New Pet Physical Exams
MLVH offers a complimentary wellness physical exam for new pets. We’d love to meet your new family member and help make their first visit to the vet an enjoyable time so they’re excited to come back again. During this first visit, we will review what to expect as a new pet owner and our tips and recommendations moving forward. We can walk you through the vaccine schedules, preventative medicine, behavioral changes, and routine procedures like a spay or neuter.
Our veterinarians at MLVH understand how important it is to keep your pet feeling as spunky as the day you first brought them home. Just like humans, pets experience changes as they age. From behavior to mobility, MLVH is here to support you and your pet throughout the aging process. Each pet’s experience is different, so our veterinarians customize their recommendations to your pet’s needs. Some of the common aging issues we deal with are arthritis/joint issues, change in mentation, incontinence, and other chronic conditions. In addition to our annual health exams, we offer routine senior lab screenings.
MLVH has a comprehensive approach to treatment recommendations. Diet modifications can be a great starting point for your aging family member. We have specialized prescription diets for joint care, mental acuity, weight management, liver or kidney issues, diabetes, and more! When diet changes aren’t enough, we will work with you to determine the best course of treatment. Our pharmacy also carries a multitude of supplements and medications. Whatever the need, MLVH is happy to partner with you to make sure we can provide your pet with the best quality of life possible!
MLVH carries quality vaccine products that are backed by the manufacturer. We know that the best medicine for your pet is to prevent disease whenever possible. We carry a full panel of vaccines for your pet and will work with you to develop a vaccine plan customized to your pet’s health needs and the disease profile for our local area (and areas of travel when applicable).
Our veterinarians provide a complimentary physical exam with every core vaccine appointment. Your pet’s safety is number one, so we do not vaccinate pets that are here for a sick visit. Please refer to our Health Exam section for more information on sick or injured pet visits.
We will discuss recommended screening tests your pet may need. Our most common screenings are the intestinal parasite test, the heartworm test, routine bloodwork, and urinalysis. Please check out the prevention and early disease detection section for more information.
MLVH considers annual health exams to be an integral part of keeping your pet happy and healthy. To meet this need we offer two types of health exams: wellness exams and problem focused exams. Our wellness exams occur in conjunction with your pets’ checkups. Anytime your pet is receiving a core vaccine, our veterinarians will perform a complimentary physical exam at no charge to you! In addition to our routine wellness exams, we offer problem focused exams any time your pet has a health centered need. These exams occur when your pet is ill or has a physical injury or concern. Our veterinarians are prepared to handle a vast array of health issues and are supported by a comprehensive suite of diagnostic options, both in-house and through our referral laboratories. MLVH is happy to provide you with an estimate of cost prior to the initiation of all services. ***Please note: State law requires a physical exam of your pet within the last year to legally prescribe medications.
Some of our services include the following:
○ Routine And Preventative Care
○ Kitten/Puppy Care
○ Senior Care
○ Exotic Exams
○ Internal Medicine
○ General Surgery
○ Advanced Soft Tissue Surgery
○ Orthopedic Surgery
○ Dental And Oral Surgery
○ Dermatology, Allergy And Skin Care
○ Nutritional Counseling
○ Behavioral Counseling
○ Travel Health Certificates
Prevention & early disease detection
The best medicine for your pet is prevention. Preventative medicine allows our clinical team to prevent, treat, or slow the progression of disease. Preventative medicine saves your pet potential pain and suffering, and is also the more cost effective approach! Our veterinarians will review your pet’s risk and make appropriate recommendations to ensure your pet leads a happy and healthy life. We have listed some of the common recommendations, but we always tailor our recommendation based on the best medical approach for your pet!
We will always respect your decision for your family, but do recommend spaying and neutering of pets. However, the recommended age your pet undergoes this procedure may vary based on your pets breed, size, and health.
We routinely detect and treat intestinal parasites with our fecal screening. Approximately 1 in every 10 cats or dogs is infected with an intestinal parasite. Many of these are transmissible from your pets to human members of your family, making it extra important to detect and treat infections.
Heartworms are a potentially deadly parasite found in your pet’s vascular system, including the heart. Heartworms are spread by mosquitos and can be prevented with a monthly medication in the form of a chewable treat. Based on CDC recommendations and our own experience diagnosing heartworms in Montana native dogs, we recommend year-round prevention and periodic screenings. Our preventatives are also a monthly de-wormer for most intestinal parasites as well!
Fleas and ticks definitely carry an “ick” factor that everyone wants to avoid. The biggest concerns from these pesky parasites are the diseases they often carry and transmit to your pet. Although we are prepared to treat for these diseases, we prefer to prevent them! MLVH carries a range of products to protect your pet and can help you choose a product that matches your pet’s risk.
Routine bloodwork is recommended for pets of all ages, but especially seniors. Bloodwork is an important tool for interpreting your pet’s health and finding disease early. Having baseline bloodwork can play a vital role if your pet ever becomes ill by giving your veterinarian the normal comparison values for your pet. More importantly, many common diseases show no external signs or symptoms until the disease advances to a later stage. This means your pet will have already progressed in the disease before they let you know they are sick! When we are able to catch these problems before they progress, we can often prevent or slow the progression of the disease, and sometimes even cure it – this means a happier healthier fur baby for you!
In the world of medicine, time can sometimes be the most important factor. At MLVH, we understand how important it is to get critical information when your pet needs help. We have a comprehensive suite of in-house laboratory and diagnostic tools. Our on-site laboratory can perform CBC, blood chemistry, coagulation testing, blood gas testing, urinalysis, fecal examinations, skin scrapings, ear cytology, fine needle aspirate cytology, and a multitude of specialized tests. MLVH also performs digital radiographs (including dental radiography) so the veterinarian is able to immediately analyze x-ray images. We also have an advanced portable ultrasound unit. This allows for a comprehensive evaluation of your pet with virtually immediate results.
For advanced or extremely specialized testing, we also use a variety of referral laboratories. MLVH is highly selective in choosing outside partners. Ensuring we provide your pet with quality medicine drives our choices. We research available options and choose practitioners that subscribe to the same quality and service standards we do!
Routine & general surgery
MLVH offers a multitude of surgical procedures, all performed with the highest standards of care. From short and simple surgical procedures like a laceration repair to more comprehensive abdominal exploratory and orthopedic procedures, we’ve got you covered. If your pet’s need is outside of our area of expertise, we are happy to provide a referral to appropriate specialists in our area or the closest available location.
Although many surgical procedures are routine, no anesthetized procedure is without risk. Keeping your pet safe and healthy is our number one goal. We fully subscribe to the AAHA way of best-practice medicine when it comes to keeping your pet healthy throughout their sedated procedure. The first steps in this process begin long before the surgery. Every pet undergoing ANY surgical procedure receives a full physical examination by their veterinarian prior to surgery. We also offer presurgical diagnostics to enhance the veterinarian evaluation and give your pet the best possible outcome. The presurgical EKG evaluates heart rhythm and function. This will let the veterinarian know if your pet’s heart is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and if any of the medications used to sedate your pet would cause a problem with the heart’s function. The presurgical bloodwork provides 15 core blood values that let the veterinarian know how your pet’s internal organs are functioning. This will help the vet determine if your pet’s body can handle sedation, if any of the medications needed could potentially cause a problem, and if your pet has any underlying health issues that could affect the surgery scheduled. The presurgical EKG and bloodwork may even indicate that it is not safe for your pet to have surgery until another health issue is addressed first. These tests may simply indicate that different medications are preferred for inducing and maintaining anesthesia. And hopefully, these tests will tell us that your pet is healthy and strong and ready for any needed surgery. In any case, the information can be crucial to a favorable outcome.
The next step in this process is to give every anesthetized pet an IV catheter prior to full anesthesia. The IV catheter provides access to your pet’s venous system for immediate delivery of medications in the event of an emergency. We also provide IV fluids during the anesthetized procedure. IV fluids help maintain appropriate blood pressure throughout the procedure, keep the pet hydrated, enhance the clearance of anesthetic medications by the kidney, and can also help modulate body temperature. Your pet is given a medication prior to the anesthetic that will help calm your pet prior to the induction of anesthesia. This often helps your pet feel less afraid and anxious as they are prepared for surgery, providing them with a better experience while here. Once this medication has begun to work, a tracheal tube is placed whenever possible. The tracheal tube prevents aspiration during the procedure, ensures the patency of the trachea throughout, and allows us to supply emergency oxygen or breathing support if needed. All of our surgical patients are monitored beginning with the administration of the premedication, throughout surgery, and until full recovery is achieved after surgery.
Depending on the surgery being performed, we have a complete surgical suite dedicated to maintain the sterility standards required to keep your pet safe. We also offer a CO2 laser to be used for precision cutting during surgery. This laser cauterizes while it cuts which can decrease bleeding, pain, and infection risk, and enhance healing time.
Comprehensive dental services
Just like you and your family, your pet can get tooth decay, fractured teeth, and gum disease. MLVH veterinarians attempt to examine your pet’s oral health at every annual health exam. Your pets’ oral health can contribute greatly to overall health and wellness. Decayed or injured teeth can be a source of pain, which can eventually lead to decreased appetite, infection, and serious health decline. Most pets will not show signs of dental pain until they have already begun to decline in health. Because of this, we also recommend your pet’s teeth be evaluated and cleaned on an annual basis.
Sedation: MLVH agrees with the AAHA regarding sedation during a dental procedure stating “cleaning a companion animal’s teeth without general anesthesia is considered unacceptable and below the standard of care. “ Our dental cleanings involve bright lighting, a variety of tools, and lots of noises from the equipment used to scale and polish the teeth. To keep your pet safe and comfortable and enhance recovery, we also need your pet to stay very still throughout the procedure. In some cases, xrays or oral surgery may need to be performed. Trying to perform these services on an awake pet would likely cause long lasting trauma. According to AAHA, “the pain and stress a pet faces during a nonanesthetic dental cleaning are so great that to subject your pet to this type of procedure when safer, more comfortable methods are available is considered cruel.” To keep your pet safe, happy, and healthy, as well as give our veterinarians the best examination of your pets’ mouth possible, MLVH requires sedation for all of our dental procedures. Fortunately, this is still an outpatient procedure so your pet will typically be home later the same day!
Xrays: Since over half of each dog or cat tooth is below the gum line, xrays have become an essential part of evaluating your pets oral health. Our exams begin with physical and visual examination of the external part of the tooth. Xrays are taken of any tooth/teeth determined to be suspect prior to any procedure being performed. These images can sometimes reveal damage to the underlying jaw bones as well.
Extractions and Oral Surgery: If xrays reveal or confirm disease, the veterinarian will evaluate the risks and benefits to removing the affected teeth. Although it can be alarming to owners when a pet has teeth extracted, this is actually fairly routine and the benefits to your pets’ health can often be life changing. In order to reduce stress to your pet and the risks associated with another anesthetized procedure, our veterinarians are prepared to immediately address any dental extractions or surgery that may arise during the cleaning. Prior to the procedure, MLVH will develop a plan for how you would like us to handle potential procedures needed during your pets’ cleaning. Our veterinarians are experienced in simple extractions, surgical extractions, jaw fracture repair, and a variety of other oral surgery needs.
Aftercare: Depending on the services needed throughout the procedure, we may recommend pain medication or antibiotics for your pet to keep them safe and comfortable. If extractions were needed, your pet may need to eat soft food for a few days while the mouth heals. However, experience has shown that most pets feel so much better having the painful teeth removed, they’re eating better than ever within the first 48 hours. Typically, dental cleanings are considered out-patient procedures and your pet can go home the very same day. If the procedure is exceptionally long or your pet has difficulty recovering from anesthesia, we may keep your pet overnight for additional monitoring. Whether the same day or the next, rest assured that our staff is always on site to answer any questions or concerns you may have once your pet is back in your arms.
Pharmacy and Specialty Compounded Medication
MLVH carries a broad medication array to meet your needs for both our outpatient and inpatient pet needs,including compounded medication especially for your pet!
As a 24 hour emergency hospital, we are prepared to treat a variety of emergency situations from poison ingestion to rattlesnake bites. This includes carrying the medications needed to treat these emergencies. For your convenience, we also carry a comprehensive pharmacy for our non-emergent pets.
After venturing out to our office with your pet, another stop at the pharmacy is often the last thing on your mind. We understand your time is valuable, and for this reason, we also carry a comprehensive outpatient pharmacy.
Since we give medications to pets here in our clinic every day, we understand how difficult this simple sounding task can be. Some pets can find a tablet hidden in the middle of the best tasty treats available, and some will hide they minute they hear that pill bottle open! MLVH understands how uniquely challenging it can be to give your pet medication. This is why we have also added pet medication compounding to our pharmacy! We can have most medications prepared as a liquid in delicious flavors formulated just for your pet. Flavor options like crispy bacon, angus beef steak, fish chowder, and peanut butter will get even the most finicky pet interested in taking their medicine. The liquid formulation makes it easy to add the medication to their food or right in the pet’s mouth. Medication compounding also makes it possible to get the most accurate dose for your pet. Flavors are available to suit almost every small animal we see. Please ask if you would like specially compounded medication for your pet!
****Reminder: State law requires a physical exam of your pet within the last year to legally prescribe medications. Also, we are not licensed as a retail pharmacy so we can only legally dispense medications to pets seen by our veterinarians.
From daycare to extended stays, MLVH understands how important it is to provide individualized care for your pet in your absence. We don’t expect you to meet our needs, we expect to meet yours. That’s why we offer 24 hour pick up and drop off! With a veterinarian and support staff on site 24 hours a day, you can enjoy your time away without worry, even if your pet has health issues. For more information on our boarding options and requirements, please refer to our Boarding page or contact our office with any questions or concerns.
Keeping your pet safe and healthy is always our number one priority. Millions of pets are lost and stolen each year. Although collars can be helpful, they can often get removed either intentionally or accidentally. To help you safeguard your beloved family member, MLVH offers microchipping for a permanent form of identification. MLVH uses the Microfindr microchip from PetLink. The Microfindr chip is about the size of a single grain of rice and the process for microchipping is quick, requiring a simple insertion under the skin via a needle. MLVH confirms the chip is working and in the proper location, typically between the shoulder blades. Although microchipping is safe for your pet at any time, for the comfort of your pet we typically recommend these be done during their routine spay or neuter. Although a common misconception, microchipping does not allow you to track your pet’s physical location. Microchips provide an identification sequence that can be used to identify your pet as yours if he/she is ever lost or stolen. The pet will be scanned and when the number is located, it can be used to find your information in the registry. Since the registry is how we locate you, it is crucial that you register your pet after microchip placement. MLVH makes this as easy as possible by providing all of the information needed for this process immediately after microchip placement. We have chosen the Microfindr microchip to maximize the benefits of microchipping for you and your pet! PetLink Microfindr offers the following benefits:
○ 24/7 pet recovery hotline (1-877-738-5465)
○ One-time fee for the lifetime of your pet
○ Free “lost pet” posters complete with your pet’s photo
○ Email reminders to update information
○ Useful tips and successful found pet stories
○ For those of you that travel with your pet, the Microfindr microchip is accepted by both national and international standards.
○ PetLink’s database has a separate fund that ensures it will continue to operate for another 25 years if the business were to close!
○ For more information or to register your pet, please visit www.petlink.net, email PetLink at firstname.lastname@example.org, our contact our offices.
Health Certificates (Travel)
From vacation to relocation, MLVH has veterinarians available to provide you with the needed materials for travel. Both your destination and your method of travel can guide the requirements for pet travel. Most airlines will require a health certificate to be performed within a short period prior to flying. However, many destinations can have requirements that take months to complete. Failure to meet these requirements may mean that your pet will be quarantined for an extended period in the new location prior to coming home with you. Since these requirements can vary greatly and proper timing can be crucial, we recommend notifying our office as soon as you are aware you may be traveling. MLVH is happy to assist the planning process.
Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of health for all pets. For the health of your pet as well as your convenience, we offer multiple lines of quality or prescription pet foods. Pets need balanced diets with proven health benefits and quality food sources. Our veterinarians are excited to discuss the benefits of proper diet and provide recommended diets based on your pet’s needs. Below are some examples of the benefits of proper diet:
○ Puppies and kittens require extra fats and nutrients – as do nursing mothers!
○ Skin issues and allergies can often be caused by either poor quality food or food allergies.
○ Mental and Physical aging can also be modified or supported by diet choices.
○ Diabetes can often be controlled or modified with proper diet.
○ Hyperthyroidism in cats can sometimes be completely treated with proper diet.
○ Weight can be managed via proper diet.
○ Most chronic diseases can be treated or supported with proper diet changes.
****All of our diets offer a money back guarantee!!
Farewell Dear Friend (euthanasia)/ Cremation services
Saying goodbye to a beloved family member is one of the hardest challenges a pet owner faces. We also know all too well the agonizing pain placed upon pets and owners when the suffering has become too much to bear. MLVH understands what a difficult process this can be, and we are here to support you through the process. For more information, please refer to our Farewell Dear Friend section for more information or contact our office with any questions or concerns.