What is a CityPets house call all about?
When City Pets comes to your home, a veterinarian and a technician (veterinary nurse) arrive with all of the necessary equipment to perform a physical examination of your pet. We like to think that anything that can be done in an examination room of a veterinary hospital can be done in the comfort of your own home. For example, a full physical examination, including taking blood, urine and fecal collection for laboratory analysis and vaccinations can all be done in your home or apartment.
The City Pets veterinarian and technician (veterinary nurse) work together with you and your pet to make the experience as comfortable as possible. It is the technician’s job to hold your pet while the doctor performs the examination. Your job is to provide an accurate history about your pet's appetite, thirst, energy level, physical appearance and elimination habits. You should inform us if there are any changes in these areas. That information will help the doctors to know which specific tests on the blood, urine or feces should be performed.
Our doctors can do venipuncture (taking of blood), cystocentesis (taking of urine) which is used for analysis and culture and obtain feces for multiple types of analysis to determine the cause of your pet's problem. City Pets also carries specialized equipment which can be used if necessary to measure your pet's blood pressure, take an EKG (electrocardiogram), measure your pet's intra-ocular pressure (looking for glaucoma) or determine whether a bump on or under the skin might be malignant or benign (cancerous or not).
City Pets can make arrangements for an ultrasound exam to be performed at home. We work with an ultrasound service which provides both echocardiograms (ultrasound of the heart) and abdominal ultrasounds. This is a very effective non –invasive technique which provides a lot of diagnostic information. Since the procedure is not painful, no sedation is required and it can be done comfortably in your home. City Pets does not use anesthesia on pets at home nor does it perform any surgery in the client's home. When pets are sick, fluid therapy, medicine administration and cancer treatment can be done in your home. And when it is time, euthanasia can be performed at home as well, providing this service in a peaceful humane way. City Pets will make whatever final arrangements you require such as cremation or burial in a pet cemetery.
City Pets reminds you to be vigilant. Any time that there is a change in your pet's appetite, water drinking, a weight gain or weight loss, a difference in behavior or energy level, we should be alerted. These changes are the way our pets let us know when things are out of balance. If there is a medical problem, the sooner we are alerted, the faster we make the diagnosis and start treatment.
In Home Pet Wellness Exams
City Pets’ veterinarians are equipped to do a full physical examination on your cat or dog in the comfort of your home. Before we even start the exam, we like to hear from you more specific details about your pet. It is helpful to know the details about your pet’s appetite and water drinking, exactly what your pet is eating, where they travel to outside of New York City, any medication or supplements they are taking and any changes in their physical appearance, behavior or general health. Then we will perform a full exam which includes inspection of eyes, ears, the oral cavity, auscultation (listening to) of the heart and lungs, palpation (feeling) of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity, an orthopedic review and examination of the skin, coat and nails.
Any problems will be pointed out to you and then further diagnosed or corrected while we are there. Dirty ears will be cleaned and long nails cut. We recommend that all pets have a full physical examination once a year until they reach their more senior years when it is prudent to have an exam twice yearly. Our pets age more quickly than we do so we recommend a wellness check up twice yearly for dogs over the age of 10 and cats over the age of 13. We feel that blood tests and a urine analysis are part of a mature pet's check up so that any problems can be detected and treated as early as possible. We recommend a fecal analysis and a test for giardia on all pet's feces once a year or whenever they have abnormal stool. Of course, a pet of any age should be examined whenever s/he is feeling sick or acting abnormally.
If your pet has diarrhea, remember to save a sample for us in a plastic container for fecal analysis. City Pets reminds you to be vigilant. Any time that there is a change in your pet's appetite, water drinking, a weight gain or weight loss, a difference in behavior or energy level, we should be alerted. These changes are the way our pets let us know when things are out of balance. If there is a medical problem, the sooner we are alerted, the faster we make the diagnosis and start treatment.
In Home Senior Pet Exams
When your dog reaches eight years of age (for very large breeds this occurs at 5 years) they are entering the “senior years” of their lives. For cats, this occurs a little later at about the age of 10. Although we do not think of the aging process as a disease in and of itself, the physiological changes associated with aging predispose pets to various disease processes. As animals age they are also more likely to develop multiple health problems. There is a great advantage to finding these problems and treating them early. We recommend twice yearly health visits once they reach the mature years. Even in the absence of symptoms, we recommend blood tests and urinanalysis for these patients.
10 steps towards better mature pet health
1. Twice yearly house calls for mature pets even if they are in good health
2. Twice yearly blood tests (which may also include urine analysis)
3. Provide an enriched environment where pet has age appropriate things to play with.
4. Schedule an appointment if pet has a change in appetite or water drinking-these are non specific signs of a multitude of senior medical problems.
5. Schedule an appointment if your pet has decreased appetite older pets may have dental disease or other medical conditions which affect their appetite or cause them to lose weight.
6. Schedule an appointment if your pet has gained or lost weight-unless you have put your pet on a calorie restricted diet or you are intentionally feeding your pet more there is another reason for a weight change. Loss and gain of weight may indicate a hormonal problem , metabolic problem or something more serious.
7. Schedule an appointment if your pet is having difficulty walking or is reluctant to go to places in the house or outside the same way they used to-older pets are prone to degenerative joint disease (arthritis) which can be helped with medication, physical therapy and complementary forms of care.
8. Groom your pet regularly-older pets often have difficulty reaching some parts of their bodies to groom themselves. Your regular grooming will make it easier and alert you to any changes in their skin or coat.
9. Elevate their food bowls so that they can eat and drink without having to lower their heads to the ground.
10. Maintain a familiar routine and a stress fee environment.
Any time that there is a change in your pet's appetite, water drinking, a weight gain or weight loss, a difference in behavior or energy level, we should be alerted. These changes are the way our pets let us know when things are out of balance. If there is a medical problem, the sooner we are alerted, the faster we make the diagnosis and start treatment.
In Home Sick Pet Examination and Treatment
Please call our office (212 581-7387) whenever your pet is acting sick. As soon as you mention that your pet is sick one of our technicians or trained administrative personnel will ask you specific questions about your pet’s condition. The answers to these questions help them determine the severity of your pet’s condition and alert one of the veterinarians right away. If your pet’s condition is appropriate for a house call, a City Pets veterinarian and a technician will come to your home to care your pet.
The City Pets team is prepared to perform a full physical examination, take blood and urine for diagnostic testing, arrange for ultrasound examinations, facilitate further tests in specialty hospitals, administer treatments and dispense medication. If your pet has an ongoing condition it is helpful to have a copy of the previous medical record so that our veterinarians can review the prior test results.
It is always best to call us first if something is not right with your pet. Many things that seem to you like an emergency are actually not and they can be treated at home. That is why we ask you so many questions. Some examples of typical problems we can see in a client’s home are: anorexia (not eating), vomiting and diarrhea, pets who have lost or gained weight, changes in water drinking habits, pets who are lethargic, limping, have eye, ear or skin problems and gum and tooth problems.
Sometimes after this discussion our doctors will decide that your pet’s condition would be better treated at a veterinary hospital rather than on a house call and in this case we would let you know this, and if necessary make a recommendation to a hospital in your neighborhood or to one of the many 24 hour emergency hospitals in Manhattan. It is our goal to help you get your pet the best and most appropriate medical care without any delay. If your pet is seen at a veterinary hospital or emergency center we will follow up with them during the hospitalization and following discharge.
Life threatening or serious emergencies are not appropriate for home visit and these pets should be taken directly to an animal hospital. If your pet is having trouble breathing, is having a seizure, has suffered serious trauma and is unconscious or is bleeding uncontrollably, go directly to an animal hospital. If you do not already have a relationship with an animal hospital there are several open 24 hours a day; 365 days a year in Manhattan:
Blue Pearl Midtown is located at 410 West 55th Street (between 9th Ave and 10th Ave) (212) 767-0099.
Blue Pearl Downtown is located at 1 West 15th Street (between 5th Ave and 6th Ave) (212) 924-3311.
Animal Medical Center is located at 510 East 62nd Street (between York Ave and the East River) (212) 838-8100. If you are taking your pet to one of these hospitals you may call us en route to the hospital and we will make arrangements for your arrival. You may also call us from the hospital for us to speak directly with the doctors there about your pet’s condition.
In Home Pet Vaccinations
City Pets does house calls to keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations. Puppies and kittens are vaccinated on a monthly schedule until they are over four months of age when their immune systems can adequately respond to the vaccines. Following the final puppy or kitten booster we visit you annually for adult dogs and cats but it is not necessary to vaccinate them each year. If your pet lives strictly indoors, we will discuss the best vaccination protocol with you. There is no one size fits all vaccine recommendation.
It is City Pets philosophy that pets receive the least number of vaccines Rabies vaccinations are required by New York State law for all pets regardless of whether they go outside or not. We do recommend that even indoor pets be vaccinated so that they are fully protected in the event that of a future hospitalization that might be needed for a treatment that cannot be given at home. There is potential for exposure to other animals in the hospital who might have medical conditions that can be prevented with vaccinations.
We always tailor your pet's vaccinations to be the least number of shots required to keep them healthy. If your pet has certain needs, call us and we will customize the vaccinations for them. We are especially interested in your pet's travel plans, whether they visit "doggy day care" or boarding facilities, go to dog or cat shows or whether your indoor cat in Manhattan enjoys outside time in the country. Always let us know anything that you do with your pet that might be out of the ordinary so that we can do our best to keep them healthy.
In Home International and Domestic Travel Certificates
Whether you are vacationing with your pet or relocating to a new destination traveling with pets requires advance preparation. Many countries have specific requirements for timing of prior vaccinations, blood tests and treatment for internal and external parasites which must be complied with before your pet may enter. If you are thinking of a destination it is best to call us as early as possible so that we can make sure that you are in compliance with the regulations for your destination.
Our veterinarians are accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to examine your pet and sign the official documents required for domestic and international travel. In this heightened security time, it has become much more difficult to travel with your pets and we encourage you to contact us to discuss what is required to enter the country you are going to with your pet. Some destinations require extensive procedures prior to admission. We encourage you to plan ahead so we can provide you with the necessary official documents and pre-travel health appointments. This would avoid unnecessary headaches with customs officials and prevent your pet from unwanted quarantine or mandatory immediate return to the place of origin.
In Home Pet Microchipping
City Pets is pleased to announce that we offer the HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service. HomeAgain requires the implantation of a microchip which offers a permanent, unalterable method of pet identification. Home Again has been responsible for the successful reunion of hundreds of thousands of lost pets with their rightful owners. HomeAgain is an advanced pet identification and retrieval system. A microchip with a unique identification code is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades of your pet. This implantation is done with a syringe and the process is similar to giving a vaccine. Microchipping is permanent, completely unalterable, and does not change or harm the appearance of your pet in any way. The procedure is safe, inexpensive, fast and virtually painless for your pet.
This can be done in your home without anesthesia. The unique number embedded in this microchip is then permanently enrolled in the HomeAgain Recovery Service by City Pets. The microchip number can be read by running a scanner over the location which will then display the unique number. Scanning is a completely painless process. The national database of HomeAgain is open and available 24-hours daily, 365 days a year. When a lost pet is found, it can be scanned at an animal shelter or at a veterinary clinic. The animal's identification number is called into HomeAgain, and the pet owner is notified immediately.
Pets enrolled in the recovery network also receive collar tags to wear with their HomeAgain identification number and the toll-free recovery hotline. The tags alone help identify lost pets, but tags/collars can easily come off. It is the microchip that provides permanent identification that remains in place and functional for your pet's life.
HomeAgain microchips are 15 digit 134 Khz universal microchip which are required for international travel.
At City Pets we urge you to microchip all of your pets. Many people say to us. "why do I have to microchip my pet?, My pet never goes outside". We feel the reason to microchip your pet is for the unforeseen situation. A microchip provides the fastest method of identification of your pet if it inadvertently gets out of your home in the event of fire, burglary, a natural disaster or even careless entry of maintenance personnel. We urge you to have your pet microchipped on your next well pet exam. Please call us at 212 581 9387 to discuss this or to schedule an appointment to have your pet microchipped.
Euthanasia (putting your pet to sleep)
For all of us at City Pets, the hardest thing we have to do is put a pet to sleep. But we know when it is time to end a pet’s suffering it is a great comfort for both the pet and the family to remain at home in familiar and comfortable surroundings. It is also helpful for the other animals in the home to know that their friends have passed on. The process is gentle and painless. Families may be present and involved if they so choose to be. We will also make the final arrangements to have your pet cremated or buried in a pet cemetery.