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)
Laser Therapy for Cats
Cats are susceptible to arthritis, spinal pain, and orthopedic issues just like dogs. However, their unique metabolism limits the medical therapies available to help control their pain. A safe, effective treatment to reduce pain and inflammation in our feline patients is Laser Therapy. The laser brings targeted energy to control inflammation. Most cats, like Spike, love the treatment!! Call us for an appointment to determine if laser therapy is right for your pet. To read more about Laser Therapy, click the Services link on our website.
Keep it cool for pets on warm days
Warm days ahead? Cool! That’s the word on every pet lover’s mind, because keeping pets cool is not just kind, it’s crucial.
When the temperature rises, all pets are at risk for heat stroke whether they are left in a car, set in a cage in direct sunlight, or even wrapped in a towel for too long, a common method used to restrain birds.
Some pets are particularly susceptible. Members of brachycephalic breeds—those with a “pushed-in” appearance—are inefficient at panting. Brachycephalic breeds include Himalayan and Persian cats, Boston terriers, boxers, English bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Lhasa apsos, Pekingese, Chinese shar peis, and shih tzus.
Obese pets, too, are at risk, as are those dogs and cats with a thick hair coat. Those with underlying lung or heart disease also face increased danger.
The problem is that dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds don’t sweat as we do. They get rid of excess heat by panting, and sweating through their feet.
What happens to them when they experience rising temperatures? Sandra Sawchuk, DVM, clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, detailed the progression:
“A dog, cat, or other small animal may pant and drool. Their gums and tongue turn dark or red. Their heart rate rises. Their breaths come faster. They are agitated, weak, and may collapse. [From there, heat stroke can cause] seizures, coma, [or even] death.”
Not cool. Cruel!
So what do you need to do to keep your pet safe and to avoid such awful situations? Here are some tips.
Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.
Forget cracking the window. It won’t make a difference. And don’t count on your air conditioning—the units can fail, killing pet passengers.
It’s shocking to learn just how quickly temperatures rise inside a vehicle. A study in a 2005 issue of PEDIATRICS found that, on sunny days, even when the ambient temperature is mild or relatively cool, there is rapid, significant heating of vehicle interiors.
The study noted that on days when the ambient temperature was 72 degrees, the internal vehicle temperature could reach 117 degrees within 60 minutes. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurred in the first 30 minutes.
“In general, after 60 minutes, one can expect a 40-degree increase in internal temperatures for ambient temperatures spanning 72 to 96 degrees, putting children and pets at significant risk. We also determined that cracking open windows is not effective in decreasing either the rate of heat rise or the maximum temperature attained,” study leaders noted in the report.
Cooling the vehicle before you turn off the AC? The study found that a vehicle consistently reached ambient temperatures within five minutes of the AC being turned off and then would heat up at a similar rate to non-air-conditioned cases.
Keep your pet hydrated.
Make sure the water container is full of clean, cool water and that it cannot be knocked over.
Keep your house or apartment cool.
Close the drapes to keep out the sun. Turn on the air conditioning. If you don’t have AC and there is a breeze, open windows for cross ventilation. If there is no breeze, turn on fans.
Do not make your pet exercise or play.
Put off any “fun” routines until the weather is more accommodating.
Keep birds and small animals out of the sun.
Make sure the cages for your birds or pocket pets are out of any sunlight streaming through the windows.
Keep your bunny cool.
Make sure the room your rabbit is in has shade. A circulating fan will help cool the room, but make sure the fan cord is protected so the rabbit cannot chew on it. A ceramic tile on the floor can make for a cool place to rest.
Keep your dog’s coat groomed and trimmed.
Don’t shave or trim your dog unless you first talk with your veterinarian. A coat can keep a dog warm in winter and may actually keep it cooler in summer and prevent sunburn.
“If you suspect your pet is overheated, provide them with small amounts of cool water or ice cubes to lick, get them in the shade, and stop exercising,” advises Sawchuk. “Apply cool, wet cloths to the feet and around the head.”
But, she warns: “Do not soak the entire body—if the temperature drops too quickly, the pet can become hypothermic. Get your pet in to a veterinary emergency clinic ASAP even if they seem OK after cooling down.”
OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews
We have a new exciting product for you! OraVet Chews have been shown to extend the benefit of veterinary dental cleanings by reducing plaque and tartar buildup and bad breath. To learn more about OraVet chews please click here or check out these brochures on the left.
Wellness Plans Available
Please click the appropriate picture to learn more about our new wellness plans for puppies & kittens as well as adult pets. These new plans are an affordable option that can help you keep your pet healthy. Our wellness plans are designed to help break up the cost of your pets yearly vaccinations and well care over a 12 month period.
National Pet Dental Health Month
We are offering 20% off Professional Dental Cleanings in the month of February!
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.
We 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!
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!
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Available at Mars Hill Animal Hospital
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a specialized medical intervention in which the atmospheric pressure is increased 1 ATA (Absolute Total Atmospheres) above sea level-(14.7 psig), usually by the filling of a single “person” chamber, multi-place chamber or a hyperbaric room with a dose specific amount of oxygen (atmospheric oxygen or enriched oxygen). At sea level, our lungs absorb a certain amount of oxygen molecules from the air. When descending to lower altitudes (below sea level), the pressure is greater (above 1ATA) and now the lungs more easily absorb the oxygen molecules in the air because they more compressed.
During a hyperbaric “dive” (named after the initial use of hyperbaric chambers as they were used by divers that had ascended too fast) fluids and tissues of the body receive an infusion of readily available oxygen. In fact, even cells and areas of the body with limited circulation become more saturated in oxygen. The effect is an increased uptake of oxygen in the blood, plasma, cerebral-spinal fluids, and tissues. In addition, the vasoconstrictive nature of hyperbaric therapy has an added effect of reducing inflammation and edema (the build-up of added fluid in tissues that decreases the ability for oxygen to diffuse into the cells).
Our hyperbaric oxygen chamber in use (photo above). It is available by owner request or by direct referral request (where veterinarians can refer their patients to us specifically for HBOT). There are no known contraindications other than an uncontrolled pneumothorax.. There are no other chambers in the local area and as far as known it is the only active chamber for pets in Georgia.
Uses of HBOT
Currently, there is an increase in the amount of research being conducted on hyperbaric medicine in modern practice. Published studies in leading journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine and Critical Care Medicine document the use of HBOT for the treatment of such indications as sepsis, acute carbon monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene, air embolism, severe and infected wounds, bone infections, burns, ulcers and edema. But these established indications only begin to open the current chapter in the use of modern hyperbaric technology.
Uses of HBOT
There are studies now that indicate its effectiveness in neurological conditions published in leading journals such as Stroke and Journal of Neurology. We have had success in neurological conditions such as intervertebral disc herniation that left the dog paralyzed or in severe pain. We also most often combine this adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy with surgery and other medical therapies that are designed to decrease inflammation and spinal cord swelling, i.e., targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, hypertonic saline and mannitol. In short, the indications of hyperbaric oxygen are continuing to expand so please ask us about its possibility for your pet if we do not ? Here is a brief partial list of conditions we commonly treat with HBOT:
- Severe wounds
- Postoperative skin flaps
- Wound infections
- Fractures especially those not healing well
- Fungal infections
- Head and spinal cord injuries
- Gastrointestinal infections
- GI foreign bodies (both before and after surgery)
- Kidney infections
- Paralysis from disc ruptures
- Pain from disc protrusion
- Post operative swelling and pain
- Crush injuries
- Post resuscitation
- Pain palliation with cancer patients
- Smoke inhalation
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Snake and spider bite
Pet Insurance is a great way to insure you are always able to provide the best possible care for your pet. There are several companies to chose from and many options no matter what level of coverage you prefer. Pet insurance is coverage for veterinary bills due to unexpected accidents or illnesses. Compare policy features,
The Cost Of Compassion
Your pet’s comfort and safety is our primary concern. We know that anesthesia and surgery are stressful for both you and your pet. We understand that cost is often a factor in choosing your pet’s health care, and want to be sure that you understand how our hospital policies can make a real difference to