Happy New Year!

2020 is upon us and as we begin this new chapter I wanted to write a quick blog to highlight what we are about as a hospital, and what you can expect from us, not only as your veterinary health care provider but also as a team of pet loving individuals who are dedicated to helping you with all of your pet care needs.

We understand all too well the strong bonds and relationships that are formed with a pet. Our team is first and foremost a group of pretty sappy pet lovers – it’s true! Snuggling kittens, playing with puppies and staring into the beautiful and wise eyes of a senior pet is what brings us to work every day. But of course, snuggling and playing is not what our work is all about – it’s just a perk. Unfortunately, each and every day we are presented with pets who have health issues. Whether due to an accident or a disease taking hold, it is our job to minimize pain, assess symptoms, diagnose and treat as quickly and efficiently as we can. It is our job to work closely with our pet owners to figure out what we can do to bring resolution to whatever problem is ailing their pets – from broken toenails, to cancer, we see it all.

We are committed to you and your pet.  This commitment is what led us to becoming accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association in 2012, an accreditation we work hard to maintain and uphold daily. Being an AAHA hospital means we have access to the latest in medicine and pet health care – it keeps us consistent using high quality protocols and methodologies to maximize safety and minimize risk for our patients, clients and team. We are proud to be entering our 8th year as an AAHA Hospital and continue to push the envelope and stay focused on the evolution of Westway Animal Clinic so that we can be the best version of ourselves for all of you.

Prevention has always been our main focus. Any of my previous blogs will speak to that. Westway Animal Clinic doesn’t exist just for ill pets – our primary function is to help pet owners through education and preventative methodologies. We perform thorough physical examinations paired with detailed conversations with pet owners to assess any changes that might be red flags. Vaccines, parasite prevention and comprehensive laboratory panels are all utilized to stay ahead of the inevitable dangers we know exist within our own community.  Reacting to problems when they arise is not beneficial for the patient and is often detrimental to the pocket book as well. A pro-active approach and an educated pet owner results in minimal need for veterinary intervention and a happier, healthier pet with an improved quantity and quality of life. Win. Win. Win!

We have always believed in a multi-modal approach. For example, addressing arthritis using food (diets formulated and proven through food trials to specifically target joint inflammation and assist in repairing cartilage while preventing further degradation), pharmaceuticals (drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), neutraceuticals (like glucosamine) and environmental changes (like minimizing stairs, increasing appropriate exercises and physical therapies). Believing in a multi-modal approach means we are always critically assessing tools for our tool box. The more diverse our tool box of medical approaches, the more customized and tailored our plan can be for an individual pet.

As many of you are aware, last year we began introducing some new modalities like acupuncture into our service offerings. Integrative Medicine is not an alternative to traditional Western medicine, it is simply complementary therapies, grounded in evidence-based and science-based approaches. We are actually quite a skeptical science-loving, nerdy team and so we are quite proud to report that the results of the new therapies we are introducing have been very positive. Granted, this is not for everybody, but the ability to access them through your regular veterinary health-care provider is a benefit we are hoping you will see the advantages of.

As traditional medicine advances, we increase our abilities to ensure pets live longer. That said, as they age, the use of pharmaceuticals alone comes with greater risk as, just like in humans, we want to protect their aging organs. If we can minimize the use of pharmaceuticals through a multi-modal approach, we can then also minimize potential harmful side-effects. This allows us to live by our commitment to focus on prevention.

You will see our focus shift slightly in 2020. In order to remain dedicated to prevention, we have identified that we must also be committed to tailoring and customizing our approach for every pet. We cannot wait to share stories of how our customized, multi-modal approaches are making a real difference in the lives of our patients. Watch our social media and blogs as we post real-life cases and share more information to help you become informed not only on our new offerings, but also our services and medical care in general. We are very proud to be your veterinary hospital and I do hope you are proud to be a part of our hospital too. For more information on prevention, integrative medicine, multi-modal approaches or care of your pet in general, never hesitate to contact our team at Westway Animal Clinic.