City by the Sea Veterinary offers a wide range of pet care services that you can take advantage of if your pet is not feeling well. We offer vaccines, surgery, dentistry, parasite prevention, parasite removal, and a few other pet care services. No matter what service you need, our team of vets can help to improve your pet’s health in a reasonable amount of time.
If you would like to learn more about an individual service, you can find the information below.
Let’s face it: we probably over vaccinate our pets in this country. However, some vaccines (for example, Rabies) are required by law. We can’t do anything about that. And not vaccinating your pets not only puts them at risk but it puts everyone, including us, at major risk for communicable diseases. We don’t want that. That’s why we offer both vaccine boosters and vaccine antibody testing for pets. Our veterinarians won’t pressure you into vaccinating just because. If your pet lives in an endemic area or is at-risk we will recommend the best vaccines to prevent the most common diseases found in your area.
We follow the standards set forth by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for vaccine guidelines in cats and dogs. Take the lifestyle-based vaccine calculator to learn what vaccines you should consider for your pet.
Every dog and cat does not need every vaccine and certainly not every year! But some vaccines ARE needed for every pet. These are called Core vaccines and we recommend they be boostered every 3 years after your pet turns 1 year. They include Rabies and the feline and canine distemper combo vaccines.
The DA2PP (distemper combo) vaccine for dogs contains vaccination against Distemper virus, Adenovirus type-2, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus. The FVRCP (Feline distemper combo) vaccine contains vaccination against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus), Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. These are some of the most contagious, prevalent, and deadly viruses your pet can come in contact with. To learn more about these serious diseases, check out our pet health library page for important information.
Non-core vaccines are vaccines for dogs and cats that are most at-risk for coming into contact with these little buggers. It is recommended to booster these vaccines yearly for your pet.
Canine Non-core Vaccines: Bordetella (Kennel cough), Borrelia burdorferi (Lyme Disease), Leptospirosis, and Influenza.
Feline Non-core Vaccines: Feline Leukemia Virus
They exist! We use only the safest vaccines available. Severe reactions are uncommon, but you should know they can occur. Local site-reactions tend to be the most common, causing a bit of soreness or lethargy. More serious side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, anemia, and in some cases death, but are VERY rare. The most important thing to remember is that the risk of your pet getting sick and/or dying from NOT VACCINATING is MUCH GREATER than the risk of a severe reaction. So, VACCINATE YOUR PETS!! (even if they don’t go outside!) 🙂
Do you have any questions or concerns about vaccines and your pet?
The Jersey Shore has some of the most abundant, disease-laden fleas and ticks in the country! Researchers from around the world come here to collect ticks to study the diseases they spread. It is so important to protect our pets from these little bugs. Beyond what you can spray on your lawn, prevention with a monthly flea and tick prevention medication (along with Lyme vaccination) is key! Lyme disease prevalence was almost 14% in 2012, today it’s closer to 9! That’s not because the ticks are leaving or dying, it’s because we are doing a better job at preventing them from biting and infecting our pets.
Other ectoparasites include types of mange, many of which can be transmitted to people!
We use the safest and easiest medications to give to your pets and tailor it to your pet’s lifestyle. Ask your veterinarian which is best for your pet! To learn more about fleas, ticks and other parasites check out our pet health library!
Intestinal parasites are very common, so common that many kittens and puppies born healthy acquire larval stage parasites from their moms through the placenta and/or the milk before even touching the ground or being around other pets. Intestinal parasites can cause a slew of issues in cats and dogs – from unthriftiness and weight loss to severe gastrointestinal disease, anemia, and in serious cases even death. Fortunately, routine deworming and monthly heartworm preventives often take care of many immature infestations before they ever become a problem.
Heartworms are starting to become bigger problems. Where Dr. Tom went to school, in rural Alabama, it’s hard to find a dog that isn’t positive for heartworm disease. Up here, the risk is increasing. Warmer spring and summer months, wetter conditions, more mosquitos, more heartworm cases. Just treating in the spring/summer? BIG MISTAKE! It takes 6 months for immature heartworms (called microfilaria) to become adults that set up a cozy living space in the right atrium and pulmonary artery of the heart. This means if your pet is bitten the day after the last dose given in the fall, 2-3 months of no treatment and those babies are going to become adults – even if you start treating again! IT’S NOT WORTH IT!
Besides Heartworm disease being life threatening, it’s also expensive and requires several months of cage-rest and exercise restriction. It just makes sense to treat your pet ALL YEAR. Testing is done yearly and if your pet comes up positive many of the pharmaceutical companies will pay for treatment if we can show them the pet has been on monthly prevention. Ask us about options for this very preventable infection! To learn more about intestinal parasites and heartworm disease, see our pet health library!
Does your pet have bad breath? Unfortunately, this big red flag is just the tip of the iceberg. The real concern is below the gum line, unseen by the naked eye. Periodontal (“around the teeth”) disease and infections below the gum line are serious causes of pain, affecting how your pet eats and causing drooling, bleeding and pain. If left untreated dental disease may progress to an infection that affects distant organs (heart, liver, kidneys, and others) and may even be life threatening!
Many factors! Similar to us – genetics, fractured teeth, wear-and-tear and other causes all play a role in predisposing our pets to dental disease and giving bacteria access to the “root” of the problem. As food and other organic material gets lodged in between teeth – bacteria infiltrate the gum line and form firm deposits called “calculus.” A full 85% of pets have periodontal disease by 3 years of age.
So if we can’t see it how do we treat it?! Enter dental radiography. Dental radiographs allow us to see the roots and connective tissue that lies between the tooth and the bone that holds the teeth in place. Using this tool we can identify abscesses, fractures, bone loss, tumors, and other signs of endodontal disease that may look very normal on the surface. Once the source of the problem is identified we can come up with a plan on how to fix it.
Prevention starts at home! Many pets are sensitive about their mouths. As young kitties and pups we as pet owners should work on training our pets to tolerate manipulation of their mouths to look under the tongue, evaluate their gums and look at all the teeth including the way back!
Next we can introduce brushing. Brushing your pet’s teeth every day (or at least three times a week) will help to reduce plaque and bacteria from adhering and infiltrating the gum (gingiva) and affecting the viability of the tooth. Similar to us – brushing is not enough and a visit to your dentist for a cleaning and x-rays are needed for further intervention. Starting early may save your pet from infections and losing several teeth later in life. Some pets may need cleanings twice a year (some cats, many small breed dogs) – others every 2 years (large breeds). Talk to your vet about what is best for your pet!
Sometimes baby teeth, especially in small, brachycephalic breeds like Shih-Tzus, baby teeth (deciduous teeth) do not appropriately fall out when adult teeth fully erupt. These teeth predispose pets to dental issues including infections and malocclusions down the road. We recommend removing these teeth if they have not yet fallen out by 6 months of age.
Did your veterinarian recommend a surgical procedure? Nervous about your pet undergoing anesthesia? While unpredictable events are possible during anesthesia, these events are very uncommon. In healthy pets, anesthesia is very safe, but close monitoring of the anesthetized pet is essential. That’s why at City By The Sea Vet every heartbeat and respiration is monitored very closely so that finite adjustments can be made if necessary and immediate intervention can take place if complications arise. Our state-of-the-art anesthesia monitoring equipment is capable of recording several parameters during the procedure.
Every pet undergoing anesthesia at our hospital receives a complete physical exam and mandatory pre-anesthetic blood work prior to every procedure. In some cases, thoracic radiographs may even be recommended to evaluate the heart and lungs of some pets. These tests are utilized to minimize any risk even further in the pets that come to our hospital.
Because every pet is different, your vet will tailor a specific medication protocol that is safest for your pet and the type of procedure that is to be performed taking several factors into account including age, breed, chronic disease history, systems involved and other factors. Surgical procedures may be performed in young healthy pets to prevent breeding or to prevent diseases in at-risk breeds. We want you to be comfortable with the procedure that your pet is having performed, so if you have ANY questions or concerns about what’s going on let us know! Ask us about having a tour of our state-of-the-art operating room and dental suite.
We are always available to discuss palliative care options and euthanasia for pets with a decrease in quality of life. We provide this service in the comfort of your pet’s home surrounded by family and the sights, sounds, and smells that your pet is used to.
In most cases, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Your veterinarian is experienced enough to understand what is considered “treatable” versus “non-treatable” disease. However, regardless of how treatable your pet’s condition may be, quality of life has a different definition for every pet owner. So, discussing “when the time is right” with your veterinarian is the best option – because this decision should not be made alone.
When our veterinarian visits your home, we will discuss your pet’s medical history and the pet owner’s wishes. We will discuss plans for aftercare such as cremation or burial services. The memorial service we utilize is through Abbey Glen Pet Memorial.
The owner must sign a euthanasia consent form prior to this service being performed. This consent ensures that the pet has not bitten anyone in the past 10 days, is not under quarantine for infectious disease exposure, and gives the hospital consent to put your animal to sleep and, if requested, perform cremation or burial.
Your pet will be administered a sedative medication delivered by an injection into the muscle in the hind leg. This injection sometimes stings, but as quickly as it can be delivered the sting will diminish. This is the only part of the process that may be uncomfortable for some pets. Within minutes your pet will become very drowsy (although all pets react differently and some require additional or different medication).
During the sedation process we warn pet owners that pets may act a bit confused while the medications are taking effect. It is important to remain calm, as this is a normal part of this process. Once sedated, many pets will not close their eyes and their tongues may protrude from their mouths. Often times many pets snore and can sometimes urinate and/or defecate. Some pet owners only stay with their pet through the sedation process and this is fine, we think it makes pets comfortable to know their family is close.
Once your pet is sedated, a lethal dose of an anesthetic drug (euthanasia solution) is delivered intravenously. This injection is not painful and works very quickly and will cause the pet to fall into a deep sleep, shutting the body down and passing away. Often the pet will pass before the doctor has even finished delivering the full dose of medication.
Although it is uncommon, some pets will display agonal breathing after delivering the euthanasia solution. This may even occur after the doctor has listened to the pet’s heart and declared the pet deceased. Agonal breaths are impulses from the brain which are trying to stimulate breath, if they occur they are not painful and your pet is not struggling or suffocating for breath. They are rare if they occur, but can be a normal part of this process.
99% of the time it does. A complication we have run into in the past is sometimes our choice of sedation drug can sometimes not be enough or have dysphoric effects. During this time pet’s act confused. In this event, additional or alternative medications are administered. We can’t usually predict which pets are more resistant to sedation, and when it happens it can be frustrating for the pet owner, but also the veterinarian. However, the pet is often unaware of what’s going on and there is no pain or discomfort associated with dysphoria.
Another complication we sometimes encounter is finding a viable blood vessel to deliver the intravenous euthanasia medication. Many pets are physically ill when we are called for this service and their systems are not functioning appropriately, including blood pressure regulation. We choose a back leg so that pet owners can hold their pets or stay near their face to pet them, but sometimes the doctor may need to change legs or move to a forelimb. Because sedation has taken effect at this point, your pet will not feel the pinch of a needle.
Our team will give you and your family time and privacy to say a final goodbye. Then we will remove your pet to prepare for burial or cremation.
If you would like to discuss your pet’s quality of life further please call to schedule an appointment or request a quote for this service.
Our hospital has regular business hours, but if you have an emergency or a question that can’t wait until the next business day, give us a call. Our staff checks our voicemail regularly day and night and if your pet needs urgent care we will make every attempt to return your call in a timely manner. If your pet cannot wait, or you do not hear from us – please do not wait but consider bringing your pet to Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, NJ (732) 922-0011.