Caring for the dogs, cats, and pocket pets of Athens, GA and beyond
Gaines School Animal Hospital is a full-service Veterinary Clinic for small animals, mainly dogs and cats. We also treat rabbits, ferrets, and even pocket pets, such as rats, guinea pigs, and chinchillas.
Your pet’s ongoing care is more important than you think. From their first visit to their senior years, we’ll put together a comprehensive health plan built just for them.
For the health of your pet, regular professional veterinary care is essential, especially for your senior pet. Preventive veterinary care not only lengthens the life of your pet, but it also improves your pet’s quality of life. A regular and complete physical for your pet can increase the chances of early diagnosis and treatment of physical ailments. The earlier in the disease process we can make a diagnosis and recommend treatment, the better the outcome. We also offer geriatric screenings for your older pets, which include urinalysis and bloodwork. We are happy to work with you to determine the best diagnostic, wellness, and treatment programs for your pets.
Vaccines are special proteins that prime the immune system to fight off specific infections. They work in two ways: to reduce the severity of such diseases should they strike or to completely prevent infection.
There are several diseases that can afflict cats and dogs, but most pets can be protected from the worst of them if they are vaccinated properly. For dogs, these include parvovirus, distemper, and infectious hepatitis. For cats, these include panleukopenia, feline herpesvirus, and feline calicivirus; for outdoor cats, protection can include feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus.
Once contracted, these illnesses can prove painful, distressing, and even fatal. Luckily, most of these illnesses can be prevented with vaccination.
Our team is highly skilled and experienced in performing a wide variety of pet surgeries using modern techniques and cutting edge equipment and always adhering to the strictest standards of safety and care. We provide surgical options in a clean and safe environment. Most importantly, our veterinary team can closely track each animal’s vital condition during surgery. Your pet is in safe hands at Gaines School Animal Hospital!
Gaines School Animal Hospital is proud to offer laser surgery. In many procedures, the laser can replace the scalpel and provide a better alternative to traditional surgery.
CO2 lasers produce an invisible beam that vaporizes the water normally found in the skin and other soft tissue. Because the laser beam can be precisely controlled, it removes, or “cuts,” only a thin layer of tissue at one time, leaving the surrounding areas unaffected. This level of control allows us to be extremely precise in every laser surgery procedure.
Why choose laser surgery?
- Less pain – The laser seals nerve endings as it “cuts,” reducing pain. As a result, less anesthesia may be required, reducing the risk of complications. Pain after surgery is also reduced.
- Less bleeding – The laser seals small blood vessels during surgery.
- Less swelling – Laser energy does not crush, tear, or bruise because there is no physical contact with the tissue.
How does this affect your pet?
- Reduced risk of infection – The laser sterilizes as it removes diseased tissue, killing bacteria that cause infection.
- Precision – The laser can remove unhealthy tissue without affecting or removing surrounding healthy tissue.
- Quick return to normal activities – Healing is rapid, and there is less post-operative discomfort.
What procedures qualify for laser surgery?
- Canine spay/neuter
- Feline spay
- Feline declaw
- Canine rear dewclaw removal
- Cyst, tumor, and wart removal
Your veterinarian at Gaines School Animal Hospital will be able to tell you if your pet’s procedure can be performed with a laser.
Laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation and increases blood supply to speed healing with no known side effects. It is used to treat a variety of injuries, wounds, fractures, neurologic conditions, dermatological problems, and pain. Whether your pet is recovering from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, the laser can provide relief and speed healing!
Senior Pet Care
If you notice that your dog has developed gray hair around his snout, it is a sign that they are getting older. Dogs are considered seniors (mature adults) between the ages of seven and eight years old, and cats are considered seniors when they are 10 years old. When your pet is considered a mature adult, they will start needing special care.
Just as our health care needs change as we age, your pet’s health care needs also change. Nutritional needs, exercise habits, and many aspects of your pet’s daily routine can change as your pet ages. But how can you tell the difference between “normal” aging and a medical problem? As in humans, some health issues that affect older pets can begin with very subtle changes that may go unnoticed until the problem has become serious.
Regular wellness visits are important for every stage of your pet’s life, so don’t forget to keep your senior pet’s scheduled wellness appointments. The best way to help protect your pet as he or she ages is to understand the aging process in pets.
Your senior pet’s wellness examination is also your chance to have us address any of your questions or concerns about your pet. We welcome your questions and encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your pet’s health care.
Did you know that poor oral health can lead to infections that can spread through the bloodstream to affect major organs, such as your pet’s liver, kidneys, and heart?
Just as it’s important for you to see a dentist regularly, it’s important for dogs and cats as well. Your pet’s oral health is directly connected to their overall health. Signs of dental disease include bad breath; loose, broken or missing teeth; yellow or brown teeth; red, inflamed, or bleeding gums; difficulty or pain when chewing; pawing at the mouth; and excessive drooling. If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact our team, and we’ll be happy to help.
We are proud that we have the most up-to-date equipment to treat dental disease, including digital dental X-rays. This allows us to detect if there is any disease beneath the gum line that we would not be able to see otherwise. We are often able to see undetected abscesses, broken teeth, resorbed roots, retained roots, and more thanks to dental radiographs.
Common dental problems
- Gum disease is very common in dogs and cats. Gingivitis, or gum disease, is an inflammation of the gum tissue.
- Peridontitis, or periodontal disease, is the most common dental problem for dogs.
- Tooth fractures are the second biggest problem for dogs. This can lead to infection inside the tooth (endodontic disease).
There have been many advancements in digital X-ray technology, and we can now manipulate the digital images that we take. This allows us to diagnose issues that may not be seen on a traditional X-ray. Because the X-rays are digital, we can also easily share the images with specialists or other veterinarians we may consult for more difficult cases.
Our on-site X-ray machine and automatic processor enables us to take radiographs of your pet and have them available within minutes. This allows us to obtain an image of our pet’s internal structures which may help us diagnose illnesses that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
An estimated 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Good nutrition and weight management are key to your pet’s overall health. These healthy habits are created at a young age for your pet, and it’s up to you to help them maintain these habits. Through a good diet and proper exercise, you greatly increase your pet’s chance at a long, healthy life.
At Gaines School Animal Hospital, we can recommend diets specific to your pet’s needs. We also carry a full stock of prescription diets.
We're proud to serve Athens, GA and the surrounding communities.
We're a full-service veterinary hospital in Athens, GA. Our goal is to create a caring, lasting bond with our clients and patients by providing the highest quality veterinary care with excellent client education and service.
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