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 Graduate Technicians have a combined total of well over 200 years of experience providing exceptional care for your pets.
Our Veterinary Services Include
- Dr. Tom Wiles, MS, DVM
- Dr. Bernadette Santos, DVM
- Dr. Rachel Eich, VMD
- Dr. Anita Trichel, DVM, Ph.D, DACLAM
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Fear Free Veterinary Visits
Wellness services like full “nose to toes” physical examinations on every pet are the core of our practice philosophy. The annual examination allows us to review your pet’s past year in detail, check all the body systems using our hands, ears, eyes, and even sense of smell sometimes, augmented by the latest diagnostic equipment. Our discussions often cover new issues like Lyme disease, canine flu, advances in the treatment of feline lower urinary tract disease, for example, in as much detail as you would like.
We emphasize Fear Free Veterinary Visits, often suggesting the use of pheromone sprayed towels to cover the cage of anxious felines upon arrival, or picking up calming medications for anxious dogs and cats before traveling to the Clinic. There are many recent advances that we employ to make the experience for your pet and you a pleasant one. Providing vaccinations, comprehensive internal and external parasite control, and extensive client education in as much detail as you would like is our passion.
Vaccination against communicable disease is one of the main factors that has contributed to our pets living a longer, healthier life that is 3-4 years longer, on average, than fifty years ago. Our vaccination protocol is tailored to the lifestyle and exposures of each pet. Other preventative procedures like testing stool, blood, and skin for evidence of internal and external parasites is key to their health. Discussions of the variety of preventative medications for intestinal worms, heart worms, ticks and the many diseases they spread, and flea control are emphasized.
Nutrition and Dietary Advice
Nutrition and dietary advice can help to untangle the often confusing claims made by an ever-increasingly competitive pet food industry that is marketing pet foods on TV, online, and in pet stores. There is literally a new premium or super premium pet food introduced every week in the US. We can help you sort out the fact from fiction, and the fad diets from those based on established science.
Identification Microchip Implantation
Microchipping your pet gives them an 85% chance when lost of being returned to you. The procedure is a simple injection under the skin between the shoulder blades and should be performed “as soon as your pet can run faster than you”! Registration in the national database provides life long protection. Remember to always update phone numbers and address.
We have a special fondness for our geriatric patients who can benefit greatly from a thorough examination twice yearly, and often some diagnostic testing of blood and urine, radiographs when indicated, blood pressure testing and a tender touch. These pets who are living 3-4 years longer today,on average, require a thorough dental evaluation, since dental disease in elderly pets is a major contributor to a diminished quality of life. Joint pain and neurologic disease, especially osteoarthritis can lead to difficulties rising and walking, and secondary problems such as urinary accidents, falls down stairs, and pressure sores on skin. We have new medications that enable us to alleviate joint pain, even in the face of a pet’s gradually deteriorating organ function, allowing them to rejoin family activities.
Behavioral and Cognitive Evaluations
Behavioral and cognitive evaluations are part of a veterinarian’s skill set today. We evaluate all of your concerns regarding new, unusual behaviors for your pets and can often offer advice, and sometimes medications when indicated, to help you work with your pet to overcome difficult problems. Many senior and geriatric pets can begin to show signs of cognitive dysfunction (senility) that can result in behaviors that many of us have seen in older humans. They can become isolated to distant parts of the house, become anxious at night, and a myriad of other symptoms.
Medications have often proven to help bring these pets back to being interactive, integral members of the family.
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!
We all become nervous when hearing that our pet needs surgery. But veterinary medicine today is keeping pace with standards set for human care. Major surgical procedures, even in our aging pets who are living 3-4 years longer than they did 40 years ago, have become more common, less invasive, and much safer for our pets. Our surgeons can perform a wide variety of soft tissue surgeries, from the routine spays and neuters for dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and small mammals to extensive tumor resections, complex gastrointestinal, and delicate urinary tract surgeries. Cancer surgeries of all types are commonly performed by Dr. Wiles, a member of the Veterinary Cancer Society. Oral, dental, and facial surgeries, as well as procedures involving the eyes and lids are commonly performed. Minor orthopedics are performed, but major orthopedic and spinal procedures are referred to local veterinary surgical specialists.
One of the best things you can do to ensure a speedy recovery is to keep him in good health and tip top condition long before he requires surgery.. This means feeding him a nutritionally sound diet, providing regular exercise, and making sure he is always at an optimal weight. Overweight pets are not only more prone to problems in the first place (think orthopedic, respiratory, and diabetes, etc.) but they have a harder time recovering post-op as well.
Before your pet’s anesthetic protocol, or on a previous visit, our doctor will assess your pet’s overall total health during the pre-surgical exam, often suggesting blood work and urinalysis, and sometimes x-rays, ultrasound studies and an electrocardiogram to insure there are no hidden organ abnormalities. The anesthetic plan will factor in your pet’s age, general health, any slight blood work abnormalities, and the length and type of procedure involved. Your pet will receive pre-medication sedatives to calm him, so you can rest assured your pet will be relaxed as he is being anesthetized. While under anesthesia, our surgical team of licensed technicians and the surgeon are very busy monitoring your pet with the help of advanced electronic monitoring equipment. We control body temperature with heated surgery tables and warming blankets. We continuously assess his heart electrocardiogram, respiratory rate, pulse-ox (blood oxygen levels), and blood pressure. During recovery, the patients are monitored while on warming beds. Pain meds are started even before, or during, their surgery to make sure his recovery is smooth and free of pain.
At discharge, a member of the surgical team will join you in an exam room to go over all discharge instructions, discuss the administration of pain medications and other medications, and answer any questions that you may have about the post-operative period. If your pet has a plastic or cloth protective collar, this must be kept in place at all times to prevent licking or traumatizing the incision. Feeding and exercise instructions are also reviewed.
We are very concerned about controlling post-operative pain in your pet, so often two types of pain meds will be prescribed. The first few days, please administer these on schedule, as pets can, and usually will, try to put on a “happy face” for you, but in reality may be uncomfortable. They may react a little “touchy” or even display mild aggression if you get near the surgery area, which is normal. This will pass quickly, though. It is always a good idea to do a little pampering when first arriving home, but don’t be surprised if your pet bounces back very quickly. It is best to keep other pets away at first to minimize the temptation to over-do it. While traditional rest and medications will help healing you can also try a holistic approach to helping your pet mend. Music therapy has been shown to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, decrease anxiety and increase the release of endorphins of pets recovering from surgery. Soothing music and dim lighting really can help.
Depending on the procedure performed, we may recommend some rehabilitation in the home following surgery. Sometimes there are bandages to be changed, or sutures to be removed by our technicians. It is important to keep all follow up appointments.
We look forward to discussing all aspects of surgery at PSVC with you. Contact our surgical team at any time with questions or comments about our care of your pet.
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