Full Service Veterinary Care

We are an independent, locally owned, full service, AAHA accredited animal hospital, providing comprehensive wellness care, specialized puppy & kitten care, medical, surgical, dental and behavioral care to your companion animals. We are the only AAHA accredited practice in the region. Being AAHA accredited means we voluntarily commit to meeting AAHA's "gold standards" of high quality veterinary care and submit to independent inspections covering over a thousand standards from anesthesia monitoring to x-rays and everything in between. 

AAHA logo

We know that to be able to best determine your pet's medical needs, we must first take the time to learn from you about your pet's medical history and lifestyle. We are always willing to take the time needed to explain your pet's condition and to discuss your options for best caring for your pet. We provide personalized, modern, thoughtful medical care for your pets from their first puppy or kitten wellness visits through a healthy adulthood and keeping them comfortable, happy and healthy for as many golden years as possible. 

Preventive medicine is the science of preventing disease from beginning or progressing by preventing disease or catching it at an early stage. We offer optimal wellness care, so your pet can live a long, healthy life. Many diseases are completely preventable with care such as vaccinations, weight control, dental cleaning and parasite (flea, tick, intestinal parasties and heartworm) testing and control medications. Other diseases can be caught early (through exam, blood or urine testing and/or other diagnostics), so that they can be managed through diet or medication before they progress to more severe disease. We provide wellness care customized for every life stage. Our easy to understand Kitten Plan and Puppy Plan tell you everything you need to know about your pet's first year of wellness care. Every non-breeding pet should be spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease.

We are equipped to provide diagnostic and therapeutic services to care for your pets' complete health care needs. We are well equipped with the diagnostic tools necessary to properly evaluate your pet's medical condition. We offer comprehensive diagnostic imaging services including X-rays, intraoral x-rays, and ultrasound. Our comprehensive in-house laboratory facilities provide for serum chemistry, hematology, serology, urinalysis and parasite testing.

 

We also utilize commercial and university "send-out" veterinary laboratories for more extensive diagnostic services. These tools help our veterinarians evaluate muscular-skeletal, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary systems. While our excellent veterinarians provide the very best primary veterinary care possible, we gladly refer to board certified specialists as needed. 

Regular professional dental care is important to maintaining your pet's teeth and protecting your pet's health. A thorough examination of your pet's mouth is an important part of every Well Pet Visit. 


Our extensive pharmacy includes an inventory of pharmaceuticals, shampoos and flea/tick/heartworm preventatives to meet the needs of your pet. We will also mail your prescription refills if desired or provide you with a written prescription upon request. 


We offer our Healthy Pet Adoption Program as a charitable effort to place orphaned puppies and kittens in loving homes. For the convenience of our clients, we provide pet boarding as a service to our established clients only. We also offer routine and therapeutic bathing and medically necessary (not fancy!) grooming.

 

Wellness

Wellness care and disease prevention are vital parts of your pet's health. Providing the best preventive medicine possible can help your pet live a long, healthy life. We offer comprehensive wellness care for every stage of life, beginning with our Puppy Plan or Kitten Plan for pediatric patients.


No two pets are the same and we believe every pet should have an individualized plan of wellness care that best meets his or her needs. All of our wellness care, including our adult wellness care and senior wellness care is customized for each patient, so that we look at your individual pet's medical history, risk assessment and current medical condition while working with you to develop the best plan of preventative health care for your pet.

Wellness Exams

 

At the yearly (or twice yearly for senior or otherwise high-risk patients) Wellness Visit, your veterinarian will perform a complete Physical Exam, review your pet's medical history and recommend needed tests or services which may include: intestinal parasite testing & control; heartworm and flea/tick control; customized vaccination program; spay or neuter; behavioral and nutritional counseling and specialized blood and urine tests for all life stages.

Immunizations

 

Immunizations are a vital tool in preventing serious and potentially fatal diseases. Recent research has shown that some immunizations last for up to two or three years, while others require annual (or more frequent) revaccination. New guidelines and product labelling is being established on a monthly basis, so we know how important it is for our veterinarians to be up-to-date with current standards and committed to making the effort to develop a plan customized for each pet's needs.

Since every medication, including immunizations, carries risks as well as vital benefits, it is important to make sure your pet gets every immunization he needs, when he needs it, but does not receive unneccessary immunizations. Every year, at your pet's annual Wellness Visit, your veterinarian will review your pet's history, risk-factors and current medical condition to develop a customized immunization plan for your pet. Animal Medical Center carries a full line of immunization alternatives to select the appropriate immunizations for your pet.

Heartworm Prevention

 

Preventative Medications 

 

Every dog and cat should be on monthly heartworm preventative (HWP) to protect against heartworms (yes, these are deadly worms that infect the heart!) as well as intestinal parasites. This monthly medication is one of the simplest and most important things we can do to protect our pet's health. Since HWP also controls common intestinal parasites, this pill also takes care of the need to deworm your pet monthly.


Monthly HWP should begin between 8 & 12 weeks of age and continue for life. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites and outdoor cats and all dogs are at highest risk, but even indoor only cats have been diagnosed with heartworm disease.


There are several good HWP products available for both cats and dogs. To prevent heartworm disease and to also control intestinal parasites, we generally recommend Simparica Trio for dogs and Revolution Plus for cats.

Testing 

 

Dogs need to be tested for heartworms before beginning preventative and have an annual heartworm blood test for life. Dogs who begin HWP when they are older than 4 months of age will also need a follow up test a few months after beginning preventative.


These tests are needed because it is possible to have a "break through" case of heart worm disease while on HWP and it is also dangerous for your dog to receive HWP if he is heartworm positive. If your dog is on HWP and tests positive for heartworms, the manufacturer of the HWP will pay for your pet's treatment (so long as you have purchased the HWP through a veterinarian and used as prescribed).


Because of the differences in the life-cycle of the heartworm in cats, it is not necessary to test your cat for heartworms while on preventative. Testing is also more complex in cats than in dogs. Testing will be recommended for your cat only if he is showing symptoms of heartworm disease.

Intestinal Parasite Control


 

Intestinal parasites including hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and coccidia can make your pet very sick (or even die). Many of these parasites can also infect people.  We provide testing to screen your pet for parasites and prescribe medications to both treat and prevent parasite infections. Puppies and kittens are at very high risk for intestinal parasites, and so we treat puppies and kittens aggressively during their early months to control infections they acquired from their mother before or soon after birth and to prevent reinfestation. Adult pets also need routine control of intestinal parasites since they routinely pick up new infections from their prey animals they consume, their environment, soil contact and fleas.

    

Fecal Exams 

 

Because many different intestinal parasites infect cats and dogs and no one dewormer controls every parasite, we need to check your pet's stool for parasites. Since parasites are evident on fecal exam only at certain stages of their life cycle,  a fecal with "no parasites seen" does NOT mean that your pet is clear of parasites but just that we weren't lucky enough to catch them today. If a fecal is "negative", your pet will receive a dewormer that is effective against the most common parasites.  A "positive" fecal allows the veterinarian to choose a dewormer that is effective against the parasites we know your pet has. Fecal exams are needed once yearly if your pet is on a monthly preventative. 

 

Deworming 

 

Monthly deworming is advised for all adult cats and dogs. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a HWP (heart worm preventative) that also controls common intestinal parasites. 

Flea & Tick Control

 

Fleas and ticks not only irritate your pet, they also carry diseases and can cause serious allergic responses and skin irritation and even severe skin infection. We develop programs for the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. We carry a complete range of the best available flea and tick control products including Simparica Trio, Simparica, Trifexis, Sentinel Spectrum, Cheristin, and Revolution Plus. We will help you find the best ways to control fleas and ticks to ensure your pet stays flea & tick free.  



Microchipping

 

Permanent identification with a microchip implant and visible identifcation with a name tag work together to provide assurance that should your pet become lost or stolen, you will be reunited. Microchips have helped reunite thousands of pets with their families. 

 
 
 

Free Vaccines for Life!

After a one-time enrollment fee ($104 for most pets, or $83 for puppies or kittens enrolled in one of our Puppy Plans or Kitten Plans), core vaccinations will be FREE at AMC for as long as you own your pet as long as you return each year for your pet's wellness exam.

   

Regular wellness veterinary exams are the most important aspect of wellness care. We know it can be a challenge to find time to get your pet in for an annual check-up, so we offer this extra incentive to make time to get your pet in on time each year for their important wellness exam!

Enrolled pets receive free core vaccines for the pet's lifetime as long as he receives his yearly wellness examination at AMC each year. Of course, you are responsible for the annual wellness exam fee each year. 

 

Canine Vaccines included in FVFL*

  • Rabies

  • Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (typically given as a combination DAPP vaccine) 

  • ** Bordetella (Kennel Cough) (50% discount)

Feline Vaccines included in FVFL*

  • Rabies

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (typically given as a combination RCP vaccine) 

  • ** Feline Leukemia (50% discount) 

* Included FVFL vaccines may change periodically when AMC veterinarians update our vaccination recommendations to continue to reflect the best medical judgment of our veterinarians.

 

** Bordetella (for dogs) and Feline Leukemia (for cats) are not considered “core” vaccines. (Core vaccines are those recommended for nearly all pets.) As non-core vaccines, they are not included for free in FVFL. However, they are important vaccinations for those pets that do need them. We offer FVFL patients Bordetella or Feline Leukemia vaccination at a 50% discount. 

 

Puppies and Kittens 

  • Puppies and kittens 6 months of age and up are welcome to enroll.

  • A puppy or kitten who is currently enrolled in an AMC Puppy Plan or Kitten Plan (or within 60 days of completing a plan) can enroll in FVFL for a reduced fee of $85 once the Puppy or Kitten Plan is completed and paid for.

  • FVFL is not a substitute for completing a Puppy Plan or Kitten Plan. AMC's Puppy and Kitten Plans are designed to include all the routine services young pets need – not just vaccines but also exams, parasite and disease tests, parasite treatments, spay or neuter surgery, etc. FVFL covers only core vaccines.

  • It is best (and most economical) to use the Puppy or Kitten Plan to cover the series of pediatric visits (including the spay/neuter visit) and to use on FVFL to cover future vaccinations.

 

Enrollment

 

  • There is a single one-time, non-refundable enrollment fee per pet. The standard enrollment fee for FVFL is just $107. That's $107 for a lifetime of core vaccinations. Most clients find that they save money on vaccinations within the first year of enrollment!

  • Puppies and kittens who are currently enrolled in an AMC Puppy Plan or Kitten Plan (or have just finished it) may enroll for a reduced $85. 

  • FVFL is not transferable to any other client, pet, or hospital.

 

What's NOT Included 

  

  • Exams. A physical examination fee must be paid for at the time of each exam.

  • Any non-listed vaccines.

  • Any other services and products.

 

More Details

  • The annual wellness exam must be completed by a veterinarian at AMC.

  • “Sick” exams (exams addressing an illness, ailment, or injury) are not wellness exams. The dedicated wellness exam once a year allows the doctor to focus on the important wellness needs of your pet including a complete physical, vaccine review and update, disease risk assessment and nutritional assessment. 

  • FVFL is just at AMC and will not be honored by other veterinary hospitals.

  • We will send reminders when wellness exams and vaccinations are due. If your contact information changes, please update us!

  • There will be a 30 day grace period following the due date for the annual wellness examination. The enrollment will be null and void after 30 days following the wellness exam due date.

  • If the annual wellness exam is not completed within 13 months (one year, plus 30 day grace period), you may re-enroll the pet in the program (if it is still being offered) or resume paying for individual vaccines at the time they are given.

  • Since some vaccines are good for up to three years while others are annual or twice-yearly (in the case of Bordetella for dogs), not all pets are due for every vaccine every year. In consultation with the owner, the veterinarian will select appropriate vaccinations for each pet based on his age, health, medical history, lifestyle, and other risk factors.

  • AMC veterinarians do not administer vaccines that are not medically warranted. FVFL vaccines include only those listed that are medically indicated in the judgment of the treating veterinarian and consistent with current vaccination guidelines as defined by AAHA and AVMA.

  • FVFL is non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • Pricing and terms are subject to change. Please call AMC to confirm details or to allow us to answer any questions you may have!

 

Puppy Plan

The AMC Puppy Plan provides all the core veterinary care your puppy needs during the first months of life bundled to provide you cost savings and predictable budgeting. You can pay up front or spread your payments over the puppy wellness visits. 

Included in Puppy Plan

  • Wellness Exams (every 3 weeks)

  • Fecal Exams (at least two, as many as are needed)

  • Deworming Medications (a dose at each wellness visit & any additional intestinal deworming medications recommended by the veterinarian during the puppy plan)

  • DAPP Vaccination (boosters at each visit)

  • Rabies Vaccination (one)

  • Spay or Neuter Surgery (between 4 & 6 months of age)

  • Post-spay/neuter recheck visit 

** Puppy plans do not include: heartworm and flea preventative medications, additional "non core" items such as "sick" visits or other care for injury, illness, or other non wellness items, pre-surgical or other bloodwork, microchipping, elizabethan collars, or any other items not specifically listed as included.

Puppy Plan Pricing

Each puppy needs some things just once (like their spay or neuter surgery), but since puppies require wellness visits about every three weeks until they are at least 18 weeks old, the younger your puppy is when you adopt her, the more visits & veterinary puppy care she'll need. At each puppy visit, she'll get a check up, dewormer, and vaccinations. Puppies each get at least two fecal exams during their puppyhood, but sometimes more are needed, and ALL needed fecal exams & deworming medications are included during the course of the Puppy Plan.

 

Since older puppies don't require as many visits, puppy plan pricing is set according to age at their first visit, which corresponds to how many puppy wellness visits they should have. 

5 - 7 week old plan / 5 puppy visits: $602 (or 5 installments of $120.50)

8 - 10 week old plan / 4 puppy visits: $590 (or 4 installments of $147.50)

11 - 13 week old plan / 3 puppy visits: $537 (or 3 installments of $179)

14 - 18 week old plan / 2 puppy visits: $475 (or 2 installments of $237.50)

Puppy Vaccinations

  • DAPP Vaccine: DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza & Parvovirus combination) vaccines should be administered every three weeks starting as young as 6 weeks. At least two boosters are needed, ending at 18 weeks or older.  * Up to 5 DAPP vaccines may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption.

  • Rabies Vaccine: One rabies vaccine is needed at at least 12 weeks of age.

  • Bordetella Vaccine: One bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine is needed if your puppy will be going to puppy classes, a boarding kennel, the dog park, a groomer or going to other places where other dogs visit. Boosters are needed every 6 months. 

  • Leptospirosis, Lyme & other non-core vaccines are needed only if your puppy is at high risk for these diseases. We will do a risk assessment at your appointment. 

Puppy Health Tips

  • Puppies are very vulnerable to contagious diseases such as parvovirus. Until your puppy has completed his or her series of puppy visits and vaccines (usually at 18 to 20 weeks of age), please keep him or her at home as much as possible. 

  • Avoid places where your puppy will encounter other dogs or their droppings. Don't take him to the pet store, dog park, groomer's or to visit friends with animals. 

  • Carefully scoop all of your puppy's poop from your yard as soon as he goes to avoid a long-term parasite contamination of your yard.

  • Make sure that any other pets in your home are up to date on their wellness care!

  • Comprehensive veterinary exams are the foundation of good health. Your puppy's first exam should take place as soon as possible after adoption. If possible, schedule an appointment at AMC on your way home from the adoption center (or breeder). Your puppy should have exams every three weeks until he has completed his puppy wellness series at 18 weeks of age (or older). * Up to four exams may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption or if he receives non-core vaccines such as Leptospirosis or Lyme which are given at older ages.

  • Fleas and ticks are a year-round problem in Morgantown. In addition to being gross and irritating, they also spread serious diseases (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, etc.) as well as intestinal parasites (Tapeworm, etc). Avoid over-the-counter flea and tick products as they can be extremely poisonous as well as ineffective. Monthly flea & tick protection should begin at 8 weeks of age. 

  • Monthly heartworm preventative should begin between 8 & 12 weeks of age.         

  • Virtually all puppies (and kittens) are born with intestinal parasites because of transmission of parasites from mother to puppy during pregnancy and nursing. Every puppy should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting as early as possible (ideally beginning at 2 weeks old).  Monthly deworming (usually starting at 3 months) is needed after the series of biweekly dewormings. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a Heartworm Preventative that also controls common intestinal parasites. Fecal exams are needed to choose the most appropriate deworming medications. 

  • Puppies should be spayed or neutered between 4 & 7 months of age unless you are planning on breeding your pet. Timely spay or neuter prevents many serious medical (cancers, infections, etc.) and behavioral problems and adds years to your pet's life expectancy.

  • Protect your puppy's pearly whites and good health with daily tooth brushing! 

  • Permanent identification with a microchip and registration with a national database helps ensure that your puppy will be returned to you if he or she is ever lost or stolen. A microchip can be implanted at any time, but we usually do it at the time of spay or neuter. Also use an ID tag!!! 

 
 

Kitten Plan

The AMC Kitten Plan provides all the core veterinary care your kitten needs during the first months of life bundled to provide you cost savings and predictable budgeting. You can pay up front or spread your payments over the puppy wellness visits. 

Included in Kitten Plan

  • Wellness Exams (every 3 weeks)

  • Feline Leukemia & FIV testing at first visit

  • Fecal Exams (at least two, as many as needed)

  • Deworming Medications (a dose at each wellness visit & any additional intestinal deworming medications recommended by the veterinarian during the kitten plan)

  • RCP Vaccination (boosters at each visit)

  • Rabies Vaccination (one)

  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination (two)

  • Spay or Neuter Surgery (between 4 & 6 months of age)

  • Post-spay/neuter recheck visit 

** Kitten Plans do not include: heartworm and flea preventative medications, additional "non core" items such as "sick" visits or other care for injury, illness, or other non wellness items, pre-surgical or other bloodwork, microchipping, elizabethan collars, or any other items not specifically listed as included.

Kitten Plan Pricing

Each kitten needs some things just once (like their FIV/Feline Leukemia testing and spay or neuter surgery), but since kittens require wellness visits about every three weeks until they are at least 18 weeks old, the younger your kitten is when you adopt her, the more visits & veterinary puppy care she'll need. At each puppy visit, she'll get a check up, dewormer, and vaccinations. Kittens each get at least two fecal exams during their kitten hood, but sometimes more are needed, and ALL needed fecal exams & deworming medications are included during the course of the Kitten Plan.

5 - 6 week old plan / 5 kitten visits: $633 (or 5 installments of $126.60)

7 - 9 week old plan / 4 kitten visits: $622 (or 4 installments of $155.50)

10 - 12 week old plan / 3 kitten visits: $570 (or 3 installments of $190)

13 weeks - 6 month old plan / 2 kitten visits: $506 (or 2 installments of $253)

Kitten Vaccinations

  • RCP Vaccine: RCP (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia combination) vaccines should be administered every three weeks starting as young as 6 weeks. At least two boosters are needed, ending at 16 weeks or older. *Up to four boosters may be needed depending on your kitten's age at adoption.

  • Rabies Vaccine: One rabies vaccine is needed at at least 12 weeks of age. 

  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination: Two FeLK vaccines are needed 3 weeks apart starting at 12 or 13 weeks. The need for annual re-vaccination will be determined based on risk factors at your cat's annual wellness visits.

Kitten Health Tips

​​

  • Feline Leukemia & FIV are each tragically common, highly contagious and deadly. Testing your kitten for these diseases is a critical first step of your kitten's first veterinary visit. You should keep your new kitten separate from your other cats until she has been tested for these diseases. 

  • Make sure that any other pets in your home are up to date on their wellness care!

  • Comprehensive veterinary exams are the foundation of good health. Your kitten's first exam should take place as soon as possible after adoption. If possible, schedule an appointment at AMC on your way home from the adoption center (or breeder). Your puppy should have exams every three weeks until he has completed his puppy wellness series at 18 weeks of age (or older). * Up to four exams may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption or if he receives non-core vaccines such as Leptospirosis or Lyme which are given at older ages.

  • Fleas and ticks are a year-round problem in Morgantown. In addition to being gross and irritating, they also spread serious diseases (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, etc.) as well as intestinal parasites (Tapeworm, etc). Avoid over-the-counter flea and tick products as they can be extremely poisonous as well as ineffective. Monthly flea & tick protection should begin at 8 weeks of age. 

  • Monthly heartworm preventative should begin between 8 & 12 weeks of age.         

  • Virtually all kittens (and puppies) are born with intestinal parasites because of transmission of parasites from mother to puppy during pregnancy and nursing. Every kitten should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting as early as possible (ideally beginning at 2 weeks old). Monthly deworming (usually starting at 3 months) is needed after the series of biweekly dewormings. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a Heartworm Preventative that also controls common intestinal parasites. Fecal exams are needed to choose the most appropriate deworming medications. 

  • Kittens should be spayed or neutered between 4 & 6 months of age unless you are planning on breeding your pet. Timely spay or neuter prevents many serious medical (cancers, infections, etc.) and behavioral problems and adds years to your pet's life expectancy.

  • Protect your kitten's pearly whites and good health with daily tooth brushing! 

  • Permanent identification with a microchip and registration with a national database helps ensure that your puppy will be returned to you if he or she is ever lost or stolen. A microchip can be implanted at any time, but we usually do it at the time of spay or neuter. Also use an ID tag!!! 

 

Don't litter, Spay or Neuter!

 

We all agree: puppies and kittens are adorable, angelic and priceless. Sadly, there are also just too few homes for the many puppies and kittens born each year.  This over-population leads to many healthy puppies and kittens being euthanized or dying from other causes each year just because they don't have a home. Reproductive maturity in unaltered pets also poses major health risks in both males and females, so unless breeding is definitely in your pet's future, it is essential to spay or neuter your pet. 

Unless you are planning on showing and breeding your pure-bred, AKC registered pet, your pet should be spayed or neutered between 4 and 6 months of age, when they are old enough to be quite safe for surgery but before they become reproductively mature. While it is never too late to reap many health benefits from spaying or neutering, it is safest and best to alter your pet before he or she turns 6 months old. Surgery on "pediatric" pets is also lower risk and less complicated (and so less costly) because of the smaller size of the patient, the relative good health of younger pets and the lack of influence of complicating hormones.

Spayed or neutered pets live, on average, years longer than unaltered pets because of their lower risks of:

  • Cancers

  • Infections

  • STDs

  • Pregnancy

  • Behavior Problems

 

When deciding on where to have this procedure done, please be aware of your options and the varying standards of care available at different hospitals and clinics. This is a major surgery and there are significant risks involved with substandard care.

At Animal Medical Center, we provide high quality, safe, effective and humane care to every patient. We include every aspect of a safe and humane surgery on all of our estimates.

We adhere to high standards of care for all our surgeries, including spays and neuters. We believe that our clients want the best for their pets and we provide that excellent care everyday to every patient. Our AAHA accreditation and our adherence to AAHA's stringent standards of care is one more assurance you have that what happens "behind the scenes" at AMC is quality care.

Our standards of care for all spay or neuter surgeries include:

  • Comprehensive pre-anesthetic exam by the doctor

  • Pain plan customized to the individual patient's needs including appropriate medications to control pain before, during and after surgery (and take home doses as needed)

  • IV catheterization for rapid IV access for emergencies

  • Warmed IV fluids to maintain blood pressure and protect internal organs while maintaining body temperature

  • Patient warming before, during and after surgery with circulating warm water blanket during surgery, warm air blanket during recovery and double thickness polar fleece blankets

  • Anesthesia plan customized to the individual patient's needs to maximize the comfort of the patient, minimize the risks of anesthesia and help ensure a rapid, comfortable recovery for your pet

  • Premedication with appropriate pain & sedative medications

  • Anesthesia induction using appropriate IV medications

  • Endotracheal intubation

  • Gas anesthesia for maintenance of anesthesia

  • Sterile and aseptic procedures

  • High quality autoclaved surgical tools

  • Good quality sterile suture material for secure sutures and minimal irritation

  • Intradermal sutures for less irritation and better healing

  • Patient monitoring and recovery monitoring by a trained veterinary nurse, technician or assistant 

  • Pre-surgical boarding the night before surgery if preferred to dropping off the morning of the surgery

  • Surgical re-check appointment to check healing and remove any sutures

 

The following items are included in spay or neuter procedures depending on the age and health status of the patient and the needs and desires of the owner:

  • Age appropriate pre-anesthetic safety blood and/or urine testing (Recommended but optional on healthy pets under 4 years of age. Required for older pets and for pets with unstable health.)

  • Fitting with an elizabethan collar to prevent post-operative licking at the surgery site if indicated (Recommended but optional. Need depends on owner ability to supervise and behavior of the patient) 

  • Fluoride application on young (under one year of age) pet's teeth (Recommended but optional)

 

When possible, we offer the owner the opportunity to make decisions about elective aspects of their pet's care -- but we never offer substandard care.

 

If you are considering your options on surgery, please be sure to find out just what care is provided to your pet at a particular clinic. Learn what is included in any estimate. Are IV catheters routine? IV fluids? Pre-anesthetic safety blood or urine testing? Patient warming? Patient monitoring? Pediatric dental preventive care? Even pain medications? If these important items are not routine, are they available and for what additional cost?

There are many ways hospitals can cut costs. Many don't routinely place IV catheters or administer IV fluids. Many don't include pain medications for all painful surgeries. Some don't use sterile techniques for surgeries, some reuse surgical packs between patients, some use cheaper suture materials, some don't have a dedicated nurse to monitor each patient, some don't make sure the patient is kept warm during and after surgery. . . If you are "shopping" for a hospital to alter your pet, please make sure that you understand the level of care provided to your pet and that you know what is included in your estimates and what is an "option".

There are many choices to be made by the veterinarian even on a seemingly routine surgery such as a spay or neuter. You can trust us to make the safest, most humane and most caring choices for your pet and to take care of him or her as if she were our own.

Out team appreciates your help preventing pet over population by spaying or neutering your pet. Hundreds of young healthy pets die each year in the Morgantown area simply because there are not enough homes for the thousands of puppies and kittens born each year. Please don't delay this important procedure.

Spay & Neuter Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why is it best to spay or neuter my pet between 4 and 6 months of age?

 

Altering your pet before he (or she) becomes sexually mature prevents them from being exposed to the adult hormone levels that can cause serious health risks (pregnancy, infections, cancer, etc.) and problem behaviors (inappropriate elimination, wandering off, aggression, etc.). Young, smaller, healthy pets also have fewer surgical risks. This is also the optimum age to implant a microchip to permanently identify your pet and also to protect their still developing adult teeth with fluoride and to remove any retained baby teeth to prevent serious dental problems.

How does pre-anesthetic blood testing make surgery safer?

 

Before placing your pet under anesthesia, it is important to identify any health issues that may make anesthesia more risky. The comprehensive physical exam the veterinarian performs before surgery can identify many concerns but blood testing can identify infections, organ dysfunction and other conditions that are not apparent through physical exam. If the doctor finds any abnormal results, he will talk with you about how we can address any health concerns before proceeding with surgery. Sometimes we may need to delay surgery until we have addressed any problems, but often we can proceed with surgery with consideration of any special precautions that are indicated and proceed with any needed treatment after surgery.

How do IV fluids before & during surgery make surgery safer?

 

The IV catheter provides us with immediate access to a vein for administering drugs and/or fluids. This is a vital safety precaution for every anesthetized patient. Additional fluids are important because they help protect your pet's kidneys and other organs by helping to maintain blood pressure during surgery. 

How does fluoride protect my pet's teeth?

 

Fluoride helps harden the tooth enamel to protect it against decay and also helps desensitize the teeth to prevent tooth pain. Fluoride is especially effective on young teeth. This first fluoride application to the developing teeth will reap a lifetime of benefits of stronger teeth. Fluoride can only be applied under anesthesia since it is toxic to dogs and cats and must be wiped away before the pet can swallow it.

How does a microchip protect my pet?

 

A microchip is permanently placed under your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. Once you register your pet with a national database, if your pet is ever lost or stolen and brought to a shelter or veterinary hospital, he can be positively identified and safely returned to you. Lost pets who are microchipped are much more likely to be reunited with their owners than pets who are not microchipped. We recommend all pet owners microchip their pets. Many owners choose to microchip their pet during the spay or neuter surgery since the rather large microchip needle can be painlessly inserted while the pet is asleep for surgery.

 

Surgical Services

 

Surgery and anesthesia are scary for pet owners, but you can rest assured that they are safer than ever thanks to modern advances in anesthesia, surgical techniques and preventive health care. We offer a wide range of surgical procedures using safe and modern surgical techniques. All patients are carefully screened for risk factors, and anesthetics are specifically tailored to your pet. 

Our surgical procedures include everything needed ensure the safest, most effective surgery possible:

  • Fully trained veterinary and technical staff

  • Advanced sterilization techniques 

  • Comprehensive pre-anesthetic exam by the doctor

  • Comprehensive pre-anesthetic blood & urine testing for anesthetic safety

  • Comprehensive pain plan customized to the individual patient's needs including appropriate medications to control pain before, during and after surgery (and take home doses as needed)

  • IV catheterization for rapid IV access for emergencies

  • Warmed IV fluids to maintain blood pressure and protect internal organs while maintaining body temperature

  • Heated surgery table for greater comfort

  • Patient warming before, during and after surgery with circulating warm water blanket during surgery, warm air blanket during recovery and double thickness polar fleece blankets

  • Anesthesia plan customized to the individual patient's needs to maximize the comfort of the patient, minimize the risks of anesthesia and help ensure a rapid, comfortable recovery for your pet

  • Premedication with appropriate pain & sedative medications

  • Anesthesia induction using appropriate IV medications

  • Endotracheal intubation

  • Gas anesthesia for maintenance of anesthesia

  • High quality autoclaved surgical tools

  • Good quality sterile suture material for secure sutures and minimal irritation

  • Intradermal sutures for less irritation and better healing

  • Patient monitoring and recovery monitoring by a trained veterinary nurse, technician or assistant 

  • ECG and oxygen saturation monitoring

  • Blood pressure monitoring 

  • Pre-surgical boarding the night before surgery if preferred to admitting the morning of the surgery

  • Surgical re-check appointment to check healing and remove any sutures

 

When possible, we offer the owner the opportunity to make decisions about elective aspects of their pet's care, but we never offer substandard care. Unlike some practices which may cut corners on "routine" surgeries, we follow our same high standards of care on every surgery we perform. These surgeries may be "routine" for our experienced surgeons, but major surgery is never routine for the patient. Even though we perform hundreds of alter surgeries a year, your pet has just one in a lifetime, and we will make sure the surgery is as safe and pain free for your pet as possible.

Rigorous sterile techniques are used to protect your pet from the risks of infection. Modern techniques such as "intradermal sutures" with no external stitches for your pet to lick or chew and that do not require removal (since they dissolve over time) are routinely employed to minimize the risk of complications and to make recovery faster.

We use the safest available anesthetics to provide an extra margin of safety. Each patient is examined before anesthesia and an anesthetic plan is chosen that is safe for the individual patient. This is especially important for older or high risk patients. Using modern equipment, the patient's vital signs, including blood pressure, are monitored during anesthetic procedures. 

 
 

Dental Health

 

Regular dental care is important to maintaining your pet's teeth and protecting your pet's health. Dental disease is the most common disease affecting pets. By the age of three, the majority of dogs and cats are already suffering from dental disease. Left untreated, dental disease causes pets to die an average of two years earlier than they could have lived with good dental care.

 

Not all dental care is created equal! Check out our Consumer's Guide to Dental Care if you are considering professional dentistry for your pet.

If you have a high-speed connection, please view our Dental AH&T slide show here. Of course, we all know that broken or decayed teeth or infected gums are painful for your pet and can lead to feeding or behavior problems. But, many people don't realize that an unhealthy mouth can also lead to an unhealthy body, causing life-threatening infections. Gingivitis and periodontal disease (inflammation and infection of the gums) serves as a source of bacteria that can spread throughout the body causing potentially life threatening infections of the heart or kidneys.

 

Nearly all adult pets who are not receiving regular professional dental cleanings will have some degree of periodontal disease. 

How bad does an infected, abscessed or rotting tooth hurt? How painful is it to crunch down on hard food or with swollen, bleeding, tender gums? How sad does it feel when your favorite person in the world turns away in disgust when you try to give them a kiss? If our pets could talk, most of them could answer these questions because the vast majority of adult dogs and cats have serious, untreated dental disease.

 

Dental disease causes:

  • pain

  • infection

  • bad breath

  • tooth loss

  • organ damage

  • death when the bacteria from the infected mouth travel to vital organs

 

Just like people, cats and dogs need routine dental cleanings and care to protect their teeth, gums and their overall health. In fact, dogs and cats accumulate tartar and calculus much faster than people do so dental disease in pets can progress surprisingly quickly. The AAHA Dental Care guidelines recommend annual professional dental exams and cleanings for all pets beginning at the age of two for large breed dogs and beginning at the age of one for small dogs and cats.  

We realize that pet dental care is a new idea to many people and even many of our best clients don't yet understand just how important it is to take care of our pet's teeth and gums. We are committed to doing our part to change this! 

An oral exam is part of every complete physical exam, so if your pet is due for an exam or vaccinations, come in and we will check your pet's oral health at that time. If your pet isn't due for other care right now, we do offer a no-charge dental exam at any time. During the dental exam, the veterinarian will let you know if your pet needs a comprehensive anaesthetized dental assessment, hygiene and treatment (AH&T) visit.

 

During a dental AH&T, your pet is safely anaesthetized while we perform a comprehensive oral examination, charting, cleaning and treat any decay or disease to give your pet a healthier, more comfortable mouth.

 

We will discuss a treatment plan with you, prepare an estimate and schedule needed services. Our nurses will also show you how to take care of your pet's teeth at home to keep them their best between professional cleanings.

Once your pet's teeth are clean, we will help you learn how to keep them clean at home. The first line of defense against plaque and tartar is regular brushing. Brushing is easy to do and we can teach you how during your next visit. We can help you learn how to brush your pet's teeth and find a home dental care program that works for you and your pet.

Keeping your pet's teeth healthy will give your pet a healthier, happier, longer life. As an added bonus, clean teeth give your pet sweet breath!

We are the first hospital in Morgantown to bring intra-oral x-ray to pets! Our state-of-the-art ImageVet afp intra-oral x-ray system, installed in February 2006, is pictured at right. Intra-oral Dental X-ray is an extremely valuable tool for diagnosing painful dental problems that hide under the gums, in the bones of the mouth and between the teeth. 

National veterinary dental experts agree that intra-oral x-rays are mandatory to practicing safe, effective dental care and have issued guidelines mandating intra-oral x-rays for veterinary dentistry. 

Dental Health FAQs

How common is dental disease?

Dental disease is the most common serious ailment in cats and dogs! 85% of adult dogs and cats have periodontal disease. The incidence and severity of dental disease increases as pets age. In fact, the vast majority of cats and dogs 3 years of age or older have dental disease and are in need of professional dental care.

Is dental disease painful?

Dental disease is very painful. Study after study has shown that cats and dogs experience pain like we do, but actively hide their pain from observers. This instinct to hide their pain protected them from predators in their original wild state, but now it makes it harder for us to help our pets because we sometimes have to look for very subtle signs of pain. Surely, if we could know what pain they experience, we would be much more likely to aggressively treat it. Protecting our pets from the agony of decaying and infected teeth and gums is one of the most important things we can do to keep our pets healthy, comfortable and happy.

Can dental health affect my pet's behavior?

 

Yes!! Many owners report dramatic improvements in their pet's behavior, playfulness and reduced crankiness after dental treatment. These behavior improvements are most likely the result of the relief from chronic severe pain.

This is all new to me! Why haven't I heard about pet dental care before?

 

Medicine evolves! These medical advances are why pets (and people!) now live longer lives than ever before. Just a few years ago, most veterinarians often waited until dental disease was very advanced (and irreversible) before strongly recommending professional dental care. Today we know that we must prevent problems from becoming severe instead of allowing them to worsen for years before helping. With our new understanding of the importance of dental health, many veterinarians are rapidly acquiring the knowledge and equipment needed to properly prevent and treat dental disease.

 

Recent advances in veterinary dentistry allow us to prevent, treat and cure dental disease much more effectively than we could only a few years ago. Just a few years ago, quality veterinary dentistry was practiced by just a handful of specialists. General practice veterinarians were limited by our training and tools to very basic and incomplete dentistry so most pets simply did without. Today, many practices follow the AAHA Dental Care guidelines which are updated every few years. 

 

By investing in top quality tools (very similar to those in your own dentist's office) and committing ourselves to practicing the best possible primary care dentistry, we have become able to better diagnose and treat many common dental problems. High speed drills, dental x-ray, excellent new dental antibiotics and other medications and tools have added great dental power to our practice. Veterinarians are rapidly learning how to use these new technologies to benefit our patients. By taking our dentistry practice to "the next level", we can now add quality and quantity to our patient's lives through better dentistry.

 

Now that veterinarians know how to provide good dental care, why aren't more pets getting it?

 

We know it's not because owners don't care. Many studies have shown that Americans generally consider our pets members of our families and we want to do what's best for them. And, I know many very loving owners whose pets haven't gotten the dental care they need over the years. I know that many pet owners would be providing better dental care if they understood how effective it can be in keeping their pets healthy, extending their lives and making them so much more comfortable. So, it's not a lack of caring. Why then? We think the reason most pets aren't getting the dental care they need boils down to us vets not doing a good enough job providing the information to owners and committing to providing high quality dental care to patients.

At what age should dental care start?

 

Dental care should begin as soon as you bring your new pet home with daily tooth brushing with pet toothpaste. The earlier you begin, the more quickly your pet will come to accept or even look forward to his dental care.

What do I need to do at home?

 

Good home care is essential to maintaining or improving dental health. Daily (or at least 3 times per week) tooth brushing is the gold standard of preventive home dental care. There are many good products available to aid your at home care program. Oravet Dental Chews, CET Chews and Hills Prescription Diet Tartar Control t/d cat and dog foods are all good products that are recognized as effective and safe by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) that can supplement regular brushing or can help if brushing is not a good option for you. 

Our nurses will gladly show you how to take care of your pet's teeth at home to keep them their best between professional cleanings. We will work with you to find an effective, simple at home dental care routine that works for you and your pet. Because we realize that home dental care is essential to maintaining dental health, we provide a no-charge follow up nurse home care consultation visit 14 days after the dental visit so that the nurse can review home care with you at that time and we will provide whatever additional support you need. Educating you about proper home care is our duty. Ask any time for more information or coaching.

Is there anything we should do for our puppy's (or kitten's) teeth?

 

The best thing you can do for your pet's dental health is to begin daily tooth brushing when you first bring your pet home. The earlier you accustom your pet to the tooth brush, the easier it will be!

When pets are surgically altered at 4-6 months of age, we recommend strengthening their pretty new adult teeth with a fluoride treatment for continuing protection. 

At what age does my pet need start annual Dental Assessment, Hygiene & Treatment visits?

 

Annual dental care visits are generally needed starting at the age of two for large dogs and starting at the age of one for small dogs and cats (who are more prone to early onset severe dental disease.) Caring for the teeth early and properly will prevent more severe dental disease from developing.

Does my pet need a Dental Assessment, Hygiene & Treatment visit?

 

Probably! Just like people, pets need regular dental exams and cleaning to prevent disease from developing or progressing. If we don't care for our pets' teeth, dental disease will develop sooner rather than later. One of the new ideas the veterinary dentists have taught us is that it is best to prevent dental disease from developing in the first place through regular professional and home dental care. The AAHA Dental Care guidelines recommend annual Dental A, H & T visits. Routine professional dental care will prevent periodontal disease from developing in the first place and will bring established periodontal disease under control.

If the veterinarian has already recommended dental care or if your pet is 3 years of age or older, it is important to schedule the Dental A, H & T sooner instead of later. Established periodontal disease is a serious illness that must be treated promptly. Pets with advanced disease may require more frequent care to bring the disease under control.

If you aren't sure whether your pet needs a Dental A, H & T or if you want to talk to the veterinarian before scheduling, we offer a no-charge dental exam at any time just call for an appointment. An oral exam is also part of every complete physical exam, so if your pet is due for an exam or vaccinations, we will check your pet's oral health at that time.

Is it ever too late for dental care?

 

If it's not too late for your pet, it's not too late to take care of her mouth! With proper care, dental disease is both preventable and treatable. Caught early, dental disease can often be cured. Even when caught later, effective treatment is still available to prevent the progression of the disease and prevent complications such as organ damage and further tooth loss. Sometimes owners think their pet is "too old" or "too sick" for anesthesia and dentistry, but usually the benefits of relieving the infection and pain of oral disease far outweigh the risks of the procedure. Owners are often pleasantly surprised by how young and sprightly their older pet can behave after treatment for periodontal disease.  

Dental A,H&T FAQs

What is a Dental A,H&T?

 

We call our comprehensive dental visit a Dental Assessment, Hygiene & Treatment visit, or a Dental A,H&T in AMC shorthand. During the Dental Assessment, Hygiene & Treatment visit, the patient is first examined and pre-anesthetic blood and/or urine test results are reviewed. Next, an IV Catheter is placed and warmed IV fluids are administered continuously. Your pet is placed on a circulating warm-water blanket and covered with insulating polar fleece blankets to keep him cozy and comfortable. 

Next, your pet is anesthetized with a combination of safe drugs. An endotracheal breathing tube is placed to protect your pet's airway and to administer the gas anesthesia. Your pet's response to the anesthesia, vital signs and overall condition are monitored by a veterinary nurse throughout the procedure and adjustments are made as needed.

A complete dental assessment of the patient's dental health includes a thorough tooth-by-tooth periodontal exam and dental charting and whole mouth survey x-rays. Next, the veterinarian determines a treatment plan as to which, if any, teeth or gums need any surgery, extractions or other treatment. The owner is, if possible, contacted by phone at this point to discuss the treatment plan.

Meanwhile, comprehensive dental hygiene care is provided including pizeoelectric scaling (removing tartar) from all teeth both above and below the gum line, polishing all teeth, and applying fluoride.

The veterinarian provides any treatment needed to eliminate sources of infection and to eliminate or reduce gum pockets which are reservoirs of bacteria and chronic infection. Treatments may include extracting severely decayed teeth, surgically trimming gums or deep cleaning and long-acting polymer antibiotic treatment of deep gum pockets and exposed roots. Pain medications are administered if major surgery or extractions are performed.

Your pet is carefully monitored while recovering from anesthesia. You are contacted with an update on your pet's condition and discharge is scheduled for later that afternoon. You are provided complete follow up care instructions and any take-home medications by the nurse. A recheck visit is scheduled for 14 days later to review home care and to check any surgery sites. 

Watch our step by step AH&T Slideshow here!

Is the Dental Assessment, Hygiene & Treatment safe?

 

Yes!! The risks of dental disease far outweigh the risks of treatment. As with every procedure we do, we take every reasonable precaution to keep your pet safe and comfortable before, during and after the procedure. We adhere to high safety and patient care standards. Modern anesthesia monitoring, patient warming, sterile techniques and anesthetic and pain management plans customized to the need of each patient are just a few of the things we do to safeguard our patients' well being.

Before placing your pet under anesthesia, it is important to identify any health issues that may make anesthesia higher risk. The comprehensive physical exam the veterinarian performs before surgery can identify many concerns and blood testing and/or urinalysis will identify many infections, organ dysfunction and other conditions that are not apparent through physical exam. 

If the doctor finds any abnormal results, he will talk with you about how we can address any health concerns before proceeding with surgery. Sometimes we may need to delay the anesthesia until we have addressed any problems, but most often we can proceed with the dentistry with consideration of any special precautions that are indicated and follow up with any additional needed treatment after surgery.

How does an IV Catheter and IV fluids before & during dentistry make it safer?

 

The IV catheter provides us with immediate access to a vein for administering drugs and/or fluids. This is a vital safety precaution for every anesthetized patient. Additional fluids are important because they help protect your pet's kidneys and other organs by helping to maintain blood pressure during surgery. 

How does fluoride help?

 

A fluoride treatment helps harden the tooth enamel to protect against decay and also helps desensitize the teeth to prevent pain. Fluoride can only be applied under anesthesia since it is toxic to dogs and cats and must be wiped away before the pet can swallow it.

 

Why bother with intra-oral dental x-ray?

 

Dental x-ray is an extremely valuable tool for diagnosing painful dental problems that hide under the gums, in the bones of the mouth and between the teeth. Veterinary dentists have been using dental x-ray for years to evaluate problems hidden under the surface.

Now that the value of dental x-ray is understood, dental x-ray has become part of the recommended standards of care for all pets, just as dental x-rays are an essential part of dental care for people. It's like driving at night with the lights off - doing it is understandable if your lights are burned out and you have to get your sick kid to the hospital, but we'd all probably agree that it's crazy to pull onto the freeway with your headlights simply turned off!

Veterinary standards of care now recommend annual dental x-rays as part of the routine dental assessment. In learning more about the emerging field of veterinary dentistry, we have become convinced that dental x-ray is an essential tool in caring for our patients. 

During the Dental AH&T, a vital part of our routine dental assessment process is whole mouth survey dental x-ray films. Additional films are taken when needed during and after extractions or other procedures.

Will my pet be in pain afterwards?

 

No! Your pet will be relieved from the pain of dental disease!! The veterinarian will prescribe appropriate pain medications to help your pet through any temporary pain due to any needed extractions or surgery.

Why must you anesthetize my pet? Can't you do it "awake"?

 

Meaningful dental care is not possible on an "awake" animal. We can not even perform a comprehensive dental exam without anesthesia since cats and dogs will not tolerate opening wide and holding still while we prod and poke and neither will they hold still for x-rays!! Only after the patient is under anesthesia can a comprehensive oral exam begin. These thorough exams very often uncover startlingly serious dental problems that are not apparent without anesthesia. 

Properly cleaning the teeth involves scaling below the gum line and scraping away the tartar from any roots that are exposed or where the gum has separated from the tooth root ("pockets"). This is uncomfortable or even painful and just can't be done properly on an "awake" animal.

 

Ouch! That's expensive!

 

Preventing dental disease is cheap. Treating advanced dental disease can be expensive. One of the most sensible comments I've heard about dentistry was, "Pay a little now or a lot later." Your pet's toothbrush is free from AMC and a tube of toothpaste will last many months. This minimal investment a few minutes a day may be the best investment you can make in your pet's health! It is always easier, safer and cheaper to prevent disease or to treat it when caught at an early stage than to treat more advanced disease. So, the best thing for your pet's health and your wallet is to address dental health issues early, thoroughly and regularly!!

Unfortunately, when it comes to medicine, quality costs. The Dental Assessment, Hygiene & Treatment visit is a complicated, staff intensive, anesthetized medical (and often surgical) procedure that requires well-trained staff and a well-equipped hospital to do correctly. We invest in top quality staff and modern equipment. We take the time needed to provide meticulous care to our patients and thoughtful service to our clients. When faced with a choice of material, technique or equipment, we make the choices that make our procedures safer, more effective, less painful and in other ways superior to the alternatives.

We have made an ethical commitment to provide safe and humane care to all our patients. Because of this commitment, we routinely include all the essential elements of a safe, effective and humane procedure on all estimates (pain medications, IV catheter, IV fluids, patient warming, anesthesia monitoring, comprehensive dental assessment including charting and x-ray, age appropriate pre-anesthetic safety blood testing and/or urinalysis, etc.). 

These important items may be "optional" add-on services at other practices, or, in other cases may not even be available at all. We are happy to explain our fees to you any time you have a concern. Comparing apples to apples, we are comfortable that we provide good value to our patients and clients and we know that we charge only what we need to in order to keep our doors open, keep practicing good medicine and keep compensating our staff fairly.

Internal Medicine & Diagnostics

We are well equipped with the equipment needed to provide comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services to care for your pets' complete health care needs. While our veterinarians provide the very best primary veterinary care possible, we refer to board certified specialists when needed. Our capable veterinarians cover all areas of internal medicine including: Cardiology; Ophthalmology; Neurology; Dermatology; Gastroenterology; Oncology; Endocrinology; among others. 

Radiology  

 

X-rays help our veterinarians evaluate muscular-skeletal, cardiovascular (cardiopulmonary), gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary systems. Our on-site X-ray equipment aids in the diagnosis of many disorders. Our dental x-ray unit provides the ability to take intra-oral dental x-rays.

Ultrasound 

 

Ultrasound is the best available tool for evaluating internal organs in the abdomen as well as the heart. Ultrasound guided biopsies and aspirates allow the veterinarian to sample internal organs or fluids without more invasive surgical procedures. It is also used to make routine procedures such as cystocentesis (using a needle to remove urine from the bladder) safer. Ultrasound is noninvasive and very safe and enables our doctors to diagnose and monitor a wide range of serious conditions including internal injuries, cancer, heart disease and other vital organ ailments.

Laboratory

 

We use both our comprehensive "in-house" laboratory and also "send-out" labs to perform a comprehensive range of sophisticated laboratory analyses to meet the varied needs of our patients. When immediate results are needed for prompt diagnosis, we have the capability to complete a wide range of essential laboratory analyses in a matter of minutes. Our in-house laboratory facilities provide for serum chemistry, hematology, serology, urinalysis and parasite testing. The IDEXX Lasercyte CBC (Complete Blood Count) Hematology machine allows us to perform very important hematology blood analysis in-house so that when time counts we can do comprehensive blood analysis in minutes. The CBC machine complements our IDEXX Catalyst chemistries machine to allow us to use blood testing to help identify illness, disease, organ dysfunction and many other conditions in a matter of minutes. We utilize high quality "send-out" veterinary laboratories for specialized diagnostics. 

Dietary Counseling 

 

Some pets require special food, and all pets benefit from a balanced diet. We will provide guidance regarding your pet's nutritional needs for each life stage, including dietary requirements for growth, weight maintenance and performance. Our trained staff is available to help you choose the right diet for your pet to keep him or her happy, healthy and active. Prescription/therapeutic diets can help pets with a wide range of medical issues -- from dental disease, kidney disease, allergies and weight issues, many serious medical issues can be successfully managed through diet change. We carry a comprehensive range of prescription/therapeutic diets.

Pain Management

 

Veterinary patients feel pain and discomfort under the same circumstances as people do. We know that recognizing and alleviating pain in animals is the essence of good patient care. At Animal Medical Center, appropriate pain control is considered a fundamental part of every procedure. Our estimates (including spay and neuter operations) always include needed pain control as part of the basic procedure.

Have you ever had a surgery such as a C-section or a hernia repair or have you even just had your wisdom teeth pulled? If you have had surgery or major dental work, your doctor almost certainly provided serious pain relief. You probably received IV pain relievers before, during and after your surgery for a few days and you were likely sent home with a bottle of narcotic pain relievers or a pain relief patch to wear. If it was a major surgery with a lot of pain, chances are good that for at least a few days you ran right to the medicine cabinet as soon as your last dose wore off.

 

Pain Warning Signs

  • Shaking or Trembling

  • Increased Heart Rate

  • Decreased Appetite

  • Acts Needy

  • Acts Reclusive

  • Acts Unusually Aggressive

  • Whining or Moaning

 

Our pets feel pain just like we do but they can't help themselves to pain relief so they count on us to help them. At Animal Medical Center, we won't let your pet suffer in silence because we make sure to treat pain as the serious condition it is. It just isn't right to do a major operation such as a spay or neuter without treating the post-operative pain. Not only is relieving pain simply the right thing to do for our beloved pets, proper pain relief also contributes to faster healing and happier pets who aren't so traumatized by the vet's office that they quake in fear every time you cross our threshold!

Pain control is an essential part of the treatment plan for every pet. Whenever pain is an issue, our veterinarian will develop a customized pain control plan for your pet by considering the type of surgery, the age and health of your pet and your own preferences about how you prefer to administer pain control at home. Pain medication is typically begun before the surgery starts and then continued afterwards for a few days.

For each stage of treatment, the veterinarian carefully selects the right combination of medicines for your pet from a wide variety of available drugs. Modern veterinary medicine, just like human medicine, offers a wide variety of sophisticated medicines for our pets. Sometimes your pet can be sent home wearing a patch that delivers strong pain control for several days so you don't even have to give your pet pills!

In the past, some people, (even veterinarians!) believed that pets didn't really feel pain and that pain relief wasn't important. Just a generation ago, doctors claimed that young children didn't feel pain either! It comes as no surprise to those of us who have taken our kids in for their vaccinations that science has proven that pets and children do feel pain just like us grown ups. In fact, studies have shown that effective pain relief leads to faster healing, better outcomes and, of course, kids and pets who aren't so terrified of the doctors they depend on!

 

Saying Goodbye

 

Saying goodbye to a beloved family member is a painful decision. We respect and honor the differing needs of pet owners during this difficult time. We compassionately work with our clients to assist you in deciding when to let go and to ensure your pet's comfort and dignity when the time comes to say good bye. Our services include hospice care to alleviate suffering while gaining additional time for terminal patients, euthanasia services when the time has come to let go and cremation services. 

It is always painful to face the loss of a beloved companion. We, too, have grieved the loss of our pets and we do understand how painful the loss can be. 

Terminal diseases can often be managed to allow the pet to share precious additional weeks or months with their family. Some owners want to fight disease aggressively, even when the outlook is grim. Other owners feel it is best to let their pet go sooner if they know the disease is terminal and, especially when they have seen the "light go out" of their pet's eyes and have already tried recommended treatments to relieve the suffering. Only you can know what is right for your pet. 

In veterinary medicine, our objective is to treat illness when a pet has a reasonable likelihood of recovery and a good quality of life. When treatment of underlying disease is not possible (or not likely to result in significant improvement), our objective is to relieve suffering. Relief of suffering can be achieved through hospice care or euthanasia. 

Hospice Care

 

During the course of a terminal illness, there usually comes some point where the owners and doctors agree that the most loving thing to do is to prevent more suffering. Sometimes, we can gain additional time with your pet through hospice (or palliative) care aimed at preventing pain or suffering, while accepting the terminal nature of the disease and so not putting the pet through any additional procedures, tests or treatments that may induce additional stress or pain. During this "hospice" period, treatments including pain medications, fluid administration, and other medications or treatments can help your pet end his life with dignity, comfort and happy times. 

Euthanasia

 

If the time comes when the owners and veterinarian agree that there is no realistic hope for a good quality of life for the pet because the pet is suffering and is no longer responding to supportive care, the final act of caring you can make for your pet is often to let him go with euthanasia. If euthanasia is out of the question for you, more aggressive hospice care including strong pain relievers and possibly sedatives to ensure maximum relief from suffering may be needed. 

At times, the only way to relieve suffering is euthanasia. The euthanasia process is painless. The pet is sedated and then receives an overdose of an anaesthetic -- so he feels no pain but simply and peacefully passes away, with a loving presence -- you or a nurse -- by his side and wishing him a peaceful journey. You and your family may remain with your pet for as long as you wish. We can arrange for cremation of your pet or you can take him home to bury him. We do everything within our power to make euthanasia as peaceful and dignified as possible for both you and your pet.

Grief

 

We naturally grieve the loss of a beloved pet, just as we grieve other losses in life. This loss can hit some people very hard. It is natural to feel very sad for several days and to continue to feel sad at times for many weeks or months. After some time, your sadness may lessen only to return more strongly some many months later, often around an anniversary of the death, holidays, or other stressful times. This is all perfectly normal but can be very painful. 

Everyone is different and there are no "right ways" to deal with loss -- just the right ways for you.  Whatever coping techniques (family support, talking, exercise, prayer, time, etc.) help you deal with other losses in life can also help you now. 

For some people, a new pet can be a healthy distraction, a happy reminder of former puppy or kitten days with their lost pet and can even ease the pain of loss with new happy times. Other people can't bear the thought of a new pet for many months and do better to wait for a while before making a new commitment to a pet. Trust your own judgment about when is the right time for a new pet.

If you feel overwhelmed with grief or just cannot seem to get back to your "normal self", do not hesitate to reach out for more help from family, friends, grief resources, a grief support network or a professional grief counselor or therapist. 

A favorite poem, the Rainbow Bridge, offers a little comfort to many of us. 

Rainbow Bridge

 

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor.

Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again,

just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing;

they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. 

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.

His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers.

Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. 

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet,

you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head,

and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet,

so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. 

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....  

            --- Author unknown

 

Boarding

 

Can't take him with you? When you have to leave your pets, we will provide them with a safe and caring place to stay.

 

Everyone hates to leave their pets, but when you have to leave them somewhere, we offer a healthy and safe place. Boarding at AMC is available for established patients only and limited to pets who are up to date on their wellness care and do not have contagious illnesses or parasites. Boarding space is limited and advance reservations are required. 

All boarders receive personal attention from our caring staff members and we consider our boarding pets to be members of the family. We provide tender loving care (aka cuddling) and supervised outdoor walks on our lovely grounds to keep them happy and active. 

Pets may be checked in and discharged during regular business hours Monday through Saturday, in accordance with our boarding guidelines (.pdf). 

 

Please also review our Financial Policy. Payment is required at time of service. Pre-payment by deposit is required for all hospitalized services, including boarding. We also require a reservation deposit for our busiest holidays (typically 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas).  A team member will let you know if the deposit is required to hold your reservation when you call to schedule.  

If you have any questions about any of your options, please feel free to call! 

You may use our e-forms to request a reservation.  We will contact you within 2 business days to confirm the reservation and to schedule any needed medical services. Of course, you may also call us at (304) 292-0126 to make a reservation if you prefer. 

We will clarify details on all pets and provide a complete estimate when we call you to confirm the reservation.

Emergencies

 

When your pet needs emergency care during business hours, we advise you to call ahead when you are on your way in to make sure the staff and doctor can be prepared to help you immediately when you arrive. We can also advise you on how to stabilize your pet for the trip.

For after hours emergencies, please call either North Central WV Veterinary Emergency Clinic at 304-363-2227 in Fairmont or if your pet may need a trauma specialist, AVETS (Allegheny Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty) Hospital at 412-373-4200 in Monroeville, PA.

 
 

Adoptions​

 

If you have room in your family for a new critter, we encourage you to explore adopting a homeless pet from a local shelter or from our own Healthy Pet Adoption program. Learn all about our adoption opportunities & view available pets on our Healthy Pet Adoptions page!

© 2020 by Animal Medical Center.

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