Regular physical examination is extremely important for your pet. Our veterinarians recommend a complete physical examination for your pet annually, and bi-annually for our senior patients. Whether coming to Heart of Chelsea for an illness or an early detection visit, your pet will be given a thorough physical examination in order to assess their condition. This examination includes inspection of the ear canals and eardrums, evaluation of the eyes and your pet’s vision, inspection of the teeth, palpation of the lymph nodes, evaluation of the heart and lungs, examination of the fur and skin, and palpation of the abdominal organs. This will allow them to reveal any masses or abnormalities superficially or internally. Our examinations can detect a variety of illnesses and prevent many diseases, which may cause discomfort for your pet and become costly to treat.Routine examinations give your veterinarian an opportunity to develop a picture of your pet's overall health. Examinations are also essential in spotting problems before they become serious health issues. During the consultation, your veterinarian will also talk with you about home health care for your pet.
We encourage the use of microchips to give your pet an additional source of identification in the unfortunate event he or she is lost. Microchips are also useful if your pet is traveling outside the country. To microchip your pet, Heart of Chelsea injects a tiny computer chip - about the size of a grain of rice - just under your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. The number on the chip, along with your personal contact information, is then entered into a national database for easy retrieval. Should your pet be lost and found, you'll be promptly reunited. Microchips are often injected at the time of spay or neuter. Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital uses the Home Again microchip system.
Traveling With Your Pet
All of our doctors are USDA accredited veterinarians and can provide you with a valid certificate of health to be used for travel with your pet, whether domestic or internationally. Prior to your visit with us, we recommend you're fully aware of the requirements of the country you're traveling to and the airline you're traveling with. We will provide you with appropriate documentation required for travel and answer any questions you may have to make your trip as stress-free as possible.
Your pet's teeth and mouth are prone to disease and decay just like yours. If your pet has a bad tooth or infected gums, the pain can lead to lack of appetite, and infection can erode the immune system to allow for secondary, more serious infections.
All animals undergoing dental procedures are treated with the same care as animals undergoing surgery. To guarantee the safest outcome, Heart of Chelsea requires all patients undergoing an anesthetic procedure have a pre-operative health exam, a diagnostic blood panel, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). Since animals cannot sit still for a thorough dental evaluation, teeth cleaning and other dental work, general anesthesia with precise patient monitoring is necessary. Our patients' respiratory rate, pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen level within the blood are constantly monitored throughout the procedure to ensure the safest, consistent use of the minimum level of anesthetic necessary.
As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, our facility has incorporated digital dental radiography to ensure we are providing your pet the absolute highest-quality dentistry assisted by the latest diagnostic imaging technology. We take full mouth x-rays to determine the condition of your pet's teeth and roots. These images allow our doctors to assess the integrity of a tooth to make sure we provide accurate diagnoses of the health of your pet's teeth and roots. These images give us a look inside so we can easily determine if a specific area of your pet's mouth is causing them any pain or discomfort. Statistically, periodontal disease is quite prevalent, and with this technology we're able to pinpoint various trouble zones in very little time.
The following are reasons why anesthesia or deep sedation is necessary for oral examination and dental procedures:
- Humans cooperate during dental procedures; however, without anesthesia or deep sedation, dogs and cats do not.
- Dental tartar is firmly attached to the surface of teeth and needs to be removed.
- Scaling above the gum line offers nothing but cosmetic results. Scaling must be done below the gum line.
- Scaling by ultrasonic scalers and sharp hand instruments are necessary in order to remove the dental tartar.
- Any sudden movement can cause injury to the animal or individual performing the dental procedure.
- Dental scaling is performed above and below the gum line. Scaling the teeth above the gum line usually does not cause discomfort; however, scaling below the gum line (or under the gums) can cause discomfort. The area below the gum line, or sub gingival space, is the most important area to clean as periodontal disease begins here.
Animals that have dental work done feel and act healthier. With the cause for their pain or infection gone, their breath will smell fresh again and their immune systems will strengthen. All animals undergoing dental procedures are generally admitted and released from the hospital the same day.
If your pet requires blood or fluid analysis, Heart Of Chelsea Animal Hospital can provide you with this service. We maintain a fully-equipped laboratory with trained and gentle technicians who acquire samples with a minimal amount of discomfort and stress to your pet. In most cases, results are returned within 24 hours (limited by the time of the actual test itself). When the results are available, we provide you with an opportunity to discuss them with one of our veterinarians so you completely understand and recommend a medical treatment plan if necessary.
In addition to blood and fluid analysis, we are equipped to perform fecal examinations, cytology, and external parasite evaluation and bacteriological analysis from skin and ear scrapings.
Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital provides in-house, state-of-the-art digital radiography, with results in minutes. Radiography is highly effective in aiding the doctor with arriving at a diagnosis. Our digital equipment boasts the most advanced technology available to provide you and your pet with the most advanced diagnostic imaging solution. This technology produces high-resolution images in seconds. The software system associated with this technology allows the operator to view and manipulate your pet's images in a variety of ways. The quality of the images produced is unrivaled, and is an invaluable diagnostic tool. On request we are able to provide you a compact disc with your radiographs and/or email the images if you need to go to a specialist. The efficiency of this system allows us to work quickly, therefore minimizing stress caused to you and your pet. We have the proficiency of a board certified radiologist just a mouse-click away for consult if needed.
Vaccines create antibodies which protect your pet from disease. Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease. However, not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Current research in veterinary medicine has linked over-vaccination in senior and geriatric pets with certain immune-related conditions. Our veterinarians tailor a vaccine protocol that is specific to your pet based on his or her lifestyle and immune status. Before vaccinating your pet, blood samples are taken in order to measure his or her immune status to specific contagious diseases.
Since vaccine schedules are subject to change based on the most current information available, we recommend that you call our hospital for information about our vaccine protocols. Rabies vaccination is required by New York State law for both cats and dogs.
Surgical procedures are a serious undertaking for your pet. If your pet requires surgery, Heart Of Chelsea Animal Hospital's state-of-the-art technology and professional surgical team are well prepared.
On the day of the procedure, we will admit your pet between 8:00-9:00 am. One of our licensed veterinary technicians will provide your pet with personalized care throughout your pet’s stay. Prior to the procedure we administer a pre-operative sedative and place a catheter intravenously. This allows us to efficiently deliver medicines and fluids throughout the day. During the procedure, we use the highest quality human-grade anesthesia, and monitor your pet’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and the oxygen level in the blood; while delivering IV fluids to help keep the core temperature stable and to expedite recovery. During recovery one of our licensed veterinary technicians remains with your pet ensuring (s)he is provided with warm blankets and kept pain free. After a routine recovery, the surgeon will call you with an update and will schedule a discharge time.
We highly recommend spaying (surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus) of female dogs and castration (surgical removal of the testicles) of male dogs when they reach 6 months of age. For female dogs, spaying greatly reduces the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer and eliminates unwanted pregnancies and puppies. For male dogs, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostate cancer and behavioral problems. Spaying or neutering at 6-8 months does not cause a change in personality, guarding instincts, intelligence, playfulness, affection or weight.
Spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures and as such require a pre-operative consultation with your veterinarian. This consultation could reveal a variety of health concerns that may need to be addressed prior to undergoing anesthesia. During the consultation your pet will receive a full physical exam, a pre-operative blood screen and an electrocardiogram (ECG). The blood test will provide information necessary to verify that the liver and kidneys can process the anesthesia, and may also alert the surgeon to any underlying infection or blood problems. The ECG shows the function and rhythm of your pet’s heart. If all goes well with the pre- operative consultation, a surgery date is made for your pet. This can be scheduled as early as the day after the pre-operative consultation, and up to 30 days later.
To better care for your pet, our hospital has invested in a new radiosurgery unit. Radiosurgery uses radio waves to make incisions and coagulate bleeding tissues. According to some researchers, radiosurgery is superior to laser surgery in minimizing tissue damage, alleviating pain and controlling bleeding.
Radiosurgery has the advantage in that the electrodes remain cold. Very high frequency radio-waves are transmitted between a plastic-coated antenna and a small needle electrode held by the surgeon. Heat is induced only in the cells that are in contact with the needle electrode. The small amount of heat that is generated gives the surgeon the ability to cut with simultaneous coagulation.
Radiosurgery has many Veterinary applications, including skin incisions, tumor dissection, organ biopsy, gingivectomy and epilation. Veterinary Radiosurgery is extremely safe and highly effective. Clinical benefits include reduced post-operative discomfort, minimal scar tissue formation, maximum readability of histological specimen, enhanced healing and excellent cosmetic results.
Clients often consider declawing their cat due to destructive behaviors in the home. Although declawing can be performed at any age, the younger the cat, the speedier the recovery.
Declawing is an irreversible surgical procedure performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. The back feet are not often used for scratching, which is why the front feet are the only ones declawed. Our radiowave surgical unit allows us to perform this procedure using the best of what technology has to offer. Beyond laser equipment, this unit effectively seals blood vessels and nerve endings as it cuts, which significantly reduces bleeding and pain.
Hospitalization is often required for 2 to 3 days in order to strictly monitor the initial recovery. Declawed cats require special attention immediately after the procedure. Top quality pain medications are administered while hospitalized and often up to 5 days following surgery to ensure minimal discomfort.
Most declawed cats will return to their normal activities. They'll be scratching in no time, but without the trauma inflicted by those sharp claws. With their rear feet intact, they'll still be able to climb small objects, hunt and defend themselves when necessary.
Heart of Chelsea requires a pre-operative examination, blood screen and electrocardiogram (ECG) prior to all anesthetic procedures.