The Gold Standard

Of veterinary services.

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Wellness Exams

Adorable furry cat of seal lynx point color with blue eyes is lying on a pink blanket near to the window,
We recommend annual wellness visits for both dogs and cats. At these visits, we perform thorough physical exams, vaccinate or run blood titers to see if vaccines are needed, and test dogs for heartworm disease, tick-borne diseases, and intestinal parasites. We emphasize preventative medicine, dental care, and nutrition as well as address any questions or concerns you have about your pet. While we recommend that all pets visit us at least once a year, more frequent exams can better help prevent disease and chronic problems, especially in older animals.

The Importance of Wellness Visits for Our Feline Friends

We know how difficult it can be to take your cat to the vet. He hates the carrier! He hides under the bed. He howls non-stop and then urinates from the stress. She gets home and won’t speak to you for a week. And since your cat, being a cat, will do everything in his power to hide any sign of illness or discomfort, he seems fine. So, why go to the vet?

We believe annual comprehensive wellness examinations are important for all cats, no matter their age and apparent health. Senior cats or those with chronic conditions should be seen more frequently. These visits give us a chance to discuss and assess your cat’s diet and appetite, gastrointestinal health, urinary habits, and any behavior changes that might indicate something is going on. In addition, we talk about your cat’s lifestyle, environmental enrichment, disease and parasite prevention, and what to expect as your cat grows older.

An appointment always begins with one of our veterinarians getting a full history of how your cat has been doing at home since his last visit. During this time, your cat has a chance to relax and get acclimated to his new surroundings. A thorough physical examination is performed to detect conditions that may affect your cat’s health before they become unmanageable, painful, or more costly to treat. We will listen for heart murmurs and look for dental tartar and gingivitis, tooth resorption, weight loss, weight gain, lumps, and any abnormal size or shape of abdominal organs. In some cases, we’ll recommend blood and/or urine tests to assess overall organ function and internal health. Early detection of any problem is the goal. Diabetes, if caught early, can sometimes be managed or even reversed with a diet change alone. We always want to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) before it leads to high blood pressure, structural heart changes, and kidney damage. And the earlier we are able to treat painful periodontal disease and tooth resorption, the happier your cat’s life will be!

We try to make your cat’s visit as easy as possible! At Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic, we emphasize low stress handling of our patients. 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. We believe that these techniques set us apart from other animal hospitals.

But no amount of gentleness on our part will necessarily make getting your cat here any easier. Cats do not like new situations, and the carrier, transportation (street noises, subway, cab) and the veterinary hospital are all unfamiliar. If we can make it easier to get your cat into the carrier, the entire veterinary visit may become less stressful. Here are some tips to make this process easier for the both of you.

  • Understanding your cat’s behavior
    1. Cats can sense our anxiety and frustration, which may cause them to become fearful or anxious. Stay calm.
    2. Give rewards to encourage and reinforce positive behavior. A reward is what your cat finds highly desirable, such as food, play, or affection. Be persistent and consistent; reward your cat every time he sits calmly in or around the carrier. It is important to know that cats do not learn from punishment or force.
  • Helping your cat become comfortable with the carrier
    1. Leave the carrier in a comfortable, safe place in the home where it is always available.
    2. Place soft bedding inside the carrier. Bedding or clothing with your scent can make your cat feel more secure.
    3. Place treats, catnip, or toys inside the carrier to encourage your cat to enter it.
    4. It may take days or weeks before your cat starts to trust the carrier. Be patient and reward all desired behaviors.
  • Getting an unwilling cat to the vet when there isn’t time to acclimate him to the carrier
    1. Put the carrier in a small room with few hiding places. Bring your cat into the room and close the door. Move slowly and calmly.
    2. Do not chase your cat to get it into the carrier. Try to encourage him with treats or toys to walk into the carrier himself.
    3. If your cat won’t walk into the carrier, gently cradle your cat and lower him into the carrier. You can also remove the top half of the carrier, gently place him on the bottom half, and then quietly replace the top.
    4. Consider spraying synthetic feline facial pheromone (Feliway) into the carrier at least 30 minutes prior to transport in an effort to calm your cat.
  • Coming home – keeping the peace in a multi-cat household
    1. Cats are very sensitive to smell and unfamiliar smells, resulting in one cat no longer recognizing the other(s). This can cause aggressive behaviors between your cats.
  • Leave your cat in his carrier for several minutes to see how all the cats react.
    1. If the cats appear calm and peaceful, let your cat out of the carrier.
    2. If there is tension between the cats, let your cat out of his carrier in a separate, confined room. Keep him there for several hours with food, water, and a litter box until all the cats acclimate to each other again.
If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment for your cat’s comprehensive wellness examination, please call us at 212.242.9169. Drs. DeLorenzo, Goldberg, Burdon, and Seaward and the staff of Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic look forward to seeing you.

Partly adapted from the AAFP website and AAFP brochure – Getting Your Cat to the Veterinarian

Vaccinations

Portrait of woman with dog
Vaccinations are important for dogs and cats! Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, many diseases once fatal to pets are now preventable through vaccination. We base our vaccination protocols on your pet’s lifestyle, environment, and other risk factors as well as the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines. We work with you to develop a vaccine plan that best suits your pet.

Parasite Prevention

Lovely Pomeranian dog looks at camera on black background.
Flea, Tick, Heartworm, and Intestinal Parasite Prevention
Parasites aren’t just a health risk for your pet, they can affect you and your family as well. That is why prevention is key! In the New York City area, we recommend protecting your pet against fleas, ticks, and heartworm year-round. Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic offers several different oral and topical preventatives depending on what is best for your pet.

Fleas
Fleas are tiny parasites that jump from animal to animal and take blood meals from them. Fleas impact your dog or cat by causing anemia (low red blood cell count), allergic skin reactions, and transmission of some diseases. Having a flea infestation on your pet can lead to an infestation in your home environment that can sometimes be difficult to eradicate. Follow this link to the Companion Animal Parasite Council to learn more about fleas, their life stages, and treatment of infestations.

Ticks
Ticks sit on blades of grass waiting to grab on to an animal walking by. Once on the fur of an animal, they embed themselves into the skin to feed on the animal’s blood. Ticks are a concern because they carry many infectious diseases, such as Borrelia (Lyme disease), Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia. Follow this link to the Companion Animal Parasite Council to learn more about ticks and prevention.

Heartworm disease
Heartworm is a serious, life-threatening disease that affects both dogs and cats. Heartworm larvae are spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Once in the body, the larvae become adults and live in the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries. It is here that the heartworms can cause deleterious effects. Many dogs are asymptomatic, although others will develop coughing, difficulty breathing, and exercise intolerance. In some cases, heartworm disease can lead to heart failure. We recommend giving your dog heartworm preventative every month. Heartworm prevention greatly reduces the risk of developing heartworm disease. We recommend testing for heartworm disease yearly at your dog’s annual visit. Follow this link to the Companion Animal Parasite Council to learn more about heartworm disease in dogs.

Intestinal Parasites
There are numerous species of intestinal parasites that affect dogs and cats. Some of these parasites are zoonotic, which means that they can be passed from animal to human and vice versa. Animals may be asymptomatic, although the majority of animals with intestinal parasites will show clinical signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea (+/- bloody), decreased appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss, and flatulence. Common dog and cat intestinal parasites are roundworms, coccidia, hookworms, whipworms, giardia, and tapeworms. These are mainly spread through the feces, therefore, it is important to use proper hand hygiene and sanitation. The good news is that many of these parasites are preventable! The heartworm preventative, Heartgard Plus, also is a dewormer for some of these parasites, which is another reason why we recommend year-round administration. Follow this link to the Companion Animal Parasite Council to learn more about intestinal parasites.

Dentistry

Checking Teeth Of Cat Close Up Shot
Dentistry
Periodontal disease is the most common condition in dogs and cats and it is entirely preventable! As bacteria spend time on the teeth, they develop into plaque and harden into tartar. The bacteria make their way under the gumline causing inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), infection, and bone loss. We identify these abnormalities by probing pockets around teeth, through dental x-rays, and by feeling if the teeth are mobile. All this is performed while your pet is under anesthesia for a dental cleaning. We at Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic emphasize preventative dental care in an effort to maintain oral health and decrease the prevalence of periodontal disease.

Professional Dental Cleaning
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 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!

Tooth Resorption



Tooth resorption is a common finding in cats and, unfortunately, we do not know what causes it! For an unknown reason, cells called odonoclasts are turned on by the body and start eating away at the teeth. Tooth resorption is a painful process, therefore, it is important to identify these lesions early. Some resorptive lesions can be seen on an awake oral examination during your cat’s annual visit, but many lesions are below the gumline and can only be identified by dental x-rays during a dental cleaning. We recommend performing full-mouth dental x-rays in cats with resorptive lesions. Extraction and crown amputation are the only treatments of teeth affected by resorptive lesions. It is important to closely monitor cats with a history of tooth resorption, as any tooth can become affected at any time.

ToothHome Care
Prevention of periodontal disease is key! The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by brushing plaque off the teeth, ideally on a daily basis. The use of a toothbrush, fingerbrush, or dental wipe is recommended. Pet-friendly toothpaste can be used in conjunction with brushing. Gradually introducing these products to your pets will allow them to become used to, and enjoy, daily brushing.

There are dental diets as well as oral rinses and gels that are also available to help prevent periodontal disease. Rinses and gels should have chlorhexidine, an antiseptic, as the active ingredient. Please contact us for more information and recommendations.

To learn more about dental disease in dogs and cats, please visit the American Veterinary Dental College website by clicking here.

Watch these videos to learn how to brush your pet’s teeth:



Behavior

Corgi puppy
At Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic, we encourage you to use positive reinforcement training, including clicker training, and to start socialization at an early age. Training that involves punishment creates fear and, therefore, fearful and/or aggressive behavior. Many behaviors can be modified with committed training; we can recommend professional trainers for you to work with. Some behavior issues can be helped with pharmaceutical intervention. We also refer to a veterinary behaviorist who may prescribe medicine to complement your training work.

It is important to remember that some behavior issues may have a physical cause and we may recommend a thorough work-up before assuming a problem is behavioral. For example, a cat that starts urinating outside of the box may have an underlying medical condition.

Nutrition

Beautiful tabby cat sitting next to a food bowl, placed on the floor next to the living room window,
Nutrition is a very important aspect of your pet’s health and well-being. Deciding on the right pet food for your dog or cat can be a daunting task. This page is dedicated to helping you navigate the pet food aisles.

Nutrition Resources provided by Laura Eirmann, DVM, DACVN

National Research Council publications

Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs
Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs

-Very good science-based guide for pet owners written by a panel of veterinary nutrition experts



World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Global Nutrition Committee Toolkit

Nutrition Toolkit

-Resources for pet owners toward end of page (evaluating information in the internet, selecting a pet food)



Petdiets.com

Pet Diets

  • Excellent website written by a board certified veterinary nutritionist for pet owners
  • General pet nutrition and pet foods information (Nutrition Library, FAQ, and Myths)
  • Nutrition consultation including diet formulations by veterinary nutritionist
  • Well referenced article on raw diets (cost $5) – This article, “Feeding Raw Diets – Be Informed”, presents the food safety issues around feeding raw diets to household pets.


Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

FAQs About General Pet Nutrition

-Information on selecting a pet food, ingredients, raw diets, home-prepared diets



American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN)

Nutrition Resources



American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN)

Frequently Asked Questions

-How to choose the best diet, how much to feed, natural/human grade terminology, raw foods, safety of foods, supplements, home prepared diets



Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

Pet Obesity Prevention

-Information regarding body weight, caloric needs, and weight loss tools (always confirm caloric information with the specific pet food manufacturer)



Federal Drug Administraton (FDA) Pet Food Site

FDA – Pet Food

-Information on FDA regulation of pet food

-Links to information of food safety issues, recalls, pet food labeling, selecting nutritious foods

Recent Pet Food Recalls

-Review this FDA link for pet food recall information



AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials)

AAFCO

-Discusses regulatory requirements for pet food (ingredients, safe food handling, pet food labeling, etc.)



The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Pet Food Safety Recalls & Alerts

Pet Food Safety Recalls and Alerts



Pet Food Institute

Pet Food Institute

-Information on ingredient definitions, how pet food is made, labeling regulations, myths, etc.



Balance IT

Balance IT

-Allows owners to obtain nutritionally balanced home prepared recipes for healthy adult dogs and cats



National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements

NIH: Information on Dietary Supplements

  • Geared to human dietary supplements but much of the information is applicable to pets (pet owners should always consult with their veterinarian before giving a dietary supplement to a pet since some supplements that are safe for humans can be toxic to dogs or cats)
  • Article on evaluating health information on the internet, how to spot fraud, etc.
  • Look up specific supplements to see what scientific evidence exists to support use in humans

Low Stress Handling

portrait of a beautiful cat
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!

Digital Radiology

Xray of dog
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

Veterinary Concept. Veterinarian is doing ultrasound.
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.

Laboratory

3d rendering red blood cells in vein
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

Cute white puppy posing in studio
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.

Surgery

All of our doctors 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.

Day Hospitalization

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.

Acupuncture

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.

Microchipping

A little terrier with short hair out in the meadow
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.

USDA Accredited Veterinarian

We have 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.