Your Full-Service Veterinary Facility
The Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic offers diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area. Extensive soft tissue surgeries, cancer surgeries, minor orthopedic procedures, and routine spays and neuters are performed in our up-to-date surgical suite. All our patients are monitored with ECG, pulse examination, blood pressure, and temperature monitors.
Our licensed and certified technicians have years of experience in caring for animals.
Our Veterinary Services Include
- Dr. Tom Wiles, DVM
- Dr. Bernadette Santos, DVM
- Dr. Rachel Eich, VMD
- Dr. Anita Trichel, DVM, Ph.D, DACLAM
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Your pet can benefit greatly from regular health checkups. Whether your pet is a youngster, a “senior citizen,” or any age in between, wellness examinations provide an excellent opportunity for us to conduct a thorough physical exam and develop a health profile for your pet. This information will help us identify medical problems and other issues that can affect your pet’s health and quality of life.
Pets age seven times faster on average than people do. Most pets are adults by age 2, middle aged by 6, and by age 10, many dogs, especially larger breeds, are seniors. Because pets age so rapidly, health issues can develop more quickly than expected. Regular exams allow the veterinarian to diagnose, treat, and prevent health problems before they become chronic, serious issues.
The annual physical includes an examination of your pet’s coat and skin, eyes and ears, nose and throat, mouth, teeth, and gums, heart and lungs, legs, abdomen, urogenital system, weight and diet. We will ask you questions about your pet’s behavior, appetite, exercise habits, and regular activities at home. This is also an excellent time for us to discuss any routine diagnostic testing that may benefit your pet or to recommend any vaccinations that may be due. If your pet seems healthy, yearly visits provide a good opportunity to note any changes, such as weight gain or loss or other subtle changes that may not be evident at home. Should a health problem become evident, our facility has the tools necessary to diagnose and treat your pet.
Finally, periodic examinations help us establish a relationship with you and your pet. Through your pet’s physical examinations, other wellness procedures, and our consultations with you, we get to know your pet and learn about his or her lifestyle, personality, health risks, home environment, and other important information. We encourage regular health examinations as a way to take an active role in your pet’s health care.
Vaccinating your pet is a simple procedure that is safe and effective. Many infectious diseases that were once considered fatal to pets are now under control due to the use of modern vaccines. A consistent and well-balanced immunization program helps guard your pet against contagious and preventable diseases. Along with you, we tailor a unique vaccination schedule for your pet based on his or her age, physical condition and lifestyle.
Rabies threatens the lives of humans and animals. Dogs and cats have frequent contact with humans and with wild animals that could be infected with rabies. Unvaccinated dogs and cats are a threat to spread the disease to humans. By law, Pennsylvanians who own or keep dogs and household cats 12 weeks of age or older must have them vaccinated against rabies to prevent the spread of the fatal disease to humans and other animals. Vaccinations are mandated by the Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act which became effective on February 13, 1987 in Pennsylvania. People who violate the law can be fined up to $300.
External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, and internal parasites, such as heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms are common in pets. Many parasites, including fleas, ticks, and hookworms, are zoonotic, which means they can affect you and your family as well as your pet. Several common intestinal parasites can be detected by laboratory testing of a fecal sample. Medications are available to eradicate intestinal parasites, but frequent testing is important because dogs and cats can share these parasites and also pass some of them to humans.
Periodic laboratory testing for tick and mosquito borne diseases such as Lyme, Heartworm, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis are important for the good health of your pet. Preventative medications, vaccines, and antibiotics are available to prevent and treat these diseases. We encourage their use because it is so much easier and less expensive to prevent these diseases than it is to treat an active case.
Permanent Pet Identification
Microchipping is a safe and simple way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost. A tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, contains a one of a kind identification number. The chip is injected with little discomfort under the skin through a syringe, just like a vaccine. The chip is designed to stay permanently in place. When a lost dog or cat without an ID tag is found, a handheld microchip scanner can be used to check for a chip. If the pet has one, it will transmit his ID number to the scanner via a low frequency radio wave. The veterinary hospital or shelter then phones the chip manufacturer, retrieves the pet owner’s contact information, and calls the owner. Once a microchip has been placed in your pet and you’ve registered your contact information, you will have the peace of mind that you’ve given your pet the permanent lifetime ID he needs for the best chance to come home if lost.
Euthanasia and Aftercare
There is no single rule that can be followed for when is the time to give your cherished pet relief from pain and suffering. Euthanasia can be a difficult decision, as pets often experience a mix of good and not so good days. Our team will address your questions, concerns, and provide support. Cremation services are available either by communal or private cremation. Costs vary by type of service requested and by the weight of your pet. We work with many private crematories that provide very professional, respectful service and compassionate care.
When it comes to diagnosing a sick pet, one of the greatest challenges veterinarians face is that our patients cannot talk. They cannot tell us how they feel or what hurts where, and furthermore, many animals instinctively hide pain. Veterinarians overcome this obstacle by employing an array of diagnostic tools to identify issues quickly and accurately. At PSVC, we have invested in state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to ensure that your pet is diagnosed properly and receives appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
If you ever notice any concerning changes in your pet’s behavior or health, we encourage you to call our offices to schedule an appointment. The sooner your pet is diagnosed, the sooner we can start a treatment plan and get your back to his or her old self.
Blood Tests and Other Diagnostic Lab Workups
Our clinic houses an in-house laboratory with the capabilities to perform bloodwork, fecal exams, urinalysis, and other lab work. These tests give your veterinarian a window into your pet’s health that helps them detect common ailments, such as heartworm, diabetes, and kidney disease. By performing tests at our clinic, rather than shipping samples off to a regional laboratory for testing, we have access to your pet’s results immediately. In the case that the results uncover a concern, we can make a diagnosis and get started on an appropriate treatment plan quickly.
- Bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
- A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite, difficulty swallowing, or discomfort chewing
- Loose or missing teeth
- Pawing at the mouth
If your pet has bad breath or reddened gums, he or she likely has gingivitis. As plaque builds up on your pet’s teeth, it hardens into tartar, resulting in gingivitis. If left untreated, your pet can develop periodontal disease, a serious, painful infection that damages the teeth and gums and can lead to health problems elsewhere in your pet’s body.
It is important to recognize the warning signs of dental disease in your pet, which include:
Exam & Cleaning
Most pets require a dental exam, professional cleaning, and x-rays once a year. During a dental exam, the veterinarian will check the mouth for odor, inflamed gums, and discolored, broken, or missing teeth, all signs of gum disease. The remainder of the exam must be done under general anesthesia so that the vet can examine the entire mouth and take x-rays.
The idea of putting a pet under anesthesia is stressful for many pet-owners, and we take every precaution to ensure your pet’s safety. While your pet is under anesthesia, a trained technician will monitor your pet’s vitals, including arterial oxygen level, heart rate, respiratory rate, and core body temperature, using our advanced monitoring system.
The best and only way to prevent gum disease is through proper at-home dental care. Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth every day with a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. If you cannot brush your pet’s teeth every day, brushing every other day or once a week will benefit them as well. We can offer you tips on brushing and other habits you can adopt to promote your pet’s dental health. The more you care for your pet’s teeth at home, the less your pet will need professional cleanings, and that will save you money!
If your pet requires surgery, we will clearly explain why a particular procedure is necessary, what it entails and the proper post-operative care. We perform spay and neuter procedures and an array of orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries in our office; most of the time your pet will be able to go home the same day.
Anesthesia is customized for your pet based on the type of procedure, his or her preexisting conditions, blood test values, age, breed, and prior anesthetic experience. During anesthesia and surgery, we monitor your pet’s oxygen level, heart rate, and respiratory rate. IV fluid therapy is often administered during surgery to keep the patient hydrated. All patients recover in a supervised environment, where the patient is kept safe, warm, and comfortable. We then design a pain management plan to fit the patient’s post-operative needs.
When your pet is ready to go home, we will review post-operative care and medication instructions with you. If any questions arise after your pet returns home, or at any other time during the post-operative period, please call us. We welcome your questions and will do all we can to help your pet recover fully.