Services

We fully understand that your pets have a very special place in your family and you strive to provide them with the best of everything. Our friendly and loving staff at Tarpon Animal Hospital promises the same quality care for you and your pet needs with our use of state-of-the-art medical and surgical procedures.

Types of pets we treat:

  • Dogs
  • Cats

Some of the services we provide include:

Puppy & Kitten Care

Getting your new puppy or kitten off to a healthy start sets the stage for their lives as healthy adults. Regular physical examinations, core and elective vaccinations, fecal testing for parasites, and deworming are all important elements of ensuring good health for your puppy or kitten. Our knowledgeable staff can help your family learn about potty training your pup, performing nail trims on your puppy or kitten, dietary recommendations, and potential health hazards for your new pet.

You may also want to consider Pet Health Insurance – a great way to get your new little family member off to a good start. Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider which type of prevention will best benefit your new puppy or kitten such as monthly heartworm prevention, and flea/tick preventives. We realize that adding a new family pet can come with lots of questions… but don’t forget, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call.

Spay & Neuter

Spaying and neutering are topics to consider; the appropriate age for the timing of sterilization surgery may vary upon the species and breed of your pet. Spaying or neutering will help your pet live a longer, healthier life. This prevents your female pet from getting breast cancer and uterine infections also known as pyrometra. Neutering helps prevent the males from testicular cancer. Spay and neuter helps with the over population of unwanted pets in our community. It reduces the chance of your beloved pet wondering away from home.

Vaccinations

Ensure that your dog, cat, or other animal receives their vaccinations. Vaccines help prepare the pets immune system to fight off the virus or disease causing organisms that can make our pets ill. Vaccines use antigens that look like the disease so that the body can recognize it right away and fight it off. Even if your pet is an inside pet, it should still be vaccinated against these diseases. Vaccines for dogs include Parvovirus, Corona, Distemper, Hepatitis and Leptospira which are usually given as one injection, called a combo. The Bordetella vaccine is given oral, nasal or by injection. Dogs and Cats are also given an injection to prevent against Rabies and it is required by law. Cat vaccines include Calici, Herpes (Rhinotracheitis) Panleukopenia, Chylamydophila Felis these are usually given as a combo injection. There are also vaccines to guard against Leukemia.

Some of these diseases can be deadly or make our pets very sick. It is so very important to keep them up to date. Some vaccines are yearly booster and there are some that are 3 years. Our staff members can help you decide what is best for your pet. Contact us to learn more about our vaccinations!

Titers

As an alternative to vaccinations, we offer blood-testing to determine if your pet needs or does not need a vaccine. Serology and antibody testing is a simple blood test. It is a test that can be done to ensure your pet has proper protective immunity response to specific viruses that we vaccinated against.

Parasite Control

Pets are a part of our families, and preventing parasite infestations is an important part of keeping them healthy. Both ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites) can affect your pet at some point in their life. Ectoparasites, such as fleas and ticks, are not only a nuisance to your pet, but can transmit vector-borne diseases to humans and pets such as Bartonella (cat scratch disease, transmitted by fleas); Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Fleas can also cause a severe dermatologic condition for your pet resulting in very itchy, inflamed skin, due to flea allergy dermatitis.

Roundworms are the most prevalent endoparasite in pets. Others include hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Pets are typically infected with these parasites through accidental ingestion of parasite eggs (which are microscopic) from areas that have fecal contamination from other infected animals. Alternatively, some parasites are acquired through ingestion of intermediate hosts such as rodents (Taenia tapeworm species; Toxocara roundworm species) or fleas (Dipyllidium tapeworm species). These parasites are also a health risk to humans and are considered zoonotic – meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. For example, if a person accidentally ingests roundworm eggs, the larvae can migrate in the body and cause organ damage and potentially blindness. Hookworm larvae in the soil and grass can infect bare skin and cause a condition in people known as cutaneous larval migrans.

Heartworm is another important endoparasite, but one which is not zoonotic. Heartworm infections result from pets being bitten by infected mosquitos. The larval form of the heartworm travels through the bloodstream to the heart where it develops into an adult. The adult heartworms live in the right side of the heart and left untreated, result in progressive heart failure and death. In initial stages of heartworm disease, pets may be asymptomatic. As the condition progresses, symptoms may evolve including a cough and exercise intolerance in dogs, and vomiting/coughing in cats.  Treatment of heartworm disease can be very risky for the pet, and very costly.

Because of the health risk to your family and pets, it is important to keep your pet on a year-round parasite prevention program. There are several preventives that when used properly, are very effective at greatly reducing the risk of your pet acquiring heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and tick transmitted diseases. Additionally, you can help prevent the risk of zoonotic disease to your family by practicing good hygiene (frequent hand washing), avoiding eating unwashed raw vegetables or undercooked meats and cleaning up pet feces in your yard. For more information about pets and parasites, visit petsandparasites.org, and consult with one of our friendly staff!

Flea & Tick Prevention

There are so many choices on the market now for prevention. There are oral medications, collars, topicals and sprays. Some over the counter treatments can be harmful to your pet. Our staff is here to help you decide the best and safest choice for you and your pets.

Heartworm Testing & Prevention

Heartworm disease is spread though biting mosquitoes. They are very promenade outside in Florida and migrate into our homes. If left unprotected or pets can contract this deadly disease. Fortunately, we can prevent this disease with yearly testing and proper monthly medication. If you pet has been diagnosed with this disease we can help treat them. This can be costly and uncomfortable for your pet.

Wellness Care

Preventive veterinary care is the cornerstone of keeping your pet their healthiest so that you and your pet can have more great years together. Since pets age more quickly than people do, it is critical to have regular physical examinations done to assess your pet’s health. During routine preventive exams, your veterinarian will assess:

  • Overall Body Condition
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Heart and Lungs
  • Abdominal Organs
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neurologic System
  • Urogenital System
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Skin/Coat

When health problems are identified, a medical plan will be outlined to evaluate the problems in depth. If your pet appears to be healthy enough for routine preventive care, your veterinarian will discuss which immunizations are advised, as well as parasite prevention including heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, etc.). Annual age-appropriate lab tests, testing for heartworm and/or tick-borne diseases, and fecal tests for parasites may also be recommended for your pet. Finally, your pet’s nutrition, diet, and exercise routines can be assessed and optimized to help your pet be in best physical condition for their lifestyle and age. Remember, keeping up with preventive care for your pet is the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy for life.

Fully Stocked Pharmacy

  • Flea/tick/heartworm: Sentinel, Trifexis, Advantage Multi, Interceptor Plus, Simparica, Bravecto, Capstar
  • True-Vet: Our exclusive veterinary line of high quality products including omega support, joint support, ear cleaners, and more!
  • Food/Treats Prescription products from top food companies: Hills Science Diet, Pro Plan Purina Veterinary Diet, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
  • Pet odor eliminator candles: Available in a wide variety of scents

Health Certificates

Health certificates are needed for traveling and selling of any animal. If you are planning a trip, check with your airlines and the country you are planning to visit to see what they require. Our certified veterinarians can assist you in writing the necessary documents.

Skin

We treat pets with allergic dermatitis, atopy, flea allergies, food allergies, and many other types of allergies. Each pet has different symptoms that may require different treatment methods. Our staff works hard to determine the proper treatment for your pet’s specific condition.

Itching, scratching, chewing or noticeable rashes could be related to allergies. Your pet could be sensitive to dust, grass, plants, trees, fleas and other biting insects as well as some common ingredients in the food that we feed. Our practice offers many diagnostic tools (such as skin cytology, tape preps, DTMs and skin scrapes) to determine the best resolution for your pet. We offer a variety of treatment options – including Apoquel, Cytopoint and Atopica to help keep your pet comfortable.

Ears

Your pet may show early signs of a potential ear infection with a head tilt, shaking or scratching at the ears or noted redness/odor. Ear infections left undiagnosed and untreated will continue to worsen and become increasingly painful for your beloved pet. Our trained staff can assist in diagnosis (with ear cytology or a culture if indicated) and quickly prepare a plan to get relief for your pet. Treatment options range from a combination of ear cleansing solutions and antibiotics formulated to your pets needs to an instilment that we can administered in the hospital.

Pet Dental Care

Our animal hospital offers on-site dental cleaning services. We recommend that your pet receives a dental check annually to prevent and treat any problems.

Not only is periodontal disease harmful and painful because it results in loss of teeth, but it can also cause damage to important vital organs such as the:

  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys

When it comes to dental disease, most pet owners don’t realize the extent of the problem until it is quite advanced; hence the importance of yearly to twice yearly physical examinations including a thorough oral health care assessment. In the early stages of dental disease, your veterinarian can recommend home dental health care measures such as tooth brushing, dental treats and rinses, and dental diets. When professional dental care is needed for your pet, general anesthesia is necessary. Your veterinarian will discuss the procedures involved in a COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) plan with you when dental care is needed. Most often, this will involve a day at the veterinary hospital to plan and perform the procedures, which would include:

  • Pre-Operative Lab Work
  • IV Catheterization
  • General Anesthesia
  • Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
  • Dental Charting
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Extractions when indicated

Upon discharge, the veterinary team will review any instructions pertaining to post-dental medications, special feeding instructions, and when to resume home dental care. Your pet will thank you for remembering to take care of his or her mouth, and live a longer and happier life as a result.

Nutritional Counseling

Each pet has unique nutritional needs that may change with each stage of life and with the onset of some illnesses.The right diet can play an integral part in healing and resolving such illness. We carry a large selection of prescription veterinary diets to meet those needs, and we are happy to advise you to help select the best diet for your pet.

Pets that require special dietary needs relay on us to help you choose a quality diets that has their special needs in mind. We carry different brands with different characteristics, specializing in your pet’s health condition and taste palate. The staff is trained to guide you in finding a well balanced medically necessary nutritional diet.

Microchipping

Microchipping is your pet’s ticket home. How many times have you said my pet never goes anywhere without me, or would never run away? What if there is an emergency in your home? Have you ever thought what would happen if you have a car accident? Maybe, it’s a summer storm or hurricane that scared your pet – how would your pet find their way home again? We can help with a small microchip.

It is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip can be scanned at any Veterinary clinic or shelter. It contains a number that is unique to your pet and your information. So your pet can come home to their family.

At Tarpon Animal Hospital, we use Save This Life microchips! Learn more about their services at: savethislife.com

Nail Trims

Nail trimming is an important part of regular grooming. If the nails become too long they can get stuck and potentially break. Broken nails can be painful for your pet and sometimes can become infected – especially if the nail over growth becomes embedded in the pad. If your pets nails are too long it can also cause an irregular gait or damage to the pet’s skeletal structure.

Pain Management & Wound Care

Pain Management

The practice of high-quality veterinary medicine focuses on the entire patient – from medical issues that affect physical functioning, to emotional and psychological issues that affect well-being. Experiencing pain can affect the body’s physical functioning and can have a detrimental effect on a patient’s well-being and state of mind. That’s why pain management is among our primary considerations when we are treating a pet for any medical condition.

From routine procedures (such as spays or dental cleanings), to more advanced medical treatments (such as bone surgeries or cancer treatments), to chronically painful conditions (such as arthritis or back pain), we are dedicated to providing safe and effective pain management to every patient. We will also help you recognize signs of pain in your pet so that we can modify his or her pain management plan when necessary.

Recognizing and alleviating pain in our patients is at the very heart of quality and compassionate patient care: We employ all of our skills to help ensure your pet’s comfort, well-being, and full recovery.

Daily Support

We offer a wide range of supportive medications that can give your pets relief from chronic ailments and for the support of a healthy way of life. Did you know that some conditions can be managed though diet alone? We have a range diets that can help mange joint disease, skin, digestive, allergies, diabetes, urinary crystals, weight and more. The foods we offer from well know companies have been clinically tested and approved for these conditions and palatability for your pet.

Wound Care

Bites, burns and abscesses! Oh my! Wounds can be scary. Each wound is different and requires individualized care. Our doctors will evaluate your pet and their wounds to create a treatment plan designed specifically for your pets needs.

Diagnostic Care

When your pet becomes suddenly ill or in event of an emergency, timely diagnostic test results are extremely important to help your veterinarian determine the best treatment plan. We have state-of-the-art in-hospital laboratory equipment capable of yielding lab results within minutes. Baseline laboratory testing for your sick pet may include:

  • Laboratory testing for baseline blood counts and organ function tests, or infectious disease. Blood and/or urine samples may be collected from your pet, for point-of-care testing, or reference lab tests. Point-of-care tests are those tests that are done on-site in our hospital so as to be able to determine results and make treatment recommendations in the most timely fashion possible. In other cases, lab samples may need to be sent off to off-site laboratories (reference laboratories) – when the test cannot be performed with in-hospital lab equipment, or when the test results are not needed urgently.
  • Imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound allow diagnosis of conditions of the heart and lungs, gastrointestinal obstruction, tumors of the internal organs or bones, fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity, urinary stones or gallstones, reproductive diseases, and bone/joint disorders. For most patients, gentle restraint can be used for these procedures, however, in some cases, sedation may be necessary. We also work closely with a board certified veterinary radiologist who help us review challenging radiographs to help us offer your pet the best possible care.
  • Determination of blood cell counts: changes in white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts, and platelet counts can indicate problems such as anemia, dehydration, infection, auto-immune disease, and certain types of cancerous conditions
  • Blood chemistry tests: these tests assess liver function, kidney function, blood sugar, blood proteins, calcium and phosphorus levels, and pancreatic function.
  • Electrolyte tests: Sodium, potassium and chloride levels may be abnormal when your pet is dehydrated or having fluid losses through vomiting or diarrhea. Intravenous fluids and/or supplementation may be indicated when electrolytes are severely deranged.
  • Microscopy: microscopic evaluation of bodily fluids including blood, urine; needle biopsies of swellings or tumors can be performed in-clinic to assist in the diagnosis of systemic diseases, urinary disorders, skin and ear diseases, and differentiation of benign vs. cancerous tumors.
  • Ocular conditions may warrant evaluation for tear production (Schirmer Tear Test), corneal injuries (fluorescein stain), or abnormal intra-ocular pressures (Tonometry).

Diagnostic testing is an important step in the development of a treatment plan for your pet, allowing your veterinarian to most effectively target the underlying problem(s) and assess the probability of successful treatment. Your veterinarian can explain the purpose of each diagnostic test for your pet, and help prioritize which tests may be most helpful in determining the cause of your pet’s illness.

Surgery & Related Services

Surgical Procedures

Our facility offers on-site surgical procedures, blood screening, and overnight hospitalization. Moreover, we have a complete pharmacy in our office to ensure your pet receives the proper medication needed after surgery. To assist in your pet’s recovery we offer post-op and physical therapy services.

Pre-Surgical Instructions

Thank you for making an appointment with Tarpon Animal Hospital! Here are a few instructions for your pet’s safety, prior to their surgical procedure:

  • All surgeries require a scheduled appointment. All pets undergoing surgery must be up to date on their annual vaccines and testing.
  • Pets should have a full exam and pre-operative blood work before the surgery.
  • Do not feed your pet after midnight, the night before surgery. It is okay to give water, but not food.
  • Bring your pet to our clinic in the morning between 7:30am -8:30am, so that we can set up the surgical suite specifically for your pet’s needs.
  • All pets entering the hospital must be on a leash or in a carrier.
  • After surgery, you will receive a follow up call to inform you on how the surgery went and when you can pick up your pet.

Post-Surgical Instructions

Please read the following instructions for the safety of your pet.

  • When you come to pick up your pet after surgery, they may be slow and groggy, which is normal. Some animals recover fast after surgery but not all animals are the same. Some require more time to return to their normal state. If your pet is not acting normal for more than 24 hours after surgery, having diarrhea or vomiting, these signs are not normal and you should call the clinic immediately.
  • After surgery, there is no running, jumping or rough housing for 7 to 10 days. Your pet should be quiet and rest. We recommend leash walking only. Some pets rest better in their crates during their recovery.
  • No bathes or swimming after surgery, until your veterinarian says it’s okay. Usually after the surgical recheck.
  • Check the surgery incision daily. Watch for any swelling, redness and discharge. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision. Keep an e-collar on your pet until after the surgery recheck and your veterinarian says it’s okay to remove it.
  • The evening after surgery, it is okay to offer your pet food and water. Make sure you offer them a quarter of the normal amount you feed. Resume normal feeding the following day.
  • Make sure to give the antibiotics and pain medications prescribed to your pet at check out. Do not give any additional medications without your veterinarian’s approval.
  • The veterinarian may make additional recommendations. Please make sure to follow these directions as well.
  • If at any time you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s surgery or recovery, call the hospital at 727-934-0884.

Anesthesia

There is nothing more important to us than your pet’s safety, so we perform a variety of pre-anesthetic tests to carefully screen patients and tailor our anesthetic protocol specifically for your pet. Our trained staff and doctors monitor your pet before, during, and after anesthesia to help ensure the best possible outcome. We also take time to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about the medications, monitoring, and care your pet will receive. When you trust our dedicated health care professionals to manage your pet’s anesthetic care, you can rest assured that safety, efficacy, and comfort are always foremost in our minds.

Emergency & Urgent Care

Pets can experience an emergency during their life span. Emergencies can include a wide range of health issues from broken bones to poison ingestion and illness.
During office hours, we are fully equipped and ready to help with all of your emergency and critical care needs.
If you find that you need emergency assistance after hours, we recommend AA Animal Emergency Center or Animal Emergency of Pasco.

Senior Pet Care

We love Senior Pets! Senior pets have special needs, and benefit from more regular veterinary visits compared to their younger counterparts. Age-associated conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dental Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Endocrine Disorders

These conditions will start to become more prevalent as your pet gets older. For this reason, we recommend twice-yearly veterinary visits for pets over 7 years of age. Your aging pet may be showing early signs of osteoarthritis such as stiffness after rest or play, difficulty going up or down stairs and reduced activity. Early intervention with joint supplements and prescription arthritis medications when indicated, along with modified nutrition and exercise plans, can greatly improve your pet’s comfort and mobility. Likewise, performing annual screening lab work on your older pet can help identify early stages of medical problems that might go unrecognized, and progress significantly without treatment.

Some pets experience age-related behavioral changes that can be a sign of cognitive dysfunction, which is similar in some ways to dementia. Your veterinarian can recommend diet modification and supplements to help improve your older pet’s mental sharpness. Getting older doesn’t have to be fraught with troubles for your pet… see your vet regularly to help keep your senior pet healthy and comfortable.

Hospice and Euthanasia

Saying goodbye to our beloved pets is never easy. Euthanasia is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make for your beloved companion. When the time comes our staff will provide you and your beloved pet with compassion and love. We will guide you through every step so you will know what to expect during this difficult time.

Feel free to contact us at the office for questions regarding quality of life, after care and cost options.