Hand Crafted Pet Food
Our love for pets is truly the guide upon which we base our products and business.
Over your pets' lifetime you will make many decisions on their behalf but none more important than their daily diet. The quality of the food they eats is completely within your control and it will have both an immediate and long lasting effect.
The pet food industry is severely broken. Many of the stories you read about on the internet are not just urban myth. The allowed ingredients in pet food are atrocious, and in many cases, may be dangerous. The association (not an agency of the government) that purports to care about the quality of food fed to pets is in an organization led by, in part, the largest pet food manufacturers in the country.
We believe that the only way to know for sure that you are feeding your dog a quality diet is to feed meats that have been inspected and approved by the USDA, and vegetables and fruits that have been deemed fit for human consumption. This is why we have decided to carry Just Food For Dogs, a whole food, cooked pet food available in wellness and prescription formulas for dogs and cats.
A thorough examination is performed which includes examining the mouth, ears, eyes, heart, lungs, abdomen, muscles and joints, as well as the skin.
Information about your pet will also be gathered such as diet, lifestyle, past medical issues, and vaccine history. Based on the history, exam findings, and your concerns about your pet, recommendations will be made to help facilitate the health and longevity of your loved one.
One of the most important goals of our job as veterinarians is to prevent diseases before they happen.
This is the main reason that many veterinarians recommend core vaccines and other non-core vaccines based on lifestyle and risk of exposure, as well as heartworm and other parasite testing and prevention, routine blood testing for general health and other diagnostics.
The goal is to set your pet up for success by preventing or limiting the exposure of diseases, and to help your pet have the immunity to protect themselves from infection. With the right plan, many diseases can be prevented and if caught early, treated and cured.
Puppy & Kitten Wellness
Whenever you choose to bring a new puppy or kitten into the home it is a very exciting time! It also can be overwhelming, especially if you are a new pet owner.
There are a lot of decisions to consider including type of diet, how much and how often to feed, which toys and treats are appropriate, training regime, and which vaccines and preventatives to give, just to name a few. Let us help you make these decisions and answer any questions you have about your new family member.
We offer both Puppy and Kitten Wellness Plans that include the appropriate testing, deworming, and vaccination protocols for your new pet based on your lifestyles and goals for your new family member. We want to ensure that they have the best start possible to their young lives.
We all know how scary it can be when a love one goes missing. This is why we recommend and offer a Home Again Microchip for your pet.
The microchip allows pets to be returned safely to you. Most veterinary and rescue centers have microchip scanners, and when a lost pet is found, many people bring these pets to a veterinary hospital or shelter, where it can be scanned.
Once a microchip is found, the company is called and using the microchip information, the pet may be returned to his or her family. This is why it is so important to ensure that the microchip companies have the most accurate and up to date information should you ever move, change phone numbers, or contact information.
When accurate, the microchip is one of the most successful ways pets are safely returned to their homes. In addition, if you ever plan on international travel, a special microchip is required in these circumstances. Our Home Again microchip does count as an international microchip for most countries.
Spay & Neuter
Spaying or neutering our pets is usually recommended unless of course you want to breed. There are many reasons to spay and neuter your pet.
The most common and obvious, is to avoid unplanned and unexpected pregnancies. Other important reasons are to avoid many types of cancers and infections. The risk of mammary/breast cancer in female dogs and cats goes up exponentially with each heat cycle.
In addition, uterine infection and cancers are also very common in intact females, and the risks increase with age. These infections can come on suddenly and be life threatening without treatment. Intact male dogs are susceptible to testicular cancers and prostate disease. Male dogs can also get breast/mammary cancers if not neutered, although less common.
In addition, both male and female dogs not spayed or neutered while young, will have an increased risk of certain tumors over the anal ring area. These are hormone induced, and often do not show up until the pet is much older, but could be prevented if altered before 1 year age.
The age at which we recommend spaying or neutering a dog or cat can vary slightly depending on gender and breed. Our veterinarians can discuss recommendations at the time of an exam.
We offer a full in house laboratory system that allows us to check a complete blood count (CBC), chemistry analyzer to check organ function, and clotting times.
The results are available within 15-20 minutes, which is vital in critical situations or in severely ill pets. In addition, we also offer snap tests for pancreatitis (cPLI), parvo virus testing, heartworm testing, and finally, a new snap that allows us to check for several tick borne diseases.
We also work with a local out source laboratory (IDEXX) that allows us to run almost any test necessary to help make a diagnosis as deemed appropriate. The lab goes out daily, and depending on the test selected, often have results within 24-48 hours.
Digital x-ray & Ultrasound
We offer an in house digital radiography system that takes state-of-the-art x-rays with immediate results, enabling us to image your pet when necessary.
We can also perform OFA radiographs necessary for registering pets for breeding purposes.
In addition, we have an ultrasound machine that allows us the ability to obtain urine samples directly from the bladder, perform pregnancy ultrasounds to determine if your pet is pregnant, and visualize large abnormalities in your pet's abdomen.
Using both of these modalities, we are able to evaluate your pet and further determine what may be the problem and how to correct it.
We also have access to a professional ultrasound technician that can perform full abdominal and cardiac ultrasounds. The images and video are transmitted using telemedicine to a boarded veterinary specialist that can also give us more information, and a treatment plan.
An ECG allows us to assess cardiac function by screening for arrhythmias, chamber enlargements, and sometimes subtle changes that are not noticeable on chest radiographs and exam.
When both an ECG and radiographs are combined, this allows for a more thorough diagnostic interpretation. We can also perform ECG's prior to anesthesia to assess anesthetic risk.
Using telemedicine, we are able to wirelessly perform an ECG on your pet to monitor your pet's cardiac function, which is then transmitted to a cardiologist who can then interpret and send their recommendations.
During your pet's examination, a full evaluation is performed, and the eyes can give us insight into the health status of your pet's health.
If we notice something unusual about your pet's eyes, we are able to perform a few other eye diagnostics. A fluorescein eye stain will allow us to see if a corneal ulcer is present. A Schirmer Tear test is used to determine if your pet is producing sufficient tears.
We also have a TonoVet pen, which allows us to test the pressure in your pet's eyes to determine if glaucoma is present. With early screening and thorough examination, we can ensure your pet has the best eye care possible.
Skin, Ear & Allergy Care
The most common medical ailments that our pets suffer from is infection or inflammation of the skin and ears. The most common cause is allergies.
Allergies can be to food, the environment, or to parasites such as fleas. Allergies are itchy often present in the form of licking/chewing of the feet or various parts of the body, hair loss, scabs or wounds from self-trauma and infection, and ear infections of various degrees.
Medications can help the symptoms and make your pet feel better, but the best way to manage future problems is to determine the cause. This can be challenging and requires a process of elimination from forms of infection or ingredients in food.
While we often cannot change the environment, allergy blood testing can be helpful to identify environmental allergens. Various allergy management treatments are available and vary depending on each case.
Medical Case Management
As Veterinarians, we are trained in the diagnosis, management and treatment of many different diseases.
Depending on the condition your pet is diagnosed with, routine lab work, radiographs, ultrasound, and follow up examinations are necessary for management.
Some of the most common ailments we see and routinely manage are diabetes, Addison's, Cushing's, bladder stones and other urinary tract diseases, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, various types of intestinal disorders, and auto-immune conditions.
All are treated uniquely based on your pet's condition using diet, and various medications.
Soft Tissue Surgery
variety of surgeries are done at our facility such as mass removals, laceration repairs, abscess surgery, ear hematomas, cystotomy (surgery of the bladder), caesarian sections, pyometras, splenectomy (removal of the spleen), to name a few.
Each patient is different and the surgical needs will vary. Our doctors will go into detail about the procedure and its risks, post-operative care, and costs involved.
Some of the most common orthopedic conditions we come across are torn cruciate ligaments, medially luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and fractures.
Most often these conditions are treated surgically and require a board certified surgeon. To ensure that we can meet the needs of our patients, we can arrange the services of a traveling Boarded Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Daniel Frankel. These consultations and procedures are performed at our facility, as well as any follow up care for your convenience.
Dental Care & Oral Surgery
Our pet's mouths are very important, as they allow them to eat, play, and express themselves. At Old Town, we strive to ensure your pet's oral care is met.
During an exam, we will evaluate for the presence of tartar and gingivitis, any oral swellings, tumors, or the presence of excessive tissue. Small dogs and certain breeds are much more predisposed the formation of tartar and periodontal disease.
Some symptoms you may notice are bad breath, difficulty eating or dropping of food, or even bleeding from the gums. Periodontal disease can exacerbate several medical conditions, and in some cases, even cause them. These can include: heart murmurs and disease, diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.
Once oral disease is present, an anesthetic dental is the next step in which we will clean the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler, then probe the teeth. While under anesthesia, evaluation includes the search for mobility, presence of infection, fractures, or pocketing below the gum line.
If any of these is present, extraction is the treatment of choice to remove the source of the pain, disease and infection. Suture is used to close large areas of extractions, and to facilitate comfort post operatively.
Also, if extractions are expected, a local anesthetic is used to ensure that no or very little pain will be felt once the patient is awake, as well as pain medication and antibiotics to ensure infection is controlled.
In addition, oral surgery can include removal of certain growths inside the mouth as well. These are often sent in for testing as tumors in the mouth can be very aggressive, so accurate diagnosis is essential for future treatment.
Cats, and occasionally dogs, also suffer from a disease causing resorptive lesions. This is a very painful condition that results in the melting of the teeth leaving painful sores on the affected teeth.
The only way to treat this condition, is removal of the affected teeth and monitoring for future disease. With careful and early detection, these teeth can be caught and removed to ensure a pain free mouth.
At Old Town, we provide full dental care including anesthetic dental cleanings as well as oral care such as extractions and surgery depending on the need.
We also can refer to a boarded Veterinary Dentist in the Murrieta area for procedures like crowning, bonding, or extensive oral surgery. Feel free to ask us how we can help you and your pet live a longer and healthier life with regular dental cleanings.
Geriatric & Pain Treatment
As our pets get older, several conditions can develop or worsen. Arthritis and other joint injuries are very common in pets as they age.
Also, organ function can decrease with age leading to heart, liver and kidney disease as well. This is why regular exams and labwork is important as our dogs and cats get older.
This is very important as our pets cannot speak to let us know when they are hurting, or if something is wrong. This is especially true in cats, and once a cat begins to look sick, often, they have been sick for a while.
During an exam, we will evaluate the limbs, joints, and back for any evidence of pain. This includes resistance, increasing heart rate, or breathing rate, or posturing letting us know your pet is in pain. These signs can be very subtle, and often can be missed in the home environment, where your pet does not want you to know there is a problem.
If you suspect that your pet is in pain, please call and make an appointment. Please do not give any medications without a direct veterinarian recommendation for your pet, as many human pain medications can be toxic to dogs and cats.
Part of a senior pet exam will include blood and urine testing. These are used to determine the organ function of your pet, which also allows us to choose the best medications that can be used safely in your dog or cat.
If we find evidence of a problem, if caught early, many conditions can be treated and medically managed. There are lots of options for the treatment of pain in our pets, such as oral medications, injectable glucosamine products, laser therapy, physical therapy, even acupuncture.
We can provide options for your pet based on exam and lab findings that best works for them. The goal is to perform routine regular exams, if able, find problems early on, and set up goals for treatment as well as prevention.
Nutrition & Weight Consultation
One of the most important aspects of veterinary care as well as pet ownership, is proper diet and nutrition. Not only is it important to provide the right balance of nutrients, but also to prevent these in excess as well.
Too much nutrition, regardless of how it is provided, such as edible treats, chews, table scraps, etc, will lead to increased weight, which can also lead to diabetes, joint problems and arthritis, breathing conditions, and often, even anal gland problems.
Ideally, we recommend feeding a properly balanced prepared dry or wet pet food, but if you wish to prepare your own food, we can provide guidelines and resources needed to do this.
Pets need the right ratio of vitamins and mineral, and if these are not provided, often pets will gain weight, and still be undernourished because their body is searching for the right nutrition. At Old Town, we can guide you in the right direction based on your pets nutritional and weight needs.
Many people travel with their pets, and depending on your destination, a Health Certificate may be needed.
If you are traveling within the major part of the United States by plane, you will need to consult with your airline as to their requirements. Usually, a standard health certificate is needed with current vaccination information. If you are traveling to Hawaii or another US Island, these often have very specific requirements that can require up to 6 months planning in advance for certain testing needed to allow entrance.
In addition, if you plan on traveling to any international country, you will need a special health certificate for each country you are flying to, and stopping in for layovers. Many countries have very special requirements that can necessitate up a nine to eleven month planning time line, as well as international microchips that have been implanted by a veterinarian, in a specific order in conjunction with certain vaccinations.
If certain vaccines, testing, or microchipping is done out of order, or not exactly like they require, your pet will be denied entry into that country, or may need to undergo a very expensive quarantine period in others. It is very important to follow these instructions to the letter to ensure you and your pet can arrive safely to your final destination.
If you are planning to travel with your pet, do your research and contact us well in advance to inquire about your travel needs.