Dentistry

Dental

Dental disease is the most common health problem in cats and dogs. Although it may cause distant disease in the body such as kidney or liver problems, the biggest problem is that it is a significant source of pain. Proper dental care is the quickest way to eliminate pain and make your pet feel like new. Just like dental care in humans, your pet needs a thorough, safe, and trustworthy veterinary dental team. At Wheatland, we take all of the steps to provide the best and safest dental care available.

Dental procedures in pets require anesthesia, both for safety and to reduce the fear that could be caused by performing these procedures in an awake patient. At Wheatland, all dental patients receive pre-anesthetic sedation and pain control, helping to reduce the amount of anesthetic necessary and make your pet more comfortable. Once under anesthesia, we give every patient IV fluids and measure all vital health parameters, including blood pressure. Most importantly, each pet has their own personal nurse monitoring and caring for them from their pre-medication, throughout their dental procedure, and during recovery after anesthesia.

The dental procedure itself contains several steps in order to provide the best dental evaluation and treatment possible. Our veterinarians evaluate each individual tooth for evidence of advanced dental disease (recession of the gum lines, root exposure, abscesses, broken teeth, or pockets below the gum line). Teeth that are suspicious for advanced disease are x-rayed for further evaluation, just like our human dentists would perform on us. If the exam and x-rays warrant extraction, we will use local anesthetics (like the numbing injections we get at the dentist) to control pain and then extract the tooth. Afterwards, the teeth are all thoroughly cleaned and polished to revitalize the health of the teeth and help with bad breath!

Our use of dental x-rays makes our dental procedures the best around. You wouldn't let your dentist remove your tooth without taking X-rays first, would you? You shouldn't let your veterinarian either!

After the dental procedure is completed, pets are placed in a warm bed with blankets, warm air circulators, and hot water bottles to keep them relaxed and comfortable while they recover from anesthesia, all while being closely monitored by their nurse. They all get to go home the same day and will be discharged with a full report containing all exam findings, procedures performed, x-ray images, and even before and after pictures!

Behavior Consultations

Behavior

Every year, many pet owners have to say goodbye to their beloved companions due to undesirable or aggressive behaviors. Our passionate opinion is that the majority of these situations can be avoided with proper owner training and education. Your veterinarian must not only understand animal behavior, but they must be willing to take the time to help you address these concerns. At Wheatland, we make this a priority. We provide excellent behavioral counseling for our clients and individualized management plans. There is nothing more rewarding than saving the relationship you have with your pet.

Here is a short list of some of the behavioral problems we manage:

At Wheatland, we evaluate pet behaviors from a pet's perspective. We ask ourselves why a pet is acting the way they are. Are they fearful or confused? Do they know what is expected of them? What motivates them? When we ask these questions and answer them like a pet would, it is amazing how many of these problems can be fixed. Come find out why Wheatland is the best for behavior consultations and let us help you repair the relationship you have with your pet.

Disease Prevention and Planning

Wellness Care

Disease prevention is critical in prolonging your pet's life and improving their overall health. We advocate annual examinations for all pets, including a discussion of medical and behavioral concerns, along with a complete physical examination. Our vaccine protocols adhere to those established by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Each patient is treated as an individual, as every animal requires a unique vaccination and parasite preventive plan depending on individual exposure levels. We also encourage annual bloodwork and urinalysis for our senior patients to identify any existing or developing medical conditions. Early detection of diseases such as kidney disease or cancer is crucial in successful management of the condition.

Dermatology

Dermatology

Itchy or uncomfortable skin is very common in pets. Ensuring these conditions are treated quickly and safely is important. At Wheatland, we know that having a pet that is uncomfortable due to a skin condition is stressful. For this reason, when you contact us about a skin problem, we will always get your pet in for an appointment the same day.

Why is Wheatland the best place for your itchy animal? Despite being a common problem, itchy and uncomfortable skin can be complicated to manage. There are many possible causes, such as mites, allergies, infections, fleas, or even cancer. Since these may all look so similar, it is important to determine the cause using some standard diagnostic tests. One common test we perform is called cytology. We put double-sided tape on a slide and press it against the skin, and this picks up bacteria or yeast. Another is called a skin scraping. We gently scrape the skin with a metal spatula and look at the sample under the microscope for mites. Some animals need cultures or biopsies. These tests are important to identify antibiotic-resistant infections or underlying skin conditions such as immune diseases or cancers. We give the pets a local anesthetic, and make a small circular punch of skin. This can be done without any general anesthesia since the local anesthetic numbs the area.

If your pet requires any medications to treat a skin condition, we will take the time to explain the risks and benefits of each one. There are often different options for treating these conditions and we want to make sure that you're involved in the decision making process. We do our best to minimize the cost to you while maximizing treatment success. We have injectable medications that can be given here in the hospital and oral medications that only need to be administered once daily at home to avoid the inconvenience of frequent dosing. In addition, we are on the forefront of some new non-steroidal treatments to control itching which are much safer than long-term steroid use.

Come visit us and see why we're the best clinic for diagnosing and treating your pet's skin conditions!

Surgery

Surgery

Many conditions necessitate surgery, and we make the experience as comfortable as possible. The animals stay in a private, quiet suite with soft bedding, and get to go on walks before surgery. We use pre-emptive pain medication, thus making recoveries as smooth as possible and allowing us to minimize the amount of general anesthetic necessary. Our anesthesia staff is very experienced and well trained. All animals are monitored professionally under anesthesia, and parameters such as pulse, respirations, blood pressure, and hydration are constantly monitored. The pets are treated with compassion before surgery and during recovery. Our surgeons perform many surgeries, ranging from spays and neuters, to bladder and intestinal surgery, to orthopedic surgery. We offer complimentary rechecks for all surgeries, ensuring a successful recovery and a happy animal.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery

Bone and joint disease is one of the most common problems in dogs and cats. While we do everything we can to provide comfort through non-surgical methods, it is often most advantageous to perform orthopedic surgery.

One common condition we see is called Patellar Luxation. This means the kneecap is out of place, usually to the inside of the knee joint, and this produces pain by stretching the joint capsule. Our veterinarians perform a corrective procedure called a Tibial Crest Transposition and Wedge Trochleoplasty. This involves shifting a sliver of the tibia bone over a few millimeters and pinning it into a new position, allowing the kneecap to remain in its proper place.

Another common condition is Cranial Cruciate Ligament (in people, this is the ACL) Rupture. This is more common in large breed dogs, but also can occur in small dogs or cats. There are many reasons for this, including the animal's size and the angle in which the femur sits atop the tibia. If the cruciate ligament ruptures, the instability causes a significant amount of pain. Our surgical procedure removes the torn ligament from the knee joint, as well as stabilizes the knee joint with an implant. This implant may be a nylon line or a fibrous implant, and we use anchor points that allow it to mimic the original plane of the cruciate ligament.

These are two examples of common orthopedic conditions warranting surgery, however there are many other procedures we perform, such as placing external fixators for fractured bones, inserting pins to stabilize fractures, and femoral head ostectomies, in which we remove a painfully arthritic or dislocated femoral head from a hip joint. Regardless of which procedure is performed, proper sterility and pain control is imperative. We use anti-inflammatory medications, pain-minimizing anesthetic protocols, and revolutionary opiate products that provide superior pain relief. Our nursing staff is wonderful at caring for the animals in recovery and assessing pain, to allow us to taylor the pain-prevention plan to the individual animal. Painful animals are anxious and fearful, and we ensure this is entirely minimized for all procedures, including orthopedic surgeries.

Ophthalmology

Opthalmology

Eye problems are some of the most common medical conditions in companion animals. Some common disorders of the eyes include glaucoma, cataracts, allergies, corneal ulcers, dry eye, entropion (inward-rolling of the eyelids), and distichia (extra hairs in the eyelid that rub on the cornea). The cornea is actually one of the most sensitive organs in the body, so keeping the eyes healthy is very important. Any animal with red or itchy eyes should be examined promptly, as they will commonly traumatize their itchy eyes quickly. We often perform a fluorescein stain test, which outlines corneal scratches or ulcers. We also test eyes for tear-producing ability and check eye pressures in search of glaucoma. We perform many procedures, ranging from corneal ulcer correction to entropion correction. Many dogs with vision-blocking cataracts benefit from surgical removal of the cataract, however this requires the equipment and expertise of a specialist, and we have wonderful specialists locally that we refer patients to.

End of Life Care

End of Life Care

Approaching the end of your pet's life is very difficult. At Wheatland, we will take the necessary time and steps to help you in all aspects of this delicate situation.

We don't want any pet to suffer and will focus on providing them with comfort and dignity near the end of their lives. For all of our patients, we perform quality of life assessments, which aim to help you as a pet parent to not only evaluate how well your pet is living, but also help you make decisions regarding the next steps. We know that some of the most difficult decisions for an owner will revolve around whether further testing or treatment is in your pet's best interest. For this reason, we are careful to not rush these visits. In addition, we pay special interest to keeping pets comfortable through a variety of pain management treatments that can be tailored to each individual's needs.

Unfortunately, in some cases we also know that euthanasia is indicated. This most difficult time is where Wheatland will stand out. We understand that these situations can be impossible to plan ahead for and will be accommodating to your scheduling needs. We will always be able to perform euthanasia the same day you decide it is the best decision for your pet. For pets that are anxious or fearful, we provide sedation to make the visit stress-free at no additional charge. All of our euthanasia procedures are performed using an IV catheter, ensuring painless delivery and no stressful needle sticks during the procedure. We have a comfortable, quiet exam room specifically for euthanasia so that your family and your pet have privacy during this difficult time. If desired, we are also able to come to your home for euthanasia.

The end of your pet's life is a very emotional time, but we will do everything to ensure there is no additional stress for you or your pet. This is not our favorite part of our job, but we know that every pet deserves compassion and a gentle touch, which is exactly what we focus on providing.

Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine

We encourage all sick animals to come in for an examination as soon as possible. Early intervention helps to prevent consequences of illness, such as dehydration and malnutrition. We have a wide range of diagnostic tools to assess your pet's condition promptly. Our on-site digital x-rays enable immediate interpretation by a doctor. In-house bloodwork and urinalysis can also be completed in minutes. Our ultrasound equipment also allows us to identify a multitude of conditions that x-rays cannot detect. We have on-site endoscopy to identify and retrieve some upper gastrointestinal foreign objects, thus avoiding surgery. With the use of endoscopy, we can visualize the gastrointestinal tract and perform the assessment necessary for diagnosis. In addition to diagnostic tools, we have a variety of other supportive care measures including antibiotic and anti-nausea treatments, as well as a variety of fluid therapy options.

Cancer Care

Cancer Care

"Cancer" can be a scary diagnosis to hear and we know that every pet and owner deserves a compassionate approach to cancer care. Since animals can't speak for themselves, deciding on the appropriate cancer treatment can be very stressful for an owner. At Wheatland, we first and foremost keep the pet's best interests in mind and we will help you through the decision-making process. We will help you understand all the benefits, risks, and costs to all treatment options.

Wheatland's cancer care will stand out because we have extensive experience ranging from surgery to chemotherapy and keeping your pet comfortable and symptom-free. There are many safe and well-tolerated treatment options that can help pets with cancer live longer lives while maintaining their happiness and comfort level. Some cancers are cured with surgery and others that aren't can be put into remission with medical treatments, allowing pets affected by these conditions to still live long, healthy lives.

We perform many treatments here, including chemotherapy. Chemo in dogs and cats is very different from humans. We only use chemo medications that are well-tolerated and aim to make treatments as safe as possible. A typical chemotherapy visit lasts around 25 minutes and our scheduling can be flexible to fit your needs. Before we administer chemo, we check a blood count to see if your pet's white blood cell count is appropriate for treatment. This test only takes a couple minutes. If the blood counts are appropriate, we place an IV catheter to ensure safe delivery of the medicine. Your pet will be with a nurse throughout the entire treatment and is able to lie down and rest in a comfortable area while the medication is given. The administration of the treatment only takes a few minutes and your pet can go home with you as soon as it is finished.

For pets whose specific cancer treatment may require services that we don't provide, such as radiation, we work closely with the best specialists available and will facilitate care through referral facilities. Whether your pet needs cancer treatment, or you just want help in deciding whether treatment is in your best interest, come see why Wheatland is the best in thoughtful, compassionate cancer care.

Rescue Organizations We Are Proud to Work With

We at Wheatland take pride in our efforts to encourage pet owners to consider adoption. In particular, we work with 2 wonderful Chicagoland rescue organizations.

One is called ROMP rescue. Also based in Chicago, ROMP is primarily an Italian Greyhound rescue. However, they bring us many other dogs, including Maltese, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas. They rescue these dogs from some very unfortunate situations and have wonderful groomers that save their skin and coats from the wear and tear of puppy mills and negligent homes. Some are also surrendered from loving homes when an owner passes away or cannot have the dogs due to life circumstances. Many have particularly troublesome dental health, and we generally neuter these animals, treat some chronic conditions, and perform many dental surgeries.
Check them out at romprescue.com.

Another rescue we work with is As Good As Gold. They specialize in Golden Retrievers. The dogs have a wide array of stories, but generally are very adoptable and sweet. We perform services ranging from routine preventive care such as vaccines, to neutering, to oral surgery.
Check out asgoodasgold.org.

We would like to extend a special thanks to Zoetis and Novartis Animal Health as well. These companies donate pain medication and suture in order for us to provide the lowest cost veterinary care possible to these great rescues. Without their donations and low cost care for these animals, homing them would be impossible.