Welcome To Mars Hill Animal Hospital Located in Athens GA

AAHA_tC_2Mars 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)

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!

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)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Parvovirus
  • Peritonitis
  • 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
  • Burns
  • Snake and spider bite

Pet Insurance


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,
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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
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