood cell lines, leading to immune deficiency, anemia, or bleeding disorders. Most cats that acquire this virus die within 3 years of infection. Vaccination will not affect results of an in-house FeLV/FIV test. All outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats should be kept current on this vaccination. It is also recommended to vaccinate all kittens initially, regardless of whether they will be kept indoors or outdoors.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is also referred to as “Feline AIDS.” It is a virus that leads to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat's ability to protect itself against other infections. This virus is especially common in outdoor cats that get into fights. Vaccination is reserved for individuals at high risk for infection. Once a cat is vaccinated for FIV, that cat will test “+” for FIV on the in-house FeLV/FIV test, so it is important to test cats prior to vaccination. Also, microchipping is recommended for these individuals.

The FVRCP vaccine aids in the prevention of respiratory diseases, including: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici Virus, Panleukopenia, and Chlamydia psittaci.

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is a viral upper respiratory infection that is responsible for half of the upper respiratory infections in unvaccinated cats.

  • Feline Calicivirus (FCV) is another viral upper respiratory infection that can be isolated from about 50% of unvaccinated cats with an upper respiratory infection.

  • Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) also known as “Feline Distemper” causes diarrhea, anemia, dehydration, and a decreased white blood cell count.

  • Chlamydiapsittaci is a bacterial infection that causes an upper respiratory infection and symptoms include eye infection, nasal discharge, and sneezing or coughing.

Canine Vaccinations:

Rabies virus is a neurological disease that is a public health concern. The first rabies vaccination can be given at 12 weeks of age. We use a 3 year vaccine but, due to the prevalence of rabies in this area, we recommend yearly vaccination against rabies.

DHLPPC Vaccine aids in the prevention of Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Coronavirus.

  • Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a highly contagious viral disease of dogs which causes upper respiratory and neurologic signs.

  • Canine Hepatitis Virus (CAV-1) is a disease caused by a virus that replicates in the tonsils and symptoms include: fever, lethargy, anorexia, and coughing.

  • Canine Parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease.

  • Leptospirosis is a disease caused by a bacterium that can be transmitted by domestic and wild animals and typically attacks the kidneys and liver. This organism is a public health concern.

  • Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious intestinal virus that causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, and dehydration. There is a very high incidence of parvo in our area. Even with diligent vaccination of puppies, they are not immune to this infection until 16-20 weeks of age and only after a full series of vaccinations.

  • Canine Coronavirus (CCV) is a virus that attacks the villi lining the small intestine that can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and anorexia. It is usually much milder than parvovirus.

Lymes disease is caused by a bacterium with a tick being the vector and causes lameness and signs of severe pain in dogs. We vaccinate for Lymes disease if pets travel to endemic areas.

Canine Influenza, also referred to as “Canine Flu”, is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs. Symptoms include: cough, runny nose, fever and some can develop severe infection that can lead to death.

Bordetella, also referred to as “Kennel Cough”, is caused by a bacterium that causes acute tracheobronchitis. Symptoms include: a harsh, honking cough.

Rattlesnake Vaccine can help decrease the adverse effects of a Rattlesnake or Copperhead bite in dogs. It is recommended that dogs receive the initial vaccine, a booster in 1 month, and then an annual booster thereafter.

Fleas and Ticks

A flea and tick problem on your pet means a flea and tick problem in and around your home. Understanding the flea and tick life cycle and methods for its control can be a daunting task. We will gladly assist you in this process. We can provide you with safe, effective flea prevention and if necessary, flea treatments for your home and yard.

We offer a wide range of products, including: Comfortis, Advantage II, Advantage Multi, Frontline Plus, Certifect, Sentinel, and FelineRevolution.

For more helpful and accurate information, visit this trusted website: www.petsandparasites.org.

Intestinal Parasites

There are several different types of intestinal parasites. Parasites are rarely life-threatening in adults, but in some cases small puppies may become seriously ill. Parasites themselves can sometimes be found in the stool and vomit, but usually we identify eggs from the feces in a microscopic examination. Some parasites can be transmitted to people via fecal contamination; small children are most at risk.

RoundwormRoundworms -

These parasites live freely in the intestines feeding off of partially digested intestinal contents. Roundworms are more harmful to puppies because they can cause growth reduction; they cause a "pot-belly" appearance in puppies, as well as recurrent diarrhea. You may see roundworms in stool or in vomit, they are long tubular shaped (like spaghetti noodles) and can be transmitted to people. Dogs and cats can pass these parasites to their puppies and kittens. Roundworms can migrate to organs, especially the eyes, causing blindness in people, especially small children (termed “ocular larval migrans”).

HookwormHookworms -

Animals become infected when larvae penetrate the skin or lining of the mouth. Dogs can pass these parasites to their unborn puppies. Hookworms, if left untreated, can cause life-threatening blood loss, weakness and malnutrition, especially in young pets. Hookworms can be transmitted to humans when larvae penetrate the skin (termed “cutaneous larval migrans”).

Whipworm Whipworms -

Whipworms affect animals greater than 3-4 months of age. They thread themselves into the lining of the intestine. There is a special dewormer available for this type of intestinal parasite.

TapewormTapeworms -

Tapeworms are transmitted when a dog or cat eats an infected flea. They look like grains of rice or dried up sesame seeds when present in fecal material. There is a separate dewormer available for this type of intestinal parasite. Keep your pet on a good-quality flea control to help reduce the chances of tapeworm contamination. Heartworm preventives do not prevent tapeworms.

GiardiaGiardia -

These are microscopic single-celled intestinal protozoan parasites. They damage the intestinal lining, resulting in diarrhea and the inability to absorb nutrients properly. Giardia is highly contagious, both to people and other animals. Proper hygiene is essential to eliminate the organism from the environment.

CoccidiaCoccidia -

These are microscopic single-celled intestinal protozoan parasites. These parasites damage the intestinal lining, resulting in bloody diarrhea and the inability to absorb nutrients properly. Puppies and kittens are especially prone to infection. Coccidia are very contagious. Treatment is with an antibiotic.

Puppies should be routinely treated with dewormers for active infections. Most heartworm preventatives will also prevent many intestinal parasites, as well. For more information visit: www.petsandparasites.org.

Heartworm Disease

Texas has the most heartworm disease of any state in the country! Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes year-round in our area. We see many dogs, and even some cats, with this life-threatening, easily preventable disease. Treatment of a heartworm infection is risky and expensive in dogs and not even available in cats. Prevention however is very affordable and safe for both species. Please keep all dogs and cats on a preventive year-round for their entire life! Heartworm preventives we offer at Washington Animal Clinic include: Heartgard Plus, Interceptor, Sentinel, Advantage Multi, Proheart 6, and feline Revolution. For more information, visit the American Heartworm Society website: www.heartwormsociety.org.

Microchipping

A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database – so don't forget to register and keep your information updated. A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. No surgery or anesthesia is required—a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. If your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure, such as neutering or spaying, the microchip can often be implanted while they're still under anesthesia. We use ResQ here at Washington Animal Clinic.

For more information, visit their website: www.petparents.com/show.aspx/ products/resq.

Dentistry

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3 and it’s the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. If left untreated, continued accumulation of tartar and bacteria can affect the health of your pet’s mouth as well as become a dangerous source of infection, impacting your pet’s kidneys and heart. Dental care for pets includes preventive care at home as well as regular dental cleaning, just like you get from your dentist. Annual wellness exams are important for assessing overall health of your pet and dental status. Physical exam findings of dental disease include: tartar and plaque build-up, gingivitis, broken/fractured teeth, loose or mobile teeth, infection. Recommendations are made annually based on current physical exam findings, as each pet is unique in their tendency to develop dental disease.

Preventative dental care at home is important to prevent dental disease from occurring or progressing. Routine brushing of teeth will delay tartar build-up and promote gingival health (3-4 times weekly at minimum). Dental health treats, given on a regular basis, can help delay tartar build-up and slow progression of dental disease. Oral hygiene rinse and water additives contain plaque fighting agents and antiseptics. Dental diets are specifically formulated kibbles to clean teeth while chewing.

Preventative dental care is important to lengthen the time between necessary dental cleanings, but at-home care will not remove disease that is already present in your pet’s mouth. To treat existing dental disease, a cleaning under anesthesia is required. Dental cleaning includes scaling of tartar above and below gum line and polishing the teeth. Then fluoride and a sealer are applied to infected/fractured teeth and mobile teeth are extracted. Pockets are cleaned and sutured closed if necessary. Referral to a veterinary dentist is an option for root canals or other salvage procedures to save a tooth. Post dental care includes antibiotics and possibly pain medication.

Before and after pictures:

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Diagnostic Equipment

Radiology

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                                  Radiology A picture is worth a thousand words. At Washington Animal Clinic we offer digital radiology services for all of our patients. Digital images are superior to older manually developed films in that they allow us to manipulate them in many ways to better identify problems.

Radiographs are routinely used to provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, heart, and genitourinary organs. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools (such as ultrasonography) to visually identify conditions your pet may have.

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                                  ultrasonography Ultrasonography

Washington Animal Clinic is equipped with several ultrasound units, including a My Lab unit, which allows us to visualize a great amount of detail in many body cavities and structures.

Ultrasonography, or sonography, is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses sound waves to create an image. It is used frequently in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of an animal's heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder etc. It can also be used to diagnose pregnancy and to monitor fetal parameters of an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can help differentiate fluid, cysts, tumors or abscesses, which would otherwise be indistinguishable from one another using only radiography. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.

Diagnostic Laboratory

Small Animal Diagnostic Laboratory Our laboratory consists of up-to-date high-performance equipment. We perform in-house complete blood counts (to evaluate white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet parameters), biochemical profiles (to assess organ function, minerals, and proteins), electrolyte measurements (potassium, sodium, chloride), parasite screenings, urinalyses, ear cytologies, cellular cytologies, and even cultures and sensitivities. With all of these tools at our fingertips, we can gain invaluable information quickly to diagnose and treat patients appropriately.

Boarding and Grooming

Small Animal Boarding Washington Animal Clinic offers boarding and grooming services for your small animal companions. Pets are kept indoors in a climate controlled area. With eighteen 4 by 7 foot indoor runs and twenty-eight stainless steel cages, comfortable accomodations are always available. Dogs are handwalked outdoors. Medications can be administered if needed. Special diets are available as well. A special toy or a favorite blanket or bed are welcomed. There are requirements for all vaccinations being current including canine influenza and Bordetella (Kennel cough). Bathing is available for boarded animals upon request. Animals are to be dropped off and picked up only during business hours.

Dog and cat grooming is available by appointment. Molly Arndt is our groomer and her services are available every Thursday. Pets can recieve any necessary veterinary care while dropped of for grooming.

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