Our Services

We offer a variety of services to help our clients keep their pets healthy, but also to aid in diagnosing and treating patients when they are ill or injured.

For wellness care, we offer services such as examinations, vaccinations, laboratory tests such as bloodwork, heartworm testing, and fecal testing. We provide client education and recommendations for a variety of topics, which include scheduling surgery for neutering or spaying, using products that help control parasites, housetraining strategies, and even how to manage a pet's weight, if that is a concern.

When a pet is ill or injured, we will examine the patient and provide information for our clients on the disease or injury that we plan to treat. We will then discuss diagnostic tests and treatments that are performed to help the pet in his or her recovery.

Preventative Care Services

  • Adult and Senior Wellness

    Because our pets age at a quicker pace than we humans do, it is important that they receive appropriate preventative care, along with early detection screenings to identify any health concerns or diseases in their earliest stages.

    Pets aged 6 years or older should visit their veterinarian twice a year for wellness exams. These exams are the key to detecting any health problems that could endanger your pet. Our pets are susceptible to some of the ailments that aging humans face, such as cancer, diabetes, kidney complications, liver and intestinal disorders, arthritis, dental disease and vision impairment.

    You can be your pet's best advocate when it comes to their health. Keep a watchful eye for anything unusual or out of character for your dog or cat.

    Some warning signs to watch out for include:

    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Excessive drinking or urination
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lethargy
    • Behavioral changes
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • Skin lumps, growths or irritation
    • Bad breath, plaque on teeth or bleeding gums
    • Ear odors, ear redness, or scratching at the ears
    • Lameness or sensitivity
  • Flea and Tick Control

    Our clinic carries a wide variety of flea and tick control products for dogs and cats. Our doctors and staff will help you determine which product(s) best suit your pet's needs. Learn more abou the problems associated with fleas and ticks by clicking on the Parasite Control tab.

  • Parasite Control

    Our clinic staff offers guidance on a number of products for your pet that you can use to help control parasites. There are many different parasites that can affect your dog or cat. Some can even affect humans, so it is important to use appropriate products for effective parasite control.

    There is a wide variety of intestinal parasites that can affect your pet. Some are transmissible to humans, so it is important not only to control theses parasites, but to monitor for the presence of them by having your pet's stool sample checked twice a year.

    Fleas and ticks are topical/skin parasites that can transmit disease and, at times, trigger an allergic reaction. We offer flea and tick products to prevent the issues associated with these parasites.

    Heartworm is a parasite that migrates through the skin and tissues of the pet after the pet is bitten by a mosquito. This parasite eventually makes it into the bloodstream and often causes severe disease and can be fatal. It can be transmitted to dogs and cats. Because our region now has more variable winter temperatures, where mosquitoes can still be seen into December, it is recommended that heartworm preventive be used monthly, year-round. The product we carry also helps control inestinal parasites, so this is an added benefit to keeping your pet on heartworm preventive year-round.

    So again, we can provide you with information on products for an effective parasite control program for your household. Feel free to call or stop by today!

  • Preventive Medicine

    Our clinic offers, and encourages, the use of preventive medicine services that assist in early detection, but also include wellness programs for adult and senior dogs. Because pets are living longer, they may experience chronic illnesses and even cancer. The earlier a problem is diagnosed, and a treatment plan is begun, the better the chances that the pet can improve his or her health, or improve the level of comfort experienced at home.

    We recommend twice yearly examinations by a veterinarian in order to detect any changes or illness in pets as they age. In addition to a physical exam, diagnostic tests such as bloodwork, urinalysis, fecal exam, x-rays and other tests can be performed to address health problems that the patient is experiencing.

  • Vaccinations

    Vaccinations and regular health exams are key preventive care measures and are critical to the well-being of your pets. Vaccines help protect your pet from potentially deadly infectious diseases. Our doctors and staff will review risk factors with you and make recommendations for vaccinations based on those risk factors. Proper administration and timing of vaccinations enable the best chance at protection by the vaccine. Young animals with naive immune systems benefit especially from a regular vaccine schedule, starting at around 8 weeks of age. Puppies and kittens are then vaccinated at intervals until they are around 16 weeks of age.

    Most vaccination will be given after a physical examination is performed, to ensure that the pet is healthy and able to receive the vaccination. We will then keep you updated regarding when your pet is due for booster vaccinations during adulthood.

    VACCINATIONS FOR DOGS

    RABIES VACCINATION: this virus is always fatal (to humans and other mammals), so by Michigan law, dogs are to be vaccinated against Rabies virus.

    DISTEMPER/ADENOVIRUS/PARAINFLUENZA/PARVOVIRUS COMBINATION VACCINATION: this is considered a core vaccination for dogs to protect them from some viruses that cause neurologic repiratory or intestinal illness.

    LEPTOSPIROSIS VACCINATION: this vaccination guards against a disease caused by the Leptospira bacteria, found in the urine of wild animals as they travel through yards, parks, and fields. This is a bacterial infection that can spread to humans, so we recommend that in most cases, dogs are vaccinated against Leptospirosis.

    LYME VACCINATION: this vaccination guards against a tick-borne illness called Lyme disease.

    BORDETELLA AND CANINE INFLUENZA VACCINATIONS: these vaccinations are designed to reduce the risk of respiratory illness in dogs, especially those who might go to boarding or grooming facilities, dog parks, commercial pet supply stores that allow dogs to accompany owners, etc.

    VACCINATIONS FOR CATS

    RABIES: according to the Michigan government website, Rabies vaccination is strongly recommended in cats due to their predatory nature. Even if a cat does not go outside, there can still be exposure; for example, if a bat is found in the home.

    FELINE RHINOTRACHEITIS/CALICIVIRUS/PANLEUKOPENIA COMBINATION VACCINATION: this is considered a core vaccination for cats to protect them from some viruses that cuase respiratory or intestinal illness.

    FELINE LEUKEMIA VACCINATION: while the outdoor cat population has a higher risk of exposure to the feline leukemia virus, indoor cats should also be protected, if there is any chance they will get outside (supervised or not), or if theowner decides to adopt a cat or foster another cat in the future.

  • Wellness Exams

    During the visit to Livingston Veterinary Clinic, a consultation with our staff will occur, so that we can make note of day-to-day routines for the pet, take measurements of vitals, and also allow the client to discuss any health concerns that have arisen between visits.

    The veterinarian will then perform a hands-on examination of the patient. A wellness examination is a complete physical examination, where the patient is checked from nose to tail, and any areas of concern found on the examination are addressed. After the examination, other diagnostic tests can be performed to further identify the problem. Recommendations for treatment can then be provided.

    Pets often hide illness or mask discomfort, so the examination can be the tool to detect a health problem in its early stages. The wellness exam can also help the veterinarian and staff become better acquainted with their patients and the family members who bring in the pets to our clinic.

Primary Care Services

  • Allergy and Itchy Skin Relief

    Did you know that your pets can have allergies just like you? They can experience allergies to common environmental factors, parasites, and even some ingredients in food.

    Some signs your pet may be suffering from an allergy can include:

    • Itchy, or red/pink skin
    • Unusual scratching or itching
    • Discharge from the eyes or nose
    • Hair loss
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    If you suspect that your pet could be suffering from an allergy, it is recommended that you schedule to have an examination and consultation with your veterinarian. Your doctor will be able to assess your pet, discuss his or her symptoms, and conduct any necessary tests to help isolate the allergy. Together, you can decide on which course of treatment will help restore your pet to good health.

  • Dental Care

    Dogs and cats don't often get cavities. But they do frequently suffer from periodontal or gum disease, which can actually affect the overall health of dogs and cats.

    What you need to know about dental care for your pet

    • Dental disease can cause serious problems for your pet, ranging from gum inflammation and tooth loss to infection and even vital organ damage.
    • Dental disease can be easily prevented by following your veterinarian's advice regarding dental examinations, home care, and dental cleanings.

    The Dangers of Periodontal Disease

    What is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease is when the bacteria found in dental plaque causes disease of the teeth or their roots, the gums, or underlying bone in the jaw. Without proper dental care, this plaque can build up, and accumulate on the teeth and over some gum tissue, leading to inflammation and infection. Periodontal disease can lead to serious pain, infection, and tooth loss. The infection can also result in bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging other organs or body systems in your pet.

    Signs of poor dental health

    • Bad breath
    • Visible tartar on the teeth
    • Swelling under the eyes
    • Loose or missing teeth
    • Difficulty eating
    • Discharge from the nose
    • Drooling or excessive salivation
    • Pawing at the teeth or mouth
    • Discoloration or staining of the teeth
    • Red, irritated, swollen, or bleeding gums
    • Weight loss or loss of appetite
    • Lethargy and loss of vitality

    The good news, however, is that the likelihood of dental disease occuring is decreased by regular dental examinations, home care, and dental cleanings. Preventative dental care is the best way to keep periodontal disease from affecting your pet.

    Home Dental Care

    One of the best forms of oral home care is daily brushing with soft toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste. During your pet's examination we can demonstrate how to brush your pet's teeth. For some pet owners, though, teeth brushing is too challenging, either because the pet resists, or the owner is not comfortable brushing the pet's teeth. Fortunately, there are many great options if that is the case. From dental chews to supplements added to meals, to special dental treats or dental diets, there are a lot of ways that pet owners can help maintain oral health in their companion dog or cat.

    What should I do about broken teeth?

    Broken teeth can be extremely painful for pets and can lead to abscess formation or even chronic infection. Immediate treatment is very important. After an examination to assess the broken tooth is performed, treatment recommendations will be made. This might include extraction. In veterinary medicine, advanced dentistry procedures are also available through referral, such as a root canal, if the goal is to preserve the tooth.

    Professional Dental Cleanings

    A thorough professional dental cleaning, with the patient under anesthesia, removes the plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. This proactive treatment is aimed at maintaining the natural oral defenses so that periodontal disease and other dental problems have a harder time becoming established. The frequency of dental cleanings depends on how the oral health is maintained, and often on the age of the pet. Older pets may need cleanings more frequently than younger patients. A good home care program can tremendously extend the positive effects of the professional cleaning.

    Does my pet need to be anesthetized during cleanings?

    Yes. Unlike with human patients, veterinary patients will not stay still and tolerate a dental cleaning. The same equipment used in humans is used for dogs and cats, and so it is very important that the patient be anesthetized to ensure that they will remain still. Also, when anesthesia is used, veterinary staff can then access the entire mouth and gums and perform the necessary work thoroughly and safely. Pre-anesthetic testing is necessary to make sure there are no hidden health problems that could affecgt your pet's ability to undergo the procedure.

    I'm not sure I can afford dental cleanings every year.

    While dental cleanings may seem like an added expense, they're actually a very cost-effective investment in your pet's health. Caught early, dental problems can often be treated in a very straight forward manner. If not addressed, dental problems can turn into serious, costly, and painful problems for dogs and cats.

  • General Surgery

    Surgery

    At Livingston Veterinary Clinic, we can perform a variety of surgeries for our canine and feline patients. Elective surgeries such as spays and neuters are available. We do not perform declaws on cats. Other surgeries can include mass removal, laceration repair, cyptotomy's (remove bladder stones), foreign body removal, anal gland removal, splenectomy, and aural hematoma repair. We perform dental cleanings as well.

    Prior to surgery, the patient is evaluated by physical examination and bloodwork. Once it is determined that the pet is a good candidate for anesthesia, we proceed with the utmost care in providing anesthesia and support, performing the surgery, and monitoring them throughout the procedure. We then supervise our patients closely as they recover from anesthesia. An appointment is set up with our clients at the end of the day, for their pet's discharge from the hospital. We can then go over the procedure and answer any questions about their pet's procedure that might have arisen during the day. Often, there are medications that will be sent home for the pet to help with any discomfort they might experience after surgery. These will be reviewed with the client at the surgical discharge appointment.

  • Health Exams

    Wellness Exams not only help flag any potential problems with your pet's health, but they are also important in creating an overall medical history for your pet. By meeting regularly with your pet, your veterinarian is able to become better acquainted with his or her personal history, and is able to offer more personalized care.

    For pets who are 6 years and younger, Wellness Exams are recommended at least once a year. Because pets age much quicker than humans, for pets over 6 years of age, Wellness Exams are recommended at least twice a year, to screen for any sign of illness or diseases.

    A Wellness Exam will include the following:

    • A consultation with your veterinarian during which you will discuss your pet's day-to-day routine as well as any health concerns or questions you may have. You might be asked questions about his or her activity level, personality and nutrition.
    • A hands-on examination performed by your veterinarian, which will assess your pet's overall health from nose to tail. Areas examined will include the abdomen, head and neck, eyes, ears, mouth and skin. In addition, the doctor will also evaluate your pet’s musculoskeletal system, as well as listen to their heart and lungs.

    Other, additional annual procedures also typically performed at the time of a Wellness Exam include:

    • Vaccines ̶ your veterinarian will update any necessary vaccines.
    • Intestinal Parasite Exam ̶ a stool sample will be sent off to the lab to check for any worms or other intestinal parasites
    • Additional Diagnostic Testing ̶ any additional diagnostic testing pertinent to your pet's life stage. This could include blood tests, urinalysis, or radiographs as needed.

Specialty Services

  • Pocket Pets

    The pocket pets we care for at the Livingston Veterinary Clinic are rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters and gerbils.

  • Acupuncture for Animals

    What is acupuncture?

    Acupuncture is being used more and more in veterinary medicine. In short, acupuncture stimulates the body's natural healing process. Very fine needles are inserted into specific locations in the body to help reduce inflammation, promote healing, improve blood circulation, and release beneficial hormones and enzymes. The location of each needle is geared to produce a response in the body. Your veterinarian has been trained in localizing these specific points and tailoring them to each individual pet's needs.

    What can acupuncture be used for?

    Acupuncture can be used for a variety of condition in our pets. One of the most common conditions acupuncture is used for is pain, specifically musculoskeletal pain. Other condition in which acupuncture may be beneficial include: neurological diseases, GI disorders, dermatological (skin) disorders such as lick granulomas, anxiety/behavioral disorders. If you want to know if acupuncture would benefit your pet, just ask your veterinarian!

    What to expect during a session

    The most common question that is asked is "will my pet enjoy acupuncture?" The truth is, many do! The first session is considered the "get-to-know each other" session where an acupuncture examination is performed and we discuss specific areas that we would like to target with acupuncture. Some pets may have some apprehension with sitting still during the first session but many realize that it makes them feel great so they are more inclined to sit still. After the treatment plan has been developed, the needles are placed and left in for up to 20 minutes. Even as little as 5 minutes has some benefit however. The goal is to have the patient remain still, but we realize that sometimes that can be difficult (especially the first session). Many dogs relax during the session and leave feeling good!

    How often is acupuncture performed?

    It can vary depending on the condition for which acupuncture is being performed. Many chronic conditions benefit from repeated sessions as the effects are cumulative, and some acute conditions require fewer treatments.

    Our Acupuncture Specialist:

    Dr. Jessica McKenna graduated from Colorado State University with her degree in Veterinary Medicine in 2011. In 2013, she received her acupuncture certification through the Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians course at Colorado State University. Dr. McKenna has a special interest in pain management for dogs and cats and is looking forward to working with you and your pet to provide a well rounded approach to your pet's healthcare.

    If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for acupuncture, please call our clinic and request an appointment with Dr. Jessica McKenna.