Here at River Road Veterinary Hospital, we offer a large array of services. If you have a request that isn’t listed, please give us a call. Our friendly staff is more than happy to answer questions, give guidance, and accommodate what you need.
Wellness & Preventive Care
New Baby Visits (Puppies/ Kittens/ Piglets/ Kids)
We like to see new babies as soon as possible after you get them. These little ones can have fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, or contagious skin disease that we really don’t want you to bring into your house, to your children, or other pets. If we are not immediately available, keep your new one isolated in a bathroom with its own food, water, bed, and litter box until we can examine it. (Of course you can go in and love on it; just wash your hands after handling it.) All new babies will be screened for internal and external parasites, dewormed, and vaccinated. We will deworm and vaccinate these little ones every 3-4 weeks until 12-16 weeks of age, examining them for proper growth and development each visit. Kittens will be tested for two deadly viruses, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). We can vaccinate successfully for FeLV, but the FIV vaccine has significant limitations, and is not widely used. Puppies and kittens are started on monthly flea and worm preventative, including heartworm preventative, at 8 weeks of age. We will provide free samples of monthly preventives until the babies have finished their vaccination schedules. Piglets will be treated empirically for Scabies, dewormed and vaccinated; and kids will be dewormed and vaccinated.
Annual Wellness Visits
We recommend your pet have a thorough physical examination every year to detect any changes in his/her health that may lead to future problems, and to optimize good health. This is the Annual Wellness Exam, and we believe it is the cornerstone to our relationship with you and your pet. When we know you and your pets, we can better personalize and customize our recommendations for you and them. We will discuss behavior, dental health, aging / geriatrics, parasite preventatives, nutrition, any concern of yours, big or small. At this visit we will give any necessary immunizations and check the stool for intestinal parasites. For dogs, we will also test for heartworms in order to prescribe the appropriate heartworm preventative. Cats that go outside may be tested for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and both indoor and outdoor cats will be prescribed flea and heartworm preventative as needed. Pot-bellied pigs need annual to semi-annual hoof and tusk trims as well as fecal parasite checks.
Along with an annual exam, we recommend a 4-in-1 vaccine which includes Encephalomyelitis, Tetanus, West Nile Virus, and Flu/ Rhinovirus, and a strangles vaccine for foals. All horses should have a yearly Coggins test, especially for any parade riding. Many horses need yearly teeth “floating,” or filing, depending on how they are fed and housed. We can float your horse’s teeth at the same time of the Annual Visit if scheduled when you make your appointment.
Sick Pets and Hospitalization
In the event that your beloved pet needs to see a doctor for anything other than a wellness visit, we make every effort to see you that same day. We would always rather put your mind at ease if you are worried about a pet that “isn’t quite right” vs. taking a “wait and see” attitude. We do schedule appointments, but we will never turn away an emergency or sick pet. If that pet needs continued specialized care, we have hospitalization capability, with 24-hour on-site nursing care.
We strongly advise that all companion animals be spayed or neutered, for the following reasons: 1) To reduce the risk of ovarian/uterine/mammary/testicular cancers, 2) to prevent pyometra (infection in the uterus), and prostate enlargement, 3) to help calm an unruly animal (ie. make a better pet), and 4) to prevent unwanted breeding. The animal’s personality will not be changed, other than being more stable, without interference from hormones. Spays/neuters are usually performed at 6-12 months of age. We schedule these procedures Monday – Friday. Your pet is left in our care in the morning, and most patients will spend one night with us for strict rest and observation. As with any elective (non-emergency) surgery, animals must be up to date on all vaccinations and be fasted (food withheld) for 12 hours prior. Post-operative pain medication will be administered and may be prescribed for home use. We remove the sutures in 7-10 days, allowing us to re-examine the surgery site as well.
Dogs and cats don’t brush their own teeth like we do, so they need to have their teeth professionally cleaned every so often. (We’ll let you know when at the time of the Annual Wellness Exam.) Learn more from the American Veterinary Dental College: Professional Dental Cleaning
Sometimes companion animals have need for surgery beyond the usual spay or neuter. We are equipped for all but the most specialized procedures. Dr. Chapman is a talented surgeon, being adept at orthopedic, soft tissue, and arthroscopic surgery in small and large animals. Dr. Dunn is a skilled anesthesiologist; and Jose is an experienced surgical assistant.
We are available for emergency after-hours service for our clients. For problems that cannot wait until the next business day, please call our answering service: (504) 779-2015 which will contact the veterinarian on call.
Boarding and Grooming
We provide boarding and basic grooming for our clients. Boarding includes Science Diet dog or cat food and cage bedding. Dogs are leash-walked twice daily, and cats are given clean litter pans daily. Pigs and goats are housed in horse stalls. If the pet requires a special therapeutic diet, we can provide it for an additional charge, or you may certainly supply your pet’s food while it stays with us. Basic grooming includes baths (medicated or regular) with ear cleaning, nail trims, and shave-downs. Some pets may require light sedation, but it is not automatically performed. New customers in need of either service for their pet need simply to show proof of current vaccinations, and allow us to perform an exam to establish a relationship. We can update any needed immunizations and parasite control while the pet is here. Please call for pricing: (504) 838-0288.
End of Life Care
Your beloved pet’s last day should be pain-free, dignified, and gentle. Some people choose hospice care and natural death at home for their pet, and others choose euthanasia here at the hospital. We advise and guide you through the decision and the process. We have been through this with our own pets, so we know exactly how you feel. Our purpose is to prevent suffering and ease the pain of loss that comes with the death of a pet. We can also help you with after-care for your pet’s remains. We work with area pet crematoriums that offer pick-up and delivery service to our hospital, if you choose to have your pet cremated. Whatever you decide, we will treat you and your pet with respect and compassion.