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Finding a good veterinarian is hard.  We have made a checklist for you to compare veterinarians when you are looking for a new veterinarian:

1. Is the Veterinarian AAHA Accredited?

You can search on http://www.healthypet.com.  The top veterinary hospitals in the country tend to be AAHA accredited. This association has been the premier authority on accreditation in the United States.  AACC is AAHA Accredited.

2. How long has the business been in operation? Is this a brand new venture or is it an established business?

We have been in business since 1986.

3. Is the animal hospital a national corporation? Are they family owned? How does the animal hospital give back to the community?

American Animal Care Center gives tens of thousands back to local non-profits in the Tri-City areas.  We started with humble roots and have been a product of Fremont’s success. Community service and giving back are one of the pillars of values at American Animal Care Center. We were awarded small business of the year by the 20th assembly district.

4. Is the animal hospital available when I am? Are they open on weekends? Are they open in evenings? Do they offer early morning drop offs?

American Animal Care Center is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year including weekends and evenings.

Here’s more on why American Animal Care Center is the best veterinarian in the bay area.

ABSCESS SURGERY AT AMERICAN ANIMAL CARE CENTER

Abscesses are a common skin condition in cats. They frequently occur as a result of bites during fights. A cat’s mouth has many bacteria, and when a cat bites, the bacteria enter the puncture wound. Because cat teeth are sharp and relatively narrow, the wound often heals over, but the bacteria are trapped inside. The bacteria multiply and the cat’s body reacts by trying to kill the bacteria. White blood cells, mostly neutrophils, enter the area. As the neutophils die, more and more of them move to the area. The result is an abscess.

What is an abscess?
An abscess is a localized accumulation of pus. In the case of abscesses caused by cat bites, the pus also contains many bacteria

Which cats are at risk for abscesses?
Unneutered male cats who are allowed outdoors are at highest risk of abscesses since they are the cats that are most likely to fight. Abscesses can also occur in indoor cats in multicat households. Cat fights and, therefore, abscesses are more likely when new cats are introduced into a household that already has cats.

What are the signs of an abscess?
Abscesses are often swollen, hot, and painful to the touch. If they open, a thick yellowish discharge may be seen, and it often has a foul smell. If an abscess does not open, the cat may become ill. In cats, an abscess is often hidden under the fur, and the first sign of illness the owner may see is that the cat is acting depressed and not eating. The cat usually has a fever.

Abscesses are usually found in those areas that are often bitten during a cat fight – limbs, head, neck, and the base of the tail. If the abscess is on a leg, the cat may limp. The cat may try to bite if the area is stroked or touched because the abscess is painful. Because of the pain, some cats may appear irritable or aggressive.

How is an abscess diagnosed?
If your cat is not eating, has a fever, and a history of contact with other cats, your veterinarian will be alerted to the possibility of an abscess. Upon examining your cat, the veterinarian may be able to see a small amount of matted fur over the abscess. The veterinarian will palpate the cat, searching for areas of inflammation. The fur will be clipped over the affected area, and often a small healing puncture wound can be found. It is often necessary to clip a wide area, to look for multiple puncture wounds, but caused by different teeth.

How are abscesses treated?
After the area is clipped and cleansed, the abscess will be lanced (an incision made by cutting), and drained. A relatively large opening is generally made, so the wound will continue to stay open and drain. The wound will be flushed numerous times with an antiseptic solution. Often antibiotics will be prescribed. In most cases, cats respond well after the abscess is opened.

If the abscess is very large, or deep, it may be necessary for the veterinarian to close the incision after the pus has drained, and then place a latex tube through the abscessed area. The latex tubing is placed through two small incisions above and below the main incision. The tubing keeps two openings in the skin to allow any newly formed pus to drain. The drain also provides a way to flush antiseptic solution through the area for several days, if necessary.

In addition to bacterial infections, other infections can be transmitted by cat fights. These include feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and rabies.

How can I prevent abscesses?
The main way to prevent abscesses is to prevent your cat from being involved in cat fights. Keep your cat indoors. If your cat is an outdoor cat, have your cat spayed or neutered, since this will make your cat less likely to fight. When introducing new cats to each other, do it slowly.

To prevent transmission of other diseases, keep your cat’s vaccination status current

Wellness Blood Testing

May 15, 2009

Pets age more rapidly than humans. With the aging process changes occur in the function of the body. Some of these changes can be seen from the outside: weight gain or loss, stiffness, dull haircoat, loss of sight or hearing. Some changes, however, occur internally and can’t be discovered without laboratory testing. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms of illness can be seen, in liver or kidney disease for example, organ damage is already in the advanced stages.

In order to detect organ damage in its early stages, when it can be treated most successfully, we recommend annual blood testing as part of your pet’s yearly physical examination once he or she is over 7-9 years of age. This blood testing can also be used to provide a baseline for comparison in the event of future illness, allowing us to identify changes that may assist in faster, more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Test results serve double duty by providing information before surgery or dental procedures, allowing for safer anesthesia.

Early detection can mean
A longer, healthier life for your Pet.

Living with Feline Leukemia

Feline leukemia (FeLV), a widespread, incurable virus that typically suppresses a cat’s immune system, is the most common cause of cancer in cats. Although some cats are able to eliminate the virus on their own and develop immunity, many others die as a result of cancer or opportunistic infections.
      The disease is spread from cat to cat through bites; mutual grooming; and sharing food or water dishes and litter boxes. Kittens can also contract the virus from their mothers.
      FeLV is species-specific, so humans and dogs are not at risk.
      In 2006, the Winn Feline Foundation reported that 3% of cats in single-cat homes were infected with FeLV. Infection rates are dramatically higher among stray cats and in homes where cats are allowed outside.
      FeLV is highly contagious, so it is important to have your cat vaccinated if it could be exposed to other cats. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends all kittens receive the vaccine.
      Infected cats may harbor the illness for several years with no signs of illness. Over time, they may lose weight, become depressed, or develop a fever. Their coats often deteriorate, and they may develop skin, bladder, or upper respiratory infections.
      Your veterinarian can diagnose the disease by conducting a simple blood test called an ELISA.
      Cats infected with the virus live an average of three years.
      “Many of these cats can live reasonably healthy lives for a number of years if they receive proper care,” says Fred Scott, DVM, PhD, interim director of the Cornell Feline Health Center in Ithaca, N.Y.
      If your cat is infected, good nutrition and a stress-free environment are essential.
      “Your veterinarian will talk to you about the importance of maintaining a balanced diet. Also, he or she will ask you about your cat’s lifestyle and look for ways to reduce stress,” Scott explains.
      Scott strongly recommends that infected cats be kept indoors so they won’t spread the virus. If you have multiple cats, have all of them tested, vaccinate any that are not infected, and consider housing infected cats separately.
      “Your veterinarian will want to see your cat on a more frequent basis [than a healthy cat], say, every six months,” says Scott.
      “Between check-ups, stay alert to your cat’s body condition. Once a month, rub your hand over its ribs. You should be able to feel them, but they shouldn’t stand out.”
      If you notice any changes in your cat’s health or behavior, notify your veterinarian immediately.

No more pilling fights?
One-Shot Antibiotic Makes Life Easier

If you search YouTube for the word pill with cat or dog, you’ll get about 500 hits, ranging from silly spoofs to instructional videos that are painfully, unintentionally hilarious.
But administering daily pills to your cat or dog is no fun at all. As a matter of fact, it is so difficult that many pet owners give up.
Of course when treatment is cut short, illnesses may linger or worsen. And if the discontinued pill is an antibiotic, the threat is even broader.
If you prematurely stop giving your pet an antibiotic, some bacteria will survive and develop a resistance to the medication. This is one cause of the much-publicized increase in virulent, antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In June, Pfizer, a leading veterinary drug manufacturer, introduced Convenia, the only single-injection antibiotic available for pets.
Used to treat certain types of skin infections in dogs and cats, Convenia has the potential to make life a lot easier for affected pets and their owners. One injection delivers a full, two-week course of antibiotics and eliminates the need for oral medication.
That should do away with the pill fights. No worries. That still leaves about 35,000 cat and dog videos on YouTube.
AAHA

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout…run right back and make friends.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Run, romp and play daily.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.

Routine Health Examinations Are Necessary!!!

“An ounce of prevention…”

Remember the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That happens to be as true for the health of your pet as it is for any member of your family!

Annual health examinations will help determine the general well being of your pet and identify potential problems. Early detection ensures prompt action that may solve the problem before serious consequences occur and may prevent suffering.

The gradual onset of health problems in an apparently healthy pet often go unnoticed. Once symptoms appear, the condition may be too difficult or costly to diagnose and treat. Age is not a disease; however, there are many conditions, that if diagnosed early, can be completely reversed or controlled for extended periods of time.

At least once and perhaps twice a year, your pet needs a complete physical examination. Remember, your pet’s lifespan is shorter than ours. A lot can happen in 12 months.

Due to the many recent discoveries and innovations in veterinary medicine, your pet can be protected from most major diseases. Today, many immunizations and preventive treatments are available that did not exist just a few years ago. The staff at American Animal Care Center can help you decide what preventive measures are necessary for your pet(s).

Pets age more rapidly than humans. With the aging process changes occur in the function of the body. Some of these changes can be seen from the outside: weight gain or loss, stiffness, dull haircoat, loss of sight or hearing. Some changes, however, occur internally and can’t be discovered without laboratory testing. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms of illness can be seen, in liver or kidney disease for example, organ damage is already in the advanced stages.

In order to detect organ damage in its early stages, when it can be treated most successfully, we recommend annual blood testing as part of your pet’s yearly physical examination once he or she is over 7-9 years of age. This blood testing can also be used to provide a baseline for comparison in the event of future illness, allowing us to identify changes that may assist in faster, more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Test results serve double duty by providing information before surgery or dental procedures, allowing for safer anesthesia.

Early detection can mean
A longer, healthier
life for your PET.