Hospital Hours

Mon - Fri   8 a.m. -   6 p.m.
Sat   9 a.m. -   Noon  

Health Maintenance Services

Pet Health at Ambassador Animal HospitalInternal Medicine

When your pet is not well, our Columbia, SC veterinarians need to find out the problem. One of the frustrations of dealing with a sick pet is that you cannot simply ask him or her what is wrong. To get an accurate medical diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment plan, diagnostic tests are often necessary.

Dermatology and Your Pet's Allergies

If left untreated, allergy-related conditions can fester and become serious health concerns for your pet. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:

  • Inflamed ears
  • Hotspots, especially those that recur
  • Scratching
  • Rubbing the eyes or mouth area
  • Flaking
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Red itchy bumps on the skin
  • Asthma-like wheezing or respiratory issues

These problems can indicate a serious dermatological or allergic reaction to allergens such as fleas, pollen, dust and various foods. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you bring your pet into Ambassador Animal Hospital for an evaluation. If left untreated, these problems can become severe medical concerns.

The staff at Ambassador Animal Hospital takes the time to explain your pet's condition, how to prevent future occurrences and the proper method of treatment.

Glaucoma Prevention

Glaucoma is a common condition in which the fluid pressure inside your pet's eye increases, resulting in damage to the optic nerve followed by loss of vision and blindness. There are two types of glaucoma. Primary (or chronic) glaucoma is hereditary or develops as your pet ages. Secondary or acute glaucoma develops as the result of an injury or illness. Because secondary glaucoma can progress rapidly, it is considered an emergency situation.

Symptoms of glaucoma to look for include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Pain
  • Cloudy-looking eye
  • Bulging eyeball

The veterinarians at Ambassador Animal Hospital recommend that your pet receive a routine glaucoma exam as part of his or her regular wellness care. The exam is not only an effective screening measure for chronic and acute glaucoma, it can also help set a baseline measurement of your pet's normal intraocular pressure (IOP). Establishing an IOP baseline is important because the normal measurement can vary between species, breeds, and even individual pets.

This is a noninvasive, simple procedure that should not cause your pet any pain or discomfort. We apply a mild anesthetic eye-drop to ensure your pet is comfortable during the procedure.

Nutritional Counseling for Dogs and CatsYour Pet's Nutrition

Proper nutrition and a balanced diet, along with fresh, clean water, are essential ingredients for your pet's overall good health. As your pet's caregiver, nutrition is the most significant health variable that you control.

Feeding your pet the highest-quality food you can afford is one of the best ways you can contribute to his or her health and vitality. Although the differences between premium and budget varieties may not be apparent on their nutrition labels, they are in the quality of the ingredients. Both may contain the same amount of protein but be very different when it comes to source, digestibility and nutritional value. Making the best nutritional choices for your dog or cat not only effects general health, but will improve the quality and length of your pet's life.

To support your efforts, the doctors at Ambassador Animal Hospital perform a thorough body condition evaluation during every physical examination and give recommendations based on what we see. We can also provide you with important information on proper serving size, nutrient needs and feeding strategies for your individual pet. We also help you navigate pet food claims so you can make the most informed choice.

Prescription Diets

Some pets have serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions that benefit from a special diet. When that is the case, we may recommend feeding a special prescription diet. Making this change can have a significant positive impact on your pet's overall health and well-being.

Prescription diets benefit medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney disease, digestive problems, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and more. Ambassador Animal Hospital carries a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products, including prescription diets from Hills, Royal Canin and Purina. If your pet requires a prescription diet we do not carry, we can easily order it for you.

Laser Therapy for Pets in Columbia, SCClass IV Laser Therapy

Laser therapy involves the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate healing. Therapeutic lasers supply energy to the body as light is transmitted through the layers of skin and stimulates and accelerates the healing of damaged cells. Class IV therapeutic laser is a painless procedure used for post-operative care, treatment of arthritis, skin wounds, and other selected conditions.

Laser therapy causes no adverse effects on healthy cells. During each painless treatment, the energy from the laser increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. In addition, it can accelerate tissue repair and cell growth, reduce scar tissue formation, and help the immune system fend off infection. Furthermore, laser therapy can improve circulation and nerve function in certain conditions.

As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved, allowing your pet to quickly return to his or her normal activities.

What Conditions Does Laser Therapy Treat?

Wound healing, including:

  • Post-operative surgical incisions
  • Contaminated or infected wounds
  • Burns
  • Snake bites

Skin conditions, including:

  • Dermatitis
  • Cat bite abscesses
  • Eczema
  • Ulcerated or non-ulcerated eosinophilic granulomas
  • Frostbite
  • Panniculitis (subcutaneous inflammation)
  • Pododermatitis (inflammation of skin on the paws)
  • Pyoderma (pus in the skin)
  • Seborrhea (dandruff)

Pain caused by musculoskeletal disorders such as:

  • Cruciate ligament injury
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of motor control
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-operative fracture repair
  • Degenerative joint disease

What You and Your Pet Can Expect

Pets typically do not need to be sedated for laser therapy treatments and the experience is usually pleasant and comforting. Most pets do not need to have their fur clipped.

Improvement is sometimes seen after the first treatment; however, most pets require several treatments to achieve maximum benefits. Generally, 4 - 8 treatments produce the best results. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your pet's condition. Your veterinarian at Ambassador Animal Hospital will recommend a laser treatment plan specific to your pet's condition.

Breeding and Reproduction services in Columbia, SCReproductive Medicine

Whether you are an experienced breeder or you are breeding your pet for the first time, the medical staff at Ambassador Animal Hospital can help during all phases of the breeding process, from initial planning and consultation all the way through birth and post-natal nursing.

We provide the following reproductive medical services for your pet:

  • Semen collection and evaluation
  • Artificial insemination
  • Pregnancy monitoring and evaluation

As a part of Ambassador Animal Hospital's reproductive services, our veterinarians also treat other problems that affect your pet's reproductive organs, such as vaginitis, prostate disorders and mammary disorders.

Oncology & Cancer Treatment

The word cancer strikes fear in all of us; however, with new advances in veterinary medicine many pets are living longer with a greatly improved quality of life. Successful cancer treatment often lies in early detection. Early detection can be difficult at times as cancer may not only present itself as a lump on the skin, but may develop inside the body. If this occurs, a thorough examination with diagnostic tests (X-rays, ultrasound) can often discover the tumor.

Treatment depends on the type and location of the cancer. If possible, surgical removal of the tumor at our animal hospital in Columbia is recommended. Some types of cancer are responsive to chemotherapy, which include a variety of oral and injectable drugs. Dogs and cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy well and do rarely develop side effects similar to humans. Should chemotherapy or radiation be recommended, Ambassador Animal Hospital can provide you with local referrals.

For more information about our Columbia, South Carolina pet health maintenance services or to schedule an appointment, please contact Ambassador Animal Hospital at (803) 787-3840.