Services2018-12-24T05:54:31+00:00

Life is Precious

Your pet deserves the best.

rrow_down

Examinations

Havanese puppy dog
Having an examination on your pet annually will ensure his/her quality of life. We at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital take pride in making sure your pet is in great health. After the age of 7, when your pet is considered a senior, we recommend an annual examination twice a year to monitor common diseases that occur with age such as arthritis and kidney disease.

What goes on during an examination appointment.

Abdomen:
We check the pet’s abdomen to detect changes or abnormalities in the size of the organs, such as the kidneys, spleen, or liver. Palpating the organs can aid in the diagnosis of disorders or diseases such as bladder stones or tumors.

Ears:
We use an otoscope to look inside the pet’s ears. This procedure allows us to do an in depth examination of the ear drum and ear canal. By examining the ears, we are able to detect infections and/or parasites that could harm the pet.

External Genitalia:
We examine the pet’s external genitalia for changes in appearance. For example, we check for changes in size, color, or texture. We specifically look at the prostate gland during this part of the exam.

Eyes:
We use an instrument called an ophthalmoscope to examine the pet’s eyes. We are looking for two main problems we see often in dogs and cats: cataracts and retinal disease.

Heart & Lungs:
We use a stethoscope to listen to the pet’s lungs and heart. Using a technique called auscultation, we are able to detect some murmurs, heart and/or lung disease and arrhythmias.

Lymph Nodes:
We check the pet’s lymph nodes for changes in size, tenderness, and symmetry.

Mouth:
We inspect the pet’s mouth for any abnormal growths or lesions. We examine the pet’s gum color and hydration.

Nervous System:
We examine the pet’s behavior, reaction, and reflexes to evaluate the nervous system.

Skin:
We examine the skin of the pet to look for ectoparasites, which are parasites which latch on to the skin of the pet externally. We look for lesions, tumors, or other abnormal growths

Vaccinations

Required vaccinations are vital for your pets health status and quality of life. What your pet will recieve and will need will depend on his/her weight, age, vaccination history and the duration between the time of those shots.

Puppies and Kittens
When puppies and kittens are first born, they have no immunity at all. The first milk that their mother feeds them is special milk called colostrum. In this milk, the mother passes on some of her immunity to the puppies and kittens. This is called passive immunity and protects for various periods of time – some diseases may have no protection after five weeks, others may be protected against until the puppies and kittens are sixteen weeks or older. There is little point giving any vaccinations before six weeks of age because the mothers’ immunity will destroy the vaccine and stop it from working. At 6 weeks of age, you can expect your pup to be vaccinated against: distemper, hepatitis, kennel cough, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvo virus. At 12 weeks of age, you can expect your pet to be vaccinated against rabies.

Mature Cats and Dogs
Talk to your veterinarian about how to care for your older pet and be prepared for possible age-related health issues. Senior pets require increased attention, including more frequent visits to the veterinarian, possible changes in diet, and in some cases alterations to their home environment. Typically, mature dogs will be protected against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvo virus, kennel cough and, of course, rabies. Adult cats’ immunizations include panleukopenia (distemper), rabies, feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia and feline leukemia

Surgical Procedures

two happy running puppies of golden retriever
The entire staff at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital pride ourselves on providing the highest quality surgical protocols and patient monitoring to insure the best possible outcome for all of our surgery patients. We offer many individual options for these patients including comprehensive pre-surgical lab-work to insure that your pet is in the best possible health prior to being anesthetized, post surgical therapy laser treatment to speed healing and minimize inflammation and scarring from surgical incisions as well as specially tailored pain management options for all patients to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with surgery.

We are happy to discuss all of our surgical protocols and elective options with any of our clients who are planning to have their pet in for surgery at any time.

Our routine surgical procedures include:

Neuter (castration for male animals) which is typically recommended to be performed between 5-6 months of age for dogs and cats. Neutering is an essential surgery to prevent unwanted breeding as well as reducing unwanted testosterone based behaviors such as territorial aggression and running away (over 80% of dogs that are hit by cars are intact males). This is typically an “outpatient” procedure meaning that pets will usually go home the same day.

Spay (hysterectomy for female animals) which is typically recommended to be performed at 6 months of age for dogs and cats. Spaying your pet is essential to maintaining their health as well as reducing the growing population of unwanted pets that fill local shelters and lead to the euthanization of millions of healthy cats and dogs every year in America. Female dogs who are not spayed have a greatly increased risk of not only pregnancy, but many hormone dependent cancers and life threatening uterine infections. Like a neuter, spaying is typically a surgery where the patient would go home later the same day.

Feline declaw surgery is a procedure in which the claws on a cats front paws along with the outermost section of each toe are surgically amputated so that the claws do not grow back. This is a strictly cosmetic procedure with no real health benefits for the animal and is reserved for cases in which a strictly indoor cat is causing damage to the home or injuring family members with scratching and clawing, making it necessary to remove the claws in order to keep the pet welcome in the home. These patients will typically stay one night in the hospital to allow us to remove bandages the following day and recheck the patients feet prior to going home. They will usually be discharged by noon the day following surgery.

Newborn Tails & Dewclaws are often removed in several popular pure breeds for cosmetic or show purposes. This procedure must be performed when the pups are between 3 and 5 days old. Any younger and it is too physically traumatic and may result in systemic shock, any older and the pups pain perception senses are too developed to make the procedure humane. If you are expecting a litter of pups for which you would like tails docked and or declaws removed, please contact our office to discuss timing and keep the 3-5 day “window of opportunity” in mind when making plans for the litters arrival.

There are many other routine and emergency surgical procedures that our doctors can perform. We also have a contracted orthopedic surgeon who can perform more intricate orthopedic procedures here in our facility for our clients if needed. If you have questions regarding our surgical protocols or need to inquire about prices for specific routine surgical procedures you are welcome to call anytime during business hours and speak to one of our staff.

Existing surgery patients: Once you have scheduled your pet for surgery….

Surgery patients need to be checked in at the clinic between 7:30am and 8am. They are to have food only prior to 9pm the evening before their scheduled surgery and none thereafter including no breakfast. They may have water up until surgery time. When going outside for morning “potty” time, please keep your pet on a leash and do not allow them to run free as they will likely find something on the ground to eat since they are hungry from being fasted.

Routine surgeries are performed on Monday through Friday.

Dental Care

happy puppy running outdoors
Dental care is an important part of your pet’s wellness care. The professional dental treatments at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital will help your dog or cat maintain not only good health but over good oral hygiene.

Catching teeth problems early will help avoid severe dental disease. Visit your vet every 6-12 months for wellness check-ups. Contact your vet if any problems arise. Watch for the following signs:

  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Reluctance to chew / crying out when chewing
  • Increased salivation
  • Red and/or puffy gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tartar / Calculus (hard coating on teeth that is usually brown or yellow; results from plaque build-up)
  • Missing and/or loose teeth
  • Anything else about the mouth that appears unusual

Pharmacy

Little puppy with a little tabby kitten
We keep a very comprehensive in house pharmacy allowing us to fill prescriptions for most common health problems your pet may encounter. We also work very hard to keep our prescription prices as low as possible so that providing treatment does not become a financial decision for you and your pet. We work hand in hand with several local and compounding pharmacies to provide additional medications that we are unable to keep in house.

Diagnostics

dachshund
We at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital pride ourselves on our state of the art in house diagnostic equipment. We offer comprehensive blood analysis including CBC, multiple chemistry panels to evaluate internal organ function, thyroid level testing, fructosamine and blood glucose testing for patients with diabetes, phenobarbital therapy levels for seizure patients, NSAID chemistry panel for patients on long term anti-inflammatory therapy, blood clotting times for patients who may have ingested certain poisons as well as routine canine heartworm testing and feline viral screening.

Urinalysis to examine and evaluate urine samples in patients who may be suffering from urinary tract infections, kidney disease, diabetes or potentially have kidney or bladder stones.

Our in-house ultrasound gives us the unique ability to “look inside” a patient and evaluate the appearance of various organs and tissues beyond what is possible with X-Ray. This often gives us the unique ability to gain insight into a patients condition or make a difficult diagnosis that would otherwise be impossible without an expensive referral or risky exploratory surgery.

Digital Radiography for both medical and dental evaluations (see radiography page).

Endoscopy for inspection and if needed, biopsy of the upper GI tract (see endoscopy page).

We also perform all commonplace veterinary medical diagnostics including fecal screenings for intestinal parasites, microscopic evaluation of any patient sample, testing for canine parvo virus, woods lamp exam for ringworm and corneal ulcers or other eye trauma, tear production to test for “dry eye”, evaluation of blood pressure, EKG and HR/Pulse Ox (blood oxygen saturation) among many others.

If you have a question regarding any diagnostic test your pet may need or has had in the past, please do not hesitate to ask our staff. We are more than happy to discuss your pets health needs in detail with you at any time!

Endoscopy

lovely cat in human hands, vintage effect love for the animals
An invaluable diagnostic tool, endoscopy is an alternative to surgery in many cases for obtaining visual imaging of the GI tract, collecting samples for biopsy and histopathology and in some cases, removing ingested foreign bodies from the throat or stomach. With the animal anesthetized, a camera probe is passed down the throat to visualize the inside of the GI tract. Various smaller probes can then be passed through the main probe to take tissue samples or grab and remove ingested foreign bodies without the many downsides of traditional exploratory surgery

Pain Management

Front view of cute beautiful cat sleeping in her dreams on a classic British patterned quilt
Pain management, whether for arthritis, illness, injury or routine surgery is an important part of veterinary medicine. We at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital believe that comfort is essential to a pets well being and consider pain and suffering to be a important issue for all pet owners to consider when making decisions regarding their pets health and treatment.

NOTE: DO NOT EVER GIVE YOUR PET ANY HUMAN PAIN MEDICATION.

Many over the counter pain medications made for human use are metabolized very differently by dogs and cats and can be harmful, even fatal if given.

Arthritis: Geriatric pets often hide the early stages of painful arthritis making it difficult for owners to realize their pet suffers chronic pain. If you see an older pet seemingly slow to rise when they have been laying down, hesitant to climb stairs or jump off low heights or often trembling in the hind quarters when walking or squatting to use the bathroom then it is likely suffering from moderate to severe arthritis pain. If you observe any of these symptoms or have questions about supplements and medications to prevent chronic arthritis pain in geriatric pets you are encouraged to make an appointment to evaluate your pets joint health and if needed, begin steps to increase their comfort.

Injury: When a pet is injured there will almost certainly be pain involved. Regardless of the severity of the injury, it is important to always have an injured pet examined as soon as possible. Various injuries may seem minor at first due to most pets not wanting to openly display pain or weakness because of their instinct to avoid being preyed upon. An injury that appears minor initially can deteriorate quickly without being treated which may ultimately lead to much more expensive treatment costs or worse, declining beyond a point that something can be successfully treated.

Surgery: Few people would undergo any routine surgery without some level of therapeutic pain management. Why should your animal friend be any different? While it is generally accepted that animals have a higher pain tolerance than people, they still can feel and suffer emotional distress from pain. Our routine surgery prices include pain management during and after surgery at no additional cost. If you are scheduling your pet for surgery please ask us to discuss various options for surgical pain management for your pet prior to surgery! A happy pet heals faster!

Digital Radiography

Funny red cat flying in the air in autumn
A wonderful alternative to traditional “film” X-Rays, digital radiographs utilize the newest computer technology to produce an X-Ray image in much higher detail that can also be magnified with the click of a mouse to focus on small, specific areas helping obtain a more accurate diagnosis in many cases. Digital radiographs also eliminate both the need for physical film and the use of many hazardous chemicals common in traditional X-Ray development making them much more environmentally friendly. The increased sharpness and flexibility of these images also allows for more information to be gained with less exposures resulting in a lower cost to the client compared with older style film X-Rays.

At Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital we use high definition digital radiography in both our medical and dental X-Ray studies!

Laser Therapy

happy pug dog sitting behind shrub.
Laser Therapy, or “photobiomodulation”, is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. Laser Therapy has been widely utilized in Europe by physical therapists, nurses and doctors as far back as the 1970’s.

Now, after FDA clearance in 2002, Laser Therapy is being used extensively in both human and veterinary medicine in the United States.

Our therapy laser is used primarily as an option after surgery to stimulate tissue regrowth and minimize inflammation around the incision which can lead to faster healing and reduced scarring from the surgery.

It is also a wonderful tool for certain orthopedic and arthritic conditions helping to reduce the inflammation in various joints and the spinal disk spaces when dogs have back injuries.

The laser is also great for treating infected wounds in pets who have been injured long before seeking treatment or with certain types of bites or stings where venom causes severe tissue damage. The lasers anti inflammatory affects and bacteriostatic properties combined with stimulating tissues to regenerate make it ideal for treating these cases.

Microchipping

Two friendly cats on spring
Microchips
Dog and cat micro-chipping is a simple procedure. A doctor or technician simply injects the microchip, about the size of a small grain of rice, beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades with a hypodermic needle. The process is similar to a typical shot, takes only a few seconds and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required.

It is not a GPS for your pet, but it does act as a permanent identification method. All pets that are picked up by animal control are scanned to check for microchip identification. It is also standard protocol at all veterinary clinics to scan any stray pet that is brought in. When a pet is scanned and a microchip is present the shelter or clinic will call the company identified by the specific brand of microchip and give the unique ID number assigned to that chip. If the owners have registered that pet with the microchip company, their contact information will then be given to the shelter, animal control facility or veterinary hospital that has found the pet allowing them to promptly contact the owner.

It is VERY important to register your pet once you have the microchip implanted to insure that they are promptly returned to you if they ever get lost. If you have a pet that was microchipped prior to you adopting it or you have since moved and need to make sure the registration information is correctly updated you are welcome to bring that animal in to be scanned so you can be given their unique ID number and a phone number to contact the microchip company responsible for that pets registration.

Blood Transfusions

In rare cases due to either injury, anticoagulant ingestion or various illness such as auto-immune disorder, patients may require emergency blood product transfusions.

We use state of the art diagnostic equipment to obtain the information necessary to determine the cause of a patients need for a transfusion and provide us with critical data to help determine what type of transfusion is best for that pet.

Depending on the animals condition, transfusions may be either whole blood from a local donor or fresh frozen plasma from a national veterinary blood bank and kept on hand here at the clinic. Multiple medications are given with each transfusion to minimize the chance of a reaction to the foreign material being introduced into the patients system and insure the best possible outcome for that pet. While there are many risks and possible complications associated with blood transfusions, these procedures are almost always performed in an emergency situation and have proven time and again to be life saving therapies for our patients!

House Calls

the dog lies on the blue couch. The pet is resting. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Toller
In the event that you are unable to bring your pet to the clinic, we do offer House/Farm calls for a reasonable fee within a reasonable distance from the clinic. The available days and hours for house calls are limited by available doctors and staff and therefore may vary week to week. Please call to discuss making an appointment for a house call if you are in need of this service.

Hospice/End of Life Care

Silhouette of a white berger shepherd dog.
Hospice: When some terminally ill or very old pets reach a point in life where their poor health cannot reasonably be expected to improve we consider them “hospice” patients. These are pets who still have joy in living but sadly face health challenges that we anticipate will lead to their passing within a short period of time. Our goal at that point becomes to insure these beloved pets spend their remaining days as comfortably as possible so that both they and their human family can cherish that truly valuable time. Many medications to maintain appetite and control pain are available and every case is unique. If you have a very senior or terminally ill pet and are interested in options to maintain quality of life in their final weeks or months please feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss these options with our doctors.

Euthanasia: Often patients of advanced age and/or those in poor health may reach a point where their “quality of life” is no longer sufficient for them to truly remain comfortable or have adequate dignity and their owners may consider humane euthanasia to end their suffering.

The decision to release a beloved pet from the suffering of a failing body is one that ultimately only you as an owner can make but we are always available to help you understand what the process entails as well as answer any questions you may have to ease your mind and heart in making this very difficult decision. We can also perform this service in your home for a reasonable additional fee if you would prefer.

If you are considering euthanasia as an option for a pet in the near future you are welcome to call and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors or technicians to have your questions answered and discuss the specific process beforehand making things easier when, and if the time does come.

Aftercare: In the event that a pet is euthanized or passes away at home, we can assist with several options for aftercare of the pets remains if you would prefer not to bury them at home. We use a local crematory and pet cemetery that can provide both cremation and if desired, internment (burial) services. With cremation services you have the option to have your pets ashes returned to you if you would like and many different presentation urns are available. Prices depend on the pets weight and the specific services you choose.

Boarding

amazing portrait of young crossbreed dog (german shepherd) during sunset in grass
Your pet is an important part of your family, but they aren’t always able to go along with you on a trip. When you are away you want to know your pet is very well taken care of. We accommodate all sizes from 5lbs to over 100lbs. We also walk 2-3 times daily and are constantly checking in on them, playing and exercising. You may also bring in a favorite blanket if wanted, any toys, medicine, food or anything else comforting for them they would like with them during their stay.
In our dog kennel we have:
  • 3×6
  • 2×4
  • 2×2
Our Cat Kennel houses:
  • 3×5
  • 2×2
During the holidays we book up fast so make sure to call and set your reservation!
817-523-7210
Weekdays 7:30am-5:30pm
Saturday 8am-Noon

Bathing

A cute little terrier breed dog taking a bubble bath with his paws up on the rim of the tub
There are no firm guidelines for how often to bathe a dog. The quality and texture of the dog’s hair (whether it’s long, silky, curly, smooth, or wiry) will determine how much dirt it collects and how frequently the dog should be bathed. Your dog’s lifestyle and activities will also influence how often she/he gets dirty and needs a bath. Make an appointment today if your fur baby needs bath!