At Bladen Animal Hospital, we believe in preventative care for your pet. Early detection of health problems can allow for prompt treatment. Your pet should receive a comprehensive physical exam at least once a year and geriatric, or older pets (pets 7 years or older), should have a physical exam twice yearly. Since the average pet's lifespan is significantly shorter than ours, their health can change very quickly within just a few months.
Vaccines are also an important component of a preventative health plan. Recent studies have shown that some vaccines are lasting longer than one year. Your pet's age and lifestyle will be used to tailor a vaccination protocol based on your pet's risk for certain diseases. We will be sure to send you a reminder when vaccines are due.
Prior to surgery, each patient receives a thorough physical examination to identify any existing medical conditions that might endanger your pet's health. Because not all problems can be detected on examination, pre-anesthetic blood work is strongly recommended (a requirement for pets 7yrs and older). Blood work results provide a more complete picture of your pet's health and allow us to tailor an anesthetic protocol that is specific to your pet. Your pet's vital signs are monitored during anesthesia. Body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, EKG, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are checked and documented every 5 minutes.
Bladen Animal Hospital offers the safest and most effective injectable and inhalant (isoflurane) anesthetics and also pain relief for all surgical procedures. All surgical patients receive a pre-operative sedation (which includes pain medication) to minimize anxiety. We also monitor heart rate and oxygen saturation on anesthetized patients. Surgeries include routine ovariohysterectomies (spays) and castrations (neuters), dental prophylaxis, mass removals, intestinal procedures (gastrotomies, enterotomies, intestinal resections/anastomosis), bladder procedures (cystotomies), eyelid/entropion, amputations, and other soft tissue surgeries. Complex soft tissue surgeries and orthopedic/spinal surgeries are referred to Dr. Melissa Stoll, ACVS, a board-certified surgeon with Coastal Carolina Veterinary Specialty Services (www.ccvss.org) and are performed at our main hospital location, Capeside Animal Hospital in Belville, NC.
Pain management is an important part of our pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative anesthetic and medical protocol. All surgical patients including those undergoing routine procedures such as ovariohysterectomy or castrations receive pain control medications.
Proper dental care is as important for your pet as it is for you. In addition to preventing bad breath and periodontal disease it can also prevent infection from spreading through the bloodstream to your pet's liver, kidneys, and heart. This bacterial shower can lead to permanent organ damage affecting your pet's overall health. Dentistry is an important part of your pet's overall health. Signs of dental disease include bad breath, pain with eating, and drooling.
A dental prophylaxis is performed under general anesthesia using the same inhalation anesthetic and careful monitoring techniques that we use for our surgical patients. Depending on your pet's age and health, pre-anesthetic blood work may be required. An intravenous catheter and fluids are required for all dentistry patients. A thorough oral exam is performed to look for infected/loose teeth, foreign material in the mouth, or any oral masses. The teeth are then scaled with an ultrasonic scaler. Any loose, fractured, or infected teeth are then extracted. Certain teeth may have up to 3 roots, and extraction may require a gingival flap and sectioning of the teeth. The remaining teeth are then polished. The last step in dental cleaning is the application of a sealant called Oravet® (www.oravet.com), which seals the teeth and prevents tartar and plaque build-up.
Good oral health means greater comfort for your pet and also decreases the risk of other systemic side effects associated with dental disease. We also carry a variety of home dental care products to keep your pet's teeth clean in between dental cleanings. Many pet owners find their pets tolerate brushing at home and many products are now available to continue good oral health, including flavored toothpastes, special dental diets and dental chew toys.
Radiographs, commonly referred to as X-rays, are an extremely useful diagnostic tool. They can be used to detect a variety of problems, such as broken bones, heart and lung disease, intestinal foreign bodies, bladder stones, and some types of cancer.
Bladen Animal Hospital has a room specifically designed for radiology. The Doctor and veterinary assistant wear protective lead-lined aprons and radiology badges that measure x-ray exposure.
Radiographs require the patient to remain very still and most dogs and cats are cooperative. Some patients require sedation or general anesthesia if a particular view or position is needed. Because we are required by law to monitor radiation exposure via badges, clients are not permitted to restrain their pets during radiographs.
Ultrasonography is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that can image structures within the body. An abdominal ultrasound can reveal problems with the liver, gallbladder, intestinal tract, spleen, kidneys, adrenal glands and urinary bladder. An ultrasound of the heart, or an echocardiogram, allows us to see the heart in motion. We can assess the four heart chambers, the heart valves, and blood flow through the heart. A complete, detailed scan usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Your pet's hair will be shaved in the appropriate area, heart or abdomen, and most pets do not require any sedation for this procedure.
Bladen Animal Hospital refers our patients to a board-certified veterinary radiologist in Wilmington.
Microchipping is a permanent pet identification. The HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service is a safe, simple and permanent form of pet identification designed to quickly identify lost pets and reunite them with their owners. Over 10 million pets become lost each year. 1 out of 3 pets is lost during its lifetime, and only 1 in 10 lost pets is found. The HomeAgain® Pet Recovery service is a proven way to successfully recover your pet if it should become lost. Nearly 10% of pets enrolled in the HomeAgainâ Pet Recovery Service have become lost and were successfully reunited with their owners.
The HomeAgain® microchip is no bigger than a grain of rice. It is a small, sterile transponder that contains a unique ID code capable of being read (scanned) by an ISO standard scanner. The procedure to implant the microchip is simple and similar to administering a vaccine. The microchip is injected by a veterinarian just under the skin between the shoulder blades on your pet's back. Anesthesia is not necessary for implantation. Once your pet is microchipped, fill out the enrollment form enclosed with the microchip, or enroll online at HomeAgainID.com . The enrollment information is stored in our secure HomeAgain® Pet Recovery database and is used to contact you should your pet become lost. Rest assured that if your pet is lost, scanning can help point the way home. Thousands of veterinarians, animal shelters and animal control agencies routinely use harmless handheld scanning devices to read the ID code on the microchip. The HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service simply matches the unique ID code to your contact information. Once all information has been verified, you are contacted immediately and plans are made for you to bring your pet home.