It is important to build and maintain a strong foundation for your pet’s health from birth. The immune and organ systems of a healthy animal are much better able to fight off a disease or an illness before it becomes a serious problem.
Routine examinations allow us to catch a potential problem well before it becomes serious – as with humans, early detection and diagnosis offer a much better chance for a quick and full recovery. We may also suggest completing a Nutritional Blood Test (NBT) of your pet to establish a baseline profile of the condition of your animal’s immune and organ systems. We will use this data throughout the life of the animal to understand if and why his/her health may have changed.
About Vaccines: There is much being written about the overuse of vaccines, especially about their toxicity and the practice of giving multiple
vaccines at once. While we support the selective use of vaccines, we take a decidedly conservative approach to their use, and
we rarely administer more than one vaccine at a time. Vaccine programs are tailored for the individual animal and take into account
the pet’s lifestyle, geographic location and health status. You will be an active partner in making vaccination decisions for your
pet and we will respect choices ranging from no vaccines to standard vaccination. However, we rarely perform “routine” vaccination and
generally encourage the use of titer testing to determine an animal’s need for vaccination. If we find cause for concern in the titer
results, then we will discuss vaccination options with you. If you and your veterinarian agree that vaccination is appropriate, we will
use, when possible, vaccine brands that have been carefully selected for being thimerosol-free and adjuvant-free.
About Diet: Food choices are not a matter of right or wrong, black or white. By understanding what is ideal and what is not, we can make intelligent decisions which at least take us ever closer to the ideal. Smith Ridge actively endorses raw diets,
home-cooked diets, high-end Super Premium canned diets, and, for dogs, grain-free kibble diets. If finances, lifestyle or medical conditions dictate the use of other types of diets, we will work with you to find the best possible option.
Flea, Tick and Heartworm Control: Your veterinarian will discuss a variety of chemical and alternative natural remedies with you for use against common parasites such as ticks, fleas and heartworm. Together you will decide which option is best for your pet by factoring in your priorities, your pet’s general health and the environmental conditions in your geographical location.
About Spay and Neuters: Smith Ridge regularly performs spays and neuters. Because we use the most modern anesthesias, your pet is at minimal risk. A neuter is a relatively uncomplicated procedure and all neutered animals are typically sent home the same day as surgery. However, a spay is a major surgery. It is the equivalent of a hysterectomy in a woman. Despite that, we feel that most animals will still recover best at home. So, whenever possible we will also send spayed females home on the same day as surgery. This does require that the owners feel confident that they can keep their pet quiet and contained in a crate, bathroom or other small space where she can’t jump and where she won’t be stressed by children or other pets. Your doctor will speak with you and decide whether your pet will do best by spending the night in our hospital or at home with you.