At Heart of Florida Animal Hospital, we are proud to offer laser surgical options to our patients. This advanced surgical technology offers several advantages, including a reduction in pain, recovery time, and infection risk. Using this technique, we remove the need for a stainless steel scalpel, creating an entirely new way of addressing many of the most common procedures. Examples include everything from minor cyst, tumor, and wart removal to spays/neuters, declaws, and more. Here’s what you can expect from your pet’s surgical procedure:
At Heart of Florida Animal Hospital, we are proud to say that our staff members are highly-skilled in caring for exotic pets. So, if you’ve been searching for the perfect doctor for your best friend, look no further. In the meantime, it may help to learn a bit more about why most veterinarians don’t treat exotic animals.
Exotic Pets Have Unique Needs
Because it’s so common to own a cat or dog, veterinarians have truly gotten their care down to a science. Diagnosis and treatment has been standardized, for the most part, and so there is a great deal of protocol involved in providing for these domestic animals.
Exotics, on the other hand, require a very specialized understanding of everything from metabolism to temperament. No two species are alike, and suffice it to say that there are countless species that fall under the umbrella of “exotic animals”. This also applies to the way they are handled. You won’t restrain a bird for medications in the same way that you would a chinchilla.
Haines City Exotic Veterinarian
If your exotic pet is showing any signs that seem unusual to you, don’t hesitate. Get them treated as quickly as possible by a skilled team of clinicians who are familiar with your pet’s particular species. If you need to make an appointment, give us a call at 863-421-2338 and we’ll make sure to get you in as quickly as possible.
If you have ever witnessed an animal in pain, you know how heartbreaking it can truly be. The worst part, perhaps, is that they don’t even understand why they’re hurting. They don’t have the same perspective we do; all they know is the physical sensation of pain. Fortunately, we do know that animals experience the same levels and types of pain that humans experience, which gives us the necessary insight to help them manage or alleviate that discomfort. Continue reading for an overview of the pain management options we offer here at our Haines City veterinary hospital.Read more »
The decision to board your pet can be a difficult one, especially if you are boarding your best friend for the first time (or if it is your first time at a new facility). With a little research, though, you can ensure that you’re choosing the best possible accommodations for your family. Below, we’re going to discuss a few pointers that you should keep in mind when you’re screening potential options for boarding your pet.
Are you looking for Haines City pet boarding that is affordable for you and fun for your pet? If so, give us a call!Read more »
Veterinary endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure that allows us to view the inside of your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. It’s just like the procedure that is performed on humans, but we consider it to be particularly advantageous in veterinary medicine because our patients are not able to tell us what’s bothering them.
Veterinary Endoscopy in Haines City, Florida
How does veterinary endoscopy work?
This procedure involves the use of an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and a camera on the end. In order to make the most of the procedure and keep your pet comfortable, general anesthesia is required for endoscopy. So, once your pet has been anesthetized, the scope will be inserted through the mouth and will be advanced through the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum.
The benefits of endoscopy include:
- It’s painless. Your pet won’t feel a thing!
- It’s non-invasive and requires little to no recovery time for your best friend.
- It gives your veterinarian the chance to take biopsy samples for further analysis.
- It provides answers and invaluable insight into your pet’s overall health.
- If a foreign object is found (common in mischievous puppies and kittens), it can be removed without surgery.
Why has my veterinarian recommended endoscopy for my pet?
There are a number of gastrointestinal symptoms that warrant an endoscopic procedure. So, if this has been recommended for your pet, don’t panic. It’s not necessarily a bad sign. It just means that he or she needs to take a closer look in order to be able to help your furry sidekick. At Heart of Florida Animal Hospital, we will make sure to walk you through every step of your pet’s evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, so there’s no room for the scary guesswork.
If your pet is experiencing unexplained weight loss, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, or other signs of persistent gastrointestinal discomfort, give us a call at 863-421-2338 to request a consultation. We would love to discuss your pet’s needs with you and help you determine whether or not veterinary endoscopy is the right choice for you.
Like human medicine, veterinary practices have come a long way over the last century. We are now able to offer cutting edge services that can save or extend your best friend’s life, and one of those advanced medical treatments is a blood transfusion. If your pet is in an emergency situation, be prepared with the knowledge and understanding of how the process works for veterinary blood transfusions in Haines City, Florida.
Veterinary Blood Transfusions in Haines City, Florida
First and foremost, if you are currently experiencing an emergency with your pet, contact us immediately at 863-421-2338. There’s no need to continue reading. If our team examines your pet and determines that he or she does require blood, our supply is ready and available for use.
Where Does the Donated Blood Come From?
Each veterinary hospital and blood bank operates differently, but here at Heart of Florida Animal Hospital, our donors are companion animals (just like your own best friend!). They live at home with their owners and enjoy the same levels of affection and care that would be expected under any other circumstances.
Before our donors give blood to our in-hospital supply, they are screened for all applicable diseases, and they receive all routine preventative care so that they are in optimal health and their bodies are adequately prepared to donate.
Does Your Pet Need a Blood Transfusion in Haines City, Florida?
There are a number of reasons why pets might need a transfusion of blood or blood products. Sudden trauma that results in heavy bleeding is one of those reasons. Another can be chronic illnesses, including certain cancers, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, and more.
To learn more about animal blood transfusions or our other veterinary internal medicine services, give us a call at 863-421-2338.
Vaccines are an important part of puppy parenthood. As your new best friend grows, these vaccines will help them fight against disease or lessen the effects if they do become affected. Vaccines are intended to be given on a strict schedule so that they have the immunity needed by the time they reach a specific age. You may be wondering what exactly you should expect from this procedure. You may wonder if you need anything specific for it. You might also be scared thinking about how your puppy is going to react.
Here is what you should expect when it comes to puppy vaccines.
The first round of shots that your pup is going to get include Distemper, Parvo, Corona and Bordatella.
During the Shots
During the time that the shots are administered, the dog is generally not in pain. Much like a human, they have a small pinch, then the shot is over. Your veterinary team will be quick and try to make it as painless as possible on the little one getting them.
Should I be worried about a vaccine reaction?
Side effects can occur, but please understand that this is very rare. Below are some of the warning signs of a vaccine reaction. While it is important to keep an eye out for any of these or other symptoms that are out of the ordinary, your pup will typically be just fine returning to his or her normal activity level on the same day of the appointment.
Possible indicators of a vaccine reaction include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Swelling anywhere in the body – injection site, legs, face
- Hives anywhere on the body
- Difficulty breathing
It is important to contact your family veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms. He or she can provide you with more information on other things you should watch out for after the first round of shots.
Understanding Puppy and Kitten Immunity
It is important to keep any young pets away from other unknown animals; their immunity simply has not matured enough yet. When you’re unsure of whether or not these other pets have had their shots, then you must wait until your puppy or kitten have had all 3 of their booster shots before introducing them. This will reduce the chances of having your pet catch anything.
First vaccines are usually given around 6 to 8 weeks of age, though some may come in a bit later depending on when the owner gets the pet. It is important to bring them in for these shots as close to that date as possible. This can help them boost their immunity to many devastating diseases. One of the biggest for pups is Parvo. This disease only has less than a 20% survival rate. With the series of boosters, they reduce their chances tremendously of getting the disease.
Contact us today to schedule your pets first shots with us here at Heart of Florida Animal Hospital. You want to make sure you stay on top of the care that your pet needs, shots are just one of the many things that your pet should get throughout their lifetime.
We all want the same thing for our pets. From the food that they eat, to the love that they receive, to the medical care that they need, we just want them to be happy and healthy. Fortunately, much of their needs lie in our own hands and capabilities. You don’t even have to have a fancy medical or veterinary background; you just have to care enough to take the time to learn a few simple at-home tricks in order to keep a thorough watch on your pet’s health and wellbeing.
Learning to examine your pet is the easiest way to identify any changes that could affect their health. It’s true that there is no substitute for your family veterinarian’s expertise, but your veterinary team does not live with the pet all day, every day, like you do. Early detection on your part could mean the difference between life and death. That’s why we recommend regularly checking your pet. Here are a few simple things that you can do:
The most basic thing that you can do for your pet’s health – watch them. Keep an eye out for changes in their appearance, physicality, behavior, mood, eating habits, etc. Pets aren’t able to communicate in the same ways that humans do, so you may not know if something is wrong. Is your pet limping? Have they stopped eating? Are they loosing hair? Has their breathing changed? Do they appear to have a swollen abdomen? Are they having more tummy aches than usual? These are all things that you can watch out for on a regular basis.
While observation might indicate a potential problem, or need for a checkup, you can also conduct basic physical exams on your pet. The simple act of running your hands along your pet’s body will help you get in tune with their normal physicality as well as help you to identify any issues. Make this a part of your regular routine so that you have a baseline understanding of what “normal” is for your pet. From there, you will be able to note any changes in the future.
A few key areas that you’ll want to examine include:
- Hair & Nails – You’ll want to check to make sure that your pet’s coat remains unmated, as this can cause all sorts of issues (e.g. vision impairment, knots that tighten the skin, etc.). Also, check to see if their coat is drier than usual and if they are experiencing any areas of hair loss. Then, check their nails. If they are starting to curl under, it is time to clip them, as it may be causing a great deal of discomfort.
- Skin – It’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s skin in case they develop scratches, sores, scabs, red patches, dryness, painful spots or even lumps. Again, they won’t be able to tell you when something’s wrong, and often, these things go unnoticed simply because any injuries or changes will be covered by fur or hair.
- Ears – It may sound strange, but you should know what your pet’s ears look and smell like. If you start to notice them turning red, producing strange smells or discharge, you need to take them to your veterinarian, as these could all be signs of infection.
- Mouth – As we’ve discussed many times before, pet dental care is very important to their overall health and wellbeing. Be sure to check their mouth for bad smells, discoloration, damaged teeth or gum inflammation, as these are all signs of infection or a deeper underlying disease.
- Eyes – Any change in your pet’s eyes should not be ignored. Things like redness, discharges, squinting or signs of cataracts should all be looked at by a professional.
- Weight – Pet obesity is a growing problem and of real concern for both pet owners and veterinarians alike. It’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s weight and food intake, as too much weight can lead to all sorts of diseases and even death. On the other hand, you should also take note if your pet starts losing weight, as this too is cause for real concern.
- Bathroom Habits – As much as we all dislike this particular task, you must keep an eye on your pet’s bathroom habits. If you notice any changes at all in frequency, smell, color or hardness, a doctor’s visit is advised.
If you notice any changes in your pet’s physical being or behavior, be sure to write them down, as these notes can come in handy later if and when your veterinarian has any questions. Remember, you know your pet better than anyone. Be sure to stay on top of things with regular, at-home examinations so that you and your pet can go on living happy, healthy lives.
Does your cat show obvious dislikes? Does his body language show he is upset about something? Take a look around; you may find yourself responsible for your cat’s bad attitude. Did you forget to clean the litter box yesterday? Is your little fur baby bent out of shape because you’ve ignored her? Find out more about cats’ typical pet peeves and make sure to stop these behaviors to keep your feline friendly.
Your cat may feel ignored.
Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t like to be left alone, at least not all the time. If you notice your cat is running away from you when you call their name or actually looking at you and running in the other direction, then your cat may be trying to send you a message. “I’m mad.” “There is a problem; fix it.” Take some time in the evening to play with your furry friend. Brush her, use toys to get her active, give her a treat, or just sit with her and pet her. But…..
As much as they love attention cats don’t want to be over stimulated. When they were kittens their mom knew instinctively how much love to give her babies that they could tolerate. Unfortunately, we don’t have that knowledge so we must learn by observation. Count how many pets on your cats head before she starts to get aggravated and tries to bite you or jump off your lap. Another useful tip is to stay away from their stomachs. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally, cats hate being touched there, and you could find yourself scratched or bitten if you try to groom, pet, or hold her in a way that tickles her tummy.
Cats don’t want to compete with other cats. Don’t ask them to.
Don’t pick favorites. Everyone is tempted to give all of their attention to a new kitten brought into the home, but make sure you are giving out your love equally. Yes, everyone loves a tiny kitten to snuggle with, but remember one day that kitten will be all grown up, and you will want everyone in your little animal kingdom to get along.
Loud noises are a no-go.
Screaming at your wife, giving your kid a loud lecture, or cheering the walls down during that Monday night game? Keep it to a minimum, or take it outside. Cats are fearful of loud noises and boisterous activity. A thunderstorm could have your cat climbing the walls to get away from the sound of thunder. Fireworks during any holiday make them run and hide as fast as their little paws can take them. Some instances have been reported that prolonged exposure to loud noises can change a cat’s response to danger forever. In simple terms, this means that the longer you keep the noise up, the more likely your cat will be a permanently different cat once the trauma has ended. So, be careful who watches your cat when you go out of town, because you don’t want a neighborhood teen having a party and scaring your cat to the point of no return.
Do you like eating last night’s dinner for breakfast after it has been sitting out overnight for breakfast? Why would we expect our feline friends to do it? Change their water and food every time you feed them, even if there is some left over from their last feeding. It’s a sanitary and courteous way to feed all pets, not just cats. Things like this may seem small, but to your cat, it’s everything.
Now that you have some more tips to add to your list of cat facts you can put them to good use!
Need more help figuring out your pet’s behavioral challenges? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Although the majority of us stick to dogs and cats, people are known to share their lives with hamsters, fish, turtles, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, horses… and the list goes on and on. In our opinion, it’s absolutely true that pets improve the quality of a person’s life, but that doesn’t mean that pet ownership is a good choice is for everyone. It’s sad to think that the majority of animals in shelters were at one time family pets. For whatever reason, circumstances changed, and these once-loved animals become displaced. In this and most other cases, knowledge is power, and impulsivity can lead to disaster. This seems to be a recurring theme at the start of each year, so we wanted to offer a refresher, in case you’ve missed it when we’ve talked about this before. With all of that in mind, here is a reminder of a few factors you should consider before adopting a pet.
How Often Are You Home?
If you’re a single person living in a small apartment and working 12 hour days, do you think it’s fair to keep a dog in a crate all day? There is a reason that pets are also referred to a companion animals. Cats may be more tolerant – they do like to come and go as they please, but they still want some amount of your time and attention.
Do You Live With Children?
This is a big one, so please let it resonate. Pets, including large dogs, are amazing. They are protective, give a feeling of safety, are great exercise partners, and so much more. The caveat, however, is that the safety of young children and babies should be your first priority. If you are planning to start a family and already own a pet, research your options for helping the animal become accustomed to children before you ever bring your new baby home. If you are planning a family and pet adoption at the same time, think of how your needs and circumstances will change. Never bite off more than you can chew.
For those of you with older children or teens, “training” will be a two-way street. Get your kids involved in dog training classes, and have a serious discussion about what behaviors are (and are not) allowed. For example: don’t feed the dog from the table, don’t pull the cat’s tail, do approach the animal slowly at first, and so on.
Do You Have the Time?
Pets are a lot of work, but younger animals require even more time and attention. You have to train them, which may be extremely time consuming, depending on several factors. It’s worth the effort to be patient, though, because the way you train your pet could mean the difference between sharing your home with a sweet sidekick or something else entirely. This goes for every species, breed, and size. Be the best pet parent you can be.
Can you afford a pet?
Every species has an individual set of needs, and they will all need to be accounted for in your household budget. Food and veterinary care are something you will need to consider for the duration of the animal’s life. These may be somewhat higher in the beginning, due to such early-life expenses as vaccines and spay/neuter. What if the animal falls ill or is injured? That will be an unexpected expense. If you travel, you will now need to account for boarding fees. These shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrent, but it’s certainly something to consider.
The reality is that all animals deserve love and affection. As a pet owner, your responsibilities go far beyond simply providing a warm place for the animal to rest. Pet adoption is a major, life-changing decision. So, keep these factors in mind, and contact our team if you have any addition concerns you would like to discuss.
Happy belated SENIOR SUNDAY! @susiesseniordogs is hoping you'll choose to adopt a senior dog like Betty in 2017: "Happy New Year from foster dog Betty!! Although she was dealt a tough hand at the end of 2016 when her former owner sadly became very ill and had to surrender her to the shelter, 7 year old Betty has stepped in to 2017 with her head held high. It's clear that Betty had been dearly loved for her entire life. She has a welcoming personality, a gentle temperament and she holds no grudges. She's housetrained, friendly towards all other dogs, and good at listening. (Even when she wants the food SOOOO bad and jumps for it, Betty will listen to your directions like a very, very good girl.) She softly snores which is the cherry on top of all her cuteness. The only reason Betty landed as a "shelter dog" was for reasons out of anyone's control. She's lived for seven years as a beloved pet and she remains just as worthy as any dog out there. In 2017, Betty says 'ADOPT, don't shop!' She hopes more people will become educated on the importance of adoption and see the beauty, value, and love in all shelter dogs. Today, Betty is searching for a new family to love her just as fiercely as her former owner did and she can't wait to meet you! Betty is spayed, she weighs 42 pounds, and is up for adoption in the New York City area through @pupstarzrescue. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details."