Preventive Health Care
At Risius Family Veterinary Service, we strongly believe in the importance of preventive health care. Most conditions are much easier to prevent than to treat. Early detection allows us to intervene when treatments are often more simple, less invasive, more effective, as well as cost effective. Pets age much faster than we do so regular check-ups are key to catching problems early and addressing them right away. At Risius Family Veterinary Service it is our goal to educate and involve our clients in a lifetime health care plan for their special pets. No two pets are alike, so we perform a risk assessment and develop a customized health plan for each pet. At your pet’s annual wellness exam, we will collect a medical history from you and then the doctor will perform a “head to tail” physical exam. We will also take the time to address any specific health concerns that you may have about your pet. What We Will Ask You About:
What The Vet Will Look At During The Exam: The doctor will combine your history and the exam findings, with your pet’s age, breed, and lifestyle. From all of this information we will assess your pet’s risk of potential disease and develop a preventive health care and vaccination plan that is best for your pet. This Plan May Include:
- Your pet’s diet and water consumption – this provides us with valuable information about potential risks for diseases including obesity, pancreatitis, ingestion of toxins, and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Your pet’s bathroom habits – we need to know if your pet has any changes in his or her urination or bowel movements. Also, we’ll ask you to bring in a fresh stool sample so that we can check for intestinal parasites.
- Your pet’s home environment and travel – this helps us understand what potential risks your pet may be exposed to so that we can recommend a vaccination and preventive medicine schedule to keep your pet protected. Some of these risks for dogs and cats include heartworm disease from mosquitoes, infections and anemia caused by fleas, ear mites and parasites (both internal and external) from other animals. Dogs may also be at risk for contagious cough from other dogs, Lyme disease from ticks, Leptospirosis from other dogs as just a few examples.
- Medical and prescription history – this especially important if we haven’t seen your pet for its whole life or if you didn’t adopt it as a puppy or kitten. Please let our technicians and doctors know about any concerns about abnormal health or behavior issues that you’ve noticed with your pet. We will also ask about any current medications, vitamins, or supplements that your pet is taking.
- Preventive medications – what medications are you using to prevent heart worm disease, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks. We will also ask when you last gave them and if you need any refills while you are in for your pet’s health check.
- Age and lifestyle appropriate vaccinations
- Fecal and heartworm testing for dogs
- FeLV/FIV/HW testing for at-risk cats
- Age appropriate screening tests such as a complete blood panel and urinalysis
- Nutrition counseling
- Heartworm, flea, tick, and intestinal parasite prevention
Large Animal Production/Herd Health
We are deeply rooted in this community. We understand the people and the animals, and relationships mean everything to us. And we will treat your herd like it was ours. We will help you to maintain and grow your family's business, no matter what your veterinary needs are.
Oral Health is about more than just a great smile and good breath! Your pet’s teeth are very important to his or her overall health and wellness. More than 80% of dogs and cats over the age of 3 have active dental disease. At every exam, we will check your pet’s teeth, gums and oral cavity for signs of dental disease. In addition, you may notice the following signs at home. Signs of Dental Disease
When your family veterinarian recommends a professional dental cleaning for your pet, you can trust us to take great care of him while he’s in our care. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis so that your pet will be home and resting comfortably with you before the end of the day. Our veterinary technicians start by running pre-anesthetic blood work and placing an intravenous catheter. The blood work screens for conditions that may cause complications with anesthesia, and lets the doctor plan the safest anesthesia for your pet. The intravenous catheter allows us to safely administer sedative and anesthetic medications and fluids if necessary. For your pet’s comfort and safety, all dental cleaning are performed under general anesthesia with your pet intubated (a breathing tube placed in the windpipe) to maintain a secure airway. A highly trained veterinary technician will then clean off tarter build up and polish all surfaces of your pet’s teeth, including under the gum line. Next, a veterinarian will check every tooth looking for pockets of infection, gum recession, loose or broken teeth, and any growths or masses in the mouth. She will extract any teeth that are damaged. Your pet will be monitored closely during recovery. We administer pain medications and antibiotics as needed. A veterinary technician will discuss your pet’s dental cleaning with you, answer any questions that you may have, and send you home with written instructions and a home care kit. At Home Preventive Dental Care There are many ways you can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy.
- Bad breath
- Swelling on the jaw or below the eye
- Excessive drooling
- Red gums
- Change in appetite
- Discolored teeth
With any of these products, make sure to ask your family veterinarian before using. The veterinarians at Risius Family Veterinary Service can help you find which products will work best for you and your pet.
- Brushing is best – daily teeth brushing with a pet-friendly tooth paste is the best way to prevent plaque and tarter build-up which can lead to periodontal disease.
- Dental rinses – a good alternative for preventing plaque if your pet doesn’t allow daily brushing
- Water additives – also helps prevent plaque formation and keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh
- Dental diets or chews – these help prevent plaque accumulation through mechanical action
We understand that surgery can be stressful for both you and your pet. Our caring and knowledgeable staff will take the time to explain your pet’s need for surgery as well as what will happen while your pet is staying at our hospital. We are happy to answer any questions that you might have before, during, and after your pet’s surgery. We will treat your pet as if he was our own while he is at our hospital so you can rest assured that your pet is in good hands with the doctors and staff at Risius Family Veterinary Service. Neutering and Spaying Neutering, or castration, is the surgical removal of both testicles in male dogs and cats. This is usually done between 4 and 6 months of age to prevent him from breeding. This helps protect your pet and helps to control the overall pet population. It also prevents testicular cancer and decreases the risk of some other diseases. Spaying, technically called ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of both ovaries and the uterus of a female dog. It is done to prevent unwanted pregnancies, help control the pet population, and to decrease the risk of dangerous health conditions such as mammary (breast) cancer, uterine infections, and other types of cancers. For most dogs and cats we recommend having these surgeries done before 6 months of age. However, for some dog breeds your veterinarian may recommend delaying the spay or neuter procedure until they are a little older. Our veterinarians will work with you to determine what is best for your individual pet. Our team will walk you through every step of the surgical process and answer any questions that you may have. Soft tissue surgery Our veterinarians are highly skilled at many soft tissue surgical procedures. Soft tissue surgeries that are commonly done at Risius Family Veterinary Service include mass (tumor) removals, eye surgeries, abdominal exploratory surgery, and stomach or intestinal surgeries to remove obstructions caused by non-food items in your pet’s digestive tract. Orthopedic Surgery Our veterinariansStifle radiograph are also qualified to handle the most common orthopedic conditions of dogs and cats, which can include the following.
When we feel it is necessary, your veterinarian may refer you to a specialized, board certified veterinary surgeon to get the pest possible care for your pet.
- Ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in the knee of dogs (ACL injury)
- Luxating patellas (knee cap dislocation)
- Pain caused by hip dysplasia and arthritis
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Injuries or conditions requiring amputations
- Declaw procedure in cats
Risius Family Veterinary Service is proud to offer one of the latest technologies in the field of wound healing and pain management , Class 4 Companion Therapy Laser treatment. It provides us with a safe, drug-free and surgery-free tool to relieve pain and promote faster healing in your pet. What is a therapeutic laser? A laser is an amplifier of light. We use different types of lasers almost every day of our lives. Common examples of low and medium power lasers are cd players, laser printers, bar code scanners, and laser pointers. Class 4 lasers are the most powerful lasers available in the healthcare industry. These are grouped into surgical and therapeutic lasers. Surgical lasers cut tissues, therapeutic lasers heal tissues. How does a therapeutic laser work? The therapeutic laser provides energy to stimulate individual cells deep within tissues, giving the cells more energy to optimize its own role in the body’s natural healing process. The therapy laser has many beneficial effects including:
What conditions respond to laser therapy? The therapeutic laser can provide your pet with relief from many common disorders that cause pain and inflammation. Some of the disorders that we commonly treat with laser therapy include:
- Relives pain
- Reduce inflammation and swelling
- Accelerates tissue repair and cell growth
- Improves circulation
- Increases the cells’ metabolic activity
- Reduces fibrous tissue (scar tissue) formation
- Improves nerve function
- Accelerates wound healing
- Stimulates acupuncture trigger points
Are there any contraindications to using the therapy laser? Is it safe? The therapeutic laser is very safe to use as prescribed. It has been cleared by the FDA and has been safely used on humans and animals for years with virtually no side effects. It cannot be used in the eye as it can damage the retina. For that reason, protective eye wear must be worn by anyone in the room when the laser is in use. It also should not be used on an area where cancer is present. The therapy laser provides a drug-free, surgery-free alternative for the relief of pain and inflammation. It can provide pain relief without the side effects of systemic pain relieving drugs. So, it is very safe for older patients that suffer from kidney or liver disease. What is a typical protocol for treating a pet with the therapeutic laser? The Class 4 laser is the most powerful laser available today, which translates into shorter treatment times for your pet. Laser therapy sessions are prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian, performed by a veterinary technician and last for 5-15 minutes. For chronic (long-term) conditions we recommend starting with a package of 6 treatments over the course of 3 weeks. Pets that respond well may then need occasional maintenance sessions to keep them pain free. For wounds, lacerations, and other acute (short-term) conditions treatments are typically done every 2-3 days until the area is healed.
- Pain caused by hip dyplasia
- Numerous skin conditions
- Post surgical pain
- Wounds and abscesses
- Anal gland abscesses
- Degenerative joint disease
- Insect bites/stings/allergic reactions
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
At Risius Family Veterinary Service we are committed to working with you to keep your pet as healthy and happy as possible. A key component to that health and happiness is nutrition. At every wellness exam we will gather a detailed diet and nutrition history from you. It is so important that you share openly and honestly with us so that we can help your pet! We will ask about:
Weight Management Over half of all household pets are considered overweight or obese. You can use this tool to get an idea if your pet may be overweight, but the best thing to do if you’re concerned is to make an appointment with one of our family veterinarians. Our staff is trained to calculate your pet’s body condition score, estimate his or her body fat percentage, and make an exercise and nutrition recommendation. Our veterinarians can formulate an individualized weight loss or maintenance plan for your pet. We can base this plan on your pet’s current food or make a recommendation for a food that may better suit your pet’s nutritional needs at their current life stage and life style.
- What type of food your pet eats, how much you feed them and how often
- How many and what types of treats you give your pet
- If your pet receives any table scraps or human food
- If your pet has any food intolerances that you know of
Allergy Diagnosis & Management
Does your pet keep you up at night licking and scratching? Let us help you both get some relief! Our veterinarians have a lot of experience in the diagnosis and management of allergic skin disease. Allergy diagnosis and management requires a lot of patience and our veterinarians will help you figure out what your pet may be allergic to and what treatments may help to best manage the symptoms. This is often done by taking a very thorough history, performing a full physical exam, and completing some diagnostic tests such as skin scrapings, swabs of the skin or ears, and blood testing. In some cases our doctors may recommend an diet trial or referral for intradermal allergy testing. Causes & Contributing Factors Of Allergic Skin Disease:
Signs Of Allergic Skin Disease:
- Outdoor environmental allergens such as pollens
- Indoor allergens such as dust mites and mold
- Food allergens
- Flea saliva
- Infections – bacterial or fungal
- Hormonal imbalances of the skin
- Hair loss
If you are concerned that your pet may be suffering from allergies or has any of these symptoms, please contact us today.
- Scratching at skin or ears
- Excessive licking
- Head shaking
- Odor of the skin or ears
- Discoloration of the skin
- Hair loss