We strive to provide the best possible care for your animals, but we understand that we do not always have the skills or the equipment available to do this. In these situations, we will work closely with one of our local referral clinics, including the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, to find a solution to your pet’s health care needs.
Perhaps the most difficult decision in every pet owner’s life is when it is time to let their furry friend go. We offer euthanasia as a way of allowing pet owners to relieve the suffering of their animals.
Every animal is unique, so there is not a single protocol we use for euthanasia. In general, each animal is sedated to relieve stress, an intravenous catheter is placed, and the euthanasia solution is administered which acts to rapidly stop the heart and painlessly cause death. We allow pet owners to decide for themselves whether or not they would like to be present for this procedure. We also offer several options for cremation should you decide not to take your pet home with you or if you would like to keep their ashes.
- Exotic Animals and Pocket Pets
We see exotic animals and pocket pets on a case by case basis, but in general, we recommend referral for these animals. We are able to help you find a veterinary clinic that sees these animals on a regular basis.
We offer boarding on a limited basis at our Glenwood City location. Most of our kennel space is needed for our patients that we see each week, but if you will be out of town and need someone to take care of your animal, please let us know! If we are unable to keep your pet in our clinic, we may be able to recommend a local boarding kennel.
Grooming is provided at our Glenwood City location by Kim Moe. Kim has provided grooming services to the community for several years and she is very gentle with even the most difficult cats and dogs.
- Nutrition Plans
We carry Hill’s prescription diets to meet the special needs of various health ailments. These diets should only be started after a diagnosis of your pet’s condition has been made. For our healthy patients, our staff will work with you to determine a diet plan for your animal that meets both your pet’s needs and your budget.
- Diagnostic Imaging
Various imaging techniques are available in the medical field today that make diagnosing specific conditions easier and more accurate. We use both radiographs (x-rays) and ultrasound in our clinic. These tests can be used in a variety of ways including diagnosing broken bones, screening for cancer, or even detecting pregnancy!
- Laboratory Testing
We are equipped with a full-service in-house laboratory to help us quickly diagnose and treat your animals. Our equipment allows us to screen your pet’s blood, urine, or feces for evidence of organ problems, infections, parasites, and many other problems. We are able to test your pet’s blood for evidence of a number of infections including Feline Leukemia Virus and Lyme Disease, usually in just a matter of minutes! We also work with Marshfield Labs Veterinary Service to provide more specialized testing such as antibody titers for diseases and histopathology to check for cancer.
- Information for Spay/Neuter Patients
For our routine surgical procedures, you may set up an appointment for the surgery and plan to drop your animal off the morning of the surgery. A veterinarian will explain the procedure, risks, and benefits when you drop the animal off, and there is also a consent form that must be signed by the owner of the animal. Your animal will then be examined by a veterinarian to determine if there are any health problems that may pose a risk during anesthesia.
We strongly recommend that you have pre-anesthetic bloodwork performed prior to every time your pet goes under anesthesia. This is because not all health problems can be identified with an examination alone. Another important reason to have this testing done is because your pet may have abnormalities that do not affect it at all when it is awake, but the anesthetic medications may actually prove toxic if the liver or kidneys are not functioning properly. The function of these organs can change rapidly – even within a matter of days – and that is why we recommend having this testing done prior to each time anesthesia is required. The pre-anesthetic testing may be performed the morning of the surgery.
Anesthesia is never without some risk, but we do everything we can to minimize any chance of harm. Every animal has an intravenous catheter placed prior to anesthesia so that potentially life-saving therapy can be started immediately should a problem arise. A veterinary technician monitors every anesthesia patient while they are asleep to make sure that we catch problems when they start and hopefully before they become a serious issue. For most procedures, we use gas inhalant anesthesia which is safer than many of the older methods of anesthesia.
Patients that have undergone surgery are sent home with pain medications. Usually this medication is an anti-inflammatory drug which helps reduce swelling and discomfort and generally speeds recovery time. We only use veterinary approved medications. Even though these medications are similar to human medications such as aspirin and Tylenol, many human medications are very toxic to pets, especially cats.
- Microchip Identification
Statistics show that one in every three animals will go missing at some point in their lifetime. Without identifications such as tags or a microchip, it is difficult to get lost pets back to their owners. Tags are only helpful if they are legible and have not fallen off. A microchip gives an animal a permanent form of identification should your pet become lost. Most veterinary clinics and animal shelters have scanners to read these microchips and reunite you with your pet.
Microchip implantation is a very straightforward process and involves injecting the chip under the skin between the shoulder blades. No anesthesia is required and the procedure is usually no more painful than vaccinations. Our clinic uses the Home Again microchip. Visit their website at www.homeagain.com to learn more!
- Vaccination Guidelines for Cats
All cats should receive a rabies vaccine and feline upper respiratory complex vaccine as a kitten according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. The rabies vaccine is given as a single dose after the kitten is at least 12 weeks old. This vaccine has one year duration. The feline upper respiratory complex vaccine (includes feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia) should be given as early as 6 weeks old and then a booster vaccination is given every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks old. This vaccine also has one year duration. Following the initial kitten vaccinations, the cat will receive a booster vaccination of rabies and feline upper respiratory complex which have three years duration each. These two vaccines should then be given every three years.
- Vaccination Guidelines for Dogs
All dogs should receive a rabies vaccine and distemper vaccine as a puppy according to the American Animal Hospital Association. The rabies vaccine is given as a single dose after the puppy is at least 12 weeks old but must be given by 5 months of age by Wisconsin state law. This vaccine has one year duration. The distemper vaccine (includes distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) should be given as early as 6 weeks old and then a booster vaccination is given every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old. This vaccine also has one year duration. Following the initial puppy vaccinations, the dog will receive a booster vaccination of rabies and distemper which have three years duration each. These two vaccines should then be given every three years.
Other vaccinations that may be recommended based on your dog’s particular lifestyle include bordetella (“kennel cough”), leptospirosis, and Lyme vaccinations. Bordetella vaccination is important for dogs that will be around a large number of other dogs at events such as dogs shows and fairs or if they will be boarded in a kennel. Leptospirosis vaccination is important for dogs with exposure to wildlife or cattle urine, including streams, ponds, and lakes. Lyme vaccination is important for dogs with exposure to ticks. Your veterinarian can help you decide if any or all of these vaccinations are right for your dog.
Our veterinarians are trained in a variety of surgical techniques. Many of the surgeries we perform are routine spays, neuters, and laceration repairs. We also have veterinarians that are capable of performing more complex surgeries such as surgical repair of fractured bones. If your pet requires a procedure that one of our veterinarians cannot perform or that we do not have the equipment to perform, we can set up a referral appointment with a board-certified surgeon.
- Preventive Care
Veterinarians often work to cure and treat disease and make pets well again. Perhaps a bigger and even more important part of their job is to help keep animals from ever getting sick in the first place. There are three main areas that are focused on the achieve this: annual wellness examinations, vaccinations, and parasite control.
Annual wellness examinations are important because animals are not able to tell us when something hurts or doesn’t feel quite right. Often times it is not until the dog or cat is seriously ill that a problem is noticed. An examination every 12 months (or more often for geriatric patients) can help to uncover these problems while it is still early enough to do something about them. The other important part of wellness examinations is that it allows pet owners to ask their veterinarian any questions they may have or address any concerns about their pet.
Vaccinations are the cornerstone of preventive care. Many diseases such as distemper and panleukopenia that used to be common killers of pets are now only found occasionally. Beyond the benefits that our pets receive from vaccination, we are also protected due to long-term and wide-spread vaccination protocols. Rabies was at one time a serious threat, and many animals had to be destroyed either because they had bitten a person or had been bitten by a wild animal such as a raccoon. Today rabies remains a concern due to its deadly nature and its existence in our wildlife populations, but the risks have decreased dramatically.
Parasites are a major threat to dogs and cats not only because of the direct effects on the animals but also because these creatures are capable of spreading a variety of diseases through their bites. The most common parasites encountered today are external parasites such as fleas and ticks, intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, and other parasites such as heartworms. In addition to the risks to animals, some of these parasites can be spread to humans. We routinely recommend annual heartworm testing in dogs, annual fecal examinations in cats and dogs, and monthly use of heartworm and flea/tick preventatives.
- Internal medicine
Even when pets receive the best care possible, many of our friends will become sick at least once in their lifetime. Vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, or sneezing may all indicate that your pet is ill. Some pets will try to hide that they are sick, and in these cases, the only thing that a pet owner may notice is that the cat or dog just “doesn’t act quite right”. Our veterinarians are trained to thoroughly examine your pet and try to find the problem even when the problem is not obvious. In most cases, laboratory testing, x-rays, or other testing may be necessary to determine the cause of your animal’s problems. We will work with you to find a solution to the problem and begin the most effective treatment available.
- Dental Care
Our pets’ teeth are perhaps one of the most overlooked problems in the veterinary world. This is because most dogs and cats love to eat and do their best to hide any discomfort that they may be experiencing. For anyone who has ever had a tooth root abscess or other dental problem, these conditions hurt! The best way to deal with these problems is to prevent them from ever occurring.
Dental care should start with daily tooth brushing at home. We have dog and cat sized toothbrushes and special toothpaste that is poultry or beef flavored. It is not an easy task to start tooth brushing, but most pets can be trained to allow you to brush their teeth as easy as teaching them to “sit” or “stay”. Despite the best tooth brushing, all animals need regular professional dental cleanings. We offer this service in our clinic with the animals under general anesthesia to clean the teeth above and below the gum line. Following cleaning, the teeth are polished and a fluoride rinse is used to protect the teeth.