Care You Can Count On
Health Maintenance Services
Vaccines for Your Cat or Dog
Vaccines are an essential aspect of any preventative medicine program.
Vaccines have proved to be an invaluable tool in protecting our pets from fatal diseases, but that does not mean some thought shouldn’t be given to how they are administered. Hearthstone Animal Clinic tailors its vaccination protocol to guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the lifestyle of your pet, as well as the diseases he or she is most likely to be exposed to. During your kitten or puppy’s first year of life we also spread out the series of vaccines in order not to put too much strain on his or her developing immune system.
Our vaccine protocol is designed to provide the best protection from disease as well as to reduce the possibility of your pet having an adverse reaction to a vaccine.
The core vaccines we recommend are rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and feline distemper. We also may recommend vaccines for Bordetella, lepto, rattlesnake, and feline leukemia.
Microchip Lost Pet ID
Dogs and cats often will 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 loses his or her tag, it is unreadable, or you are traveling?
It is unfortunate, but according to statistics on lost pets compiled by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than two percent of cats and 15 to 20 percent of dogs that become lost are returned to their owner.
To help prevent this tragedy from happening to our clients, Hearthstone Animal Clinic recommends that all pets should receive a lost pet microchip ID. About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is painlessly injected into the skin of your pet, generally between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique identification number that is linked to a database with important information about your pet, which includes your contact information.
A microchip lost pet ID is permanent and all pets brought into an animal hospital or humane shelter are routinely scanned for a microchip and that information is used to quickly reunite them with their owner.
Hearthstone Animal Clinic uses the HomeAgain microchip system. HomeAgain provides a number of very useful services to pet owners such as their National Pet Recovery Database, Lost Pet Specialists, Rapid Lost Pet Alerts, Lost Pet Medical Insurance, Travel Assistance for Found Pets, and more.
Care for Older Dogs and Cats
Dogs and cats in their senior years may have slowed down a bit, but they are no less important members of our families. However, changes to their bodies occur rapidly and they become more susceptible to diseases such as cancer, arthritis, dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
This is why we recommend a geriatric exam tailored to your pet’s age and condition. Our senior wellness program includes diagnostic tests designed to catch problems associated with aging before they become difficult and expensive to treat. The senior wellness program also covers a number of routine tests such as ear and ophthalmic exams, basic neurologic and cardiovascular evaluations, weight/nutritional assessment, blood chemistry tests, urinalysis, and more.
After your pet reaches age seven, Dr. Pelton will talk to you about how we can help ensure your pet’s senior years are the best years of his or her life.
Signs of Illness in Older Pets
Signs of “old age” in your pet may actually be symptoms of more serious problems. When it comes to your pet’s health care, you are his or her most important partner. If your older dog or cat begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms, please let us know:
- Stiffness or limping
- Difficulty climbing stairs or jumping
- Difficulty breathing or changes in breathing patterns
- Tremors or shaking
- Excessive scratching or changes to skin or coat
- Drastic weight change (either loss or gain)
- Difficulty seeing or hearing
- Changes in urination/defecation habits
- Confusion or disorientation
- Decreased responsiveness
Veterinary Internal Medicine
If your pet becomes ill or you suspect there may be something wrong with him or her, we cover a wide range of medical issues generally referred to as Internal Medicine. In fact, Dr. Pelton has a special interest in working with challenging medical cases and will ensure your pet receives his fullest attention and medical ability. Additionally, Hearthstone Animal Clinic is equipped with advanced diagnostics, in-house lab, and pharmacy.
Conditions we will provide diagnostic services and treatment for include endocrinology (e.g. diabetes and related diseases), allergy consultations, gastrointestinal disease, dermatology, renal and hepatic failure, oncology, and others. We also maintain close relationships with area specialists in order to provide greater treatment options for advanced or complicated cases.
Specialists we refer to include:
Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists
1111 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
Animal Medical Center
10927 Woodedge Dr.
Houston, TX 77070
DNA Testing for Canine Breed Identification
Knowing the breeds that make up your mixed breed dog’s ancestry is an important piece of your pet’s preventative medicine plan because some breeds have unique medical concerns we should be aware of. A Wisdom Panel is DNA testing that establishes the precise mix of breeds within your dog’s genetic makeup. The results can then be used to understand your dog’s personality, dietary needs, and any breed-specific medical issues we should be on the watch for.
Dietary Counseling for a Healthy and Fit Dog or Cat
One of the key factors contributing to the improved health and longevity of companion animals is our expanded knowledge on the important role that proper nutrition plays in overall health. During your pet’s comprehensive physical examination we evaluate his or her body condition and give recommendations based on what we see. However, some pets with nutritional issues or chronic conditions such as diabetes require a little bit more intervention, which may include specialized foods, feeding strategies and even prescription diets.
Hearthstone Animal Care has trained staff available to help you with your pet’s nutritional challenges. We also have a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products by Hill’s and Royal Canin. 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.
Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is a great thing, but integrating them with other pets, family members as well as house training and other forms of behavior modification can be challenging. The same is true if you have adopted a fully grown dog or cat, especially if they have ingrained behavior traits that don’t mesh well with your household.
There are also times where a physical malady can affect behavior. For example, a pet with cystitis or kidney disease may have issues with inappropriate voiding. This is not so much a behavior issue as it is a sign and symptom of an underlying disease that requires medical treatment from your veterinarian.
For these reasons, Hearthstone Animal Clinic is able to help guide our clients as they seek to bring a new pet into the family. This can include behavioral counseling on house training, introducing current pets with a new friend, managing anxiety and aggression, and more.
For our clients with pets that exhibit changes in their behavior, we are adept at identifying the cause, whether it is a medical condition or some other issue, and providing appropriate treatment or counseling.
If your pet’s behavioral issue is significantly complicated or beyond our area of expertise, we work with board certified animal behaviorist Lore I. Haug of Texas Veterinary Behavior Services. She has been practicing since 1994 and is the leading animal behaviorist in the Houston area.
Hearthstone Animal Clinic’s Pet Products Store
With so many pet care products on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for your pet. We have taken some of the guess work out by researching the ones we think are best and then including them in our pet products store here at Hearthstone Animal Clinic.
These include over-the-counter flea and tick control products, Hill’s Science Diet pet foods, treats, grooming aids, nutritional supplements, leads and collars, tags, beds, clothing, toys, chew bones, dental care products, and more. If you don’t see something in our store or would like to suggest a product, we are able to special order a wide range of products for our clients.
Our Pharmacy: Convenient Access to the Right Meds at the Right Price
Ensuring our clients have convenient and timely access to competitively priced medications for their pets is an important aspect of our veterinary practice. More than ever before, medications play an important role in helping cure a sick animal, relieve pain after an injury or surgery and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. Without these medications we would see higher mortality/morbidity rates, shorter lifespans, and degraded quality of life in our companion animals.
Hearthstone Animal Clinic maintains a comprehensive pharmacy within our practice and is able to quickly access any medication that is necessary for the care of your pet. Additionally, because we are the prescribing veterinarian, we are able to ensure there is a direct link between the exam room and our pharmacy. This means your pet will receive the right medication, at the right dose, in the right form as quickly as possible. We will also be able to easily guide you on the medication’s use as well as monitor its effectiveness.
Refills are easy too. Simply visit our online pharmacy or give us a call and we can either mail them to you or have them ready at your next visit.