Our staff at Flathead Animal Clinic is filled with passionate animal lovers who are here to help you and your pet! They are highly trained and dedicated to making sure that your pets receive the care and compassion they deserve every time they walk in the door!
We offer the following services to keep your pets healthy:
- Radiography & Ultrasound
- Behavior Management
- Dental Care
- Geriatric Care
- Health Certificates
- In-House Laboratory
- Onsite Diagnostics
- Nutritional Counseling
- Parasite Prevention
- Pain Management
- Preventative Care
- Puppy and Kitten Care
- Spay and Neuter
- Wellness Exams
- Radiowave Surgery
Radiography and Ultrasound
X-rays and ultrasound are two of the best tools we have to evaluate your pet’s musculoskeletal and internal organ systems. We have on-site digital x-ray technology which, unlike traditional film x-rays, provides much more detail and higher quality images. Imaging and processing is also much faster which means your pet spends less time on the table and the process is less stressful. Ultrasound is another highly effective tool especially of benefit in examining abdominal organs and heart function. We also have quick on-line referral to outside consultants to assist with analysis of complex images, so there is no delay in treating your pet once a definitive diagnosis is made. When called for, FAC offers a reduced price for a combined x-ray/ultrasound abdominal package to allow you the most comprehensive diagnostic package for the least possible cost.
We offer solutions for a variety of behavioral issues that pet owners are faced with. Behavioral problems can be challenging and frustrating for both pets and pet owners, so it is our goal to work with you towards a solution.
There are many behaviors that can be negative or destructive, and many pet owners feel helpless in bringing peace to their home. We want you to know that we are here to help, and that undesirable behaviors can be corrected.
Regular dental care is a vital aspect of your pet’s wellness program and is one of our top priorities. Dental issues can range from excess plaque and halitosis to broken, painful teeth, and periodontal disease. All are serious conditions that can often progress into much larger, dangerous medical issues. A complete dental health program includes regular dental exams, cleanings and treatments, followed by an effective at-home regimen.
With even the best home care routine, however, occasional professional cleaning and polishing is needed. This process requires your pet to undergo anesthesia, which, even for elderly patients, is safe and closely monitored. Pre-anesthetic options are offered just as they are for our surgery patients. (See our Pre-Anesthesia Info under our RESOURCES Tab for details.) While your pet is anesthetized, we offer and recommend the option of digital dental x-rays. This technology has provided us with a superior tool for improving our ability to detect painful dental problems that would otherwise be missed such as bone loss from periodontal disease, root abscesses, resorptive/cavity type lesions, and evaluation of broken teeth and roots. Any problems identified can be addressed immediately.
After your pet’s dental prophylaxis visit, and, ideally followed by at-home care, your pet will be on its way to a healthy mouth and an overall improved physical condition.
Your pets’ skin is the largest organ of the body. Allergies, parasites, infections, autoimmune diseases and cancers can all affect your pet’s skin.
We offer specific diagnostic tests like allergy testing, fungal testing, cultures and biopsies, along with the most cutting edge treatments to ensure the health of your pets’ skin.
Senior pets are excellent companions, and advances in veterinary medicine now make it possible for pets to live longer and healthier lives. Pets are considered to be seniors at around age 7, and that’s when special attention and early intervention is needed to maintain optimal health through your pet’s golden years. What may look like the usual signs of “old age,” could actually be indications of painful conditions, such as damaged or abscessed teeth, periodontal disease, or arthritis. Serious problems indicating decreased liver or kidney function, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, or cancer, may also have come on gradually and not be readily apparent.
To stay on top of these changes, we recommend all senior pets undergo a physical examination every six months. During these exams, we also perform routine blood tests and urinalyses that can detect the hidden signs and symptoms of chronic conditions or disease. Treatment can begin early to reverse, treat, manage or control a number of conditions associated with aging. Working together, we’ll help you and your faithful companion enjoy many more years together.
If you want to travel internationally with your pet, you need to plan ahead. Since each country is different, you will have to contact the embassy or consulate where you are going to find out what you need to do.
Though every country has different requirements, most require a health certificate that is done by a USDA-accredited veterinarian. Luckily, we have a USDA-accredited veterinarian. If you are not a client, you need to make sure you bring your pets’ records in with you to the examination.
You will always need a health certificate and proof of vaccination. You may also need a microchip and blood tests. Many countries require that your pet get treated for parasites prior to travel. You may also need certificates for the airplane ride.
Since each country is different and we can’t stay up to date will all of the changes in each one, it is important that you call ahead and know what you need. Then, we will make sure that your pet is all ready to go!
FAC has a well-equipped in-house laboratory using a variety of current Abaxis Vetscan technologies. We are able to perform a complete blood chemistry or a specific individual test, such as for thyroid or liver function, while you wait. Tests for heartworm, infectious feline viruses, and canine Parvovirus, plus microscopic fecal exams and urinalyses are also run in-house with prompt results, so treatment for your pet can begin immediately. We also have access to several excellent outside labs if unusual or more extensive testing is required. Results, depending on the type of test, are usually received within 1-2 days.
We have state-of-the-art diagnostic tools that allow our staff to diagnose your pets’ condition or illness better. It is our commitment to stay on the cutting edge of diagnostic technology.
Having these advanced diagnostic tools allows us to examine specific areas more carefully and provide a quicker and more accurate diagnosis. We use many tools such as radiology, lab tests, and various other equipment and tests.
We are pleased to offer microchipping through HomeAgain—your lost pet’s best chance for a happy homecoming!
Did you know?
- Getting lost is the #1 cause of death for pets.
- 1 in 3 pets becomes lost during its lifetime.
- Without ID, 90% of lost pets never return home.
During an office visit, a tiny microchip is inserted with a special syringe under the skin between your pet’s shoulders. It is no more painful than a vaccination and will always remain in place. We will immediately enroll your pet with HomeAgain along with your contact information. After this initial registration, you can complete your pet’s profile, upload a photo, enter medical information, or change your contact data at anytime.
Should your pet become lost for any reason, you report your loss to HomeAgain. A specialist sets the search in motion by alerting clinics and shelters, as well as PetRescuers from the national network of over 500,000 volunteers. You receive a list of local shelters and a personalized Lost Pet Poster, so you can begin to search right away, wherever you are. When your pet is found and taken to a veterinary clinic or shelter, it will be scanned for a microchip. The HomeAgain chip is able to be read by scanners of all chip manufacturers, ensuring that your pet’s unique ID code will be linked to HomeAgain’s database. As soon as your contact information is retrieved, you will be contacted and arrangements made to happily reunite you and your found pet!
In addition to the Lost Pet Alerts, Posters and broad Recovery Network, your first year’s enrollment also includes a 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline and Found Pet Travel Assistance. These benefits can be continued annually for a small fee paid directly to HomeAgain. Your pet’s microchip number and contact information, however, remain in the HomeAgain database for life and can be updated free of charge at any time.
For more information, click on our HomeAgain link, visit www.homeagain.com, or call 1-888-HOMEAGAIN (1-888-466-3242). Give your pet the best chance of finding its way back home! Call us for a microchipping appointment today!
Flathead Animal Clinic offers nutritional counseling for pet owners of Kalispell, MT and surrounding communities. If you have any questions about your pet’s diet or would like more information about your pet’s nutritional needs, please contact us today. We can set up a nutrition plan for your pet.
Obesity is a common problem among pets, as it can be easy to overfeed a cute dog or cat that knows how to beg. Being overweight is a serious problem for animals, and can cause real health problems. With proper diet and exercise, all pets should be able to meet their dietary needs and stay within a healthy weight range.
The idea of your pet being infested with parasites is a disturbing thought, but it’s also a medical issue that can have serious consequences if not properly dealt with or prevented. Parasites pose a variety of health issues for our pets, who can be very susceptible to certain parasites depending on age, region, and other factors.
At Flathead Animal Clinic, we emphasize the importance of preventing parasites. Through preventative measures, you can successfully protect your pet. Pets that are not protected often develop parasites, leading to serious problems for them and their owners.
Pets that are in pain are miserable. For this reason, we will do whatever we can to keep your pets comfortable.
We have many different choices when it comes to treating apets’ pain. There are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are very helpful with mild pain. We also prescribe steroids which can offer a lot of relief. We also have stronger pain medications if the non-steroidal medications are not enough. We also offer glucosamine in tablets and injections to help with arthritis.
FAC keeps in stock most all of the prescription drugs and nutraceuticals that might be needed for your pet’s care, providing you with manufacturer-backed quality, veterinary expertise, and dispensing convenience. For our hard-to-medicate pets, we can even provide specially flavored liquids, transdermal gels or patches through our compounding pharmacy resources, and we offer Greenies Pill Pockets that can turn “pill time” into “treat time.” In addition, we carry many OTC products such as those to ward off dental disease, help with coat and skin care, provide vitamins or nutrients missing from the diet, ease arthritis pain, calm thunderstorm or fireworks anxiety, and many more items to help enrich your pet’s life.
We ask that pet owners requesting prescription refills allow us at least 24 hours prior to pick-up. Certain special-order medications may require several days advance notice. Just as you would for your own drug needs, we urge you to stay on top of your pet’s Rx meds, so there will be no missed doses. Please note that, for the health and safety of your pet, PERIODIC BLOOD TESTING IS REQUIRED prior to any prescription refills of medications used to treat certain conditions like arthritis/pain, high/low thyroid or seizure disorders. These medications include Deramaxx, Metacam, and Rimadyl (which are NSAIDs), Methimazole, Thyroxine, Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide, among others. Blood testing serves two purposes: 1) It allows us to monitor the level of drug concentration in the blood in order to afford the maximum benefit, and, 2) It allows us to monitor any adverse effects the drug may have on your pet’s internal organs. Call us when your pet’s medication is running low, so that we can determine the status of your pet’s bloodwork. If any testing is due, we can schedule an appointment as soon as possible to allow for refill or medication/dosage adjustment.
INFORMATION REGARDING VETERINARY PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) has established strict policies regarding prescription drug use for animals. Since veterinarians, as licensed health professionals, can order and dispense drugs to effectively treat their animal patients, they must adhere to the same regulations as pharmacists as to the handling of such medications, as well as to the policies established by the Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine. Following is information regarding the most common questions we receive.
Can the doctor prescribe a drug treatment for my pet without its having to be seen?
Veterinary prescription drugs are to be used or prescribed only within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR). A VCPR exists when all of the following conditions have been met: The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarian’s instructions. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal(s). This means that the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal(s) by virtue of an examination of the animal(s) or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept. The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation, or has arranged for emergency coverage, in the event of adverse reactions or failure of the treatment regimen. AVMA Guidelines for Veterinary Prescription Drugs, revised 11/06 Therefore, if the above conditions have not been met, then OUR VETERINARIAN MUST FIRST EXAMINE YOUR PET before prescribing any method of treatment.
Can I return a prescription if my pet, for whatever reason, cannot use it?
24.174.521 RETURNED PRESCRIPTION In the best interest of, and for the safety and protection of public health and the pharmacy, no pharmacist shall place in stock for reuse or resale the contents of any prescription, which has been returned after leaving the pharmacy, except as provided in ARM 24.174.1141. Board of Pharmacy–Administrative Rules of Montana 6/30/06 In other words, once a prescription has left the pharmacy, the pharmacist cannot be sure that the product is still safe. Since our veterinarian serves as your pet’s pharmacist, think of it this way: Would you want the medication that you purchase from us to be medication that someone else had returned and we cannot guarantee that it had not been contaminated or improperly stored? Therefore, to ensure your pet’s safety and to comply with state law, WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT ANY MEDICATION RETURNS.
Can I buy the same prescription medicine for my pet over the internet?
We realize that cost is very often a factor for our clients, and that large internet companies can buy in bulk, offering medications and products for less. We wish to caution our clients about these resources, however, as your pet’s health is at stake. Many veterinary drug manufacturers do not sell to retail outlets, pet supply stores, internet sites or any other distribution facility where a veterinary-client relationship does not exist. How products reach these businesses is unknown, so the drug manufacturers cannot ensure that proper handling and storage occurs, or if the products are legitimate or counterfeit. Even though our doctor’s prescription is still required for purchase, there will not be any guarantee should your pet have an adverse experience or lack of efficacy on these medications or products. If you are interested in learning more about the counterfeit market for animal health products, you can access the FDA website at http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm203000.htm
We believe the best way to promote overall health is through preventative care. Regular checkups allow us to establish a baseline in your pets’ health and make us aware of any changes that may indicate future problems.
We highly recommend bringing your pet in for regular exams. Often health problems that go undetected can become more severe issues when left untreated, so checkups are important even when your pet appears healthy.
Puppy and Kitten Care
Adopting a puppy or kitten into your home is fun and exciting! It might be your first pet, or, maybe it’s been a while since you’ve had a youngster. Either way, we want to provide you with important information that will keep your new addition healthy and happy for a lifetime.
Your puppy’s or kitten’s initial visit will include a thorough physical exam that will allow safe administration of any needed vaccines. We will begin a vaccine protocol that is specially tailored to your pet. Adhering to the schedule will be emphasized in order to provide optimum protection against a number of harmful, or potentially deadly, diseases, and we’ll remind you when boosters are due.
We’ll discuss the benefits of spaying/neutering and determine the appropriate age for this surgery for your pet. Getting an early start on dental care is another must. We’ll assist you with starting a routine that will help minimize future dental problems. Proper diet for your kitten or puppy tailored to its specific breed needs will be addressed. Feeding the right amount of a well-balanced diet made with high quality ingredients will promote a healthy GI tract and lustrous fur coat, and foster optimal skeletal development and growth. See our links for PET NUTRITION under our RESOURCES Tab.
You may want to consider having a microchip implanted to aid in recovering your pet in case it ever becomes lost. (See MICROCHIPPING under our SERVICES Tab for details on this important program.)
Early behavior training is essential, as is getting your pet accustomed to having its feet, mouth, and ears handled. Our knowledgeable staff can help with any problem areas, such as litter box training, destructive chewing, car ride anxiety/nausea, dominance display, and other aspects of early training. We also have excellent references for early socialization and obedience classes.
Come see us to introduce your pet to a lifetime of health and wellness and take home a Puppy or Kitten Care Kit with food samples and coupons!
Spay and Neuter
Spaying and neutering are important and necessary medical procedures that enhance the quality of your pets’ life. Not only does spaying and neutering have positive effects on your pets’ health, it’s also vital to controlling the homeless pet population.
Vaccinations are a key part of your pet’s overall health care plan and protect your pet from a number of serious, highly contagious, debilitating or deadly diseases. Beginning as a puppy or kitten and remaining up-to-date throughout your pet’s life, vaccinations are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to keep your pet healthy.
While some vaccines require annual boosters to maintain an effective level of protection, others do not, and can be boosted every three years. Our vaccination plans are tailored to the specific needs and activities of each of our patients to make sure that each pet receives exactly what it needs to maintain optimum health. We will discuss vaccination needs at your pet’s wellness exam, and send you a reminder when your pet is coming due for its boosters.
Prevention is the best medicine and the key to keeping your pet healthy and happy! Our annual wellness program is tailored to each pet’s needs and includes comprehensive physical exams, vaccinations as needed, parasite screening* and prevention, blood chemistry panels and urinalyses when recommended, regular dental care, and proper diet recommendations at each life stage.
We encourage your participation in your pet’s wellness program. Prior to each visit, make note of any changes in behavior, appetite or water consumption, bowel or bladder elimination, and any signs of distress or pain. (*Remember to bring along a fresh stool sample to expedite a microscopic fecal exam for parasites.) Tell us about your pet’s diet, including treats, vitamins and other supplements, about its activity level, and about any changes in the household routine. Together we will tailor a prevention plan to maintain your pet’s health from kitten/puppyhood into its golden years!
We are pleased to offer a radiowave surgery option for your pet as an alternative to traditional surgical procedure. Rather than cutting through tissue with a scalpel blade, an electrode tip, energized by ultra-high frequency radiowaves, provides our surgeon both a cutting and coagulating effect with each incision made.
- Decreased post-operative pain. Nerve endings are sealed by the radiowaves as they cut.
- Decreased post-surgical edema. High frequency/Low temperature=less tissue destruction
- Decreased risk of infection. Surface bacteria are vaporized by the radiowaves.
- Reduced blood loss. Radiowaves close off blood vessels as they cut.
- Shortened anesthesia/surgery time. As there’s less time spent controlling bleeding, your pet recovers faster and there’s less cost to you.
- Occasional suture elimination. Allows multiple cysts or small skin growths to be quickly and cleanly removed.
- Affordable. Additional cost is minimal to you for the benefits gained for your pet.
If a surgical procedure has been recommended for your pet, please ask us about the suitability and cost associated with this beneficial option.