Dental picture 3

 Did you know dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians: 70–85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease?

How does dental disease occur?

1)      Dental disease is more common in older pets.

2)      Small dogs are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean, making them more prone to dental disease.

3)      Feeding sticky foods (canned/wet diet) can lead to more rapid build up of tartar.

 Ways you can tell your dog/cat has periodontal disease:

1)      Bad Breath

2)      Red or swollen gums

3)      Yellow/brown crust near gum line (tartar)

4)      Loose or missing teeth

5)      Discomfort when mouth/gums are touched

6)      Decreased appetite or weight loss due to difficulty eating

7)      Reluctant to chew on toys

 Risks of leaving periodontal disease untreated:

1)      Tartar can push gums away from the teeth. This allows the teeth to loosen in their sockets, in turn introducing infection. This can cause teeth to loosen and fall out, or require extraction.

2)      When oral infection sets in this results in gingivitis (inflammation of gums), tonsillitis (inflammation of tonsils) and pharyngitis (sore throat).  Although antibiotics can be helpful in decreasing the bacteria, it is not a long-term solution. The tartar will require removal.

3)      Infection in the mouth has potential to be picked up by the blood stream affecting major organs such as the kidney’s, liver, lungs, nervous system and heart.


Barton Heights is officially a certified Cat Friendly Practice!

Barton Heights is officially a certified Cat Friendly Practice!

We can’t be more excited about achieving official status by the AAFP, American Association of Feline Practitioners, as a cat friendly practice. In doing so, Barton Heights is the only veterinary hospital within a 40 mile radius uniquely qualified to provide exemplary care for your cat.

What is a cat friendly practice?

If you don’t know what it means to be a certified cat friendly practice, let us tell you. Certification as a cat friendly practice means that we have made changes to our hospital to better accommodate feline patients. It means that our veterinarians and staff have been trained in gentle handling techniques for cats. It means that we are able to provide the highest level of medical and preventative care for our feline patients while offering you, the cat owner, education and information on the unique health and environmental needs of cats.

Why is it important?

Despite the fact that cats are now the most popular pet in the United States, statistically they receive less regular veterinary care than their canine counterparts. Many cat owners cite the difficulty and stress associated with bringing their cat to the veterinarian as the main reason for avoiding veterinary visits.

Our receptionists and staff are available to help you overcome some of the difficulties with getting your cat to the veterinarian. We have many tips and techniques to offer in making the transportation to the hospital as free from stress for you and your cat as possible. Take advantage of our private “Feline Only” waiting area. This is a portion of our lobby set aside exclusively for our feline patients to provide a quiet and safe place away from the noise and sight of dogs.  Our goal is to provide as smooth and stress free of a veterinary visit as possible for your cat.

Another reason cats do not often receive regular veterinary care is the perception that they do not need it. Cats instinctually hide illness and often appear healthy despite underlying illness or pain. We are committed to providing both preventative and medical and surgical care for all of our feline patients. Regular annual and semi-annual examinations are crucial to detecting early signs of illness in your cat. Let us help you provide the care your cat deserves.

Find more information on the Cat Friendly Practice certification process and what it means for you and your cat.

For more information on what it means to be a certified Cat Friendly practice as well as tips on cat care, visit the AAFP website at and click on the Cat Friendly Practice tab. Or, give us a call. We are happy to talk with you about the high level of care we can provide for your special feline.



posted in:  The Cat's Meow

Laser Surgery and Therapy

Laser Surgery and Therapy

When you hear someone mention a laser, you think about science fiction and some mad scientist experimenting with light. Lasers have become very beneficial in their role in veterinary medicine, and not all lasers are the same. Lasers are a light beam that will perform different tasks depending on the frequency of the light. The two types of lasers we use are for cutting in surgery and healing for therapy. Both of these lasers are used routinely on our surgeries to help reduce pain and promote a quicker recovery.

Laser Surgery

Laser surgery is recognized in human and veterinary medicine for its benefits to both patient and surgeon. The type of surgical laser we use at Barton Heights is a carbon dioxide laser. The main benefits offered are reduced pain, reduced bleeding, reduced swelling, reduced infection, and a quicker recovery.Reduced Pain
The CO2 laser beam seals nerve endings as it cuts through tissue. This reduces the amount of pain the patient feels during and after surgery.

Reduced Bleeding

The CO2 laser beam cauterizes and seals small blood vessels as it cuts. This laser energy achieves hemostasis and provides the surgeon with a bloodless surgical field in most procedures.Reduced Swelling
There is no physical contact between the laser and the surgical region, eliminating the tearing and bruising of tissue associated with traditional surgical methods. Lymphatic vessels are also sealed.

Reduced Infection

Laser energy acts as an antibacterial agent by producing high temperatures, effectively eliminating microorganisms.Quicker Recovery
As a result, all of the above laser surgery provides the benefit your clients will appreciate the most: a quicker recovery for their pet.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy involves using a Class IV B cold laser beam that emits positive energy to aid the body in the healing process. This treatment has no side effects and is affordable. Laser therapy helps in 4 ways:

1. Manages pain
2. Reduces inflammation
3. Increases mobility
4. Helps speed recovery
Due to the benefits of the laser, we are recommending the laser to be used immediately after surgery, for arthritis, sprains and strains, ear infections, bladder problems, and joint pain. Our physical rehabilitation department has been using the laser for arthritis and physical rehabilitation and has been having great success. Pain medications have been lowered or even eliminated in some cases reducing the side effect potential of the pain medicine. If you have further questions about the laser and how it can help your pet, please call us at 570-424-6773.

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