Do you know your pet's age? If you adopted your furry friend, his or her age may be a mystery. Fortunately, a quick look in your pet's mouth can help you narrow down a general age range.View Article
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Serving the Central Texas communities of San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Wimberley, and New Braunfels, Springtown Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to providing superior, compassionate veterinary care. Our staff and doctors recognize that your pet is an important member of your family and are dedicated to becoming a partner in your pet's healthcare.
Our veterinary hospital is the only practice in the area to be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. As an AAHA certified hospital, we have been recognized for our focus on maintaining high-quality professional standards in patient care and client service. The standards set by AAHA are recognized around the world as the benchmark for quality care in veterinary medicine with only about 15 percent of animal hospitals nationally earning AAHA accreditation.
Perhaps the most important area in which we excel is in preventative care. The medical staff at Springtown Veterinary Hospital understands that the best means to protect your pet's well-being while minimizing the lifetime cost of veterinary care is through preventative medicine. This is why we recommend regular and thorough wellness exams, safe and effective vaccines, proper dental care, lost pet microchip ID, nutritional counseling, and much more.
Not only are pets unable to tell you how they feel, they often hide symptoms of disease or illness. Sometimes the only way to tell if your pet is not well is through a veterinary examination. Our doctors perform a tip-of-the-nose to the tip-of-the-tail exam tailored to your pet's breed, age, health status and stage in life. For all pets, the comprehensive physical exam will consist of the following:
Though San Marcos is a vibrant and beautiful place to live, it is not immune to infectious diseases that can affect our pets. Additionally, there are diseases that not only are a danger to our pets, but to our families as well. It is important to keep your pet's vaccines current in order to protect him or her against preventable illness.
There are many vaccines necessary to protect your pet's health. However, our doctors do all that we can to minimize the amount of vaccines we give your pet. Each year, we will determine your pet's needs based on his or her age, size, breed, health status, environment, lifestyle (how often your pet comes into contact with other animals) and travel habits. Your veterinarian will also perform an examination of your pet before giving any vaccine in order to ensure there are no health issues that could pose a health risk by giving the vaccine.
In order to provide your pet with the most effective and safest vaccine protection possible, we use recombinant vaccines. The primary advantage of recombinant vaccines is there is virtually no chance of the host becoming ill from the agent since it is a single protein, not the organism itself. Another advantage is that recombinant vaccines do not require an adjuvant. An adjuvant is an agent that stimulates the immune system to find and react to the vaccine protein. Some adjuvants have been implicated in causing cancer in some animals over time.
To ensure your pet can properly process and eliminate an anesthetic, we run tests to confirm that your pet's organs are functioning properly and to find hidden health conditions. Healthy-looking pets may be hiding symptoms of a disease or condition. These tests also become part of your pet's medical record, providing a baseline for future reference.
Not only is your pet unable to tell you how they feel, they often will hide their symptoms. This is why we recommend annual wellness exams and annual wellness diagnostic testing for Early Disease Detection. Wellness testing provides us with a better opportunity to detect any early changes in your pet's organ function and the possibility of treating or slowing down the disease process.
Our Early Detection Program is not one test, a series of tests, or just one visit. It's a new way of caring for your pet that is similar to how human medicine allows us to care for ourselves. Medical advancements enable us to diagnose potential diseases before they become a serious issue, enabling us to protect your pets like never before.
By following our simple program, many diseases can be caught early, thereby adding years to your pet's life. The program is individually tailored to your pet, based on his or her age, breed, lifestyle, and medical history.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. It is caused by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis and is transmitted by mosquitoes. Prevention is key; it is always less costly and safer to prevent heartworms than to treat them and the damage they cause! Yearly testing and monthly preventative is the cornerstone of a heartworm-free pet.
The doctors at Springtown Veterinary Hospital highly recommend all dogs receive monthly heartworm preventative all year long.
Adult heartworms are found in the heart and large adjacent vessels of infected dogs. Adult worms cause disease by clogging the heart and major blood vessels leading from the heart. The immature worms, or microfilariae, circulate throughout the body. Microfilariae may block blood flow in blood vessels that supply vital organs including the lungs and liver. Heartworm infection leads to severe heart, lung, liver, and kidney damage.
Heartworms survive up to 5 years and it takes a number of years before dogs show outward signs of infection. Unfortunately, by the time signs are seen, the disease is well advanced. The most obvious signs are a chronic cough, shortness of breath, weakness, listlessness, exercise intolerance, or fainting. Other common symptoms include weight loss, poor condition, and anemia. Severely infected dogs may die suddenly during exercise or excitement.
The diagnosis of heartworm disease can be made by a blood test that is performed in our hospital. We use a serological test that detects antigens (proteins) produced by adult heartworms. In addition, our blood test also screens for Lyme Disease, Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis—commonly seen tick-borne diseases in our area.
The doctors at Springtown Veterinary Hospital recommend giving your dog a monthly heartworm preventative. Preventative options include Trifexis, Advantage Multi, Sentinel, and Heartgard.
Heartworm disease is not just a canine disease. Heartworms affect cats differently than dogs, but the disease they cause is equally serious and potentially fatal. It only takes one mosquito to infect a cat, and because mosquitoes can get indoors, both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk and should receive heartworm preventive.
The doctors at Springtown Veterinary Hospital highly recommend all cats receive monthly heartworm preventative all year long.
Heartworm disease in cats actually affects the lungs more the heart. The term HARD is often used, meaning Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease. Symptoms of coughing are often mistaken for feline asthma or allergic bronchitis. Cats may also show anorexia, vomiting, weight loss, or even sudden death.
Diagnosis is not as straight forward in cats as it is in dogs. An initial blood test is performed in our hospital. We use a serological test that detects antibodies to heartworms. Any positive antibody results are submitted to our outside laboratory for a follow-up antigen test.
The doctors at Springtown Veterinary Hospital recommend giving your cat a monthly heartworm preventative, such as Advantage Multi or Revolution.
Dogs and cats suffer from several types of intestinal parasites (or worms). The most common are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms (dogs), and tapeworms. With the exception of tapeworms, intestinal parasites live within your pet's intestines and only pass microscopic eggs in the stool. Even though these eggs are not visible to the naked eye, they are highly infectious to other pets and people.
Although some parasite infections will cause few or no symptoms, dogs and cats typically experience the following:
The diagnosis of intestinal parasites is made through a special testing process of your pet's stool (fecal centrifugation). The diagnosis is based on presence of microscopic parasite eggs, with each species having its own unique appearance.
The doctors at Springtown Veterinary Hospital recommend giving your pet a monthly heartworm preventative that also prevents against intestinal parasites. Options include Trifexis and Sentinel for dogs and Advantage Multi for dogs or cats.
In addition, it is important to properly clean and dispose of your pet's stool to avoid envorinmental contamination. Parasite eggs can survive in the environment for long periods of time, resulting in persistent reinfestations as well as transmission to people. Good personal hygeine when cleaning up after your pet will also prevent transmission.
Fleas can be a major problem for both dogs and cats. They cause severe discomfort resulting in scratching, licking, chewing, and biting. Fleas are also the cause of Flea Allergy Dermatitis, the most common pet skin condition. They feed off your pet's blood and, in severe infestations, can cause anemia. Fleas also transmit tapeworms to dogs and cats.
Fleas reproduce year-round and at an incredible rate—one female flea can produce 50 eggs within one day! Just a few fleas can quickly result in a major infestation. That's why it's important to kill fleas as quickly as possible, before they can lay eggs.
The doctors at Springtown Veterinary Hospital recommend giving your pet a monthly flea preventative, such as Frontline for dogs and cats and Nexgard or Bravecto for dogs. Some heartworm preventatives also offer flea prevention, such as Trifexis and Advantage Multi.
Dogs and cats will often run off for an hour or so to explore the world and then find their way home for food and warmth. However, what would you do if your pet failed to come home? How would someone find you if your pet lost his or her tag, the tag became unreadable, or you were traveling?
The sad fact is that getting lost is the number one cause of pet death. Studies have shown that more than 10 million pets are lost each year and about 90 percent will not be returned to their owners without effective pet identification.
With a microchip, your pet can be identified quickly and easily by animal control officers, shelters, or veterinary hospitals. Microchips are safe, unalterable, and permanent identification for pets.
At Springtown Veterinary Hospital, we use the HomeAgain microchip system, which is quick and painless (the microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice). The entire procedure is similar to a vaccination and takes less than 10 seconds. The HomeAgain ID program uses microchips that register the animal with a unique identification number that is filed in a database with important contact information. This information can be updated at any time.
Pets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before and a big part of that is due to our expanded knowledge of the importance of proper nutrition to overall health.
During your pet's comprehensive physical examination we evaluate his or her body condition and give diet recommendations based on what we find. For most pets these recommendations will include information on proper serving size and other feeding strategies to maintain optimal body weight and nutritional health. However, some pets have more serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. Nutritional management can include more intensive feeding strategies, specialized foods, and prescription diets.
We also carry a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products. If your pet requires a prescription diet we do not carry, we can easily order it for you. We can also offer advice and provide information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and other conditions.