Appointments begin by 9:10am Monday through Friday. Medical appointments and well care checkups are scheduled daily. We are open late Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to accommodate a working schedule.
Drop off appointments can be arranged for medical problems. You will be asked to fill out a detailed history and to provide a phone number where you can be reached that day.
Prevention of disease and early treatment of disease are the essentials of our philosophy of optimal pet care and will ultimately save you time and expense, as well as save your pet unnecessary suffering. Recognizing the speed of our pet’s aging, relative to our own, underlines the importance of thorough yearly physical and dental examinations. Fecal examinations for internal parasites, heartworm testing and prevention, flea and tick control and vaccinations are all essential components of preventative medicine. Vaccinations for puppies and kittens can begin as early as 6 weeks of age and will be tailored to your pet’s individual needs throughout the years. As your pet ages, we may recommend blood and urine analysis as part of your pet’s preventative care.
We offer a wide-range of surgical services and follow the strict surgical guidelines established by the American Animal Hospital Association. Whether your pet is scheduled for a spay or neuter or a surgery as complicated as a gastric torsion, we follow the same guidelines of careful anesthetic monitoring, sterile procedures and close post-op monitoring. Surgery is never to be taken lightly and we never forget that. From the time your pet is anesthetized until he or she is out of recovery, a dedicated technician never leaves their side. Throughout that time, they run through a constant flow sheet monitoring your pet’s heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels, body core temperature and reflexes. We use the safest in gas anesthesia, with multiple alarms attached to the anesthetic machine programmed to go off at the earliest change in a pet’s vital parameters.
We perform a variety of surgeries, some of which are elective surgeries such as ovariohysterectomies (spays) and orchiectomies (neuters). We remove a variety of skin masses, mammary tumors and eyelid masses. We’ve removed multiple intestinal foreign bodies including corn cobs, batteries, string (especially in cats), underwear and yes, even a rubber ducky. We’ve done reconstructive facial surgery, removed bladder stones and anal glands. This list is by no means comprehensive, but just examples of how complex the body can be.
And yes, the Capital District is home to several referral specialty practices. If your pet requires spinal surgery, a total hip replacement or surgery for a liver shunt (to name a few) we can refer you to the best.
New Puppy and Kitten Counseling
The first question to answer is who would fit better in your household, a cat or a dog? And then there is the question of breeds and of course where is the best place to find your new friend?
Once you bring your new pet home, we encourage you to schedule the first of your well puppy/kitten exams. At each exam we will discuss a variety of topics including vaccination schedules, worming schedules, preventative care but also housebreaking, obedience training, apprpriate and inappropriate toys, play biting and scratching posts to name just a few. We want your new friend to have the best chance for a long, healthy life as part of your family.
Senior Wellness Exams
As animals age, there are many problems that we anticipate depending on the species and the breed. As cats get older, we see many who develop kidney failure, hyperthyroidism or hypertension. As dogs age, we often see heart failure, kidney failure, hypothyroidism, cancer and severe arthritis. Our goal however, is to identify these and other problems in the early stages. With early identification and treatment, we can slow the progress of many diseases, keeping them at the early stages for a longer period of time.
When your pet comes in for their yearly examination, we will ask a variety of questions to determine if your pet is starting to show early signs of illness that may be so subtle you’re not aware of it. Once they reach seven years of age, we’ll start recommending adult, senior or geriatric screens where we evaluate their blood and urine for evidence of disease.
As your pet ages and problems occur, we may recommend twice yearly visits to help us evaluate the progression of those problems.
Our goal as always is to keep you informed and work with you to help your senior pet enjoy a quality of life.
When we discuss your cat’s or dog’s teeth, our concern is not just how white your pet’s teeth are. We’re looking at the tartar buildup, but we’re also looking for gingivitis (redness along the gumline), periodontal disease (recession of the gums), fractured or missing teeth, evidence of root abcesses and FORL lesions (feline oral resorptive lesions – think cavities). And dental disease doesn’t stop there. Infections of the mouth spread to other organ systems. Dental disease plays a role in infections of the heart, bronchitis and renal failure.
Dental care encompasses a variety of options, including brushing, dental chews and chlorhexidine rinses. For those of you who don’t have the time or a pet tolerant to brushing, there are rinses that can be added to their drinking water.
The reality however is that several times in your pet’s lifetime, he or she will need a thorough dental cleaning under anesthesia. We use ultrasconic scaling, polishing and fluoride treatments to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
All of the options above are available at Bethlehem Veterinary Hospital and can be discussed at your next exam.
It is well known that pet obesity is on the rise, mirroring the situation in people and carrying with it increased risks of diabetes, heart, respiratory, liver, skin and joint disease. Affected pets have a reduced life expectancy and often a diminished quality of life as well.
Young puppies and kittens often suffer from chronic intermmittent diarrhea, are thin, with poor dry coats.
We see many cases of inflammatory bowel disease (similar to Chrohn’s disease in people) with chronic episodes of vomiting.
Many older cats suffer from renal failure and constipation.
All of theses cases have one thing in common….a need for nutritional guidance. Our doctors and staff are well versed in nutritional counseling and consider it an importance piece of your pet’s overall healthcare.
None of us expect our pet to stray, but one quick moment of looking the other way and your pet can escape out the door, break through the fence or slip out of its leash. The good news is that in addition to the traditional collars and tags (which don’t always stay on) we have a new option to permanently identify your pet using a microchip. The procedure is very straightforward involving a quick injection to insert the chip under the skin between the shoulderblades. The chip is the size of a grain of rice and carries a unique identification number. The number on the chip can be “read” using a special scanner, allowing the chip to be individually identified. Veterinary practices, the police and animal shelters routinely scan all strays hopefully ensuring that if the unthinkable happens, you and your pet can be speedily reunited. So don’t hesitate, ask us about microchipping your pet!
The list of behavior problems is long and varied. Does your dog bark all day long? Is he anxious when you’re gone, tearing up rugs and furniture? Does your dog show fear aggression, territorial aggression or aggression to members of your family? Does your dog hate thunderstorms? Does your cat urinate or defecate outside the litterbox? You are not alone. Many people have pets who exhibit these unwanted behaviors, but the causes can be different for each pet. And the sooner we start behavior modification and/or medication the greater the chance of success. We want to help your pet succeed in being a positive member of your family.
Any emergencies for our clients during working hours will be seen at the Bethlehem Veterinary Hospital the day you call, and as soon as possible. After hours, please call the Capital District Animal Emergency Clinic at 518-785-1094. The CDAEC is located at 222 Troy-Schenectady Road (Rt 2), Latham, NY.
For suspected or confirmed accidental poisoning, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. You will need to have a credit card handy as this is a fee based service.