A Special Bond Deserves Special Treatment
AAHA Accreditation - The Difference between Ordinary and Extraordinary
Four Paws Animal Hospital is proud to be among the 12-15% of all practices in the United States that has earned the "AAHA-accredited" designation.
The American Animal Hospital Association ("AAHA") strictly evaluates practices on over 900 standards of care to make sure accredited practices are at the forefront of the profession in providing the highest quality of medical care for your pet. After initial accreditation, practices are routinely reevaluated to make sure they maintain the stringent quality standards as the practice of veterinary medicine continues to evolve.
What Should I be Looking for with my Pet?
Dental disease is the number one health issue diagnosed in dogs and cats. Bad breath and tartar are very serious signs and can lead to periodontal disease. If dental disease is left untreated, it can cause infections in the mouth, blood, and even internal organs such as the heart and liver.
A lot of things may cause dogs and cats to be itchy. Sometimes it is obvious when dogs and cats are itchy, especially when they scratch a lot. Other times, though, dogs and cats show less obvious signs of itching. For example, dogs and cats may shake their heads or excessively lick. Commonly itchy areas are the paws and belly, so dogs and cats often lick these places. Lastly, animals may rub their faces or bodies on the ground or furniture as an alternative to scratching. If you notice any of these signs, please have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian in order to determine the best course of treatment for itch.
Sometimes, a dog or cat may vomit for a minor reason. For example, a dog may vomit because the dog ate something that upset his/her tummy. A cat may vomit because he/she has a hairball. Other times, however, a dog or cat vomiting may be signs of a more serious condition or even a medical emergency. Additionally, if vomiting continues without treatment, dogs or cats may become severely dehydrated and malnourished. If you notice your pet vomiting, please see a veterinarian to best determine the cause.
Weight gain or loss including loss of appetite
If an animal does not want to eat as much, this may be a sign of a serious medical condition. For example, an animal that is eating less and gaining weight may have hypothyroidism, which is a chronic but treatable endocrine disease. An animal that is eating more and losing weight may have diabetes. There is a long list of medical conditions that may lead to a change in weight or appetite, so please talk to your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.
Change in activity
Dogs and cats cannot tell us when they are not feeling well. Sometimes, a change in activity level may be the first sign they are feeling sick. Animals may change their activity levels if they are in pain or do not have as much energy as they should. They also may change their activity level due to a behavioral problem. Sometimes, a change in activity level signifies a serious health issue that requires treatment. Please let your veterinarian know if your pet's activity levels are changing.
Increase in drinking
Animals may drink extra water for several reasons. Increasing exercise or switching from canned to dry food may cause an animal to be thirstier. However, there are also more serious medical conditions that may cause your pet to drink more. For example, bladder infections and endocrine diseases commonly lead to an increase in water consumption. Talk to your vet if you have questions regarding your pet's drinking habits.
Limping or signs of pain or discomfort
Dogs and cats have a lot of ways of showing us that they are in pain. Some animals limp, which makes it clear that an arm or leg is uncomfortable. Other times, dogs and cats show us that they are painful in different ways. Animals may stop eating, hesitate to get up and move around or cry out without an obvious reason. If you notice any possible sign of pain in your pet, please call your veterinarian.
Accidents in the house/Not using the litter box
Dogs and cats sometimes have a change in bathroom habits. Dogs may go to the bathroom inside, and cats may stop using the litterbox. There are both behavioral and medical reasons for these things to occur. For example, stress, endocrine diseases, and bladder infections are all possible causes for changes in bathroom habits. Your veterinarian may help you figure out exactly why your pet is using the bathroom inappropriately.
About Four Paws Animal Hospital
Four Paws Animal Hospital at Johns Creek is an AHAA accredited hospital which represents that highest level of veterinary care in the industry. Veterinarians Dr. Ashley Tharp, Dr. Ally Whalen, and Dr. Alexa Howard understand the important bond that you have with your pet, and strive to provide you and your pet with the highest quality health care.
Four Paws Animal Hospital voluntarily participates and challenges itself to continue to improve the practice of veterinary medicine because pets are their passion and keeping them healthy is their number one priority. Your pet deserves nothing less.
Dr. Tharp is very knowledgeable and caring. The staff is always friendly and ready to help. We have great confidence in this animal hospital and highly recommend this practice.
Great service, large housing areas for boarding pets, dogs go outside often when boarded, and the staff is super kind. Couldn't ask for anything else!
Preventive Care Plans
The routine care of your pet helps them to live a long, health and happy life. Unfortunately the cost of veterinarian care can be expensive. That's why we offer a variety of preventive health plans to help you control the cost of medical care for your pet.