General Veterinary Health Care Services

Veterinary Vaccines

Veterinary VaccinesClarksville, Tennessee, is a wonderful place to live, but it is not immune from some dangerous diseases that commonly infect unprotected pets. Additionally, since Clarksville is a military town, we see a lot of community mobility as people are transferred in and out of Fort Campbell. As a result, we do see all major diseases for which we recommend vaccines.

Therefore, St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic strongly recommends that you ensure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccines.

Vaccinations are not only safe and effective; they are an important and fundamental piece of your pet's preventative healthcare plan. Advances in veterinary immunology have made diseases that once were relatively common and fatal to pets easily preventable. There are also vaccines—such as for rabies and other zoonotic diseases—that help protect your family from very dangerous and difficult to treat illnesses. Additionally, with each passing year, veterinary science is improving on existent vaccines as well as increasing our ability to prevent an even wider array of contagious diseases.

The core vaccines we recommend for dogs include distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza, Bordetella and rabies. For cats, these are feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia, rabies, and for cats that go outdoors, feline leukemia.

We also only vaccinate for diseases that we feel are appropriate to this area of the United States. Many of the non-core vaccines that are available either are not seen in this area or are of limited effectiveness. For example, a vaccine that is only 20 to 30 percent effective is not worth the risk of an adverse reaction in your pet.

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Microchip Lost Pet ID by HomeAgain

Microchip Lost Pet IDDogs and cats often will run off for an hour or so to explore the world and then find their way home for food and warmth. However, what would you do if your pet failed to come home? How would someone find you if your pet loses his or her tag, it is unreadable, or you are traveling?

It is unfortunate, but according to statistics on lost pets compiled by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than two percent of cats and 15 to 20 percent of dogs that become lost are returned to their owner.

To help prevent this tragedy from happening to our clients, the St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic recommends that all pets should receive a lost pet microchip ID. About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is painlessly injected into the skin of your pet, generally between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique identification number that is linked to a database with important information about your pet, which includes your contact information.

A microchip lost pet ID is permanent and all pets brought into an animal hospital or humane shelter are routinely scanned for a microchip and that information is used to quickly reunite them with their owner.

St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic uses the HomeAgain microchip system. HomeAgain provides a number of very useful services to pet owners such as their National Pet Recovery Database, Lost Pet Specialists, Rapid Lost Pet Alerts, Lost Pet Medical Insurance, Travel Assistance for Found Pets, and more. Additionally, HomeAgain is one of a very few microchip systems qualified for international travel with a pet.

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Veterinary Care for Senior Pets

Senior Pet CareAs our pets age they may slow down a bit, but there is no reason to think that there is little we can do to keep them happy and healthy for a long time to come.

Pets in their senior years—those about six years in age and older—tend to be more susceptible to a number of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, a comprehensive senior care program is important for preventing or discovering these diseases at an early stage when they can be easily treated.

St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic recommends individualized senior care programs based on the client's desires and economics. We deeply believe that we should not pressure our clients into purchasing services beyond what they want and can afford. In general, we start adult dog panels at 3 years of age and increase the number of tests as your pet ages and reaches its senior years.

Our senior care exams are tailored to your pet's age, physical condition, breed and lifestyle, and are designed to identify age related health issues before they become difficult and expensive to treat.

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Behavior Counseling for Dogs and Cats

Behavior CounselingIt is not uncommon for the human/animal bond to become a bit frayed due to behavior challenges in our pets. In fact, behavior issues are often cited when people give up a pet.

For example, new puppies and kittens are very cute and fun, but they require housebreaking and training so they integrate well with your family and any other pets you may have. The same is true of adopted adult pets, especially if they have ingrained behavior traits that don't mesh well with your household.

There are also times where a physical malady can affect behavior. For example, a pet with cystitis or kidney disease may have issues with inappropriate voiding. This is not a behavior issue, but a sign and symptom of an underlying disease that requires medical treatment from your veterinarian.

St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic strives to help our clients strengthen the bond they share with their pets, which includes helping you overcome behavior problems in your cat or dog. Behavior counseling is a component of our puppy and kitten programs with specific topics covered during the visit that are most appropriate to your pet.

For older pets your veterinarian can help you with problems such as inappropriate urination or defecation, aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate chewing and barking, introduction of new pets into the household and household pets that are in conflict with one another.

If your pet exhibits a sudden change in behavior, we will identify its cause and provide appropriate medical treatment or behavior counseling.

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Nutritional Counseling for Dogs and Cats

Nutritional CounselingPets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before and a big part of that is due to our expanded knowledge of the importance of proper nutrition to overall health.

This fact is not lost on the doctors of St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic. During your pet's comprehensive physical examination we evaluate his or her body condition and give recommendations based on what we see.

For most pets these recommendations will include information on proper serving size and other feeding strategies to maintain optimal body weight and nutritional health. However, some pets have more serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions such as diabetes or renal issues that require veterinary treatment. This can include more intensive feeding strategies, specialized foods, and prescription diets.

We also carry a diverse inventory of prescription foods. If your pet requires a prescription diet we do not carry, we can easily order it for you. We can also offer advice and provide information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and other conditions.

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Internal Pet Medicine

If your pet becomes ill or you suspect there may be something wrong with him or her, we cover all areas of internal medicine, including endocrinology (e.g. diabetes and related diseases), allergy consultations, gastrointestinal disease, dermatology, renal and hepatic failure, oncology and others.

In order to provide you and your pet with an accurate and speedy diagnosis in a low-stress setting, our hospital is fully equipped with a wide range of diagnostic resources as well as a high degree of professional expertise. We also believe that educating you regarding your pet's condition and treatment options results in better care for your pet.

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Advanced Chronic Ear Disease Treatment for Cats and Dogs

Chronic Ear Disease TreatmentSt. Bethlehem Animal Clinic takes ear care in companion animals very seriously and is an area of veterinary medicine where we have developed some expertise.

During your pet's lifetime, he or she may develop a number of painful and sometimes dangerous conditions in their ears. These can include ear mites, infections, hair balls and other foreign objects lodged in the ear, as well as injury to the ear canal or ear drum. Additionally, it is not uncommon for the underlying cause of an ear infection to be undertreated, which can lead to chronic infection, scarring of the inner ear, hearing loss and generalized systemic infections.

Therefore, St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic will perform a thorough evaluation of your pet's ears during all wellness visits and aggressively treats infections and other conditions. We also encourage our clients to bring their pets in if they suspect their dog or cat may be suffering from a medical condition in his or her ears. Symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the ear
  • Redness or swelling around the ear
  • Scratching or pawing at the ears
  • Ear pain
  • Excessive ear wax buildup
  • Loss of balance
  • Head shaking

If we believe there may be a medical condition causing your pet's issue, we will perform an otoscopic examination as well as laboratory testing for any discharge that may be present.

By looking into the ear with an otoscope, your veterinarian is able to look for signs of infection, ear mites, foreign objects, and any other indications of underlying disease in or around the ear. Your veterinarian is also able to check the health of the ear drum, which can provide important information as to the health of the middle ear. This is where the mechanisms for hearing and balance are located.

The otoscopic examination takes only a few moments and does not cause any pain or discomfort to your pet. Once completed, your veterinarian will discuss with you the health of your pet's ears as well as any treatment options if necessary.

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Traveling with Your Pet

TravelIf you like to travel with your pet to other countries or states, you may need a national or international health certificate. These certificates document the health of your pet and certify that he or she has been properly vaccinated. If you do not have this form of documentation it is very likely your pet could be quarantined for an extended period of time.

St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic is authorized and well-versed in handling the documentation required for traveling with your pet.

Generally, these certificates are only valid for a certain period of time, must be filled out within a specific timeframe prior to when you travel, and require different forms depending on your destination. We encourage you to contact your airline to find out the specific documentation that is required.

We can help you understand what you need and advise you on how to safely travel with your pet by air. We also can provide you with valuable recommendations for other travel concerns.

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Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy

Laser TherapyTo further reduce pain and promote healing after surgery, an injury or to manage a range of chronic and acute conditions, St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic offers cold laser therapy.

Laser therapy is an FDA cleared medical treatment that uses low-level lasers to stimulate the natural healing capabilities of the body's cells. This form of laser therapy is effective at promoting healing on a cellular level as well as decreasing inflammation after surgery, injury or areas of the body affected by chronic illnesses such as arthritis or acute conditions such as infections or lick granulomas. It can also be used to increase joint mobility and relieve the aches and pains common to geriatric pets.

This tool enables us to offer our clients an alternative to pharmaceuticals that is capable of producing immediate results without any dangerous side effects.

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Our Veterinary Pharmacy

Veterinary PharmacyEnsuring our clients have convenient and timely access to competitively priced medications for their pets is an important aspect of our veterinary practice. More than ever before, medications play an important role in helping cure a sick animal, relieve pain after an injury or surgery and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. Without these medications we would see higher mortality/morbidity rates, shorter lifespans, and degraded quality of life in our companion animals.

St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic maintains a comprehensive pharmacy within our practice and is able to quickly access any medication that is necessary for the care of your pet. Additionally, because we are the prescribing veterinarian, we are able to ensure there is a direct link between the exam room and our pharmacy. This means your pet will receive the right medication, at the right dose, in the right form as quickly as possible. We will also be able to easily guide you on the medication's use as well as monitor its effectiveness.

Refills are easy too. Simply visit our online pharmacy or give us a call and we can either mail them to you or have them ready at your next visit.

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