National Pet Dental Health Month

Do you brush your pets’ teeth on a regular basis? If you don’t then you might want to consider your pet having a yearly dental cleaning and exam. Many owners do not have the time or patience to brush their pets’ teeth every day, but do not understand the risk associated with poor dental health.


Brushing your pets’ teeth is a very important action in your pet’s health care regime. At Mars Hill Animal Hospital we offer enzymatic toothpaste and can advise you on the best routine your pets’ needs. Using a finger toothbrush, soft child’s toothbrush, or toothbrush designed specifically for pet is the best option. Using human toothpaste is not recommended because it does not have the correct enzymes and can upset your pets’ stomach.


If you aren’t too keen on brushing your pet’s teeth there are other options for preventing dental disease. Letting your dog chew on toys such as Nylabones while you are supervising them is a great way for your dog to scrape tartar off their teeth and promote healthy gums. Also, feeding your pet a oral health designed diet is another option to help your pets’ mouth in the best condition. We offer the Science Diet t/d diet, Healthy Advantage Oral, as well as C.E.T treats that helps break plaque off your dog’s teeth.


The risks that are associated with dental disease can become severe if care and cleaning is not provided. Signs to look for that indicate your pet is suffering from dental disease are bad breath, inflamed gums, excessive drooling, unwillingness to eat dry food, loose teeth, or bleeding mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms or you are worried about your pet’s oral health we advise you contact your veterinary office immediately.




dog-dentalWe recommend dental cleaning once a year for pets that do not have gingivitis, pyorrhea, peridontis. Pets that already have dental disease might need more frequent dental cleanings. Before each dental cleaning the veterinarian gives an oral exam, pre-operative blood-work is run, and your pet is placed on I.V. fluids to ensure that they do not become dehydrated during the procedure. After your pet is safely put under anesthesia the veterinary technician begins to scale the tartar off your pet’s teeth.  When that is done an exam is given to make sure the teeth and gum line are healthy and there are no signs of dental disease. Then, your pet’s teeth are polish and an antibiotic rinse is applied.  During the procedure your pet is given an injection of pain medication and antibiotics to ensure their recovery goes well! Because we care about your pet’s health we send home antibiotics if they are needed, a bag of Science Diet’s t/d diet, and dentahex oral rinse. We encourage each client to keep oral health a priority in their pet’s daily care!

PetDentalIf you have any questions about dental cleaning, teeth extractions, or oral care please contact Mars Hill Animal Hospital.

Getting a Healthy Start in the New Year

We often start the new year with goals and ideas of how to improve our health, but do you need to set some goals for your pet too? Is your pet’s waist line becoming wider and wider? Do you need to revamp their exercise routine? Many pets in the United States are considered overweight. Overweight pets are at risk for developing diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, as well as orthopedic issues, and a decreased life span.


One option that Science Diet has offered to help your pet slim down is their new line of Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution food. More than 85% of pets lost weight in two months at home and it is clinically proven to provide significant body fat loss in cats and dogs.   The nutrition this food offers helps pets feel full and satisfied between meals. This diet also is proven to help prevent weight gain after the weight loss program and helps the continue to maintain a healthy weight. The Metabolic diet is offered for cats and dogs and comes in treats and kibble.


Owners should evaluate their choices in treats. Many pets beg for table scraps that are high in caloric value and can be causing weight gain. Instead, feed your pet the occasional carrot, peas, or training treats that are available at Mars Hill Animal Hospital. If your pet is receiving a significant amount of treats speak with your vet about providing the correct amount of food at meal times to prevent the unwanted weight gain that can occur when adding in the extra snacks.


Many pets benefit from exercise not only in their waistline, but also their behavior! Pet owners will often see a decrease in destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, and excessive vocalizing when they exercised their pet daily. Playing fetch, swimming, running, or going on a walk will help keep your dog feeling healthy this year. For more intense dog sports like fly ball, dock diving, agility, and lure coursing consult your veterinarian before starting the sport.



Indoor cats benefit from games like chasing a laser pointer, playing and exploring in boxes, and climbing on a cat tower. For the especially lazy or unmotivated cat we encourage you to place their water and food bowls in separate areas of the home so your cat will have to move more.




With all pets make sure that their meals are measured out in a correct measuring tool. Sometimes owners are not aware that they are overfeeding their dog until there is significant weight gain or even health problems.

If you have any questions about your pet’s diet or exercise routine please contact us and we will be happy to help you!

Decorating for the holidays safely!

Having bright, ornamental plants is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. However, not every plant is safe to keep around your pets. Many plants that are used to decorate for the holidays can range from being mildly toxic to causing severe reactions. Most commonly, ingestion of the plant will cause gastrointestinal upsets, but more severe reactions have been observed.

Poinsettia_2Poinsettia Plant is the most common toxic plant seen during the holiday season. The sap from the poinsettia can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested as well as mouth and skin irritation.




mistletoe-michele-roohaniMistletoe is another plant that can be toxic to children and pets. If you are planning to decorate with this plant remove the berries if possible and tightly secure the sprigs. The symptoms that are usually seen if mistletoe is ingested are vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and an increased respiratory rate.



Holly-PlantsHolly’s red berries are toxic if ingested and will cause gastrointestinal upsets with vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, more severe symptoms, such as seizures and tremors, can be seen after ingestion. Decorating with artificial holly is the best option because cats in particular are attracted to this Christmas plant.



christmas_tree1Christmas trees can be dangerous to curious pets and children as well. The oils from fir trees can be toxic and cause vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms may include mouth and skin irritation as well as excessive drooling. Ingestion of tree needles can be dangerous and cause gastrointestinal obstruction that can need immediate attention and possibly surgery.


cat-in-christmas-treeAlso, remember that tinsel and ornaments can be attractive to pets, especially cats. Try to keep the glass and aluminum ornaments higher up where your pets cannot reach them. If ornaments are chewed they can cause lacerations in the mouth, throat, and intestines, as well as become a choking hazard.



christmas-dinner1The holiday season is a great time to enjoy meals with the family, but your pets should not be included in those meals. Fat trimmings and bones are hazardous to pets. Fat trimmings can cause an upset stomach and in some cases pancreatitis. Bones can cause choking and intestinal obstruction. The safest option is to offer your pets their own treats like carrots, green beans, and healthy dog treats.


ChristmasCatDog_NewThe best way to keep your pet safe during the holiday season is to observe their interest in the plants and decoration. Inform  your guests and family about the dangers of feeding your pets food from the table. Check the plant for signs of chewing or leaves missing. If you think that your pet has ingested or chewed on a houseplant, decoration, or toxic food contact us immediately to keep your pet safe. Keep the plants out of reach of curious dogs and cats and if you are concerned that they will ingest them it is best to decorate with the artificial plants.



Laser Therapy

One of the many pain management options we offer at Mars Hill Animal Hospital is laser therapy. Laser therapy is a surgery and drug free, non-invasive treatment that uses a beam of laser light to deeply penetrate the tissue. Laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation and increases the healing speed by inducing a biological response in the cells called photo-bio-modulation.

A certified technician uses a hand piece that emits the laser light. Both the patient and the technician wear protective glasses that block indirect laser light. Many of our patients that are regularly treated with laser therapy enjoy the soothing warmth the laser emits as well as the one on one care and time with our staff. Laser therapy is used to effectively treat wounds, inflammation, promote post surgical healing, lick granulomas, arthritis, and much more.

If you have any questions about laser therapy as a treatment option we would be happy to answer any of your questions!

Welcome To Mars Hill Animal Hospital Located in Athens GA

Mars Hill Animal Hospital, conveniently located in Oconee County near Highways 78 and 316, is Athens premier animal medical facility. We provide the most advanced and compassionate pet health care for those who choose it. We pride ourselves in providing personalized and compassionate care to both our patients and their owners. We have achieved the highest accreditation level offered by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

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