By April Smith, LVT of Preston Road Animal hospital
As humans we expect our medical professionals and facilities to maintain a high standard of care in all areas. Why should it be any different for our non-human family members? Keeping pets healthy is a priority, and excellence of care is crucial because pets deserve nothing less. When choosing a veterinarian in Dallas, you will want to look for an AAHA accredited hospital.
Accreditation of a human hospital is a process in which all areas of the hospital are scrutinized and evaluated to ensure that the facility is maintained to the highest standard of care. Accreditation is required for human hospitals, but is voluntary for animal hospitals. To be AAHA accredited, these veterinary hospitals are held to a higher standard than non-accredited veterinary hospitals.
AAHA, the American Animal Hospital Association, is the only organization in the United States and Canada that sets any standard of care in veterinary medicine. AAHA accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medical care. The Standards of which the practices are evaluated are continuously updated and reviewed to keep veterinary hospitals on the edge of veterinary excellence. Over 900 individual standards are reviewed during regular on site evaluations to maintain accreditation. All areas of the practice are evaluated and standards address patient care, pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dentistry, diagnostic imaging, anesthesia, and continuing education. These standards directly correlate to the quality of care that is provided to your pet.
When you take your pet to an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital in Dallas you can be confident that the practice is providing only the highest level of veterinary care to your pets and it shows in their abilities and in their compassion. For example, in surgery and anesthesia, dedicated team members are utilized to monitor a pet’s condition and the practice is required to maintain certain monitoring equipment. Medical records are in-depth and detailed. Pain management is provided on all levels. In clinic and outside laboratory facilities are available. Customer service and client education is a primary focus.
Practices that are accredited also have access to pet health resources and information from the
American Animal Hospital Association. Additional support from the AAHA includes continuing education and staff training resources so that all team members in the practice have the most up-to-date
knowledge on treatments of various illnesses and diseases. Just like human medicine, veterinary medicine is always evolving. There is a broad range of advanced treatment options available to pets, and medical equipment is becoming more sophisticated. AAHA accredited hospitals strive to continually update their practices to match standards.
Preparing for an evaluation often takes weeks to months and is a collaborative effort by all team members and is an important factor in quality pet care. It takes an entire team to build an AAHA accredited practice and maintain the high standard of care. The doctors and staff are all dedicated to maintaining the high level of care and work together to make sure the pets in their care are treated like family rather than patients. Pet owners are consulted on all aspects of their pets care and treatment plans are individualized for each patient.
Pet owners can feel reassured about the care their pets receive at AAHA accredited hospitals. There is a saying among business leaders: Good management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things. Accreditation assures you that your veterinarian does both.
AAHA accredited practices exist throughout the country and this ensures that your pet can be seen by an accredited facility wherever you are. Not only that, but there are even accredited specialty and emergency practices so your pet can have access to even more advanced medical care should the need arise.
Overall, to be AAHA accredited is to belong to a small, prestigious group of veterinary practices that believe that all pets should be offered the best care available.
Preston Road Animal Hospital has been AAHA accredited for over 50 years – the longest accreditation in the DFW metroplex. We are also proud to announce that Meadow Brook Animal Hospital has joined the ranks as an AAHA accredited hospital in late 2014.
All of our doctors and staff are exceptionally proud to be a part of this elite group and we are willing and ready to provide you with outstanding medical care. To schedule a veterinary exam at our AAHA accredited animal clinic, call us today at (469) 522-3712 (north Dallas) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney / Frisco).
If you’ve recently gotten a new pet rabbit, you may be wondering how to best care for him. One of the most important things to do before you bring your rabbit home is to find a qualified veterinarian for who rabbits and their health are an area of special interest. Here is a brief guide to caring for your new pet rabbit.
Keep Your Rabbit Indoors
Pet rabbits should ideally be housed indoors, not outside. This is because when outdoors rabbits are vulnerable to attacks by cats, dogs, coyotes, birds of prey, and other wild animals. Rabbits housed outdoors are also subject to various weather and environmental stressors. Rabbits are nervous creatures, and can become easily startled by loud noises and other animals, and this extra stress can cause health problems and severe anxiety. Exposure to extreme temperatures can necessitate a trip to an emergency vet, so your rabbit should live indoors in moderate temperatures.
Give Him Lots of Room to Roam
Rabbits need a lot of room to roam around, and won’t be happy if kept in a small cage. Unfortunately, rabbits also tend to chew on everything, so you need to make your home completely rabbit safe before you bring your new pet home. All electrical cords should be out of reach, electrical outlets should be covered, and any toxic food items or plants should be kept far away from your rabbit.
Housetrain your Rabbit
Turns out spayed and neutered rabbits can be housetrained! We suggest that new rabbit owners invest in a litterbox and use Yesterday’s News as a litter substrate. A great little primer on rabbit house training can be found here.
Ensure That He Maintains a Healthy Diet
Diet is probably the single most important aspect of pet rabbit care. You need to make sure that you feed your rabbit a balanced diet to keep him happy and healthy.
We recommend Timothy grass hay as the foundation of all pet rabbit diets. In fact, in our experience, rabbits will do fine for long periods on nothing but hay. Your rabbit should have constant access to Timothy grass hay, as it provides the necessary fiber to aid in his digestion and prevent health problems. Timothy grass hay is preferred over alfalfa grass and Bermuda grass hay for rabbits.
Pet rabbits will also benefit from limited quantities of certain fruits and vegetables. We like these things: Apple, Bean or alfalfa sprouts, Blueberries, Blackberries, Cactus fruit
Carrots, Cranberries, Bell peppers, Kiwi, Melons, Papaya, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries &
Squash. Think of these as treats and keep the amounts down to a total of 1 tablespoon per 2 pounds of body weight per day.
Commercial pellets are also a common part of the diet of many pet rabbits. Commercial rabbit pellets should make up only a small portion of a pet rabbit’s diet. Select a top quality brand and limit the amounts to approximately ¼ cup of pellets per 4 lbs. of body weight daily.
Water should always be available, and in most cases will need to be changed out every day. A dirty water container can be a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our animal hospital veterinarians are experienced in exotic animal care for the Dallas and McKinney areas. We happily and expertly treat pet rabbits, as well as other non-traditional house pets. To learn more about our veterinary hospital services and emergency vet services, call us today at (972) 239-1309 (north Dallas) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney / Frisco).
Much like humans, dogs and even cats are also susceptible to arthritis and joint pain. As your veterinarian can tell you, certain breeds are at a higher risk of developing arthritis than others.
Watch this video for some tips on how to best care for a pet that suffers from arthritis. Dr. Kremer, an experienced veterinarian, discusses the causes, symptoms, and veterinary treatment options for arthritis in pets.
If you’re worried that your pet may be showing signs of arthritis, bring him to see one of our veterinarians in Dallas or McKinney at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. We provide diagnostic and treatment services, comprehensive veterinary care, and exotic animal care to all household pets. To schedule a veterinary exam at our animal clinic, call us today at (972) 239-1309 (north Dallas) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney / Frisco).
If your pet is in need of surgery, whether it is a routine spay or neuter or something more serious, you should find a veterinarian near you who uses CO2 surgical lasers for pet surgical services. Laser surgery utilizes safe, effective laser beams to penetrate the skin and tissues, and doesn’t require the use of scalpels.
CO2 surgical lasers cause less pain, less swelling, less bleeding, and can have a lower risk of infection and post-surgical complications as compared to other, more intrusive methods of veterinary care.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer cat and dog surgical services in Dallas and McKinney utilizing a CO2 surgical laser. Pet safety and comfort is our priority, which is why we use the most advanced veterinary technology available for our veterinary services. To learn more about our veterinary surgical services, make an appointment at one of our animal hospital today by calling (972) 239-1309 in north Dallas or (972) 529-5033 in McKinney or Frisco.
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