At Highland’s Pet Medical Clinic, we take a wellness approach to your pet’s health, and that starts with regular preventive-care exams. We suggest a wellness exam every six months. Remember, six months to a dog or cat amounts to 2 – 4 years of human aging. A lot can happen in that time, and issues left untreated can cause additional damage with more complex treatments and greater expense — not to mention additional suffering on the part of your pet.
During our semi-annual exams, we frequently find:
- Infected Ears – This can lead to a hematoma, then ruptured eardrum, then middle-ear infection, and deafness.
- Dental Infection – Can lead to pet pain, the need to extract some teeth, and ultimately systemic infection of the heart and kidneys.
- Flea Infestation – This usually leads to continual scratching and the development of hot spots. Eggs and larvae can spread all over the home and lead to the need for home extermination procedures.
We’re happy to schedule your pet’s wellness exam around other items on its health maintenance schedule, such as annual vaccinations or semi-annual pickup of the flea and heartworm prevention medications you administer at home.
Vaccinations play an essential role in helping your pet live a long, healthy life. They stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that help defend against disease.
Each pet’s vaccination needs are different. Before our pet clinic gives any vaccinations, we do a thorough exam to be sure the patient’s immune system is not already compromised. If you’ve noticed any abnormal behavior in your pet, this exam is the best time to bring that to our attention. Our exam, along with a review of age, genetic predispositions, and other environmental factors, will help us determine the best vaccination schedule for your pet.
Oral and dental health is one of the most critical aspects of your pet’s overall health. Annual dental cleanings and polishing are recommended (just like humans) and should start at an early age. Dental disease (periodontal disease) is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats and is entirely preventable. Unfortunately, there are often few signs of the disease process evident to the owner other than bad breath. Professional dental cleaning and periodontal therapy often comes too late to prevent extensive disease or to save teeth. As a result, periodontal disease is usually under-treated, may cause multiple problems in the oral cavity, and may be associated with damage to internal organs in some patients as they age.
Untreated, periodontal disease can also cause tooth abscess, gum infections, and/or bone loss: all of which can be painful for your pet to experience and costly to manage. Studies in humans have linked periodontal disease to a variety of health problems, including poor control of diabetes mellitus and increased severity of diabetic complications. Additionally, it has been shown that diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease.
SYMPTOMS OF POOR ORAL HEALTH
- Bad breath
- Changes in eating or chewing behavior
- Abnormal drooling
- Brownish-yellow crust on teeth
- Gums bleeding
- Tooth loss
- Change in behavior
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, they should be examined by one of our veterinarians to fully assess any issues and develop a plan for treatment. At Highland’s Pet Medical Clinic, we are here for all of your pet’s dental needs. Call us today to schedule a dental exam!
Our surgery suite is isolated and fully equipped to allow us to perform sterile surgical procedures. We take every precaution to ensure the safest outcome. Pre-anesthetic blood screening allows us to evaluate anesthesia’s risk and plan for the safest anesthetic protocol. Our technicians are trained in the use of monitoring equipment and can assist the surgeon in adjusting the anesthetic level during any surgery. Our patients are closely monitored during recovery; pain control is a priority. Owners receive complete post-operative care instructions upon discharge of the patient. We will call the day following surgery to check on our patient and answer any questions that may have arisen.
Austin is a large enough city to have referral specialty hospitals where surgical procedures that require specialized training and equipment can be performed. We have a great relationship with the board-certified surgeons at these specialty hospitals and can make referrals as needed.
Spaying female pets and neutering male pets benefits the entire pet-loving community:
Pet owners benefit greatly in some very practical ways:
- Heat cycles: Females won’t be leaving bloody discharge and desperately attempting to escape home and find a mate. Dogs go through heat twice a year for 3 to 4 weeks. Cats usually go through heat in the spring for an indefinite time frame.
- Un-neutered pets may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems are avoided by early neutering.
- No unwanted litters to find homes for.
- Spaying at the appropriate time (before the first heat cycle) is much less expensive than waiting until the pet is older, pregnant, just had a litter, overweight or suffering from infection of the reproductive tract.
FOR THE PET
- As unspayed females age, the risk of infection of the reproductive tract (pyometra) goes up dramatically. If it develops, emergency surgery is required to save the pet’s life. Un-spayed females have a higher risk of mammary tumors.
- Pregnancy risks, including the possible c-section and mammary-gland infections, are avoided.
- Neutering at six months prevents testicular tumors in males.
TO CURB OVERPOPULATION
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented.
FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Stray animals prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, spread disease and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
MYTHS ABOUT SPAYING AND NEUTERING
“It will make my pet fat.” – Lack of exercise and overfeeding will pack on extra pounds, but as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake, spaying and neutering will have no such effect.
“It will make my pet lazy.” – Many people think their spayed or neutered pet is just not as active or playful. What actually happens is they mature. Your pet’s activity reflects its age — spayed/neutered or not.
Highland’s Pet Medical Clinic provides in-house, state-of-the-art digital radiography, with results in just minutes. Radiography is highly effective in helping the doctor arrive at a diagnosis. This system’s efficiency allows us to work quickly, therefore minimizing stress caused to you and your pet.
Dental X-rays help detect abnormalities that cannot be seen by the veterinarian. There are several reasons that dental X-rays are recommended:
- To identify problems such as tooth decay, damage to supporting bones, and broken teeth
- To find crowded or impacted teeth
- To locate any abscesses, cysts, or oral tumors
- To check on the size and formation of permanent teeth, especially in small dog breeds
- To develop a treatment plan for more complex dental concerns
- Our state-of-the-art digital dental X-ray machine allows us to get results quickly, thereby minimizing anesthesia time during dental procedures.
Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive, painless way to look inside your pet’s body. We use the latest in ultrasound equipment to look for abdominal masses, evaluate organ size and check for pregnancy.
Our in-house medical laboratory is fully equipped to run all diagnostics needed for the best in veterinary care. This includes blood analysis for pre-surgical screening, wellness checks, and sick patient evaluation. We have the microscopes, stains, and slides needed for many tests, including on-the-spot evaluation of skin and blood samples, parasite flotation tests, and cytology to evaluate growths for malignancy.
We also have arranged twice-a-day pickup for specialized lab tests that are run at one of the nation’s largest veterinary labs in Dallas, where we’re able to get a one-day turnaround for most lab work. There we have access to board-certified veterinary pathologists to help in the evaluation of test results. All equipment has scheduled maintenance to ensure accurate results, and all reagents are kept properly stored and up to date.
Highland’s Pet Medical Clinic is excited to offer an online store for all of your pet-related needs! There you can find parasite prevention, prescription food, nutritional supplies, and anything else you might need. We offer FREE 3 – 5 day shipping, so your supplies will come right to your door. Check out our store today!
Click here to visit our online store!
Drop off Appointments
We offer drop-off appointments for the convenience of our clients who have busy schedules.
You can drop your pet off with us in the morning between 7-8 am and we will give you a call as soon as they’re ready to go home.
Please call or text us at 512-476-1069 to schedule your pet for a drop-off appointment.