Our Wellness Services

Our Wellness Services PhotoHill Country Animal Hospital opened in 1999 with the vision of bringing the best that modern veterinary medicine has to offer to the Helotes/Northwest corridor of San Antonio. To this end, we have built a state-of-the-art veterinary facility and enabled our skilled and compassionate medical team with the latest in medical technology and equipment.

The center of our model of care is the extensive practice of preventative medicine. We offer breed specific wellness programs designed to identify and prevent medical issues endemic to your pet’s genetic makeup as well as thorough wellness exams to look for the early signs of illness. Vaccines, microchip lost pet ID, acupuncture and integrative medicine, as well as age specific programs of care are all designed to maintain and protect your pet’s health and wellbeing.

Preventative medicine also includes being very good at communication. We believe that educating our clients and being as open as possible to your questions and concerns are vital aspects of ensuring a lifetime of good health for your pet. Our medical knowledge, wide and deep as it may be, is of little value if we don’t share it with you in order to help you provide the best homecare possible for your pet.

Should your pet become ill or injured, our advanced diagnostic tools and skills, modern surgical suite, and internal medicine expertise mean we can handle a wide range of medical challenges and provide the best care for your pet. Additionally, our relationships with a range of talented, local veterinary specialists ensure that your pet will receive the prompt and appropriate care of a specialist when necessary.

In all that we do, Hill Country Animal Hospital works each day to provide you and your pet with the highest level of service within a safe, clean and welcoming facility.

Please take a look at the services we offer and why we believe they are instrumental in promoting your pet's happiness and longevity. If you would like to set up an appointment or have any questions please call us at (210) 695-4455.

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Wellness Exams

Exam - Look into pet's earsThe basis of any preventative medicine regimen is regular wellness exams. Hill Country Animal Hospital recommends a complete wellness examination at least once a year, and twice yearly for senior pets.

A routine examination provides you and your doctor with the opportunity to develop a picture of your pet's overall health as well as to spot potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns. It's also an opportunity for you to ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet's health, habits and daily care. We also use this time to inform you about home healthcare for your pet and offer important advice and new information on the care of your particular type and breed of animal.

Hill Country Animal Hospital also offers breed specific wellness programs that look at the genetics of your pet so that we are able to monitor for problems that have a higher rate of incidence in your breed of animal. We will also look at how the breed of your pet ages and concentrate on preventative medicine that gives your pet the best chance of living a long and healthy life.

During your pet's wellness checkup, your veterinarian will:

Exam - Look into pet's eyesListen to your pet's heart – Early signs of cardiac disease such as heart murmurs and abnormal heart beat patterns known as arrhythmias can be heard through a stethoscope. Discovering these initial indicators of trouble ahead can lead to identifying and treating the underlying condition before it becomes a more serious health threat.

Listen to your pet's lungs – Health issues such as infections, obstructive diseases and other problems can be detected by listening to your pet's lungs through a stethoscope. The doctor can also assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet.

Check your pet's teeth and oral cavity – Examining your pet's teeth and mouth is an important part of preventing serious systemic diseases, which is why dental care is an important piece of preventative care. Very young animals, such as kittens and puppies, also need to be checked to ensure they are developing an appropriate bite and that they are losing their baby teeth at the right time. We also take the time to discuss proper home dental care with you.

Evaluate your pet's vision – All diseases follow relatively predictable processes and if found early can be more easily treated. Ocular conditions, which can also be prevented through regular care and screenings, are no exception.

Exam - Palpatate jointsLook into your pet's ears – As with dental disease, ear disease is relatively common in many types of pets. Issues such as low-grade allergies, swimming or bathing, reactions to certain foods, mites and other parasites can all cause and contribute to otitis or ear disease. Though you may feel this is an area that can be well-handled at home, the fact is that many ear diseases are difficult to detect and require medical treatment.

Palpate the lymph nodes, abdomen and skin – By feeling the skin, we are looking for unusual lumps or swellings as well as evaluating for skin discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning. These can indicate the presence of more systemic problems, especially metabolic diseases, which most commonly occur in middle-aged and senior animals.

Palpate joints and muscles – By examining the joints, legs and other areas of the body, we are able to evaluate for swollen joints, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size between the legs. We also observe your pet's gait for developmental issues. In puppies, we look for early indications of hip or elbow problems. For older pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be easily and well-managed if found early.

Lab work – A complete physical includes a heartworm test, fecal flotation test for intestinal parasites, and an abbreviated chemistry panel with a complete blood count, which can indicate the presence of a number of disease processes. For pets seven years of age or older, we also perform a complete blood cell count and a full chemistry profile, as well as checking your pet's thyroid level, in order to create a baseline of systemic health and to detect any emergent disease processes.

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