Canine Veterinary Medicine
At Latah Creek Animal Hospital, our approach to canine veterinary medicine is aimed at ensuring that your dog lives a happy, healthy life. Perhaps the greatest measure of our success is found in our many happy patients and kind words from our clients. We value the long-term relationship we have with many of our clients. Through good communication and trust, we have built so many great relationships with our clients which allows us to partner with our clients to provide the best care for their dog.
Browse our dog services below.
Click on a service to learn more.
Exam: An annual physical examination to assess the general health of your pet. The doctor will evaluate your pet from nose to tail, looking for any abnormalities and go over recommended treatment / preventative plans as needed. During this visit, we can discuss any concerns that you may have, and answer any questions. This is a great time for the doctor to catch any early changes in your pet’s health.
• Rabies: This is a state-required vaccine that prevents against the Rabies virus. This is a “core” vaccine that is usually done every 3 years if it was boostered appropriately.
• DHPP: This is a combination vaccine that protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza; four viruses that could be very harmful to your pet. This is a “core” vaccine that is usually done every 3 years if it was boostered appropriately.
Lifestyle Vaccinations are non-core vaccines that your pet may need depending on their lifestyle. Some of these vaccines do need to be boostered at 3-4 weeks for them to be considered effective for one year. If you have any questions, or if you are unsure if your pet should get a certain vaccine, please let us know. We don’t like to challenge their immune system with too many vaccines at once, especially for our young or smaller breed dogs. For these reasons we may ask that you come back to get some vaccines at different times if there are many due at once.
• Bordetella: You may have heard this vaccine referred to as the “Kennel Cough” vaccination. This doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of your pet contracting it (although it is worth mentioning that no vaccine is 100% effective), but if your pet does get it then they will improve much quicker than if they had not received this vaccine. We carry an oral form of this, so your pet will not have to be poked again. This vaccine is automatically good for 1 year, however, some boarding facilities require it every 6 months.
• Leptospirosis: Recently we have been seeing more Leptospirosis cases, we suspect due to Harvey and the high rainfall we’ve had these past years. Now we are recommending this vaccine to patients that go to the dog park, daycare, or will be in a situation where they might drink water that wildlife may have access to. Leptospirosis vaccine (needs to be boostered in 3-4 weeks, then annually).
Heartworm Test: A small blood sample is collected to test for Heartworms, a blood parasite that could be extremely harmful to your pet if left untreated. Please ask us about our heartworm preventative options, which are recommended year-round in this area.
Fecal Check: A stool sample is brought in and centrifuged with a fecal solution in order to check for intestinal parasites. We will typically send this test out to our lab, but will also do a thorough evaluation in-house if your pet is experiencing gastrointestinal issues, or if they have recently been in a shelter/breeder quarters.
Annual Wellness Labwork: This labwork checks many things to help find abnormalities in your pet’s blood and organs. It also gives us a good baseline to compare to if there are any issues in the future.
Congratulations on your new addition to the family! Now that you have a new puppy, we want you to keep them happy and healthy. The best way to do this is to start at the beginning with an examination soon after they join your family. As your puppy grows, the Latah Creek team will work with you to help support your puppy, strengthen your bond, and provide you both with the tools necessary for your puppy to live a long and happy life.
Puppy: Your new puppy will receive a complete physical examination and a fecal screening or dewormer during their first visit with us. The doctor will assess the general health, age, and developmental progress of your pet before vaccinations. At this time we will discuss any abnormalities, treat for common intestinal parasites, provide you with nutrition information, and discuss a vaccine schedule appropriate to their age and previous vaccine history. We also provide you with a puppy pack at each visit, with literature appropriate for each stage of your puppy’s physical and mental growth. We will go over this pack with you at each visit to allow you to ask questions.
As your pet ages, they may be faced with some health challenges. We will be here for you and your pet throughout the years to help prevent, treat, and talk you through these issues. We take the time to make sure that you have the information you need to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Exam: We recommend having an exam every 6 months to assess the general health of your pet. The doctor will evaluate your pet from nose to tail, looking for any abnormalities and go over recommended treatment / preventative plans as needed. During this visit, we can discuss any concerns that you may have, and answer any questions. This is a great time for the doctor to catch any early changes in your pet’s health.
Vaccines: We will discuss the core and lifestyle vaccine options for your pet. Your pet’s lifestyle and needs may change over time – we will discuss these changes and any new recommendations during your visit.
Senior Wellness Labwork: Our lab offers a discount on healthy wellness visits to help us identify any issues early on. This labwork bundles the fecal check, heartworm and/or FeLV/FIV test, a Complete Blood Count (CBC), Chemistry evaluation, Thyroid check, and Urinalysis for dogs. These tests check many things to help find abnormalities in your pet’s blood and organs. For our senior patients, the Thyroid and Urinalysis tests are added to check some additional values that help identify problems that are more common in older pets. Preventative medicine is the best medicine, as it increases the chance of successful treatment.
As your pet ages, we will be extra attentive to the following issues; arthritis, abnormal kidney and liver function, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and hypertension. The doctor may make additional recommendations if they suspect that your pet has any of these conditions.
We take pride in our high standard of care and an excellent anesthetic team here at Latah Creek. We monitor your pet’s heart rate, EKG waves, SPO2 Oxygen concentration, respiratory rate, blood pressure (systolic, diastolic, and MAP), mucous membrane color, capillary refill time, and other values continuously throughout the procedure. During surgery, the doctor is always present and there is a technician solely dedicated to monitoring your pet’s vitals, recording them, troubleshooting any issues, and communicating those values to the doctor. Your pet will receive an antiemetic injection to help curb any nausea, as they are prone to feel this way after surgery. IV fluids will be administered constantly to help maintain blood pressure and keep your pet hydrated, and they will stay on constant heat support to prevent hypothermia. Once your pet is fully awake, they can go home or stay with us until closing. We will give them a small meal to get their digestive system moving and to prevent hypoglycemia, offer a small amount of water, and take them on a walk (depending on their species!). Typically we will offer them some GI canned food, as it is easy on their stomach. However, if you have a specific diet that you’d prefer we give, feel free to bring some with your pet at drop off.
Spay & Neuter Procedures: Although there are shelters that perform these procedures in bulk, we are happy to be able to offer your pet individualized care and thorough monitoring before, during, and after surgery.
Other surgeries we offer
• Mass removals
• Oral Surgery
• Cystotomy Procedure
• Foreign Body Removal
• And More!
We understand that cost is a concern when considering your pet’s medical needs. Some clinics may advertise extremely low prices for anesthesia or surgery. It is important to make sure that certain standards are being met for your pet during their surgical procedure. Here at Latah Creek Animal Hospital, you can expect a high standard of medicine for your pet. We take all necessary precautions to make sure your pet comes home happy and healthy!
Here is how we are meeting the standards for our surgical procedures.
Will my pet have pre-anesthetic labwork prior to anesthesia?
• Preanesthetic labwork helps the doctor assess the pet’s overall health, anesthetic risk and allows them to make the best choice of anesthetic protocol. Every pet 7 years or older will receive labwork if not done in the previous 3 months. It is highly recommended for all other age pets.
Will my pet have IV fluids during the procedure?
• Every pet undergoing anesthesia will receive IV fluids to keep hydration and blood pressure stable during the procedure. This is not optional.
Will my pet receive pain medication?
• Pets perceive pain the same way as humans. Sometimes it is hard to tell when a pet is in pain. All pets undergoing surgical procedures or dental procedures with extractions will receive pain medication during the procedure and will go home with pain medication.
Will the procedure be done in a sterile surgery room?
• The most common complication after surgery is infection. Surgical procedures are performed in a sterile surgery room. The surgeon should be wearing a sterile gown, sterile gloves, a mask, and a cap.
Will my pet be monitored by dedicated staff during anesthesia?
• There will always be at least one person (in addition to the surgeon) monitoring your pet under anesthesia. This person watches for changes in heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, and blood oxygen levels. At Latah Creek, we have a doctor and a technician with the patient at all times.
Will my pet have dental x-rays? (Dental Procedures Only)
• The only way to find most dental diseases is by taking x-rays of the teeth below the gum line. We will take x-rays as needed after a thorough oral exam.
A professional dental cleaning, done under anesthesia, includes all of the services listed below and should only be done by veterinary professionals.
Radiographs: X-rays will be done as needed based on your pet’s needs. Dogs & Cats are less likely to get cavities and more likely to have periodontal disease (bone loss, abscesses, etc. underneath the gum-line). These things cannot be fully evaluated without dental radiographs. The radiographs, coupled with the oral probing and evaluation, tell us the whole story. In order to take radiographs, they need to stay completely still and not bite down on the sensor, which can only be accomplished during general anesthesia. Additionally, we would not be able to use our ultrasonic dental scaler underneath the gumline in order to get all the plaque and tartar off if the patient were awake.
Doctor’s Oral Exam: The doctor will evaluate each tooth to identify any crown fractures, mobility, large pockets, or other abnormalities. The doctor will also do a complete oral evaluation. They will make sure that your pet’s tongue, cheeks, hard palate, soft palate, tonsils, frenulum, and facial structures are normal.
Scaling: We use an ultrasonic scaler to quickly remove the plaque and tartar on the teeth and underneath the gumline. Once the teeth are completely clean, they are polished. Polishing them will make the surface of the teeth smooth. A smooth tooth makes it harder for plaque and bacteria to adhere to. This will help maintain your pet’s dental health.
Extractions: We are in the business of saving teeth. However, sometimes a tooth is compromised enough that it is recommended to be extracted. We will try to anticipate teeth that may need to be extracted and have hat reflected on the treatment plan but often we find additional teeth that may need extracted after the tarter is removed. In the event we find unexpected problems we will give you a call and discuss this recommendation with you mid-procedure at the phone number provided on the consent form.
Periodontal Treatments: Sometimes a tooth looks like it’s on it’s way to being removed, but doesn’t have enough bone loss to warrant extraction. These teeth typically have large pockets but are otherwise healthy. Here at Latah Creek, we are able to usually save these teeth with a product called Clindoral. Clindoral is a filler that contains an antibiotic. This filler hardens to form a seal between the tooth and gum. This protects the pocket from further infection and helps facilitate gingival growth so that the affected tooth is no longer in danger of extraction.
Eye issues can be very painful. Our goal is to diagnose the issue quickly in-house so that we can bring your pet comfort that same day. Signs of an eye issue include; excessive blinking, keeping the eye(s) closed more than normal, redness, or rubbing their eye(s) and face.
Fluorescein Stain: If we suspect that a corneal abrasion/ulcer could be present, this test will give us an answer. The “stain” will only stick to the layer beneath the cornea, highlighting the problem.
Schirmer Tear Test: This will help us diagnose Dry Eye (KCS). Dry eye can be painful for your pet and usually requires continuous treatment to keep them comfortable.
TonoVet Glaucoma Screen: We are able to check your pet’s eye pressures in-house. This will help us check for pressure abnormalities in relation to glaucoma.
Ear infections can be common in some pets. Allergies, floppy ears, certain breeds, and recent moisture in the ears (from baths, swimming, or high humidity) can all cause ear infections. We recommend that you clean your pet’s ears regularly to help prevent infection. Using a cleaner for dogs that cleans and dries the ear canal is important. We would be happy to show you how to clean your pet’s ears at your convenience. Signs of an ear infection include; brown discharge from the ear(s), redness, scratching, and shaking the head.
Ear Swab Modified Wright’s Stain: Commonly referred to as an “ear cytology”. We will get a swab of the ear discharge and check for yeast, bacteria, and other signs of infection. The swab contents are placed onto a microscope slide and submitted to a 3 part stain to highlight yeast, bacteria, and other signs of infection, and then evaluated underneath a microscope. The treatment depends on what kind of bacteria we find if yeast is found, and how many organisms of each are appreciated.
Microscopic Ear Mite Exam: An ear swab is taken of the discharge if ear mites are suspected. Then, the contents are fixed to a slide with mineral oil and evaluated underneath a microscope to check for the actual mites, and their eggs.
Common skin tests include the ones listed below. We are able to do more complicated skin tests when using our outside lab, so please contact us if you have a specific test in mind. A food trial is a more detailed diagnostic test that is recommended sometimes and can vary based on your pet’s needs. If this test is recommended then you and your doctor will discuss this in detail during your visit.
Skin Cytology: This test is done to assess what kind of organisms are present on the skin so that we can treat them appropriately. A skin sample is taken with either a blank slide, an adhesive slide, a saline cotton-tipped applicator, or all three. The sample(s) are then stained using a three-part stain that will highlight any bacteria, yeast, blood cells, and other signs of infection, and then evaluated under a microscope.
Skin Scraping: You may also hear this referred to as a “mite check”, as it is done to check for skin mites. This test requires that we get a sample of hair and skin in the affected area. Unfortunately, some mites prefer to be deeper in the skin, so this test typically draws a small amount of blood. Once the sample is collected, we look at it under the microscope in order to identify any mites that may be present.
Fungal Culture: If ringworm is suspected, or if we are trying to rule out ringworm as a cause, then we will collect samples of hair and skin flakes from the affected areas and place them on a ringworm culture. The culture is then placed in a warm dark area and is monitored daily for any suspicious growth. We also can use the woods lamp if we suspect ringworm
Bloodwork and In House Laboratories
We are able to run many different tests in-house so that we can help your pet as soon as possible with the appropriate treatment plan.
CBC: A Complete Blood Count checks your pet’s red and white blood cells for quantity abnormalities. This will help tell us if your pet is anemic, has an infection, a platelet disorder, and more.
Chemistry: This will test your pet’s blood chemistries, which will help tell us if your pet’s organs (such as their liver and kidneys) are functioning properly.
T4: This test will evaluate your pet’s thyroid function. This is especially important in senior pets.
SDMA: Checking an SDMA is a fairly new practice that helps identify any acute, or early, kidney abnormalities.
Urinalysis: A Urinalysis will test many components of your pet’s urine to check for signs of infection, crystals, evaluate pH value, concentration, and more.
Heartworm: This is a blood test that checks for the adult female heartworm antigen. If your dog has been on heartworm prevention routinely (without missing any doses), then we check this value annually. If your dog has not been given regular, consistent doses of prevention, then we will check this value prior to restarting a preventative.
Parvo: This test allows us to quickly check for Parvovirus in-house. This disease is more common in puppies but can happen at any age- especially if the pet’s Parvovirus vaccine was not boostered properly.
Lepto: This test allows us to quickly check for Leptospirosis in-house. Sometimes it is preferable that this test is sent to the lab, and that depends on the situation and your doctor’s recommendations. Leptospirosis is contracted by a pet coming into contact with infected water, such as a stagnant puddle of water that has been contaminated by wildlife.
FeLV/FIV: This is a feline specific test that allows us to test for both Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. We always test for these viruses in postadoption kittens, and again after 6 months of age. We also may test for this if your cat has a history of exposure to strange cats.