Our surgery services range from routine spay and neutering services to the more complex clinical surgical procedures, American Pet Hospital always operates with safety in mind. We utilize many of the same safety precautions and measures as human hospitals. We perform most of the pre-surgery blood work in our in-house lab, and are able to make sure your pet is health enough for the procedure.
We will address any pre-surgical abnormalities prior to the surgery, modifying drug selections and sometimes will even postpone or cancel the procedure until our surgical team feels it is deemed safe enough to perform.
In addition to common surgical procedures such as ovariohysterectomy (spay), castration, and declawing of cats, we provide experienced orthopedic, soft tissue, laser and radio surgery.
- Dental cleaning and procedures
- Mass removals
- Wound care
- Gastrointestinal and urinary bladder procedures
- Basic ophthalmic and orthopedic procedures
Preparing for your pet’s surgery
Give your pet its normal meal and medication the night before surgery and then withhold all food after 9pm. Bring your pet to the hospital at your scheduled time to meet with the technician or veterinarian to answer any last minute questions, address any concerns and sign consent forms. Don’t forget any personal items from home to have placed with your pet. A discharge appointment to go over home care will be scheduled at this time as well.
What happens during surgery
After admission, your pet with be examined by a veterinarian and his medical records reviewed. An anesthetic protocol is created to ensure a safe and smooth surgery and recovery and your pet is given a sedative to alleviate stress. A breathing tube is placed into the trachea and a general anesthesia is administered while your pet is prepped for surgery. Depending on the type of surgery, your pet may be prepped with a short shave, surgical scrub and hooked up to anesthetic monitors. Oxygen, heart, respiratory rates, and temperature are all monitored for the duration of surgery. A blanket warmer is placed with your pet to keep him comfortable. A technician will monitor your pet during the entire procedure, post surgery and throughout the day.
After care at home
We keep most of our surgery patients overnight and discharge at your scheduled time. Keep your pet in a quiet, comfortable, dry, stress free location when he gets home. Dogs with an incision should be leash walked for 5-7 days post surgery. At the discharge appointment, you will receive specific instructions depending on your pet’s surgical procedure.
During regular hospital hours, American Pet Hospital is fully equipped to provide your pet with emergency care, including:
- Emergency stabilization
- Laboratory testing and x-rays
- IV fluid therapy, pain control, infection treatments
- Wound and fracture care
- Treatment for poisonings or seizures
- Referrals to specialty facilities
We understand that a medical emergency can be a frightening experience for you and your family and since our hospital staff members are also pet owners we understand the love you have for your pet. Every patient seen at American Pet Hospital receives the utmost veterinary care and attention from the time he or she comes into the hospital until the time he or she leaves. Our hospital is staffed at all times by skilled doctors and technicians, capable of handling the most complicated and demanding emergencies offering our clients and patients quality patient care and client satisfaction. We stand by our commitment to provide you and your pet with the most advanced veterinary medical diagnostics and treatment in a caring, compassionate atmosphere.
American Pet Hospital offers the best in medical technology to our patients. Our advanced technology gives our doctors and highly trained staff members the necessary tools to provide the best possible care. Oxygen support, blood pressure monitoring, transfusions, ECG, incubators, radiology and fully-equipped surgery suites with complete anesthetic monitoring capabilities are ready for providing the best care and diagnostics for your pet. Our complete in-house laboratory can provide diagnostic laboratory test results in just a few minutes. This allows us to treat your sick or injured pet as quickly as possible. Having an in-house lab also means that our patients can be routinely monitored throughout their stay allowing for immediate treatment adjustments as needed.
The following are some indications and situations when you should seek veterinary emergency care:
- Hit by car
- Physical trauma
- Foaming from mouth
- Blue, purple or pale gums
- Cat exhibiting open-mouth breathing
- Cat straining to urinate
- Bleeding heavily
- Profuse vomiting or diarrhea
- Difficulty breathing
- Ingestion of toxins, medications or any suspect substance
Emergency Surgical Procedures We Provide:
- Cesarean section
- Endoscopy: foreign body retrieval
- Enterotomy / Gastrotomy
- Exploratory laparotomy
- Gastric dilatation volvulus (Bloat)
- Gastrointestinal Foreign Body Removal
- Hemoabdomen/Acute Abdomen Treatment
- Intestinal Resection/Anastomosis
- Laceration / Wound repair
- Proptosis / Prolapse Repair
Is This An Emergency?
Many diseases can have similar signs, but vary in severity.
View this page for a list of signs or conditions that would typically be associated with potentially serious conditions.
Call anytime and speak with one of our technicians for advice.
The following list is signs or conditions that would typically be associated with potentially serious conditions.
- Increased rate and/or effort in breathing
- Shallow or delayed breathing – gasping
- Changes to Oral Gum Color (should be pink)
- Distended or Bloated Belly
- Persistent Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
- Changes to Alertness
- Loss of Balance
- Dog or Cat Fights
- Sudden Deterioration of Chronic Illness
- Eating suspected poisonous plant (click here for link to ASPCA Poison Plant page)
- Exposure to any chemicals/toxins (click here for common Pet Health Toxins)
- Eye discomfort, severe itching, hives, facial swelling
- Straining or unable to urinate or have a bowel movement
- Difficulty or Unusual Delay in Delivering Kittens or Puppies
- Exposure to Extreme Temperatures
- Pain, Discomfort or Acute Lameness
- Fall from Height
- Bites from Wildlife
If you are still unsure as to whether or not you have an emergency case, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (209) 549-8387
Pet Illness Treatment Services
American Pet Hospital’s expertise in treating pet illness is just as comprehensive as our signature preventive care measures. Just like you, every pet’s health experiences a hiccup now and then. Using the best diagnostic technology, we treat a wide variety of pet illnesses, from short-term infections to longer-term conditions.
In this instance, “acute” doesn’t describe severity, but rather how quickly an illness develops and how long it lasts. Acute illnesses are often isolated incidents, usually curable with straightforward treatments. The most common acute illnesses we see are:
- Parasite Infections (internal & external)
- Bacterial & Viral Infections
- Ear Infections
- Anal Gland Infections
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Skin Conditions & Allergies
- Upper Respiratory Illness
- Acute Injuries (struck by car, fractures, sprains, strains)
- Intestinal Foreign Objects
- Ingested Toxins (foods, plants, household chemicals, etc.)
- Behavioral Disorders (phobias, aggression)
Our treatment options for acute illnesses include:
- IV Fluids
- Dietary Changes
- Highest Quality Monitoring Equipment
- Pain Management
- Nutritional Management
- Post-Op Care
- Regular Follow-Up Calls
- Unlimited Free Office Visits
Veterinary Diagnostic Services
Specialized tests are required for preventative screening or when you sense something is not right with your dog or cat. We utilize a wide range of diagnostic equipment including radiology and an onsite state-of-the art laboratory to help aid us in the diagnosis of many medical conditions.
Radiology, or x-ray, is an effective imaging tool used to diagnose a variety of conditions in your dog or cat including orthopedic abnormalities, intestinal obstructions, or organ enlargement, as well as many other vital uses. It is also used for staging heart disease.
Ultrasound. Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that allows us to look at and recover samples for testing from the organs of the abdomen or chest such as the liver, kidneys, spleen or heart in 3-D. Veterinary ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive and safe tool allowing visualization of tissues not otherwise possible. We utilize the services of a specialist to perform and interpret your pet’s ultrasound examination in our hospital. This allows for your convenience and ensures an accurate and immediate diagnosis for your pet. Ultrasound typically does not require sedation unless internal tissue samples are collected. If a biopsy is required, we are able to safely obtain those samples using the ultrasound as a guide.
Our onsite laboratory allows most screening tests to be completed within a very short period of time. Routine fecal screenings, urinalysis, heartworm tests, complete blood counts, pre-surgical screenings and blood chemistry profiles are among the many tests where results are available very quickly. Reliable independent veterinary laboratories are utilized when deemed appropriate.
Blood Pressure Monitoring. Accurate blood pressure monitoring assists in assessing your pet’s condition during critical life-threatening times, anesthesia and shock, as well as giving us a baseline blood pressure reading in comprehensive physical exams.
We use ECG monitoring during surgery to provide the safest surgical procedures for your pet. Our system monitors blood pressure, respiration, heart activity, oxygen saturation and temperature.
- More Info on Our Meridian Wellness Plans
Preventive Health Care Treatment Services
We focus on preventive veterinary care to promote and improve overall pet health. Routine check-ups allow us to diagnose, treat and protect your pet from contracting serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases. Offering a holistic approach to pet health, we partner with our clients to make sure their pets receive proper preventive care through:
- Comprehensive Examinations
- Dental Care
- Parasite Control
- Nutritional Counseling
- Behavioral Counseling
We believe strongly in the value of preventative health care for your pets. It keeps them healthy and able to live long, active lives. Preventative health care begins with a physical examination. Our recommendation for your pet is to have a yearly examination with appropriate vaccinations, parasite testing and monitoring of major organ systems.
Vaccination for preventable infectious diseases is recommended depending on individual risk for exposure or as required by law.
Parasite testing and prevention of parasites with appropriate medications are an increasingly important part of preventative health care for both pets and the people who own them. Regular administration of products that prevent intestinal parasites, heartworms, ticks and fleas is standard best practice for cats and dogs today.
Routine monitoring of major organ systems with blood work and urine testing is appropriate for some of our pets, particularly the older crowd.
We encourage routine laboratory testing of blood and urine for our senior patients (7 years of age and older). This helps us monitor for diseases that occur more commonly as our pets age, but may not be outwardly apparent on a physical examination or recognizable by the owner.
Protect Your Pet with a Meridian Wellness Plan®
Specifically designed to make preventive veterinary care practical and affordable, our Meridian Wellness Plans help provide the care your pet needs to maintain optimal health.
Preventive Dental care for Dogs and Cats
It is important to your pet’s overall health care program to provide regular, professional dental care. Plaque and tartar that build-up on your pet’s teeth can lead to gingivitis. Reddened, bleeding gums, difficulty chewing and bad breath are all signs of gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can progress to a more advanced form of periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, can cause the loss of teeth. The same bacteria causing gingivitis and periodontal disease can be carried into the blood stream and cause damage to your pet’s kidneys, heart, liver and other organs. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Routine, Preventative Dental Care:
An annual dental exam and professional scaling and polishing is recommended to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Our routine preventative dental care includes complete ultrasonic scaling, root planing and polishing. We place your pet under anesthesia and perform a comprehensive oral examination. We examine individual teeth for mobility, fractures, malocclusion and periodontal disease. We remove plaque and tartar using hand instruments and power scaling equipment. We give your pet’s teeth a thorough ultrasonic cleaning and polishing. After professional cleaning, your pet’s mouth with be healthier and pain free.
American Pet Hospital is capable of providing:
Complete prophylactic ultrasonic scaling, root planning and polishing
- Minor oral surgery including, but not limited to, tooth extractions, fistula repairs and removal of oral tumors.
- Comprehensive pain management before, during and after any oral procedure that may produce discomfort.
- Monitored general anesthesia through our knowledgeable, well-trained technicians with the aid of digital monitoring for the vital signs.
- All anesthetic patients have a designated technician/nurse assigned to them at all times.
- Administering local anesthesia to all surgical tooth extractions.
- Home dental care instructions and product recommendations.
- A referral network to veterinary dentists and specialists when needed.
At Home Dental Care:
Your pet’s dental care doesn’t end after he or she leaves our clinic. Our staff will show you how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. This is an excellent way to prevent plaque and tartar build-up and promote good oral hygiene. Brushing your pet’s teeth at the same time each day with a pet toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste) and a brushing device (toothbrush, finger brush, gauze on your finger, etc.) is the most effective means of removing plaque from your pet’s teeth. If you have any questions on how to brush your pet’s teeth, please give us a call, or check out our handout “how to brush your pet’s teeth”.
Clinical Signs of oral and dental diseases in dogs and cats
If your pet shows any of the following symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment as your pet may be suffering from painful dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.
- Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight
- Reddened gums
- Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area
- Pain Management
- In recent years, veterinarians have made great progress in understanding how animals feel pain and the best ways to manage that pain. Many animals will instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism which in the past led to incorrect assumptions about the ability of dogs and cats to feel pain. Because we now understand more about how pets feel pain, we know how to recognize it and manage it. Pain management has become an important issue in veterinary medicine.
The American Animal Hospital Association along with the American Association of Feline Practitioners recently released the AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. These guidelines show that pain management helps improve the recovery process, whether from illness, surgery or injury. Because it reduces stress and increases a sense of well being, pain management may even help your pet live longer. Understanding pain is an important part of pain management. There are two different types of pain in pets – acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain comes on suddenly as a result of an injury, surgery, inflammation or infection. It can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet and it may limit her mobility. The good news is that it’s usually temporary and goes away when the condition that causes it is treated. We offer pain management with every surgical procedure for both the comfort of the patient, and to speed the recovery process. This may involve a preoperative injection which lasts a minimum of 24 hours, so that the patient is comfortable upon waking, as well as ensuring a restful night’s sleep at home.
When deemed necessary by the doctor, medication for the next few days is also included. Chronic pain is by definition pain that lasts longer than two weeks. It can result from acute pain that goes untreated or it can develop more slowly. Common sources of chronic pain are osteoarthritis, dental disease and cancer. Animals that suffer from chronic pain often have subtle clinical signs that collectively make them appear older than they really are. And the longer the pain goes on, the harder it is to control so we always want to treat this pain early.
- Anesthetic Safety
- If surgery is suggested, you can feel comfortable knowing that our hospital only administers anesthesia in the utmost safe and cautious manner. Your pet’s safety and comfort are always our primary concerns whenever anesthesia is involved. Our veterinarians tailor the anesthetic procedure to fit the needs of each patient. All of our surgery patients have an IV catheter in place and receive intravenous fluids throughout the procedure and during the postoperative period. An IV catheter allows us to administer emergency medications quickly if needed. IV fluids help maintain normal blood pressure and keep your pet well hydrated.
- Our top priority is providing the highest-quality of veterinary care to each pet we treat. Every policy and medical procedure supported by our practice has been put in place with the health and wellness of pets in mind.
Our veterinarians perform a surgical onychectomy if they believe that a cat cannot be trained to refrain from using its claws destructively in the home, or poses a danger to family members. Unfortunately, all cats are not amenable to behavior modification and we believe that this surgical procedure will result in fewer cats being abandoned or euthanized. Once declawed, it is recommended that your cat live indoors since the ability to defend itself is compromised.
We also believe feline onychectomy should be performed only with the medically appropriate use of anesthetics and analgesics and adherence to careful surgical and post-surgical protocols. If you are shopping around for a competitive price on this procedure, be sure to question the type of anesthetic used, the type of pain management provided, and the monitoring equipment and procedures followed. All of our surgery patients have IV catheters placed and receive IV fluids. We use several monitoring devices during your pet’s anesthetic. A veterinary technician continually assesses your pet’s vital signs during the procedure. Your pet’s safety and comfort are our primary concerns when performing a declaw. We use advanced pain management techniques in conjunction with anesthesia to make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible during the procedure and after they are discharged. Our declaw patients receive 2 or 3 injectable pain medications during the procedure and go home with oral pain medication. We perform nerve blocks of the feet that provide additional pain relief immediately after the surgery. Our declaw patients stay with us overnight so that we can be sure they are comfortable, to remove their bandages in the morning, and to assess the surgical area before going home. It is very common to see these kitties pawing playfully through the kennel door following this surgery.
- Pet Euthanasia
- Deciding to euthanize a pet is an agonizing process. You will likely experience a wide range of complicated emotions as the time comes. It is important that you are prepared for this event and deal with the feelings as they come. There is great fear in not knowing what will occur on the day of the euthanization. Discuss this with your veterinarian and ask questions.
Our veterinarians are very familiar with the experience and are able to talk with you about the process and feelings that go with it. Spend time with your pet in the weeks or days leading up to the euthanasia. This will be a very special time for both of you. You will undoubtedly feel very emotional and sad but try to remain in control. Your pet will sense your feelings and you want this time to be as enjoyable as possible for them. Decide whether you would like to be there during the euthanasia. Some people wish to be with their pet and officially say goodbye during the final moments.
Others feel that the experience would be too much to handle. Whether you choose to be with your pet or not, be re-assured that you have given him a lifetime of love. Either decision you make is appropriate. Arrange time to spend with your pet directly before the procedure. If you choose to be in the room, you can still have some private time with your pet beforehand. It is sometimes helpful to say goodbye in this final setting. Talk to your family about euthanasia. Everyone should be able to share their thoughts and feelings on the process, and ultimately decide if they would like to be present or not. It can be a traumatic experience, so fully consider the outcomes prior to deciding. Say goodbye to your pet.
Take a few final moments to express your feelings. Do whatever you need to do to say goodbye. You are not alone. There are many others experiencing similar grief. Pet loss can be very challenging, and there are pet loss support groups available throughout the country. If you have specific questions or concerns about euthanasia or you would like more information regarding the diagnosis or treatment of your pet’s disease, please contact our veterinarians.
- Skin problems are among the primary reasons to bring a pet into the veterinarian. A general veterinarian can identify and treat a variety of common skin conditions. Certain diseases and injuries may require a veterinary dermatologist in order to ensure your pet receives the optimal level of care. A veterinary dermatologist’s concentration is upon the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the ears, skin, mouth, hair, and nails, in addition to allergic disorders in pets. No matter breed-type or size, any dog or cat can be susceptible to the risk dermatologic problems and may require the help of a specialist. These include skin problems associated with allergies, skin cancers, parasite infections, infectious diseases, systemic diseases, hormonal diseases, nail diseases and ear infections.
- An ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging procedure that enables an in-depth view of your pet’s organs. Many times x-rays, which reveal the size, dimensions and position of the organ, will be utilized in combination with an ultrasound. The ultrasound allows for the evaluation of internal organs and is a highly useful tool in evaluating heart conditions (referred to as echocardiogram), detecting alterations in abdominal organs and assisting in the recognition of cysts and tumors. With the ability for real-time monitoring, ultrasounds are also utilized for pregnancy diagnosis and development monitoring. Anesthesia or sedation is not usually necessary to perform an ultrasound on the heart or abdomen. With the ability to obtain real time information, outcomes can often be determined immediately.
- In order to ensure the health and well being of our pets, stool examinations for parasite eggs have been part of the veterinary routine for decades. Although stool examinations have become routine, a new procedure has recently been presented that has drastically improved the quality of the results.
Depending on the parasite involved, this new procedure can dramatically influence the quality of the results. Previous methods for hookworms only revealed half the number of parasites as the new method. For roundworms the new method reveals about 100 times more parasites, for whipworms we can now detect infections where the parasite remained undetected before. Detecting the actual parasite burden of our pets is important to the pet’s health, but to protect human health as well. Undetected infection can lead to animal and human illness.