Medicine & Wellness Care for your Pet
A thorough physical exam is the foundation of your pet's health care. It is critical to the care of all animals, from the very young to "senior citizens." Because young animals change rapidly, we examine them thoroughly at each of their puppy or kitten visits. We recommend annual physicals for mature pets and semi-annual physicals for senior pets. Don't forget; pets age faster than people do! One dog year is approximately equal to seven human years.
Our veterinarians devote a good deal of time to your pet's wellness exam. This allows us to do a thorough examination and advise you on all aspects of your pet's care, including nutrition and behavior. We listen to your pet's heart and lungs, evaluate his or her vision, check for unusual lumps, look at your pet's teeth and oral cavity and check your pet's joints for swelling or stiffness.We also discuss with you any recommended procedures, such as dental cleanings or diagnostic testing that may be appropriate for keeping your pet healthy. These exams help us get to know your pet and treat him or her more effectively.
During your pet's annual visit, we will be happy to address any concerns that you may have regarding behavior changes, changes in anxiety or stress. We strive to provide Fear Free visits by providing separate cat and dog entrances, examination rooms and treatment areas. We provide treats throughout the visit, if your cat or dog has a favorite treat or special diet, please bring the treats with you. Each exam room has comfortable and clean mats, species-specific pharomones and enrichment toys. We have alternate entrances for the dogs who are fearful or do not enjoy being around other dogs. Please let us know and we will arrange the alternate entrance and check out in the exam room. We are able to prescribe calming medications before the visit to help with travel anxiety and lower the stress of physical exams.
Exams give a complete picture of your pet's health and are useful in detecting diseases and other health problems in the early stages - before they become more difficult, and more expensive, to treat.
Before your pet's wellness exam visit, please print and fill out the appropriate questionnaire. Please bring the filled out questionnaire with you to the visit and our staff will update the medical record.
Welcome to AHNA: New Dog/Puppy Questionnaire (first visit)
Welcome to AHNA: New Cat/Kitten Questionnaire (first visit)
24-Hour Nursing Care (Monday AM through Saturday PM)
Your hospitalized pet receives 24-hour (around-the-clock) complete nursing care from Monday morning through Saturday afternoon. Few veterinary hospitals provide 24-hour nursing care and the Animal Hospital of North Asheville is proud to provide your pet with this unique service. Our skilled staff members monitor and chart your pet's vital signs such as pulse, respiration, heart rate, capillary refill, and temperature. The nursing staff members also respond to your pet's bathroom needs, check incisions, maintain fluid pump flow, protect against excessive licking, provide hand feeding and administer any doctor-directed treatments. Keeping your pet pain-free is our promise and our commitment. Our emergency care staff members are well-trained in pain management and carefully monitor your pet's pain level. Appropriate pain medication is immediately provided in order to keep your pet pain-free and comfortable.
Twenty-four-hour nursing care results in a safe, comfortable hospitalization for your pet and less stress for you.
Protecting your pet from contracting deadly contagious diseases has progressed from "vaccinating for everything every year" to a complex science which continues to evolve. We tailor each pet's vaccination protocol according to his or her needs. We take into account age, exposure, environment, health status, breed, lifestyle and travel habits. Our veterinarians vaccinate each pet selectively and as infrequently as possible, all while ensuring adequate protection. Our protocols are constantly updated relying upon information from noted specialty boards, specialists and organizations, such as the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Pet Behavioral Medicine
Behavior problems are the number one reason that owners give up a pet. Oftentimes a behavior problem, inappropriate voiding as an example, is identified to actually be a medical problem (cystitis, bladder stones, increased thirst syndromes). We work closely with you to develop a behavioral plan that meets you and your pet's unique needs.
The Animal Hospital of North Asheville maintains a extensive library of information about behavior problems. Our veterinarians help you recognize, validate and categorize behavior problems. We work with you to develop a treatment plan that includes behavior modification and medication assisted training. Our veterinarians and technical staff members have professional relationships several local well-respected certified trainers: Kim Brophey, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA, CDBC,). Heather Polechio (CPDT-KA, CTC) of MIndful Mutz, Pet Behavior Aid, Rhonda Turpin (CPDT-KA) of Sit, Stay, Bark and Play and Trish Loehr (CDBC, CPDT-KA) or Loehr Animal Behavior. For more complex cases, we may refer you to a local board-certified animal behaviorist.
All of our veterinarians and most of our support staff are Fear Free certified professionals. The whole staff attends continuing education in behavior and low stress, Fear Free handling.
Your pet's nutritional needs are our concern. Some pets require special food, and all pets benefit from a balanced, healthful diet. We have trained and certified staff available to help you with nutritional challenges for your pet. We have the largest inventory of prescription foods in the western North Carolina area. We can also offer advice and provide information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies and other conditions. We are always available to help you choose the right diet for your pet in order to keep him or her happy, healthy and active.
If your beloved pet becomes ill, you can always count on us. We provide your pet with complete internal medicine services, including:
- cancer diagnosis and treatment (oncology)
- cardiology (EKG and echocardiography)
- ophthalmology (injuries, diseases and pressure)
- dermatology (lumps, bumps, infections, allergies, parasites, and itching)
- gastroenterology (many tests are available and we also have video endoscopy and can obtain biopsies and retrieve foreign objects without surgery)
- endocrinology (animals frequently have diseases related to hormone abnormalities)
In order to provide you and your pet with an accurate and speedy diagnosis in a low-stress setting, we have invested heavily in cutting-edge equipment, technology and maintaining a well-educated staff. We also believe that educating you regarding your pet's condition and treatment options results in better care for your pet. We have extensive educational resources and materials in our hospital plus each doctor has a large account for attending continuing education.
Both you and your pet benefit from our large, well-stocked pharmacy. We maintain an inventory of most veterinary pharmaceutical products, including the more unusual items (chemotherapy medications). If we don't stock a particular medication that your pet needs, we can special-order it for you.
We understand how important it is to have immediate access to treatment and medication. When your pet is exposed to a life-threatening situation, you can't wait. We keep a supply of snake anti-venom on hand for pets bitten by poisonous snakes. Although this drug is very expensive and often not stocked by most veterinary hospitals, we stock it because we believe it is vital to your pet's life.
Microchips have helped reunite thousands of pets with their families. The Animal Hospital of North Asheville uses the AVID microchip system, which can be used both nationally and internationally to identify pets. Every animal shelter in the area has a scanner so that found pets can be identified. Proper pet identification helps ensure your pet returns home safely.