Veterinary Services

Blake Veterinary Hospital offers a wide range of veterinary services for our patients. Just a few of our wellness and preventive care services are listed below. For more information on these or other services, please call 352-567-7495.

Wellness Care

Preventive veterinary care is the cornerstone of keeping your pet their healthiest so that you and your pet can have more great years together. Since pets age more quickly than people do, it is critical to have regular physical examinations done to assess your pet’s health. During routine preventive exams, your veterinarian will assess:

  • Overall Body Condition
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Heart and Lungs
  • Abdominal Organs
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neurologic System
  • Urogenital System
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Skin/Coat

When health problems are identified, a medical plan will be outlined to evaluate the problems in depth. If your pet appears to be healthy enough for routine preventive care, your veterinarian will discuss which immunizations are advised, as well as parasite prevention including heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, etc.). Annual age-appropriate lab tests, testing for heartworm and/or tick-borne diseases, and fecal tests for parasites may also be recommended for your pet. Finally, your pet’s nutrition, diet, and exercise routines can be assessed and optimized to help your pet be in best physical condition for their lifestyle and age. Remember, keeping up with preventive care for your pet is the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy for life.

Puppy & Kitten Care

Getting your new puppy or kitten off to a healthy start sets the stage for their lives as healthy adults. Regular physical examinations, core and elective vaccinations, fecal testing for parasites, and deworming are all important elements of ensuring good health for your puppy or kitten. Our knowledgeable staff can help your family learn about potty training your pup, performing nail trims on your puppy or kitten, dietary recommendations, and potential health hazards for your new pet.

Spaying and neutering are additional topics to consider; the appropriate age for the timing of sterilization surgery may vary upon the species and breed of your pet. You may also want to consider Pet Health Insurance – a great way to get your new little family member off to a good start. Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider whether your new puppy or kitten may need preventives such as monthly heartworm prevention, and flea/tick preventives. We realize that adding a new family pet can come with lots of questions… but don’t forget, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call.

Senior Pet Care

We love Senior Pets! Senior pets have special needs, and benefit from more regular veterinary visits compared to their younger counterparts. Age-associated conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dental Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Endocrine Disorders

These conditions will start to become more prevalent as your pet gets older. For this reason, we recommend twice-yearly veterinary visits for pets over 7 years of age. Your aging pet may be showing early signs of osteoarthritis such as stiffness after rest or play, difficulty going up or down stairs and reduced activity. Early intervention with joint supplements and prescription arthritis medications when indicated, along with modified nutrition and exercise plans, can greatly improve your pet’s comfort and mobility. Likewise, performing annual screening lab work on your older pet can help identify early stages of medical problems that might go unrecognized, and progress significantly without treatment.

Some pets experience age-related behavioral changes that can be a sign of cognitive dysfunction, which is similar in some ways to dementia. Your veterinarian can recommend diet modification and supplements to help improve your older pet’s mental sharpness. Getting older doesn’t have to be fraught with troubles for your pet… see your vet regularly to help keep your senior pet healthy and comfortable.

Parasite Control

Pets are a part of our families, and preventing parasite infestations is an important part of keeping them healthy. Both ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites) can affect your pet at some point in their life. Ectoparasites, such as fleas and ticks, are not only a nuisance to your pet, but can transmit vector-borne diseases to humans and pets such as Bartonella (cat scratch disease, transmitted by fleas); Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Fleas can also cause a severe dermatologic condition for your pet resulting in very itchy, inflamed skin, due to flea allergy dermatitis.

Roundworms are the most prevalent endoparasite in pets. Others include hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Pets are typically infected with these parasites through accidental ingestion of parasite eggs (which are microscopic) from areas that have fecal contamination from other infected animals. Alternatively, some parasites are acquired through ingestion of intermediate hosts such as rodents (Taenia tapeworm species; Toxocara roundworm species) or fleas (Dipyllidium tapeworm species). These parasites are also a health risk to humans and are considered zoonotic – meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. For example, if a person accidentally ingests roundworm eggs, the larvae can migrate in the body and cause organ damage and potentially blindness. Hookworm larvae in the soil and grass can infect bare skin and cause a condition in people known as cutaneous larval migrans.

Heartworm is another important endoparasite, but one which is not zoonotic. Heartworm infections result from pets being bitten by infected mosquitos. The larval form of the heartworm travels through the bloodstream to the heart where it develops into an adult. The adult heartworms live in the right side of the heart and left untreated, result in progressive heart failure and death. In initial stages of heartworm disease, pets may be asymptomatic. As the condition progresses, symptoms may evolve including a cough and exercise intolerance in dogs, and vomiting/coughing in cats.  Treatment of heartworm disease can be very risky for the pet, and very costly.

Because of the health risk to your family and pets, it is important to keep your pet on a year-round parasite prevention program. There are several preventives that when used properly, are very effective at greatly reducing the risk of your pet acquiring heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and tick transmitted diseases. Additionally, you can help prevent the risk of zoonotic disease to your family by practicing good hygiene (frequent hand washing), avoiding eating unwashed raw vegetables or undercooked meats and cleaning up pet feces in your yard. For more information about pets and parasites, visit petsandparasites.org, and consult with one of our friendly staff!

Pet Dental Care

It is important to keep up with your pet’s oral hygiene. Aside from frequent maintenance such as teeth brushing, the best way to do this is having dental cleanings done every 1-2 years. This will minimize tartar buildup, which leads to an increased bacterial load and progression of gingivitis and exposure of tooth roots. We perform dental procedures every regular office hours of MTWF. The price for a thorough oral exam and dental cleaning under anesthesia is just $195.00 for dogs and $170.00 for cats, and intra-operative IV fluids are also included. If necessary, we extract diseased or devitalized teeth and address gingival disease for nominal additional charge.

A team member performing a dental procedure on a large dog

Diagnostic Care

Digital Radiology

We upgraded to Digital Radiology (X-ray) in July 2011.  Digital Radiology generally produces higher quality X-ray images that can be adjusted to the optimal settings to allow us to see better detail and diagnose subtle abnormalities with greater accuracy.

In-house Bloodwork

We upgraded our bloodwork machines in April 2012, adding the latest technology to our laboratory.  The new complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry machines give us more information than ever before along with an even higher degree of accuracy.  The complete blood count is a measure of the different cell types in the blood such as Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Lymphocytes, and Platelets.  Blood chemistry surveys the function of core organ systems such as the Liver and Kidneys as well as allowing us to measure key electrolytes.  Abnormalities associated with each of these tests can alert us to and aid in the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and disorders.

Our new equipment also allows us to run many more tests in the hospital, enabling us to have same-day results for common monitoring tests such as Phenobarbital Levels, as well as tests associated with conditions such as Cushings and Thyroid disease.

Ultrasound Imaging

Our Doctors have obtained additional training and expertise using ultrasound technology to image the internal structures of the dog and cat and make assertions about whether those structures appear normal or abnormal.  Ultrasound is very helpful in diagnosing disease in many of the organs within the abdomen.

In-House Laboratory

When your pet becomes suddenly ill or in event of an emergency, timely diagnostic test results are extremely important to help your veterinarian determine the best treatment plan. We have state-of-the-art in-hospital laboratory equipment capable of yielding lab results within minutes. Baseline laboratory testing for your sick pet may include:

  • Determination of blood cell counts: changes in white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts, and platelet counts can indicate problems such as anemia, dehydration, infection, auto-immune disease, and certain types of cancerous conditions
  • Blood chemistry tests: these tests assess liver function, kidney function, blood sugar, blood proteins, calcium and phosphorus levels, and pancreatic function.
  • Electrolyte tests: Sodium, potassium and chloride levels may be abnormal when your pet is dehydrated or having fluid losses through vomiting or diarrhea. Intravenous fluids and/or supplementation may be indicated when electrolytes are severely deranged.
  • SNAP tests: point-of-care “snap” tests are available for certain infectious diseases such as Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Canine Parvovirus, Giardia, and Leptospirosis.
  • Coagulation tests: these tests detect deficiency in clotting disorders, which can be present in cases of certain kinds of rodenticide poisoning and in severe liver disease/failure
  • Microscopy: microscopic evaluation of bodily fluids including blood, urine; samples of skin and ear secretions, and needle biopsies of swellings or tumors can be performed in-clinic to assist in the diagnosis of systemic diseases, urinary disorders, skin and ear diseases, and differentiation of benign vs. cancerous tumors.

Our veterinary team will help explain which tests are most important for your pet. It is very important to us to include you in the decision-making process for your pet, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question if you need clarification.

Surgery & Related Services

Routine Surgery

Our Doctors perform routine procedures such as Spays and Neuters with a high level of care at a reasonable cost.

Orthopedic Surgery

We are proficient at addressing a variety of orthopedic conditions with surgical procedures such as Cranial Cruciate Ligament repair, Fracture repair with plates or pins, Luxating Patella (trick knee) fixation, Femoral Head Osteotomy, and Digit or Limb Amputation.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Our surgeons are also highly skilled in an array soft tissue surgeries such as Bladder Stone removal (cystotomy), Tumor Removal, Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Abdominal Exploratory procedures.

Dr. Blake performing surgery

Emergency & Urgent Care

In emergency, seconds count. When you arrive with your pet on emergency or urgent care basis, our highly trained staff will perform an immediate triage assessment to assess the stability of your pet and need for emergency medical intervention. In life-threatening situations, you may be asked for consent to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

The first component of basic triage is assessing your pet’s level of consciousness, airway/breathing (labored breathing or choking, lack of oxygen), circulatory status (pale gums or weak pulses, racing heart), and pain score. Patients needing urgent medical attention, upon consent will be moved to our treatment area for immediate doctor assessment and commencement of emergency care.

Placing an IV catheter and administering IV fluids, giving oxygen supplementation, and pain relief medications may be elements of the initial stabilization of your pet. As your pet is stabilized, your veterinarian will review a diagnostic plan which may include imaging (radiographs, ultrasound) and laboratory evaluation (blood and/or urine tests) to ascertain the severity of the situation and tailor treatment for your pet.

At times, your pet may need advanced care at a referral or specialty center. When this is the case, our staff will discuss options for transfer and referral. Your primary veterinarian will stay abreast of your pet’s status at the emergency facility.

Laser Therapy

In June 2011, we added a new Class IV Cold Laser Diode to our hospital. Laser Therapy can be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of painful conditions such as Degenerative Joint Disease (Arthritis) and Dental Disease.  Laser Treatment also aids in Wound Healing, Ear Inflammation, and Dermatitis.  This is just a short list of the most common problems we treat with laser therapy, some links are provided at the bottom of the page that provide more information about Cold Laser Therapy.

A team member performing laser therapy on an older black dog while another team member assists

Cancer Treatment (Oncology)

Many types of cancer in dogs and cats are very treatable and respond well to chemotherapy or other treatment techniques.  Our staff at Blake Veterinary Hospital is experienced in treating many different types of cancer in pets.  Cancer treatment in pets is a little different than what is done in human medicine.  In human medicine, doctors push the limits of what a patient can withstand with their doses of medications.  This can lead to a poor quality of life for those undergoing treatment.  In veterinary medicine, we don’t treat quite as aggressively as our goal is to extend a high quality life for as long as possible.  Many times, you would not be able to tell that a patient was undergoing chemotherapy.

Blood Tranfusions

A life-saving advancement in the medical field

Blood transfusion is a treatment reserved for anemic patients, often times in emergency cases.  We offer a blood donation program that is open and seeking young, healthy dogs (preferably 70#+) in the nearby area.  We do not have the means of a blood bank to store our supplies, so any requests for a donation is allocated for immediate use.

If you are interested in assisting in a life-saving treatment, please contact us to inquire about your pets’ candidacy to be added to our donor list.  We do require donors to be up-to-date on vaccinations and preventatives.  In gratitude for your pets’ contribution, we will credit $50 into your veterinary account with us for each donation.

Dermatology

If your pet is frequently itching, scratching or biting his skin, he may be suffering from an allergy or skin condition. Veterinary dermatology treats common skin conditions and pet allergies, addressing both the underlying cause for your pet’s discomfort as well as providing immediate relief from painful symptoms. Our veterinarian Dr. Blake has significant experience treating pet allergies and skin conditions. Our advanced diagnostic tests make it easier for our veterinary team to precisely identify the skin condition affecting your pet and take immediate steps to relieve your pet’s pain.

Relieve Your Pet’s Itching with a Veterinary Dermatology Appointment

Veterinary DermatologyYour dog or cat can suffer from the same seasonal allergies that affect humans. Allergic dermatitis is one of the most common conditions affecting pets. Pollen, mold, ragweed and dust mites may trigger pet allergies. Rather than experiencing watery eyes or congestion, however, pets suffer from itchy skin. Repeated biting and scratching creates irritated, moist skin that is susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. Prompt treatment for pet allergies is essential to relieving a pet’s painful itching symptoms and preventing secondary skin infections or more complex dermatological problems.

Food allergies to common pet food ingredients, including beef and chicken byproducts, dairy, soy, wheat, and corn, may also cause pets to itch or scratch their skin. In addition to itchy skin, food allergies can trigger gastrointestinal upset and ear inflammation. Pets with a food allergy may bite or scratch at their skin, frequently bite or lick their paws, and even drag their rear across the ground in an attempt to scratch it. Since pets with food allergies are often allergic to more than one food ingredient, diagnosing a food allergy can be a complicated process.

Our veterinarian has substantial experience diagnosing and treating pet allergies, both those caused by food and by environmental allergens, such as pollen. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an allergy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blake as soon as possible. Diagnostic tests or an elimination diet may be necessary to precisely identify the cause for your pet’s allergies. Once the allergen triggers are identified, Dr. Blake works closely with pet owners to create a custom treatment plan. Depending on the trigger, this may include a dietary change, reduced exposure to a seasonal allergy, and/or medication to manage allergy symptoms.

In addition to treating pet allergies, our veterinary team also treats common skin conditions such as mange and ringworm. Ringworm is a common bacterial infection that can affect both cats and dogs. Pets with a ringworm infection have circular lesions on their limbs and head. The skin will be flaky and some pets may even appear to be “bald.” Ringworm can easily spread to other pets, so prompt treatment is critical. Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites; symptoms of mange include intense scratching and biting of the skin.

If your pet is itching, scratching or biting his skin, schedule an appointment with our veterinary team today!