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Services | Columbia Animal Hospital

Spay and Neutering

We know that pets who are spayed and neutered, live longer, healthier lives and definitely keeps the population of unwanted dogs and cats down. Pets that have been neutered prior to 6 months of age are less likely to develop prostate cancer, mammary gland tumors or need emergency hysterectomies later in life. Neutered pets are less likely to stray or develop behavioral and social issues. We participate with the Humane League of Lancaster County, the York County S.P.C.A. as well as the Organization for Responsible Care of Animals (O.R.C.A.) in an effort to offer lower spay and neuter rates to our clients who may need financial assistance in neutering their pets.



Grooming your dog or cat can be cumbersome and sometimes eventful, so let us do the work for you! Our facility makes it easy for our groomers to get the job done efficiently. We do require that all pets be up to date on their Rabies vaccine as a precaution and to insure the well being of our groomers.Most pets don’t have fears about being bathed or groomed, while others don’t enjoy it at all. Under those circumstances we will ask you to allow us to mildly sedate your pet to help them relax and learn that water and clippers aren’t so bad after all!



Can’t take your pet with you? We will be glad to give your pet the best care while you are away. Your pet must be up to date with their vaccinations and be free of fleas and parasites. If your pet needs medication or is on a special diet, you will need to bring as much medication and food as your pet will need for their stay. We discourage owners from bringing chew toys and personal bedding since we have our own in-house supply of bedding. **We require all boarders who are not regular patients of our Hospital to schedule a pre-boarding exam and supply proof of current vaccinations including Distemper, Rabies And Bordatella, at least 10 days prior to start of boarding stay.



Dogs need to be vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Parvoviruses, Lymes Disease (see more about Lymes disease below) and Rabies. Pennsylvania State law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated against Rabies. Puppies need to be vaccinated against these potentially fatal diseases in a three-part series given 3-4 weeks apart starting at 6-8 weeks of age and ending after 16-18 weeks of age. This allows the puppy’s immune system a chance to develop antibodies against these diseases. Mature dogs need annual vaccinations to be sure they maintain a healthy level of immunity.

Cats need to be vaccinated against Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis virus, Calicivirus as well as Rabies. All outside cats should be tested and vaccinated against Feline Leukemia and all kittens under 1 year of age need to be tested for FELV/FIV (Feline Leukemia Virus/Feline Immunodifficiency Virus). Feline vaccinations for kittens are also given as a series and all adult cats need their vaccinations boosted annually.


Flea Control

These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85%… so for our area they are no more than just a “summer” problem.

Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas can not fly because they do not have wings!)

The flea’s bite can cause itching for the host but for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea! The easiest way to check for fleas on your pet is to look for “flea dirt”. “Flea dirt” looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain… it’s definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas! Flea dirt may be your only evidence of a flea infestation but believe the evidence! If there is flea dirt there are surely fleas present. Frontline Plus, Advantix, and Revolution are commonly used treatments for pets with fleas. If you think your pet has fleas, then our recommended solution is to treat your pet with one of the previous products.


Tick Control

Lyme Disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick. The disease is actually named after the town in Connecticut where an early outbreak was first noticed… Lyme, Connecticut. (Remember, ticks don’t cause the disease, they merely harbor and transmit the bacteria that cause the disease.) At least three known species of ticks can transmit Lyme Disease. However, the great majority of Lyme Disease transmissions are due to the bite of a very tiny tick commonly called the Deer Tick, or Black-legged Tick. Lyme Disease in dogs has been reported in every state but certain geographical areas are much more likely to harbor bacteria-carrying ticks than others. Pennsylvania has a high report of Lyme Disease in animals. Both Lancaster and York Counties are at high risk according to an article on Lyme Disease at the Department of Health website. Counties with a five-year average incidence of =10 per 100,000 population were considered “high risk.” To view the list of all of the high risk counties is Pennsylvania click here.

To help prevent your pet from contracting the disease, we recommend having your pet lymes and heartworm tested annually and use a product such as Frontline Plus, Advantix, or Revolution to help keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. We also strongly suggest that all dogs be vaccinated against Lymes disease with an annual vaccination.


Radiology & Ultrasound

Radiographs (x-rays) are used in a variety of cases. They are vital in detecting changes in bone, visualizing and locating foreign material such as swallowed toys, chew bone fragments, bladder or kidney stones, or objects such as safety pins. In other words traditional x-rays are wonderful in showing hard dense objects in the body.

Ultrasound allows the doctor to visualize soft tissue such as the heart, liver, spleen and kidneys in a two dimensional view. It assists the doctor in diagnosing abnormal organ changes, heart disease and can visualize soft tissue that x-rays can’t.

In both cases, your pet will need to be admitted for the day since both radiographs and ultrasound require the pet to stay motionless during the procedure. While some patients seem to be capable of doing this, the majority of patients will need to be sedated and remain in the hospital until the sedation has worn off.


Hospitalization & Surgery

As much as all pet owners hope that their pets never need to be hospitalized or have surgery, we realize there will be times when it’s necessary. Our Doctors and Staff are here to make the situation as easy on the owners and the pets, as possible. Our diagnostics, including digital radiography, ultrasound and in-house lab, help us to find a diagnosis quickly and as non-invasively as possible.

Surgical procedures on animals, as with humans, can carry inherent and sometimes serious risks. With today’s advances in anesthesia, surgical techniques, and modern equipment, we have greatly minimized the risks. We offer pre-surgical blood tests to help determine your pet’s general well being prior to surgery and the use of lasers in some procedures has greatly reduced blood loss and decreases the patient’s postoperative pain. Our surgeons are skilled in soft tissue surgery as well as orthopedic procedures. The surgeon will keep you informed about what they were able to accomplish with the surgery and any post surgical home care requirements that will be expected of you as a care giver. Home care providers may have as important a part in the outcome of the procedure as the surgeon. It can be challenging to keep an excited dog quiet and restrained for 10 days or a cat from wanting to jump off the couch or bed! We need our pet’s owner’s help along these lines to insure a successful healing process.


Dental & Health Care Diets

Studies show that proper dental care will extend an animal’s life 2-5 years. Also tests prove that 40-60% of animal’s deaths from liver problems are due to infections in the animal’s gums. By scheduling your animal’s dental visit when you schedule your own dental visit, you will make sure your animal stays in the best of health.

We recommend dental cleaning of pet’s teeth every six months or at the very least once a year. Proper oral care can prevent abscesses of the teeth, root canals and bad breath. We recommend that dental x-rays be done at the same time as your pet’s dental cleaning to help identify any underlying problems that may be developing below the gum line that aren’t visible during a regular oral exam.

We also provide products such as specially formulated toothpaste and toothbrushes for animals, oral rinses, plaque prevention kits and solutions that can be added to your pet’s drinking water to help promote oral health and fresh breath. There are also specially formulated prescription diets that help your pet’s oral health. We can help you decide what requirements will be best for your pet’s oral health.