We Know Your Pets Are Family
When your dogs or cat is sick, you cannot rest until they feel better. Veterinary medicine is constantly discovering new treatments for pet illnesses and injuries. Our team continually works to stay on top of the latest advancements in pet treatments and preventive medicine to make sure your furry family members have access to the best healthcare possible.
To help you better care for your pet, we offer these services.
- Annual exams/immunizations
- Geriatric Program
- Internal medicine
- Nursing care
- Complete pet pharmacy
- Pediatric program
- Complete diagnostic lab
- Prescription diets
- Digital radiology
- Specialists on call
- Early bird drop-off service
- Surgery with modern anesthetic (including Sevoflurane)
- Emergency care
- Heartworm, flea and tick control products
Good Pet Health Starts With Regular Examinations
We recommend pets see a veterinarian at least once per year for a physical examination and vaccines. In some cases, twice-yearly visits are recommended for pets to stay healthy and safe. Each type of pet has its own vaccination and examination schedule for optimum health. Our pets are living, breathing creatures – and they have no check engine lights which warn us when something isn’t quite right. That’s why it’s important to have regular health checks and wellness exams. The staff at Academy Animal recommends a thorough, yearly exam with preventative wellness blood work and breed-specific screenings, designed to accommodate your pet’s particular needs.
A yearly physical exam includes:
- Oral cavity
- Mucus membranes
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory system
- Gastrointestinal (GI) system
- Musculoskeletal system
- Lymph nodes
- Urogenital system
- Integumentary system (skin)
- Nervous system
- Pulse rate
- Respiratory rate
- Any owner concerns or questions are also addressed by the veterinarian.
Dogs older than six months should be screened for heartworm, and all dogs and puppies over 8 weeks placed on heartworm prevention.
For dogs and cats under seven years of age, a junior wellness blood profile screen is recommended – and discounted significantly when purchased in conjunction with the annual exam package, which includes a fecal check for intestinal parasites.
For animals over seven years of age, a more complete senior wellness blood screen is the recommendation – as well as blood pressure checks and breed-specific screening for diseases such as glaucoma, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye), cardiomyopathy and mitral valve disease.
Our veterinarians offer wellness screenings and bloodwork for all of your pets. We also develop a vaccination program for your pet. There is a $20 discount on the annual exam package for dogs when you purchase a DALPP vaccine, rabies vaccine, fecal exam and heartworm exam. There is no charge for the actual physical exam. Additional vaccinations (if necessary) include bordetella, corona, lyme disease and canine influenza. There is a discount on the junior wellness bloodwork if it is done in conjunction with the yearly exam.
In addition to the vaccinations, wellness exams and bloodwork, Academy Animal Hospital offers a variety of diagnostic tests for issues like blood pressure, skin rashes and fungal infections. If an ultrasound or X-ray is indicated, a specialist from Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine performs and reviews the results.
The health professionals at Academy Animal Hospital can design a package tailored to the needs of your pet – taking into consideration age, breed, exposure level and risk (indoors or outdoors) and life style. They’re always available to help educate you on your pet’s health needs and preventative measures.
Early Tests Help Manage Your Pets Needs
Screening is an important component of your pet’s overall healthcare program and is critical for early detection of diseases. While your pet may never encounter any serious issues, breed specific screening can help you give your pet a better future if a health concern does arise.
There are different screening tests recommended for different breeds, as the type and severity of inherited genetic disease varies among breeds.
Three prevalent diseases are seen in dogs and two common health issues in cats, as well as the screening tests used for each.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
DCM causes degeneration of the heart muscle and is often seen in Boxers, Cocker Spaniels, Dobermans and giant breeds. An EKG is used for screening, which usually starts at age four. If the EKG comes back abnormal, an ultrasound is taken and, depending on those results, follow up ultrasounds may be needed periodically.
With DCM, the heart can become like a stretched out balloon, losing its elasticity and strength. If caught early, medications can be used to improve quality of life by helping the heart muscle to function properly. Without early detection, the heart is more likely to be in poorer condition and medications may or may not be effective.
HSA is an aggressive cancer that arises from the blood vessels. It spreads rapidly and is common in the spleen, liver and right atrium. The breeds most at risk are: Boxers, English Setters, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers and Pointers.
Annual screenings generally begin at age seven with an abdominal ultrasound to check the spleen and liver. Early detection can prevent the disease from spreading and, if detected early enough, the cancer can be surgically removed.
Glaucoma increases the intraocular pressure in the eye, can be painful and even result in blindness. This condition can develop on its own or as a secondary health concern. It’s seen in several breeds, including: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Basset Hounds, Beagles, Boston Terriers, Chihuahuas, Chows, Cocker Spaniels, Great Danes, Poodles, Shar-Peis and Siberian Huskies.
Screening should begin at four years of age with tonometry, a test that measures inner eye pressure. Early detection is vital, as symptoms don’t usually begin until the eye pressure is extremely high and when blindness may have already occurred.
Since glaucoma can result from another health condition, the testing could also be important for early detection of other health issues.
Hyperthyroidism and Hypertension in Cats
Hyperthyroidism, caused by the overproduction of thyroid hormones, is often seen in cats. Weight loss and hyperactivity are common symptoms and hypertension frequently develops as a result.
Blood work and blood pressure are used for screening starting at age 10. Early detection can help correct the problem before other conditions occur. Hypertension is essential to detect and control early because it can result in sudden blindness, sometimes occurring overnight.
Hyperthyroidism and hypertension are both controlled with medication. An oral medication is available and, for cats that dislike taking medicine, there’s a medicated gel that can be put on the inner ear flap instead.
In-House Lab Assists Accurate, Quick Diagnosis
Our laboratory is used for routine visits, as well as urgent cases and critically ill patients. We have a full in-house laboratory complete with fecal centrifugation, CBC analyzer, microscope, Dif-Quik staining for cytology, chemistry analyzer, digital X-ray machine, MetRx otoscope, EKG and ultrasound.
Wellness screenings, complete blood counts, and certain chemistry profiles, such as progesterone (P4) and cholesterol, are performed in-house. An outside laboratory is utilized for a variety of other diagnostic tests, including pathology reviews.
Pre–operative bloodwork can be done the day of a surgical procedure for the owner’s convenience.
Common lab procedures include:
- Periodic liver checks for dogs taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Lab checks every six months for cats with hyperthyroidism.
- Lab checks every six months for dogs on medication for hypothyroidism.
- Lab checks are initially done every 5 to 10 days for Cushing’s disease, then every three months once stable.
- Epilepsy is checked every six months. For pets being treated with phenobarbital, an initial check is done two weeks after starting medication and every six months once stable.
- A glucose curve is done for diabetes. Pets are dropped off in the morning and serial blood glucose levels are checked throughout the day to compare blood sugar levels to the related amount of insulin given. After the initial glucose curve, follow up ones are performed every three months.
- Digital radiology
Your pet may require an X-ray for a variety of reasons, including:
- Lameness, joint derangement, arthritis, dysplasia, and spinal compromise
- Knee injuries such as a luxating patella (floating kneecap) or ACL injury
- Coughing or any other internal issues
- Acute injuries any other or ongoing issues (disease progression checked by comparing X-ray films from various stages)
- Check for kidney and bladder stones
- Various other reasons the doctor believes X-rays are necessary
We do a significant number X-rays at Academy Animal Hospital each month and a specialist checks every single one. Digital copies of X-rays are also provided to ensure continuity of care with other medical providers.
We have our own in-house ultrasound machine and, if your pet needs a special procedure like an ultrasound-guided biopsy, an appointment can be scheduled with our radiologist.
Other Conditions Frequently Checked
- Snap tests for pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- Ear cytology for otitis (ear infection)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Heartworm tests and fecal analyses are done to check for parasites.
Keep in mind that pets will often try to hide an illness so it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your pet’s behavior and take note of any potential signs of illness or injury. It’s always best to bring them in for a check if you suspect something is wrong.
Our Experienced Vets Focus on Safety, Best Outcomes
We offer a wide range of surgical services. Whether it be routine or a special procedure, we always approached it in the safest way possible for your pet. Our in-house laboratory allows us to perform pre-anesthetic blood screens and pre-anesthetic EKG tests just prior to your pet’s surgery. This gives your veterinarian the most up-to-date overall picture of your pet’s health and any special conditions that would need to be monitored, or make it potentially unsafe to perform surgery.
During your pet’s surgery, the doctors and staff closely monitor the animal’s pulse, heart rate and other vitals.
Since pets tend to recover from surgery more quickly in their own homes, most surgical procedures and recovery times are completed so that the animal may leave the same day.
- Complete ovariohysterectomy
- Declawing (front and/ or rear)
- Kittens and cats only
- Puppy tail docking and dewclaw removal
We Take Your Pet’s Dental Health Seriously
While a dog’s smile might not be quite as important to him, proper dental care is essential to your pet’s health.
Many people don’t realize that a pet’s oral health also impacts its overall fitness, potentially leading to serious illness.
We use state-of-the-art techniques to diagnose and treat oral problems in pets. Using a specialized dental radiography machine, we can detect any abnormal lesions or abscesses that need treatment, as well as tooth fractures that might not be detectable by the naked eye. The unit is tableside, so it can be done as part of a normal outpatient visit.
Regular vet visits can help protect your pet from dental disease, along with providing your dog with veterinarian approved dental chews. The chewing activity gently abrades the surface of the teeth, encourages saliva production, and reduces tartar buildup, which can help keep teeth and gums healthy.
Why Pet Dental Care is Important
Heart Disease—A study conducted at Purdue University pinpointed a clear connection between periodontal disease in dogs and heart problems. In the study, dogs with gum disease had great instance of inflammation of the heart valves.
Kidney Disease—The ASPCA names dental disease as a leading cause of kidney problems in dogs. Cats and other pets can also suffer from periodontal-related kidney issues throughout their lives. The damage caused by bacteria that infects the kidneys is irreversible, leading to illness and possible death.
Sepsis—An oral infection in a pet can eventually lead to sepsis, a condition that can be life threatening. Sepsis occurs when the body releases chemicals to battle an infection spreading through the bloodstream, possibly leading to multiple organ failure.
While the exact reason for the connection has not been found, many experts believe bacteria is the culprit. When gum disease is present, bacteria builds up and that bacteria can leak into the bloodstream, making its way to the rest of the body. Over time, an animal’s immune system may not be able to fight off all of this bacteria, leading it to cause infections in internal organs.