Annual Wellness Exams

wellnessIn order to help your pet live a longer, healthier life, Hinckley Animal Hospital recommends an annual wellness examination for all adult pets. However, depending on your pet's needs and stage of life, our exam recommendations may vary slightly.

For example, puppies and kittens require a few more visits and vaccinations while they are young and growing. These visits may include vaccinations, fecal exams to ensure they are free of internal intestinal parasites and blood testing for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, when it comes to cats. We also will discuss heartworm and lyme disease prevention, provide guidelines for flea and tick prevention, spaying or neutering and the proper nutritional information specific for the age of your puppy or kitten.

Annual wellness exams of adult pets may include a fecal exam to check for internal intestinal parasites, blood screening for heartworm and Lyme disease and erlichiosis. We perform a complete head to toe physical exam, weight management consultation, dental health review and booster vaccinations. Depending on the age of you pet, our doctors may recommend additional diagnostic laboratory testing to ensure tour pet is tip-top shape. Annual wellness exams and blood work can help detect a "hidden" disease or condition sooner. Treating or managing a disease or condition in the early stages may help pets live long and healthy lives.

In addition to the annual wellness exams, senior pets may also require a few more visits during the year as their bodies begin to age. Our staff can explain our senior pet recommendations and answer your questions regarding the life stage of your pet.


Our hospital houses a complete pharmacy with an inventory of more than 300 products, including prescription and non-prescription medications. While many prescriptions medications can be purchased less expensively at grocery store pharmacies and over the internet, many of these medications have not been approved by the FDA for animal use. We can assure you that the products in our pharmacy are the products we use for our own pets.

Prescription Diets

There are many diseases and conditions that can be managed through nutrition. The diets are formulated to help manage a disease or condition while meeting all the other nutritional needs of your pet. Ask about our line of prescription diets for the special needs of your pet


laboratoryOur hospital is equipped to perform many diagnostic procedures on site. We utilize the most up to date laboratory equipment and testing materials. For example, diagnostic testing is performed on every animal to ensure they are healthy enough for the anesthesia. We offer tests to check for occult heartworm disease, Lyme disease and other tick-bourne disease, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus and many others. If more advanced testing is needed, we utilize several specialty laboratories that provide us with endless opportunities for testing


We have an in-hospital radiology department with equipment powerful enough to take images from small cats and dogs to giant breed dogs, however sensitive enough to see the finest detail in the smallest of pets. Board certified radiologists are available for all imaging cases.

Client Education

educationOur hospital staff can provide you with all up to date information on many diseases and conditions, heartworm prevention, pet health insurance and preventive medicine.

Pet Health Insurance Consultation

Similar to human health insurance, pet insurance provides peace of mind in case the unfortunate should happen. Insurance for pets is a smart way to help you provide high-quality health care for your pet without the concern of the cost. There are several companies and plans that cover treatment for accidents, illness and catastrophic occurrences and others that cover preventive care. Refer to our Links page for a list of the pet health insurance providers.

Specialist Referral Consultation

Much like human medicine, veterinary medicine also has specialists, such as dermatologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists and others. In some cases, a specialist may be needed to perform more complex diagnostics or treatment. We collaborate with a large network of specialists that we can refer you and your pet to if needed.

Pet Identification and Microchip Placement

Every year, millions of pets are lost, stolen or abandoned; unfortunately only a small number are re-united with their families. Many lost pets have no form of identification. Microchipping is a permanent method of identifying your pet and linking them back to you. Microchipping can be done at any age in both dogs and cats.

Surgical Services

SurgeryHinckley Animal Hospital's state of the art surgical suite provides the best environment for pain free, sterile surgery. We thoroughly monitor all of your pet's vital signs before, during and after surgery to ensure we deliver the most pain free and safest conditions during your pet's surgical experience.

Laser Surgery

We have been performing laser surgery techniques for over twelve years. Laser surgery is a precisely controlled technique using a laser instead of a scalpel to cut tissue. Laser surgery is different from laser therapy. Laser therapy is used after surgery to promote tissue healing and reduce pain. Please visit our
Laser Therapy page.

Oral Health Assessment

Your pet can't brush or floss like you do; however they can have some of the same health issues that we do when we don't take care of our teeth. Hinckley Animal Hospital serves as your pet's dentist. We do a thorough oral assessment followed by advice on treatment and prevention of oral diseases. We then make sure you are comfortable with managing your pet's dental health at home.

An oral health assessment is a key part of our preventative care program. Animals with poor dental health, such as tartar, gingivitis, loose or infected teeth—are at risk for developing heart and kidney problems. We may recommend performing a dental cleaning and polishing as well as taking baseline dental images, radiology.

Dental imaging is an important tool in our practice. Just as with your own dentist, dental imaging allows us to identify any signs of diseases lurking below the gum line or inside a tooth. It provides us with an accurate image of your pet's mouth and gives us a base line of your pet's oral health. The images we obtain during the dental treatment provides us with the opportunity to create and discuss your pet's specific oral treatment plan. The digital dental images become a permanent part of your pet's health record.

The cause of gum disease is the same in cats and dogs as it is in people. Gum disease is an infection resulting from build-up of soft dental plaque on the surfaces of the teeth around the gums. The bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gum tissue if plaque is allowed to accumulate, which often leads to infection in the bone surrounding the teeth. Hard dental tartar, calculus, consists of calcium salts from saliva deposited on plaque. Tartar starts to form within a few days on a tooth surface that is not kept clean, and provides a rough surface that enhances further plaque accumulation. Once it has begun to grow in thickness, tartar is difficult to remove without dental instruments.

What happens to my pet with gum disease?
Bad breath is the most common effect noted by owners. However, this is often only the tip of the iceberg. The gums become irritated, leading to bleeding and oral pain, and your cat or dog may lose its appetite or drop food from its mouth while eating. The roots may become so severely affected that some teeth become loose and fall out. Bacteria surrounding the roots gain access to the blood stream, "bacteremia". Studies have shown that dogs with severe periodontal disease have more severe microscopic damage in their kidneys, heart muscle and liver than do dogs with less severe periodontal disease.

How do I manage my pet's dental health?
The key to management of gum disease (for humans or pets!) is prevention. As long as the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned frequently, the gums will stay healthy. Excellent oral health is maintained by daily oral hygiene. The gold standard is brushing. Daily chewing activities can also be effective in maintaining oral health.

We recommend a routine oral health assessment examination of the mouth and teeth of your dog or cat. Many pets, particularly middle-aged and older cats and dogs, require periodic professional dental hygiene be performed to maintain good oral health and plaque control.

Call us today to schedule an appointment, so we can perform an oral health assessment on your pet.