Low Stress Handling
At Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic, we emphasize low stress handling of our patients in order to make their visit as comfortable as possible. We want our patients to enjoy their visits and we work hard to gain their trust. “If an animal is comfortable with the environment, the handlers and the positions in which he is being held, he’s more likely to remain calm and cooperative for the procedures. For this reason, it’s more effective to focus on our interactions with the animal and his response to the handling rather than to try restraining the animal by grasping him in the strongest, most secure hold possible. Handling that is harsh, overly restrictive or simply improper for the individual pet can make that pet struggle more or become worse with repeated handling and on later visits. Even the most well-socialized and cooperative pets can become difficult or aggressive if restrained in a manner that causes them to struggle.” – Sophia Yin, veterinarian, behaviorist, and author of Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats. We focus on having a quiet environment, taking our time, minimizing the amount and strength of restraint, and rewarding our patients with delicious treats and praise. Because of this care and handling, most of our patients are happy to come to our office and often enjoy the experience. We believe that these techniques set us apart from other animal hospitals. We encourage you to regularly stop by our clinic lobby with your dog to give him or her a treat. You’ll be surprised when your dog starts pulling you toward our office on your daily walks!
Radiographs (x-rays) provide an immediate diagnostic tool for many conditions and are usually interpreted by the examining doctor. When consultation with a specialist is indicated, images are electronically transmitted to radiologists at The Animal Medical Center or Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners for review.
Ultrasonography is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging technique that enables us to see soft tissue and organs under the skin. Ultrasonographers come to the clinic on an as-needed basis to perform abdominal ultrasounds and echocardiograms (ultrasounds of the heart). Patients should be fasted for abdominal ultrasounds so the gastrointestinal tract can be adequately imaged. In addition, their fur is shaved to obtain clearer images. Most animals do not need to be sedated for these procedures.
We rely on an outside laboratory for most of our lab work and typically get test results back within a day. We also have the ability to check certain blood tests on-site and frequently use our in-house lab to examine ear swabs, skin samples, skin scrapings, and fine needle aspirates.
Anesthesia and Pain Management
We know placing your pet under anesthesia can be anxiety-producing and at Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic, we take anesthesia very seriously. Prior to any surgical or dental procedure, we require a physical exam and bloodwork to make sure he/she is a good candidate for anesthesia. While your pet is under anesthesia, he/she is hooked up to monitoring equipment and supported with intravenous fluids. A licensed veterinary technician monitors your pets’ vital signs, including heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygenation, end-tidal carbon dioxide (CO2), and temperature during all procedures/surgeries. Pain management is also very important to us. If your pet is undergoing a painful procedure, he/she will be given pain-relieving medication prior to, during, and after the procedure. Dental nerve blocks are also utilized as needed. During recovery, Nero may jump in the cage with your dog and soothe him.
We strongly encourage all of our clients to brush their pets’ teeth daily, but even with excellent home care, most pets will need a professional dental procedure at some point in their lives (the same way humans do!). Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic has a state-of-the-art dental suite. While your pet is under anesthesia, all the teeth are probed for pockets and lesions and are then scaled and polished. Digital x-rays are taken of specific teeth that appear to be diseased or on all the teeth in the mouth (called full-mouth x-rays). Since most dental disease lives below the gumline, dental x-rays allow us to see the tooth root and the surrounding tissue. This enables us to diagnose bone loss, tooth root infections, fractures, and resorptive lesions. If there is a deep pocket around a tooth, but the tooth is healthy, we can apply an antibiotic gel called Doxirobe to encourage the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth. Diseased teeth are extracted and the sites are closed with dissolvable suture material. X-rays are taken after the tooth is removed to make sure no part of the root remains. Fluoride is applied to the teeth at the end of the procedure. Animals are then sent home with medications to help with inflammation and discomfort. Recovery is usually uneventful and within a few days most pets feel much better with a healthy mouth! To learn more about dental care, please click here.
Dr. DeLorenzo, Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Burdon, and Dr. Seaward all perform spays, neuters, mass removals and wound repairs in our dedicated state-of-the-art surgery suite. Scheduling is easy – we operate Monday through Friday – and we do our procedures in the morning so that our patients can be alert and active by the time they go home at the end of the day. For some more complicated procedures, we call on surgical specialist, Dr. Jane Kosovsky, who comes to our clinic as needed.
If your dog or cat needs to be hospitalized for monitoring or treatment, we are happy to admit him/her to our hospital during the daytime. If continued care is recommended overnight, then we would refer your pet to a 24-hour emergency facility.
The practice of veterinary acupuncture dates back thousands of years to China. It is the insertion of tiny sterile needles into specific points in the body to bring about a healing effect. Modern research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins that circulate through the body to the central nervous system to alleviate pain. It can be used to treat a variety of ailments in dogs and cats. The insertion of the needles is virtually painless and once the needles have been applied, many animals relax and even become sleepy. Dr. Burdon practices veterinary acupuncture.
If your pet gets lost, having a microchip may ensure he/she is returned home safely. The size and shape of a grain of rice, a microchip is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. It can be placed while your pet is awake, but we suggest microchipping when we spay or neuter to alleviate the discomfort of its placement. Any shelter or animal hospital will scan for a microchip and, if found, search the national database for your contact information. We register your pet’s microchip when we place it, but if your contact information changes, it is important to update the HomeAgain website as needed. Please call us if you have any questions.
Dr. DeLorenzo, Dr. Goldberg, and Dr. Seward are USDA-accredited veterinarians, which means they are able to prepare and sign government documentation to enable your pet to travel abroad with you! And just let us know if your airline requires a Health Certificate for domestic travel. We are happy to provide one at the time of your visit. Traveling abroad with your pet? You should start your research here.