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  • Tick-Transmitted Diseases in Pets

    Tick-Transmitted Diseases in Pets

    Ticks are such small insects, but they can pose a very great danger to us and our companion animals. They prey on the blood of dogs, horses, deer, birds, rodents, and people. There are hundreds of kinds of ticks, including the dog tick and the deer tick.

    The diseases that ticks can transmit to companion animals include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis (a bacterial infection), and babesiosis (a blood disorder).

    Ticks live in cracks and crevices in the home or outside in vegetation, such as grassy meadows, woods, brush, and weeds. They cannot fly or jump, but they have a way of finding a host. Oftentimes, they will wait in wooded or grassed areas and attach themselves to any living creature that brushes them. Ticks can also detect the carbon dioxide given off by warm-blooded animals. They can crawl several feet to the carbon dioxide source.

    Lyme Disease
    The first human outbreak of Lyme disease was identified in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, when an unusually large number of cases of arthritis resembling rheumatoid disease occurred within a small geographic area. Studies concluded that dogs from the same location also developed arthritis similar to that in human Lyme disease. Although Lyme disease is an illness common to humans and animals, there is no evidence that it can be transmitted from one to the other.

    Lyme disease cases have been documented in more than 40 states. The disease is transmitted by the deer tick in the Northeast and Midwest, the black-legged tick in the South, and the western black-legged tick in the West.

    Clinical signs of Lyme disease in pets include loss of appetite, lameness, lethargy, and fever. Scientists believe the disease can affect humans for a long time, causing problems to the joints, heart, and central nervous system.

    Lyme disease vaccinations are available for dogs. If you live in an area that is prone to Lyme disease, consult your veterinarian about the availability and use of this vaccine.

    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    Rocky Mountain spotted fever is primarily found in New England and the West. Dogs that live in wooded or mountainous areas are more susceptible to the disease. Depression, fever, rashes, skin hemorrhages, and joint disease are typical signs of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    Antibiotics are effective if the disease is caught in the early stages. Improvement in the animal’s health is usually seen within the first 12-24 hours. Once an animal has recovered from this disease, it is probably immune for up to 12 months. However, re-infections can occur if the animal is re-exposed.

    Tick Paralysis
    Female ticks release a toxin while feeding that causes tick paralysis. The toxin affects the nervous system and can cause weakness and even paralysis that develops 7-9 days after the tick attachment. The signs can vary from a mild form of unsteadiness of all four legs, to acute quadriplegia that leaves all four legs completely immobilized.

    Tick Removal
    At times, ticks can be difficult to find. Common places to find hidden ticks are the head, neck, ears, or feet. The longer a tick is attached to its host, the greater the chance for disease. If you find a tick, remove it immediately with tweezers. To protect yourself, wear gloves and do not touch the tick. Carefully grasp the exposed section of its body near the pet’s skin. Gently pull until the parasite lets go. You can help prevent inflammation by applying antiseptic onto the bitten area.

    To dispose of the tick, wrap it in several tissues and flush it down the toilet. Or, you can drop it in a small container of rubbing alcohol (ticks won’t drown in water). Do not crush, burn, or suffocate the tick–this may spread the infectious bacteria.

    Preventative Care
    Dog owners should inspect their dogs regularly for ticks, especially after trips outside to the woods or mountains. By thoroughly combing your dog within 4-6 hours of exposure to tick-infested areas, you can help prevent ticks from attaching to your dog.

    Your veterinarian is the best source for more information on the dangers of ticks in your area. Your veterinarian can recommend tick repellents that are available to help ward off tick infestation. When numerous ticks are found, contact your veterinarian for advice on insecticidal bathing or dipping.

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Exotic Pet Care

  • Here at Animal Care Centers we see all animals great or small! We have certain Doctors who will see pocket pets, reptiles, and even our avian friends. If you have a small pet that needs medical attention please feel free to call us and we can help you set up an appointment.

Parasite Control

  • There is no subtle way to say this. To you, your pet is a family member. To a parasite, your pet is food. Parasites like fleas, ticks and heartworm-carrying mosquitos can carry numerous diseases that can seriously harm your pet. Here at Animal Care Center we offer a top of the line selection to help take care of these parasites and to keep you and your pet safe!

Nutrition Counseling and Premium Pet Diets

  • Here at Animal Care Center we recognize the importance that nutrition plays in the overall health and happiness of our pets. Nutritional evaluations and recommendations are included as a key component of our preventative health care protocols. We strive to be a valuable resource of nutritional information and advice for our clients. We believe that good nutrition is vital to your pet’s health. There are so many facets to nutrition so we understand how overwhelming it can be when you go pet food shopping. We are here to help you understand nutrition and what works best for your pet.

    Here are some nutritional topics that we can discuss with you during an appointment:

    • Understanding the basics of healthy nutrition and feeding practices
    • Reviewing life-stage nutritional recommendations for your pet
    • Determining the daily recommended caloric intake needs of your pet
    • Reading and understanding pet food labels


    If you have ever caught yourself walking up and down pet food aisles and not knowing what in the world is best suited for your pet’s diet, don’t fret you are not alone! We too have become frustrated by the vast number of pet foods, which are often misleading and confusing due to marketing schemes used to confuse owners. Also we are concerned about the number of pet food recalls that have occurred over the past several years. For this reason we are here to help you decide what diet works best for you and your pet. We can provide food lists that we can recommend to you or we also carry veterinarian prescription diets. Our prescription diets are specifically designed to help support the following aspects of our pets’ health:

    • Oral health/Dental Disease
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease
    • Live disease
    • Feline Hyperthyroidism
    • Gastrointestinal disease
    • Urinary tract disease, including urinary stones
    • Joint Disease
    • Food allergies
    • Skin disease
    • Heart disease

Geriatric Care and Wellness Programs

  • We care for your pet that has been in your family’s life! As our pets age they have special health needs that may require more attention and care then younger pets. We do recommend twice-a-year wellness examinations. These are important in order to detect or treat medical problems that may arise. A baseline senior wellness exam should be performed so it can be used as a benchmark for measuring changes in your pet. This exam includes a complete physical exam, oral and rectal examination and recording of body weight and body condition. Our Dr. also examines your pet’s ears, eyes, and various internal organs. Some laboratory work may be done, including a complete blood count, urinalysis, fecal exam, and perhaps endocrine blood tests and other diagnostic tools used to detect health baselines or issues.

Travel Certificates and Health Certificates

  • Domestic and International Health Certificates (USDA accredited) – Traveling with your pet? No problem…We can help! There are a number of travel regulations and requirements that exist and vary according to different airlines and destinations. Always make sure you do the proper research before your appointment to determine what is necessary for your unique travel needs. And if there is something you are not sure of you can always give a call! We are always here to help!

Microchip/Pet Identification

  • Microchipping can save your pet’s life. 1 out of 3 pets become lost in their lifetime. According to the humane society, only about 15% of lost dogs and 2% of lost cats ever find their way back home. Almost 4 million pets are euthanized each year! This includes lost pets whose owners were not found in time. Microchips are an easy and inexpensive way to ensure your pet doesn’t become a statistic.

In-House Pharmacy

  • Our full In-House Pharmacy allows us to fill our patients’ prescriptions and quickly handle pet emergency needs.

Endocrinology (hormones)

  • Our doctors are dedicated to diagnosing and treating dogs and cats with a variety of endocrine (hormonal) diseases, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease and Cushing’s disease. The endocrine system is an intricate arrangement of many hormones and control mechanisms. This complex system can fail in many places. Endocrine disorders are both multitudinous and often difficult to treat. However, our doctors here have seen numerous cases and have proper diagnostic tools to effectively diagnose and treat these disorders. If your dog or cat has an endocrine problem or you believe may have an issue please do not hesitate to call us.

Dermatology & Allergy Services

  • We provide complete medical care for skin conditions including serum allergy testing (QVC) and a full line of veterinary skin care products and diets. Companion animals can suffer from many of the same skin conditions that we do. Whether it be allergies, parasites, or a skin infection, our doctors are able to identify, diagnose and treat a wide variety of skin conditions.

Ophthalmology & Tonometry

  • This is the examination and treatment of conditions of the eye. (Tonometry defines the use of a specialized instrument to measure intraocular pressure which is vital in the detection of Glaucoma in our pets.) Animal Care Centers recognizes the importance of your pet’s eyesight and takes great measures to provide both care and client education.


  • Getting a diagnosis of cancer for your beloved pet can be a very devastating and stressful time. We understand and are here to help both you and your pet. Our highly skilled and experienced doctors are trained to deliver compassionate care using treatment options to help improve the quality and duration of your pet’s life.


  • Animal Care Centers provides comprehensive treatments for conditions of the heart. Through the use of such diagnostic tools as an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram (scheduled with our participating mobile specialists) and blood pressure monitoring, we are able to accurately diagnose and successfully treat our patients. We also have an in-house pharmacy for cardiac medications.

Laser Therapy

  • We have class IV Laser Therapy which is used to help relieve chronic pain and accelerates your pets healing and rehabilitation time following surgery. Laser Therapy can also be effectively used for on-going treatment of other chronic joint and muscle pains. We have seen positive results in our senior patients and in those who are challenged by arthritis. Read more about Pet Laser Therapy

Pain Management

  • Before, during, and after is our belief here at Animal Care Centers! We believe advanced medical protocols for the relief of acute and chronic patient pain is vital in our field! Not only do we keep our patients pain free during routine or specialized surgery but we also strive to keep our non-surgical patients who have chronic pain as pain alleviated as possible!

Dental Care & Dental Digital Radiology

  • Here at Animal Care Centers we provide complete dental services for your pet which includes full cleaning, polishing and dental radiographs (x-rays). We also provide before and after pictures to each client.

Anesthesia (including Propofol and Isoflurane)

  • We provide complete anesthetic monitoring which includes pulsoximetry, capnometry, blood pressure, EKG, core body temperature, respiration monitors and ventilator. We also provide warm intravenous fluids during surgery.


  • We can send certain diagnostic procedures via telephone or computer. This is a wonderful tool when needing vital tests done as soon as possible. This includes EKGs and Lab Work.


  • Performed in-hospital by a Board Certified Ultrasonographer. Ultrasound plays a dynamic role in determining treatment plans in special cases.

Digital Radiography

  • We have state-of-the-art Direct Digital Radiography allowing for quick and enhanced-image diagnostics.

Patient Care

  • We provide soft bedding, warm IV fluids and therapeutic warm blankets for surgical and medical patients. We also provide our patients with our undivided attention and tender care.

Critical Care and Emergency Services

  • We provide intensive advanced care and treatments for most critical need patients and emergencies. For extreme cases that require highly specialized treatments we can offer stabilizing care until transferred to a specialist. We also have in hospital oxygen cages that are vital in emergency situations.

Full In-House Lab

  • In our laboratory we can run blood work quickly for emergencies or as a routine measure. Blood work that we can run in house includes: complete blood count (CBC) with manual and LaserCyte hematology testing, chemistry profiles, electrolytes, urinalysis, fecal analysis, cytology, heartworm/erhlichia/anaplasma/lyme disease testing, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus snap tests, and other in house diagnostic snap tests.