Pet Health Maintenance in Helotes, TX

Vaccines

helotes tx veterinarian Vaccinations are not only safe and effective; they are an important and fundamental piece of your pet's preventative healthcare plan. Advances in veterinary immunology have made diseases that once were relatively common and fatal to pets easily preventable. There are also vaccines–such as for rabies and other zoonotic diseases–that help protect your family from very dangerous and difficult to treat illnesses. Additionally, with each passing year, veterinary science is improving on existent vaccines as well as increasing our ability to prevent an even wider array of contagious diseases.

Hill Country Animal Hospital's vaccination protocol is tailored to American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, the lifestyle of your pet, as well as to the diseases he or she is most likely to encounter in our region of the country. In addition to vaccines for diseases such as rabies and distemper we may also recommend twice yearly vaccinations for Bordetella for dogs, and annual vaccinations for the feline leukemia virus for cats that go outdoors.

We also have vaccine for the Canine Influenza Virus and a vaccine to help protect your dog should he or she be bitten by a rattlesnake. This particular vaccine is intended to help your dog produce antibodies which will lessen the severity of the reaction if your dog is bitten by a Western Diamondback or one of the many other rattlsnakes whose venom mimics that of the Western Diamondback..

In all, our veterinarians truly believe that our carefully balanced approach is the best means to prevent infectious disease. We also take special care in educating you about the signs and symptoms should an adverse reaction to a vaccine occur so that it can be treated in a timely manner.

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Lost Pet Microchip ID

helotes tx veterinarianHow would you find your pet if he or she ever got lost?

Each year, millions of pets go missing and many don't make it back home. Microchipping your pet is a safe, simple and effective way to prevent this tragedy. About the size of a grain of rice, identification microchips contain a unique number that is assigned to your pet and once you register the microchip, it will link your pet to you when the microchip is scanned. It is implanted beneath your pet's skin, usually between the shoulder blades.

Veterinary hospitals and animal shelters across the country and around the world are equipped with special scanners capable of reading these microchips. The information in the chip is used to reunite you with your pet.

Hill Country Animal Hospital uses the resQ microchip system. This system comes with a number of valuable benefits for you such as no pre-registration or annual fees; customer service seven days per week, 24 hours per day; and worldwide coverage since resQ's microchips can be read by any International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant scanner in the world.

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Care through Every Age and Stage

animal care in helotes txAs with humans, your pet’s wellness care should be adjusted as he or she progresses through each age and stage of life. For example, the health needs of a puppy are quite a bit different from those of a matured dog, and senior animals require a bit more preventative care in order to catch health concerns before they become serious medical issues.

For this reason, we have a series of wellness programs designed to meet the specific health needs of your pet at each stage of life.

Puppy and Kitten Wellness Program

Puppies and kittens are a lot of fun to have in the home, but they require some special attention in order to assure they are happy and healthy companions for years to come. This means that comprehensive physical exams at key developmental stages are important.

In particular, the first year of your new friend’s life should include an initial wellness exam, screening for parasites such as worms or giardia, an initial dental exam, discussion with you on good nutritional health, and more. For puppies we advise the start of medicine to prevent heartworms, and talk about the need for behavior counseling for certain common behavioral needs. Additionally, at six months of age we recommend spaying or neutering your pet.

Vaccines are also very important. Because we take a balanced approach to the care of your puppy or kitten, Hill Country Animal Hospital spreads out vaccine visits. This ensures your new pet’s immune system adequately responds and recovers from each vaccine challenge.

These visits also provide you with opportunities to ask all the questions that come to mind regarding your pet’s care and give us a chance to become acquainted with your blossoming cat or dog.

Junior Wellness Program

helotes tx veterinarianFor most pets, the ages between one and six are their prime years. They have passed through their puppy or kitten year in fine health and have entered their most active and perhaps healthiest set of years.

However, pets at this stage of life are still susceptible to a range of illnesses, especially those that can be prevented with vaccines and proper laboratory testing. Our Wellness Program is designed to maintain the health of your pet and includes lab screening for a range of common diseases, routine vaccines and wellness exams, urinalysis if needed, and heartworm testing.

As a side note, we like to perform blood work annually on all pets regardless of age since there are conditions that can be mitigated when detected early.

Senior Wellness Program

As animals move into the senior phase of life, they experience changes that are very similar to aging humans. Diseases and conditions that are commonly known to affect older people also affect our canine and feline companions, such as kidney, heart, and liver disease, tumors, cancer, diabetes, depression, arthritis, thyroid conditions, hormone imbalances, neuroses and loss of sensory perception.

During the early stages of these illnesses, senior pets appear healthy upon physical examination, but may have an underlying disease. Once symptoms appear, the conditions may be beyond the stage where it can be easily managed or reversed with treatment. Understanding the changes your pet goes through as he or she ages and how you can provide for your pet's needs are essential to quality of life.

Hill Country Animal Hospital’s Senior Wellness Program is designed for pets older than six years and includes lab work to screen for major organ function, complete blood count, urinalysis, and tests thyroid levels. We also will perform chest X-rays, blood pressure, and an electrocardiograph to assess cardiopulmonary health.

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Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a new alternative treatment for a variety of ailments that pets may experience throughout their lives. Laser therapy speeds healing after surgeries, can help with dental pain, wound healing, otitis, rhinitis, skin conditions, arthritis, and inflammation.

Infrared laser light from the therapy laser harmlessly penetrates deep into tissues where it is absorbed in the cells, and this energy is converted into chemical (not thermal) energy. Studies indicate that laser treated wounds heal in a third to a half faster than the time required in normal healing. Some ailments can benefit from one laser therapy treatment, while others may require multiple visits for the maximum benefit to be seen. Because laser therapy can be administered without touching the painful area, we are able to provide immediate pain relief to very sensitive tissues.

animal hospital in helotes txLaser therapy is a drug-free alternative that can be used alone or in conjunction with prescription drug therapy. Our Companion Therapy Laser delivers adequate dosages of laser energy or photons painlessly and efficiently to deeper tissues, which is a huge benefit in treating chronic conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, back disease or injury, and degenerative joint diseases. Laser therapy can make a difference in the life of your pet.

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Specialists & Referrals

helotes tx animal hospitalIf your pet’s best interest is served by referral to a specialist for care, your veterinarian will make that recommendation. We will work with you to ensure that your animal receives the services it needs in a timely manner, and will make sure there is frequent communication between our practice, the specialist, and you. Not only is it important that they receive necessary medical information from us before your pet is treated, but we must receive test results, diagnoses, and recommendations from the specialist in order to ensure continuity of care.

External Specialists

For specialty veterinary care we refer to Mission Veterinary Specialists. The veterinarians and staff at Mission Specialty deliver world-class medicine in the areas of surgery (orthopedic, soft tissue and minimally invasive), neurology/neurosurgery, internal medicine, critical care, cardiology, and dentistry. Mission Pet Emergency works in conjunction with Mission Veterinary Specialists to provide hospitalization for patients that need overnight care so that there is no need for patient transfer. We work closely with Mission Veterinary Specialists to ensure that your pet receives the best treatment possible.

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