Beach Buddies Animal Hospital offers a wide range of general veterinary services & emergency veterinary care for our patients. Just a few of our wellness and preventive care services are listed below. For more information on these or other services, please call (609) 390-0199.
Getting your new puppy or kitten off to a healthy start sets the stage for their lives as healthy adults. Regular physical examinations, core and elective vaccinations, fecal testing for parasites, and deworming are all important elements of ensuring good health for your puppy or kitten. Our knowledgeable staff can help your family learn about potty training your pup, performing nail trims on your puppy or kitten, dietary recommendations, and potential health hazards for your new pet.
Spaying and neutering are additional topics to consider; the appropriate age for the timing of sterilization surgery may vary depending upon the species and breed of your pet. You may also want to consider pet health insurance — a great way to get your new little family member off to a good start. Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider whether your new puppy or kitten may need preventives such as monthly heartworm prevention and flea/tick preventives. We realize that adding a new family pet can come with lots of questions… but don’t forget, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call.
Annual wellness examinations are very important for your pet’s health and happiness. Wellness exams allow our veterinarians to discover any potential health risks and/or problems that may otherwise go undetected. Our veterinarians approach each wellness exam based on the age, breed and gender of your pet. APHEC is devoted to ensuring that your animal companion(s) lives the healthiest, happiest life they can.
Every wellness exam includes:
- A complete history of your pet’s health
- Patient vital signs
- Complete “Nose to Tail” examination
- Laboratory testing as needed (lab fees extra)
- Comprehensive consultation and individually designed health plan for each pet based on individual needs
We love senior pets! Senior pets have special needs and benefit from more regular veterinary visits compared to their younger counterparts. Age-associated conditions include:
- Dental disease
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Endocrine disorders
These conditions will start to become more prevalent as your pet gets older. For this reason, we recommend twice-yearly veterinary visits for pets over 7 years of age. Your aging pet may be showing early signs of osteoarthritis such as stiffness after rest or play, difficulty going up or downstairs, and reduced activity. Early intervention with joint supplements and prescription arthritis medications when indicated, along with modified nutrition and exercise plans, can greatly improve your pet’s comfort and mobility. Likewise, performing annual screening lab work on your older pet can help identify early stages of medical problems that might go unrecognized, and progress significantly without treatment.
Some pets experience age-related behavioral changes that can be a sign of cognitive dysfunction, which is similar in some ways to dementia. Your veterinarian can recommend diet modification and supplements to help improve your older pet’s mental sharpness. Getting older doesn’t have to be fraught with troubles for your pet… see your vet regularly to help keep your senior pet healthy and comfortable.
Pets are a part of our families, and preventing parasite infestations is an important part of keeping them healthy. Both ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites) can affect your pet at some point in their life. Ectoparasites, such as fleas and ticks, are not only a nuisance to your pet, but can transmit vector-borne diseases to humans and pets such as Bartonella (cat scratch disease, transmitted by fleas), Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Fleas can also cause a severe dermatologic condition for your pet resulting in very itchy, inflamed skin, due to flea allergy dermatitis.
Roundworms are the most prevalent endoparasite in pets. Others include hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Pets are typically infected with these parasites through accidental ingestion of parasite eggs (which are microscopic) from areas that have fecal contamination from other infected animals. Alternatively, some parasites are acquired through ingestion of intermediate hosts such as rodents (Taenia tapeworm species; Toxocara roundworm species) or fleas (Dipyllidium tapeworm species). These parasites are also a health risk to humans and are considered zoonotic – meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. For example, if a person accidentally ingests roundworm eggs, the larvae can migrate into the body and cause organ damage and potentially blindness. Hookworm larvae in the soil and grass can infect bare skin and cause a condition in people known as cutaneous larva migrans.
Heartworm is another important endoparasite, but one which is not zoonotic. Heartworm infections result from pets being bitten by infected mosquitos. The larval form of the heartworm travels through the bloodstream to the heart where it develops into an adult. The adult heartworms live in the right side of the heart and if left untreated, result in progressive heart failure and death. In the initial stages of heartworm disease, pets may be asymptomatic. As the condition progresses, symptoms may evolve including a cough and exercise intolerance in dogs, and vomiting/coughing in cats. Treatment of heartworm disease can be very risky for the pet, and very costly.
Because of the health risk to your family and pets, it is important to keep your pet on a year-round parasite-prevention program. There are several preventives that, when used properly, are very effective at greatly reducing the risk of your pet acquiring heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and tick-transmitted diseases. Additionally, you can help prevent the risk of zoonotic disease to your family by practicing good hygiene (frequent hand washing), avoiding eating unwashed raw vegetables or undercooked meats, and cleaning up pet feces in your yard. For more information about pets and parasites, visit petsandparasites.org, and consult with one of our friendly staff!
One of the most common but also frequently overlooked health problems for companion animals is dental disease. By age 3, most pets have some degree of periodontal disease. This occurs as a result of bacterial infection along the gum line, due to the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance containing millions of bacteria that forms along the tooth surface and gum line. Without frequent removal, plaque eventually hardens into tartar. Left untreated, this leads to gradual destruction of the gum tissue and supportive structures around the teeth, which can result in tooth loss. Not only is periodontal disease harmful and painful because it results in loss of teeth, but it can also cause damage to important vital organs such as the:
When it comes to dental disease, most pet owners don’t realize the extent of the problem until it is quite advanced; hence the importance of yearly to twice yearly physical examinations including a thorough oral health care assessment. In the early stages of dental disease, your veterinarian can recommend home dental health care measures such as tooth brushing, dental treats and rinses, and dental diets. When professional dental care is needed for your pet, general anesthesia is necessary. Your veterinarian will discuss the procedures involved in a COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) plan with you when dental care is needed. Most often, this will involve a day at the veterinary hospital to plan and perform the procedures, which may include doing:
- Pre-operative lab work
- IV catheterization
- General anesthesia
- Dental X-rays
- Teeth cleaning and polishing
- Dental charting
- Extractions when indicated
Upon discharge, the veterinary team will review any instructions pertaining to post-dental medications, special feeding instructions, and when to resume home dental care. Your pet will thank you for remembering to take care of his or her mouth and live a longer and happier life as a result.
When your pet is sick or injured, they can’t tell us what’s wrong. A thorough physical exam and history (symptoms you’ve noted at home) are the first important steps. If the diagnosis is not immediately evident upon initial assessment, your veterinarian will recommend specific diagnostic tests. These may include:
- Laboratory testing for baseline blood counts and organ function tests, or infectious disease. Blood and/or urine samples may be collected from your pet, for point-of-care testing, or reference lab tests. Point-of-care tests are those tests that are done on-site in our hospital so as to be able to determine results and make treatment recommendations in the most timely fashion possible. In other cases, lab samples may need to be sent off to off-site laboratories (reference laboratories) – when the test cannot be performed with in-hospital lab equipment, or when the test results are not needed urgently.
- Imaging such as X-rays or ultrasound, which allow diagnosis of conditions of the heart and lungs, gastrointestinal obstruction, tumors of the internal organs or bones, fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity, urinary stones or gallstones, reproductive diseases, and bone/joint disorders. For most patients, gentle restraint can be used for these procedures, however, in some cases, sedation may be necessary.
- Microscopy is quite useful in the evaluation of lab samples such as ear swabs, skin impressions and scrapes, and needle biopsies of tumors. These tests are helpful in the diagnosis of dermatologic and otic (ear) conditions.
- Ocular conditions may warrant evaluation for tear production (Schirmer tear test), corneal injuries (fluorescein stain), or abnormal intra-ocular pressures (tonometry).
Diagnostic testing is an important step in the development of a treatment plan for your pet, allowing your veterinarian to most effectively target the underlying problem(s) and assess the probability of successful treatment. Your veterinarian can explain the purpose of each diagnostic test for your pet, and help prioritize which tests may be most helpful in determining the cause of your pet’s illness.
We utilize state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to identify underlying health issues in order to keep our animal companions healthy and happy. When our animal companions are in pain, they cannot tell us where they are hurting. In order to establish what is happening, we perform lab tests to help identify common concerns such as dehydration, anemia, and infection, in addition to more extensive concerns such as kidney disease, liver disease, and pancreatitis.
We highly recommend annual testing for the following:
- FeLV/FIV/Heartworm test (Feline Leukemia Virus & Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
- Heartworm / Ehrlichia / Lyme/Anaplasmosis test
We are able to perform common labwork and emergency labwork with our in-house equipment. The results are available to our veterinarians within approximately an hour.
Common labwork performed at Beach Buddies Animal Hospital:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Pre-anesthetic screening
- Free T4 (Dogs)
- Total T4 (Cats)
Certain labwork can only be performed by an outside laboratory. We utilize Idexx Reference Laboratory for this purpose.
Common labwork sent to Idexx Reference Laboratory:
- K9 young adult maintenance screening
- Geriatric screening
- Phenobarbitol level
- KBr (Potassium Bromide) Testing
- K9 parvo test
*Depending on sample sent, results are available to our veterinarians in approximately 24-72 hours
At some point in your pet’s life, they may need a surgical procedure. Whether your pet is having an elective surgery, such as spay or neuter, or an emergency surgery for intestinal obstruction, you can rest assured that our staff will provide the very best care possible for your pet.
Our facility offers the following surgical services for companion animals:
- Routine spay and neuter
- Tumor removal
- Abdominal and soft tissue procedures
- Orthopedic surgery (per case basis)
- Endoscopy and biopsies
In the best interests of our pet, we require a physical examination appointment with one of our doctors prior to scheduling procedures. Before the procedure is scheduled, our staff will explain the process including:
- Any pre-surgical testing that is recommended — Baseline laboratory testing is beneficial so that there are no surprises on surgery day. Knowing that your pet has normal blood test results can help prevent anesthetic complications or surgical complications such as excessive bleeding, which can occur when patients have low platelet counts or abnormal clotting. When there is liver or kidney disease, this may affect the choices of anesthetic drugs recommended by your veterinarian, to prevent anesthetic complications and promote a smooth anesthetic recovery.
- Food and water intake restrictions prior to surgery — A period of fasting may be necessary prior to your pet’s procedure. Our staff will let you know what is advised.
- What procedures are to be done on the day of surgery — From the initial intake to sedation and general anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, the procedure, and recovery, the staff will walk you through what will happen with your pet once you leave the hospital.
- Discharge and aftercare for your pet — Many patients are able to go home the same day as their procedure, whereas others may need an overnight stay. The veterinary team will advise you as to what is best for your pet, and also discuss aftercare for your companion and any rechecks needed.
In an emergency, seconds count. When you arrive with your pet on an emergency or urgent care basis, our highly trained staff will perform an immediate triage assessment to assess the stability of your pet and the need for emergency medical intervention. In life-threatening situations, you may be asked for consent to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
The first component of basic triage is assessing your pet’s level of consciousness, airway/breathing (labored breathing or choking, lack of oxygen), circulatory status (pale gums or weak pulses, racing heart), and pain score. Patients needing urgent medical attention, upon consent will be moved to our treatment area for immediate doctor assessment and commencement of emergency care.
Placing an IV catheter and administering IV fluids, giving oxygen supplementation, and pain relief medications may be elements of the initial stabilization of your pet. As your pet is stabilized, your veterinarian will review a diagnostic plan which may include imaging (radiographs, ultrasound) and laboratory evaluation (blood and/or urine tests) to ascertain the severity of the situation and tailor treatment for your pet.
We see emergency cases 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your pet will be seen as soon as possible, and the doctor will go over their assessment and treatment plan once your pet is stable.
We are proud to offer pet boarding and daycare, under the supervision of our veterinary team. By choosing us, you can rest assured that if your pet has a health problem while you are away, they will be in trained hands to contact you and recommend appropriate diagnostics and treatment. For our boarding and daycare patients, we require the following:
- All animals should have a negative fecal result within the last 2 months. If they do have intestinal parasites, we can make recommendations, but the boarding must be approved by staff first.
- Boarding Dogs: must be current on Rabies, Distemper, and Bordetella vaccines
- Boarding Cats: must be current on Rabies and FVRCP vaccines
- Daycare: puppies must minimally have their first Distemper and Bordetella vaccines
Our Daycare is a great way for your pet to get socialization time and some basic training, so as to avoid the problems that go along with prolonged time at home such as destructive behavior and house soiling.
When scheduling boarding, please plan to bring an ample quantity of the food that your pet is normally fed at home, as well as any medications or favorite toys and bedding. This makes our home seem more like yours for them and helps reduce stress. Finally, please arrange to have contact numbers available for our staff to reach you during your pet’s boarding, in the event of any medical emergency.
We understand that traditional Western medicine may not always be the sole solution for every ailment, which is why we provide a diverse selection of alternative therapies that can be used in conjunction with it. Our complementary services include Cold Laser treatment, soundwave/pulse therapy, acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, and VOM (Vertebral Orthopedic Manipulation), also known as chiropractic manipulation using an activator.
- Cold Laser treatment is a non-invasive procedure that uses low-level laser therapy to stimulate healing and reduce pain. It can be beneficial for various issues, including wound healing, arthritis, and inflammation.
- Soundwave/pulse therapy utilizes specific frequencies to promote tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. This therapy is particularly helpful for musculoskeletal conditions and can improve mobility and overall comfort.
- Acupuncture, a well-known ancient Chinese practice, involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and restore balance. It can effectively alleviate pain, manage chronic conditions, and enhance overall well-being.
- Chinese herbal therapy incorporates the use of natural herbs and remedies to address specific health concerns in pets. This holistic approach aims to support the body’s natural healing processes and restore optimal health.
- VOM (Vertebral Orthopedic Manipulation), or chiropractic manipulation using an activator, focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions related to the spine, joints, and nervous system. This gentle technique can help realign vertebral structures, relieve nerve impingements, and improve mobility.
By offering these complementary treatments, we aim to provide a comprehensive approach to veterinary care that combines the best of traditional Western medicine with alternative therapies. Our goal is to provide treatment options and potential resolutions that go beyond the boundaries of conventional methods. We believe in tailoring our services to the unique needs of each individual pet, ensuring their well-being and promoting a healthier, happier life.