Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital provides a wide range of services, from routine vaccinations to advanced diagnostics and surgery. We know it’s never easy when your pet becomes ill, which is why we are always ready to provide top-quality service.
New Puppy & Kitten Exams
When you bring home a new puppy or kitten, it’s essential to bring them in right away so that we can do a full exam and get you ready for a long, healthy life together! We recommend setting up an appointment for your puppy or kitten as soon as you bring your new pet home. During your first visit, we’ll perform a complete physical exam and discuss pet nutrition, socialization, house training, and behavioral training. We will initiate disease and parasite prevention protocols, as well as create a personalized vaccination schedule to meet the exact needs of your puppy or kitten. We want to partner with you to ensure your pet is in good health and starts down the fast track to a long and healthy life.
Vaccinations are essential to protect your pet against major infectious diseases. The vaccinations are given every three to four weeks in a series of three and usually begin around eight weeks of age and end around 16 weeks of age.
Dogs: canine distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, Bordetella, and rabies
Cats: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, feline leukemia (as kittens and for outdoor cats) and rabies
Keeping your pet on a strict vaccination schedule will keep them protected from diseases they can commonly come in contact with in public.
Parasite prevention is not only crucial for the health of your pet, but it’s also vital for the health of your entire family. That is because some parasites are zoonotic, which means they can infect both animals and people. Common intestinal parasites in both dogs and cats include roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, coccidia, and Giardia. Most of these intestinal parasites are not overtly visible in feces. Please bring in a fresh stool sample (that is less than six hours old) at the time of your first visit so that we can test for intestinal parasites by microscopic analysis in our laboratory.
Fleas & Ticks
It is wise to begin flea and tick control before you have a problem! Prevention is much easier than dealing with a flea- or tick-infested animal, home, or yard. There are many safe, effective treatments, both oral and topical, available through your veterinarian. We will help you choose the most effective treatment for your pet.
Heartworm Disease In Dogs
This deadly disease is carried by mosquitoes and is transmitted to your pet through a bite. We recommend annual heartworm testing starting at six months of age and monthly heartworm prevention.
Feline Leukemia and FIV Testing in Cats
We recommend a simple blood test for the feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus in your kitten at around 12 weeks of age.
Microchips are the only form of permanent pet identification. A microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice that is injected beneath your pet’s skin. The microchip is registered to you, the owner, and will help with identification if your pet is ever lost.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
We recommend this surgery be done at six months of age, but please note that all pets are different.
Pets today can live longer, healthier lives than ever before—in part because of vaccines that help protect them from deadly infectious diseases. Over the years, vaccines against dangerous diseases have saved millions of pets and virtually eliminated some fatal diseases that were once common.
Unfortunately, many infectious diseases still pose a significant threat to dogs and cats that are unvaccinated. Although vaccine programs have been highly successful and vaccines are considered routine today, we (as caregivers) and you (as pet parents) cannot afford to become complacent about keeping pets up to date on their vaccinations.
Many vaccines are available for use in dogs and cats, but not every pet needs every available vaccine. Some vaccines are considered core vaccines and should be administered to all pets, whereas other vaccines are optional and may be recommended for pets based on a variety of factors, such as their risk for exposure to disease. Vaccine recommendations can also change throughout a pet’s life, as travel habits and other variables change. We will consider all these factors as we determine which vaccines your pet should have.
We understand that your pet is unique and that no single vaccine program will be ideal for every pet in every situation. Our doctors and other staff members are well-educated about veterinary vaccines, and our goal is to give you the best advice for keeping your pet healthy. Let us develop a vaccination schedule and ongoing booster routine that accounts for your pet’s lifestyle, overall health, the risk for exposure to infectious disease, and other factors.
Vaccines help pets live longer, healthier lives. Protecting your pet is our primary goal, so developing an appropriate vaccine schedule for your pet is important to us. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your pet’s vaccination needs.
We all enjoy a relaxing mani-pedi from time to time, and your pet will too! Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed isn’t just for looks. There are health ramifications from not taking care of your companion’s nails!
For many pet owners, trimming a pet’s nails—dog or cat—can seem like a daunting task. And, if you haven’t regularly trimmed your pet’s nails since they were young, chances are you’ll have a difficult time doing it effectively now. Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed is important for a number of reasons. The staff at Ocean Avenue Animal Hospital is here to help!
Why cat’s nails should be trimmed regularly
- Prevent pain. Keeping a cat’s nails trimmed will help prevent painful broken claws, which can occur if one of the sharp, long tips becomes caught in the carpet or on the edge of the sofa while they’re “sharpening” their claws around your house.
- Prevent damage. Speaking of sharpening claws, it’s no secret that cats like to do it, and when they do, it’s often on furniture, rugs, curtains, or other household items we’d prefer not to be destroyed. Keeping the nails trimmed will reduce the damage your cat does around the house.
- Receive love comfortably. Many cats need to knead, and if your cat is kneading you, the longer the nails, the more painful it’s going to be for you. By keeping the sharp tips trimmed, this bonding activity can be something you both enjoy.
Why dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly
- Prevent pain. Underneath the hard outer shell of a dog’s nail is the living quick, which is full of nerves and blood. Regular nail trimming will cause the quick to become shorter and recede from the end of the nail, making it less likely to be cut during nail trims, which can cause pain and discomfort for your dog.
- Prevent injury. If a dog’s nails are too long, they can hit the ground, which, over extended periods of time, can cause deformed feet and injure tendons, affecting the foot and leg structure.
- Prevent anxiety. Dogs with nails in need of trimming will not have adequate traction on slippery floor surfaces—like hardwood, tile, and linoleum—which can lead to anxiety and fear, especially in dogs already prone to nervous and fearful behaviors.
If you have questions or want to get your pet’s nails trimmed, please be sure to contact us! We’re here to help your fur baby look and feel their absolute best!
Radiography is a valuable diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. As we continually strive to offer the highest quality of medicine and diagnostic testing, we are pleased to offer radiology services as a means of providing excellent care to our patients.
A radiograph (sometimes called an X-ray) is a type of photograph that can look inside the body and reveal information that may not be discernible from the outside. Radiography can be used to evaluate almost any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, and abdominal organs, as well as the bones.
Radiography is painless, safe, and completely noninvasive, and it uses only very low doses of radiation. Because the level of radiation exposure needed to perform radiography is very low, even pregnant females and very young pets can undergo radiography. Radiographs can be used to evaluate bones as well as the size, shape, and position of many of the body’s organs. The size of organs is important because some medical conditions—such as kidney, heart, or liver disease—can alter the size of these organs. The shape and position of organs can be altered or distorted by certain medical conditions, including intestinal blockage or cancer. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also sometimes be detected using radiography. Radiography can also be used to diagnose bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases, and a variety of other conditions.
Radiographs are an important tool that can help us make a correct diagnosis for your pet. Our radiology service is staffed by caring, skilled professionals who will provide state-of-the-art care with compassion and expertise.
Although humans and animals are different in many ways, some advances in human medicine are also very useful for veterinary patients. One of these advances, diagnostic ultrasound, has proven to be a powerful tool in veterinary medicine. As a practice, one of our goals is to offer state-of-the-art medicine and diagnostic testing; so we are pleased to offer ultrasound services as a means of providing a higher level of quality care to our patients.
Ultrasonography is a type of diagnostic technique that uses ultrasound waves to produce an imaging study. This means that when we perform ultrasonography, we can see internal images of the patient’s body. Unlike some other imaging studies, like X-rays, ultrasonography does not use radiation. Instead, ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound (ultrasound) waves to create a picture of what is inside your pet’s body. Ultrasonography is a completely noninvasive, painless way to diagnose and evaluate many common diseases.
An ultrasound machine generates ultrasound waves. The machine is connected to a small probe that is held gently against your pet’s skin. The probe sends out painless ultrasound waves that bounce off of structures (for example, organs) in your pet’s body and return to a sensor inside the ultrasound machine. The ultrasound equipment collects these reflected “echoes” and uses them to generate images that are viewable on a screen. Ultrasound waves can generate excellent images of abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and kidneys. It is also useful for assessing fetal health and monitoring pregnancy in breeding animals, and it can help us diagnose and stage (determine the severity of) some forms of cancer.
Feeding a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can increase life expectancy, quality of life, decrease risk of many diseases (such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease), and help manage chronic medical conditions. We include a nutritional assessment and a weight evaluation in every health evaluation for every pet. We will also evaluate trends in your pet’s weight, as weight gain or weight loss can be signs of an underlying disease or may indicate a need to change your feeding regimen.
We carry a full line of prescription diets for your convenience, including Hill’s, Royal Canin, and Iams brands. We also have a variety of treats, including weight control, dental care, and hypoallergenic options for both dogs and cats. Please call ahead to ensure we have the diet you wish to purchase. We are happy to place a special order for you!
Senior Pet Exams
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever before; however, with this increased lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict senior pets.
Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is one of the most important steps pet owners can take to keep their pets in tip-top shape. When dogs and cats enter their senior years, these health examinations are more important than ever.
At around age seven, your pet is entering his or her senior years and often begins to develop diseases common to humans, such as diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease, and cancer. These diseases easily can go undetected because your pet may not show any visible symptoms. Therefore, preventive health care is critical. Routine examinations, blood testing, urine testing, radiographs, and electrocardiograph tests can help identify potential health risks before they become evident. Inform your veterinarian of any changes you notice in your pet, including changes in weight, appetite, energy, urination, behavior, skin and coat, and ability to get up and down. Routine veterinary care will allow your pet to have the best possible quality of life for years to come.
Have you noticed a change in behavior?
If your pet has become irritable or aggressive or if they are eating less or drinking more, they may have a medical condition that is common in elderly pets. A few common conditions related to age include kidney disease, arthritis, and pet dementia.
How often should a senior pet be seen?
With the increased risk of different health issues, our doctors recommend that senior pets have physical exams every six months. Blood work should continue to be checked once a year and regular teeth cleanings should continue. Your veterinarian will help you watch for changes in behavior and provide treatment plans to keep your elderly fur-baby as comfortable as possible.
What to watch for:
- Dental disease
- Changes in drinking habits
- Changes in urination habits
- Weight loss
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Increased difficulty moving around
Pet dental care is a critical component of your pet’s wellness program. Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital offers state-of-the-art dental care for every type of pet, with a focus on long-term health and longevity.
Dental disease can be the origin of more complex, life-threatening issues such as heart, liver, and kidney disease in pets. Routine dental cleanings and a home dental care regime have the potential to add years of vigor to your pet’s life.
A dental exam and cleaning are performed under general anesthesia for a safe and thorough procedure. Whenever anesthesia is used, we take many steps to assure the safest possible procedure, including pre-anesthetic laboratory tests, IV fluid support, and blood pressure monitoring, as well as pulse and blood oxygen monitoring on all patients. Your pet’s teeth are cleaned of plaque and calculus, and the tooth enamel is polished, followed by a fluoride treatment to further protect the teeth and strengthen enamel.
Our digital dental X-ray system allows near-instant radiographic views of the non-visible areas of the teeth. This invaluable tool is critical for identifying hidden, often painful problems.
Our staff is trained in dental surgical procedures such as extractions of broken, loose, diseased, or painful teeth. If oral surgery is needed, careful attention is paid to managing pain using local anesthetic nerve blocks and other analgesic approaches. Often, medication is sent home after the procedure to help minimize any discomfort. Finally, a careful charting of any concerns or treatments of the teeth is made for future reference and follow-up.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums in pets can be a simple and enjoyable process for both the animals and their owners. The professionals at Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital offer assistance and training to pet owners in establishing a home care regime that meets their needs. Good dental hygiene is an investment in your pet, paying off in your animal companion living a longer, healthier life free from pain.
At Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital, our goal is to keep your companions healthy and happy. Just as prevention is the best medicine for us, so it is for our pets. We believe in working with you to determine the individual needs of your pet. We recommend a program of essential care, including complete physical exams, diagnostic tests, dental care, proper nutrition, parasite prevention, and immunizations. As your pet ages, we recommend more frequent examinations for earlier detection of health problems that older pets may develop. We accept CareCredit and will provide necessary information for pet insurance carriers to help provide the best care for your pet.
Our goal is to have the healthiest pets in San Francisco. Educating our clients on nutrition and wellness care helps us put our best paw forward!
Heartworm & Parasite Prevention
All dogs should be on an effective heartworm preventive year-round. The administration is easier than ever with once-a-month tasty chews. Cats should be treated for heartworm, internal parasites, and external parasites on a regular basis. Up to 85% of animals that go outdoors will become heartworm positive if they are not on prevention. The heartworm medication recommended at Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital is also effective in preventing other parasites such as hookworms and roundworms, so each month you are protecting your pet against multiple parasitic infections. For more information, go to www.capcvet.org.
Flea & Tick Prevention
All dogs and cats should be on year-round external parasite control. Fleas and ticks can carry diseases that affect humans and animals. It is easier to prevent a flea infestation than to treat and clear the home environment.
Fleas can carry numerous different diseases. They will carry tapeworms, hemobartonella (a blood parasite), plague, and other diseases to your pet and into your home. We didn’t even mention the diseases ticks can carry. Ticks carry Lyme disease and viruses and can leave your pet anemic and tired. So how do we prevent them from coming into our nice warm house to feast upon us and our pets?
We prevent it, because an infestation means at least three months of treatment to break up the life cycle and treating for the secondary diseases that come with them. This can become expensive and tiresome, especially if you get this infestation every year as soon as spring arrives.
We recommend the treatment and prevention of fleas and ticks by the use of various products. Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital uses a variety of prevention products that have been proven to work and work quickly. They do double and sometimes triple duty, which means they do at least two to three things that we love and keep your pet healthy.
Puppies and kittens should be dewormed at least twice two to three weeks apart as a way to prevent the infestation of parasites such as roundworms.
We understand that surgery can be a source of anxiety for you and your family. That’s why it’s important to trust the people who will be taking care of your pet. Our experienced team of doctors and staff make it their number one priority to focus on pain management and patient safety, and we use the most current surgical practices to ensure your pet receives the best veterinary care. Our team will be working with you before, during, and after surgery to address any questions or concerns you may have about the surgical procedure, anesthesia, or postoperative care.
Soft Tissue Surgery
Soft tissue surgery is a large subject, as it comprises any surgery that is not orthopedic. Procedures can range from simple cyst removals to complex and involved operations.
Cysts and tumors can appear anywhere on or inside an animal’s body. They typically require removal. They may also be biopsied in order to first determine if the mass is either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).
Also known as exploratory laparotomy, belly surgery is performed for several reasons. They include the removal of diseased organs, removing bladder stones, taking biopsies, and removing foreign bodies. Yes, pets have been known to swallow a number of inedible items, including socks, locks, and rocks.
Our veterinarians perform a preventive operation known as a prophylactic gastropexy. Meant for dogs at risk for GDV or “stomach twisting,” the surgery attaches the stomach to the inside of the belly, keeping it from twisting and possibly taking the animal’s life.
Bladder & Urinary Surgery
The most common bladder surgery for dogs is the removal of bladder stones. For cats, it’s a procedure known as a perineal urethrostomy (PU). Male cats have a tendency to experience blockages in their urethra. When this happens several times, a PU is performed to widen the exit route.
Oftentimes, cats experience ear polyps, which are removed with various surgeries. Certain breeds of dogs, most often Cocker Spaniels, can have issues with ear infections. If the infection is bad enough, it may require a total ear canal ablation (TECA), or removal of the ear canal. As invasive as it sounds, the procedure yields terrific results, allowing pets to live free of ear infections and pain.
Dogs, mostly Labrador Retrievers, can have a condition that paralyzes their larynx, or voice box. While it is a stressful condition, the “tie-back” surgery widens the airway and is the difference between suffocating and breathing comfortably. In good hands, the complication rate is low.
An echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) is the only way to truly determine if your pet has heart disease. The ultrasound allows us to determine what type of disease is present and whether the pet would benefit from treatment.
What are the signs of heart disease?
Dogs will often have a dramatic decrease in their ability to exercise. Some dogs will begin to cough when excited. In severe cases, the dog may faint or appear to have a seizure. Cats rarely exhibit signs of heart disease until they are in heart failure. The most noticeable symptom is an increase in the breathing rate and effort.
Is there anything I can do at home?
Monitoring the sleeping respiratory rate is the single most important thing you can do as a pet owner. Sneak up on your pet while they are sleeping. Take out your watch and count how many breaths they take in a full minute. If they are consistently taking more than 30 breaths per minute while sleeping, and this is repeatable on several days, your pet should have a heart ultrasound performed, as they likely have heart disease.
Can heart disease be treated?
There are a variety of treatments for heart disease. Recent studies indicate that certain medications can actually extend your pet’s lifespan if they are started on medications before they exhibit symptoms and go into heart failure. The decision to begin heart medications is contingent upon the findings on the heart ultrasound.