Mount Vernon Animal Hospital
We're a full service animal hospital, offering preventive care, blood work and other laboratory screening, x-rays, routine dental care and many soft tissue surgeries.
Preventive care is an important focus, allowing us to identify disease before it becomes severe. We recommend annual physical exams for all patients, and twice yearly exams for elderly patients. We use these exams to establish a baseline for your pet with weight, heart rate, and other information that allows us to discover abnormalities as soon as possible.
Routine blood and urine testing also gives us a chance to discover disease while we've got the best chance of correcting the problem.
We're happy to discuss with you which vaccines and tests are appropriate for your pet, based on lifestyle and age.
Dental scaling is an important aspect of our preventive health plan. Most animals over 2-3 years of age have accumulated significant tartar and can benefit from dental prophylaxis. The brown or green discoloration you see on your pet's teeth is 90% bacteria, and can lead to a serious condition where bacteria gets into the bloodstream, or cause infections in other organs such as the heart or kidneys. Gingivitis ("red gums") is the leading cause of tooth loss in animals.
Early intervention and diligent home care can reverse gingivitis; in more advanced cases it can prevent further tooth loss. We perform dental prophylaxis with or without general anesthesia, including both ultrasonic and hand scaling, thorough dental examination for cavities and pockets, and polishing of the teeth. See our Dental Health page.
Behavioral counseling is an essential part of routine care. Pets need training so that they can be an asset to your family. Puppies benefit from obedience training--it builds the bond between you and your dog, as well as teaching what you expect in terms of behavior. Exercise and mental stimulation are other important factors in avoiding behavioral issues and maximizing the well-being of your pet.
We recommend the Northern Virginia Dog Training Association a nonprofit organization. Group classes meet indoors and use positive training methods. Fairfax County also runs obedience classes, as do many independent schools. We suggest that you investigate a school's philosophy before enrolling your dog. Dr. Owel and Dr. Miller will be glad to help you decide whether or not a trainer is a good fit for you and your dog.
Undesirable behaviors are best handled as soon as possible. We can help you develop a plan to modify your pet's behavior. Pets should add pleasure to our lives--you don't have to "live with" problem behavior.
We don't cut corners on our surgeries. We use a combination of anesthetic agents best suited for each individual patient, pulse oximetry monitoring (the same standard as in human medicine), and we pay special attention to pain management.
Nutritional counseling helps you optimize your pet's health. Obesity is a growing problem with pets and we can show you how to avoid or treat it. Diet is an often-overlooked contributor to many health problems, from skin issues, allergies, gastrointestinal problems and even, in some cases, seizures. Specialized diets are available to treat many medical conditions, and we can advise you on these. We are also happy to advise you on preparing healthy, home-cooked meals for your pet
We do offer boarding for dogs and cats, and are more than able to make sure your pet gets any medications and treatments, insulin injections, etc, which may be necessary. Ancillary services, such as nail trimming and bathing are also available. We do not groom pets, but are happy to offer recommendations for groomers in our area.
We work closely with local specialists to make sure your pet gets the care it needs. no matter how complex the case. And we're here to help you make decisions once you see the specialist and help explain your options as you go along. We're lucky to have a full range of veterinary specialists, from internists who can do ultrasounds, endoscopy, MRIs and CT scans, to board-certified surgeons who can do complex soft tissue or orthopedic procedures, to cardiologists, dentists and dermatologists, just to name a few. We'll help you navigate your way through from beginning to end.