Preparing for Your Visit
- If another veterinarian has seen your pet, it is very helpful if you send or bring a copy of your pet’s prior medical history. Please be aware that due to new state laws, the prior veterinary office may require your signature to release the documents.
- For the safety of all, we ask that every dog be leashed. Shorter leashes (4-6 feet) are preferred over retractable leashes. We also ask that each cat be contained in a pet carrier. If you do not have a pet carrier, please feel free to alert our front staff and we can provide one for your pet during your visit. Even though we make every effort to make our patients feel comfortable during visits, they may be a little uneasy about new people, new surroundings, and other pets. This is one of the reasons we ask you to restrain your pet.
- If your pet has a tendency toward nervousness or aggression, please advise our staff when you arrive. We will take extra measures to make the visit safe and comfortable for your pet.
Bring a list of questions you would like to ask. This helps ensure that all of your concerns are addressed.
- If you have any other concerns, please let us know! We’re here to help.
- Appointment Scheduling: To allow ample time for all patients and scheduled surgical procedures, we operate primarily by appointment. With that being said, we realize that illness has no time clock. If your pet has an unanticipated medical problem, we will make every effort to address the problem in a timely manner, while respecting the other pet owners that have established appointments. Emergency cases shall always receive top priority, which is why occasional appointment delay is inevitable. Please realize that we make a sincere attempt to see each client on time.
- Punctuality: Please be on time for your appointment. We like to spend time getting to know you and your pet, and tardiness not only affects the time we can spend with you but may also reduce the time available for the next patient. If you find that you are running late, please call ahead so that we can make adjustments to accommodate you. In some cases, we may ask you to reschedule the appointment. When you arrive at your visit, please inform staff if you have specific time constraints (i.e. picking up a child, another appointment, etc.) so that we can expedite your visit.
- Payment is due at the time service is rendered. We accept cash, checks (with a valid ID), bank debit/credit cards, Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and Discover. If your pet is admitted to the hospital, you will possibly be asked to leave a deposit. Your doctor will discuss this when reviewing the cost estimate. The remaining balance is due at the time of discharge from the hospital. If you are dealing with a budget, please notify our front staff so we can provide services accordingly.
According to the American Veterinary Dental College, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental disease can be very uncomfortable for pets and the longer it is left untreated, the more complicated and expensive it becomes to treat. Furthermore, improper care of your pet’s teeth can often be the cause of serious illness. If left untreated, dental problems can lead to larger systemic problems in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging the kidneys, heart, and liver.
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, please make an appointment immediately:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Loose teeth
Oral Exams: Proper dental care is one of the easiest ways to protect your pet’s health and keep them pain-free. During your pet’s oral exam, we will examine your pet’s mouth, teeth, and jaw. We may recommend x-rays to assess the health of your pet’s tooth roots, as well. Regular oral exams, help prevent irreversible dental disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery.
Teeth Cleanings: Your pet’s dental cleaning will begin with a physical examination, so we can evaluate your pet’s general health. After the physical exam, your pet will be given an anesthetic for safe and painless teeth cleaning since most dental disease starts below the gumline. The first part of dental cleaning requires the removal of tartar using a hand scaler. Next, an ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gum line while a curette cleans and smooths the teeth under the gum line in the crevice between the teeth and gums. Then your pet’s teeth are polished, and the gums are washed with an anti-bacterial solution to help delay tartar build-up.
Extractions and Advanced Procedures: Our veterinarians will only recommend tooth extractions if we believe it is necessary for your pet’s wellbeing. We usually recommend this when we identify that your pet has an infected or broken tooth that is likely causing them pain. In the case that we recommend a tooth extraction, we will discuss what this means for your pet and how to properly care for them while they’re healing.
How To Prevent Dental Disease Before It Begins: Regular wellness visits allow us to check your pet’s mouth and teeth and identify issues before they progress. Additionally, at-home dental care including regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and using teeth-cleaning treats can prevent plaque from building up. Lastly, avoid hard toys and bones that can potentially damage your pet’s teeth.
Parasite Prevention and Control
Parasites can pose a variety of health concerns for your pets and your family, but we can help you develop a prevention routine to keep everyone safe. At Formea Animal Hospital, we recommend keeping your pets on year-round prevention to stop pests before they become a problem.
Common parasites include fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal worms. During your pet’s annual exam, we will test your pet for parasites with a thorough physical exam, a fecal test, and a blood test. Even if your pet is on year-round prevention, annual tests are still extremely important to detect parasites even if you aren’t seeing any symptoms.
Our knowledgeable healthcare team will help you develop a prevention plan that fits your lifestyle. You can keep your pets safe with either monthly oral medication or topical treatments. We will discuss what method can most effectively address your family’s needs.
We focus on keeping your pet happy and healthy. Unfortunately, pets occasionally experience an illness or injury that requires urgent care. Our clinic is equipped to handle urgent care during hospital hours, schedule permitting. If your pet has an emergency outside of our hours, we encourage you to call one of the following hospitals to see if they have availability:
Animal Emergency Center
2005 Mall Street, Collinsville, Illinois 62234
Weeknights (Monday – Friday)- 6:00pm – 8:00am the following day
Weekends- Noon Saturday to 8:00am Monday
Holidays- Open 24 hours on all major holidays
We maintain a fully stocked pharmacy to fill your pet’s prescription needs quickly and conveniently.
In Case of a Pet Emergency
Pet emergencies can happen at any time. The scary part is many occur when we least expect it, or we are not prepared. In the spirit of providing our clients with knowledge and information, the following are some helpful tips in case your pet is ever in need of emergency veterinary services.
Please remember that any first aid treatment administered to your pet should always be followed immediately by veterinary care. First aid is not a substitute for veterinary care, but rather a means of stabilizing your pet until he or she can receive treatment.
If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.
Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product’s container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed.
Be ready with the following information:
- The species, breed, age, sex, weight, and the number of animals involved.
The animal’s symptoms.
- Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved, and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
- Have the product container/packaging available for reference.
Please note: If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious, or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your emergency veterinary clinic.
Invest in an emergency first-aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain:
- A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
- A turkey baster, bulb syringe, or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
- Saline eye solution
- Artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
- Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
- Forceps (to remove stingers)
- A muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)
- A can of your pet’s favorite wet food
- A pet carrier
- A blanket to wrap an injured animal for transport.
- Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
- Brush Your Feline’s Teeth
- Trim Your Dog’s Nails
- Trim Your Feline’s Nails
- Senior Pet Care
- Dangers of Obesity in Cats and Dogs
- Wellness Exams- Feline
- Wellness Exams- First Puppy Visit
- Heart Disease in your Dog and Grain-Free Diets
Training Tips and Tricks
End of Life Care
At Formea Animal Hospital we understand that regardless of the situation, saying goodbye to a beloved pet is one of the most difficult situations a pet owner will ever make. Our staff of compassionate, caring professionals can help you through this painful experience. We will work with you to ensure your pet’s comfort and dignity during his or her last days and final moments. We are happy to accommodate special requests and help you make arrangements for cremation or other options. Sedation will be administered prior to performing the euthanasia to ensure your pet is at ease. We are here to help you through this transition and make this process easier for you.
Puppy and Kitten Care
The dedicated team at Formea Animal Hospital is here to help you ensure your puppy or kitten gets off to the best start possible. Make sure to schedule your new pet’s first appointment within the first few weeks of bringing them home. The initial visit provides us an opportunity to meet and offers you a chance to ask questions. We strive to address any concerns you may have about owning a puppy or kitten and teach you the best ways to care for your new family member. This is a special time for you and your pet, and we want to ensure you feel supported in this transition. Our comprehensive approach addresses your pet’s needs from vaccinations to a proper diet. During your pet’s first visit we will conduct a physical exam, develop a vaccine schedule, discuss your pet’s diet, and develop a parasite prevention plan. We will also discuss the importance of getting your pet spayed or neutered and microchipped.
Microchipping is the most effective means of identification for your pet. Like vaccinations, microchipping is safe, quick, and causes little pain. We always recommend an ID tag be attached to your pet’s collar, but the microchip will serve as an extra layer of protection if an accident does occur. Most veterinary hospitals and shelters are equipped with a handheld microchip scanner that can be used to check for a chip. If the pet has one, it will transmit its ID number to the scanner via a low-frequency radio wave. From there, they can retrieve the pet owner’s contact information from the manufacturer and call the owner.
We are pet parents too, and we know how difficult it is to lose a furry family member. At our hospital, we try to do everything in our power to help ease the pain caused by the passing of a beloved pet. When it comes time for you to let go of your animal companion, making the decisions on how to care for their physical remains can be heart-wrenching. We are pleased to be able to offer cremation services to those seeking another option besides traditional burial. Though we do not perform cremations here in our clinic, we partner with Pets at Peace by Gent Funeral Home. Not only do they provide an exceptional and respectful crematory service, but they also provide a variety of urns, remembrance jewelry, and other products to honor your pet’s memory. Please visit Pet Services | Gent Funeral Home – Alton, IL for more information. If you would like to speak to someone about cremation fees or any other questions, please call our office at your convenience.
Compassionate veterinary care in Alton, IL.
The Formea Animal Hospital team cares for each patient as our own. We understand the special bond you have with your four-legged family members and strive to provide the best care possible.