Wellness Care: Individualized programs are developed based on disease risk evaluations and consultations with pet owners. Vaccinations, blood work testing, fecal parasite exams, dental examination, and preventative medication and diets are recommended after risk based assessments.
Sick or Injured Pet Care: In-house blood tests can be run to get results quickly when your pet is sick. In combination with a physical exam, radiographs, blood work, and the history provided by the owner, we are able to diagnose and treat many ill animals in one visit.
Did you know that dental disease is the most common problem we see in pets? Routine dental cleaning and treatment of diseased teeth and gums are performed in our dedicated dental station. A dedicated dental machine and quiet lift table make for comfort and cleanliness while your pet's teeth are treated. We evaluate each tooth carefully and document gum recession to follow the progress of disease from one visit to the next. Surgical tooth removal is recommended only if the tooth in question is too diseased to be of benefit to your pet. We generally remove teeth that are loose, infected, or have substantial root exposure that would allow pockets of smelly debris, infection and tartar to accumulate. Dental blocks are routinely performed to numb the area, just as you have at your dentist. We also use our laser to sterilize infected pockets for teeth we are trying to save.
We have patient wards available for every size of animal, including an isolation area for those suspected of having contagious diseases. No overnight supervision is available. When patients are critical, we recommend overnight care at a local emergency hospital.
Routine spays (female ovariohysterectomy) and neuters (male) of dogs and cats are performed daily in our state of the art surgical suite. Anesthesia is carefully monitored with advanced equipment. Our anesthesia monitor tracks blood pressure, body temperature, oxygen levels, and EKG (heart electrical activity) while our outstanding and experienced veterinary technicians provide continuous hands-on monitoring of your pet. Most surgical procedures use a laser during your pet's surgery to make the incision and separate tissue. This is more comfortable for your pet, eliminates bleeding, and speeds up the healing process. More information on laser surgery can be found below.
More complicated surgeries can also be performed such as mass removals, amputations, cystotomies (bladder stone removal), enterotomies (stomach or intestinal foreign body removal), and exploratory abdominal surgery. Cruciate ligament repairs and orthopedic (bone) surgeries can also be performed on a limited basis. We also have a traveling surgeon who can perform many additional procedures in our hospital, decreasing the need for referral. However, some patients and some conditions benefit most from the examination, surgical skills and follow up care of a referral hospital. We do not hesitate to refer cases if that is what is best for your pet.
Pain levels are constantly monitored and addressed quickly with a number of different effective medications. We use topical pain meds, local block pain meds, injectable medications, and oral medications both for pain and anxiety.
Laser surgery and laser therapy are two distinctly different services performed using a laser unit. Laser surgery is used in place of a scalpel and uses a light beam to cut. Laser therapy uses light to heal injured tissue faster and more effectively. Therapy can be used on your pet's incision to speed healing or on infections (skin/ears) to kill bacteria or can be used on painful joints or muscle injuries, including chronic arthritis.
Most of our surgeries are performed with a Crystal Diode Laser, which produces an invisible beam of light that can remove a precise layer of tissue at one time. This can reduce your pet's post-operative recovery time, leading to a quicker return of normal activities. The benefits of laser surgery include:
Less Pain - the laser seals nerve endings as it "cuts", so your pet may require fewer anesthetics during the operation, also reducing pain after the surgery.
Less Bleeding - the laser also seals small blood vessels during the surgery, greatly reducing blood loss.
Less Swelling - the laser energy does not crush, tear, or bruise the tissue.
Laser therapy can be used to accelerate healing, provide post-surgical pain relief, or as a treatment option for various orthopedic or soft tissue disorders. There are no side effects or post treatment pain, and the laser will not burn your pet's skin. It can be used for arthritis, sprained muscles and tendons, tendinitis, torn muscles, degenerative joint disease, chronic ear infections, skin conditions, and dental procedures. The laser puts light deep into the tissue, which decreases swelling and increases blood flow. Generally the patients really like the procedure and find it soothing after they get used to the process.
Digital radiographs (x-rays) are performed and evaluated by our doctors. Orthopedic problems such as bone fractures, dislocations, and growth related problems are routinely x-rayed , as well as heart, lung, and abdominal areas, to determine the problem and needed treatment. Consultations with orthopedic surgeons and radiologists can be requested for complicated problems. Our radiographs can be emailed to specialists for a quick consult. We coordinate with PA Mobile Ultrasound to have ultrasound scans performed several times a month. This process involves getting the scan performed here, and having the history, scan, radiographs and blood results sent to a specialist. We receive a report the following day with diagnosis and recommendations. Limited ultrasound exams can be performed for pregnancy diagnosis here. Complicated and urgent cases may be referred for board specialist evaluation.
Pre-surgical and emergency bloodwork can be performed in our hospital laboratory or sent out to Antech Diagnostics for more complete diagnostic evaluation or uncommon tests. Heartworm, Lyme, Anaplasmosis, and Erhlichia testing for dogs as well as Leukemia and Immune-deficiency virus testing for cats is performed daily in our lab. We can evaluate fecal samples for parasites in house, but send them out for a more accurate and consistent testing method unless the patient has diarrhea. Several university laboratories are also used for more detailed hormonal and disease testing, as well as to diagnose exotic species and birds.
Scheduled caesarian sections and pregnancy diagnosis with x-rays, ultrasound, and blood testing allow us to offer some services to local breeders. We can run in house progesterone testing in 20 minutes.
Pet Pharmacy & Supplies
Littlestown Veterinary Hospital maintains a pharmacy and carries prescription diets from Hills, Purina, and Royal Canin. We also stock heartworm preventative and flea and tick treatments and preventatives. We carry a number of dental care products from CET, including chews, dental rinses, pet toothbrushes, pet toothpaste, and water additives. The Douxo line of shampoos and ear products have been essential to effective treatment of our allergic pets. Medications can be administered in Pill Pockets for some pets or can be formulated by a formulating pharmacy into a liquid or, occasionally, transdermal drops, which are absorbed after being placed in the ear. We work with a formulating pharmacy to customize medications for difficult to medicate patients. No prescription products can be dispensed without a physical exam performed on the patient, as Pennsylvania law requires.
We also offer delivery from an online pharmacy, which has a very wide selection of products from flea/tick medications to heartworm preventatives, to many medications we are unable to carry due to infrequent use. The web store is supplied by our regular suppliers, so we trust the sourcing and shipment implicitly. We do approve other online orders provided the patient has been seen for the issue recently. As stated above, Pennsylvania law requires a current doctor-patient relationship and physical exam of the patient in order to legally dispense medications.
Pet Identification and Microchip System
We recommend that all pets be microchipped with the HomeAgain microchip system. This simple procedure can be done during an appointment or surgical procedure and is very quick. It leaves a permanent identification which can be traced back to you. Every humane society and SPCA has a universal scanner to try to get pets back to their own homes. The microchip also proves your ownership of a pet should that be an issue. Microchips are the best possible way to make sure your animal can be identified.
HomeAgain will keep your pet’s microchip on file permanently for no charge. They also offer an annual fee service to help locate your pet if they go missing. This service sends out notifications to all vets and shelters in the area. Not only will the microchip help get your pet home to you, but there is a great new feature! The chips we are currently implanting register the patient's body temperature! So waving the scanner over your pet's shoulder will give us the temperature without the dreaded stressful rectal thermometer…. Please remind us if your pet has a thermal reader chip.