General Veterinary Medicine

Bracken Ridge Animal Hospital – Bedford, PA

Whether your newly adopted pet needs a general wellness exam, vaccinations, parasite control, and tags or your animal requires attention for a specific medical issue, Bracken Ridge Veterinary Hospital offers all this and more. We offer a full range of preventive and diagnostic services, as well as advanced therapeutic treatments and compassionate care for all ages and stages to meet your pet’s unique healthcare needs and lifestyle considerations. Like you, our goal is to help your pet live a long, happy, and healthy life.

Wellness and Preventive Medicine

The most effective way to help your pet achieve maximum wellness is to create a comprehensive, individualized wellness plan that takes into account your companion’s age, breed, lifestyle, and specific healthcare needs. Because your furry or feathered pet is a part of your family, keeping him healthy helps keep your entire family healthy. Our veterinary medical team is trained to identify many underlying conditions to catch and treat any potential conditions sooner – when they are most treatable and before any contagious pathogens or parasites can infect other family members. Be sure to schedule your pet’s annual wellness checkup so we can help ensure they are maintaining exceptional health.

New Pet Visits

If you are planning to bring a new pet into your home, be sure he isn’t bringing along any unwanted hitchhikers and identify any existing or developing health concerns with a new pet visit at Bracken Ridge Veterinary Hospital. We will examine your new pet from head to toe, set him up with any licensing tags required by law, take care of his immunization requirements, provide care information, answer your questions, and provide appropriate parasite control. A new pet wellness visit will help him stay healthy and comfortable so he can be the best companion for you and your family.

Sick Visits

Despite our best efforts to keep our pets healthy, injuries, illnesses, and disease, remain a possibility. If your pet seems to be acting out of character, exhibiting new behaviors, or is clearly not feeling well, we need to figure out what is going on right away. Because they can’t tell us what symptoms they are having, a pet could be experiencing a medical crisis or experiencing an underlying condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, or a psychological disorder such as anxiety. In many cases, a comprehensive physical exam will provide the information we need to find out what is going on. If further diagnostic testing is required, we can accurately diagnose a wide range of medical conditions and prescribe effective medications and treatments to help keep your pet as healthy as possible. As always, we will communicate the recommended course of action in advance so that you can make the best decision for your family.

Rabies Vaccination and Dog License Tags – PA & MD

We offer all required and recommended Pennsylvania and Maryland state vaccinations and dog license tags to help you comply with the law, meet kennel boarding requirements, and help keep your pet protected from illness and disease.

Required and Recommended Core Immunization

Dogs
Rabies, “Distemper” DAP -Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvovirus
Lifestyle-Dependent: Hepatitis, Bordatella and Parainfluenza, Canine Influenza, Leptospirosis, Lyme Disease, Coronavirus, Giardia

Cats
Rabies and “Distemper” FVRCP – Viral Rhinotracheitis/Calcivirus/Panleukopenia
Lifestyle-Dependent: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline Leukemia

Even if your cat never leaves the house, it is important to vaccinate him against certain common viral pathogens that may inadvertently be brought into your home.

Learn more about veterinary immunization and how it can help protect your pet’s health.

Parasite Control

When it comes to parasites, prevention is the best approach. Many of the diseases that can be transmitted by these pests are extremely difficult to treat and some are impossible to cure. With continuous, year-round preventative measures, you can effectively protect your indoor or outdoor pet against a wide range of common parasites that could otherwise cause anything from extreme annoyance to devastating health outcomes for your pet and the rest of your family. We will discuss your pet’s risk of exposure and lifestyle to help you determine which parasite control measure is appropriate for your pet.

Fleas – may result in skin irritation, allergies, Bortonella, tapeworm, anemia, and death (extreme cases)

Ticks – may result in Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and paralysis

Heartworms (transmitted by mosquitos) – few to no symptoms until advanced, but may result in serious, irreversible damage to the lungs, heart, and blood vessels, and may even be fatal

Regular veterinary care can help protect your pet from roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, trichinella, mange, ear mites, toxoplasmosis, and more. Learn more about zoonotic parasites (those that can be transmitted by pets and pass disease to humans) and how to protect your family from them.

Bracken Ridge Veterinary Hospital offers parasite preventives, testing, and treatment.

Spay and Neuter Surgery

Cats, Dogs, Rabbits, and Small Animal Pets

There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your pet. An average of between 2 and 5 million healthy, sweet, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year. We can do better. Taking responsibility by spaying or neutering your pet is the most effective way to do your part and help mitigate this tragic situation.

Microchip Your Pet

The best way to help ensure your furry friend makes it back home safely if he wanders away or gets lost is to have him microchipped. A needle is used to inject a tiny numbered chip just under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. The chip can easily be scanned to reveal the number and notify you so you can pick up your pet and bring him back home where he belongs. The procedure is very fast, safe, inexpensive, and nearly painless.

On-Site Laboratory and Pharmacy

CBC, Fecal Exams, and Urinalysis

Our practice features a state-of-the-art hematology and blood chemistry lab, as well as a full pharmacy. Immediate access to lab results and medications allows us to complete annual bloodwork and diagnostics immediately – and initiate treatment without delay. Our in-house lab is equipped to process Complete Blood Counts and Serum Chemistry analysis on all domestic pets.

  • Blood Analysis
  • CBC
  • Chem 10
  • Chem 17
  • Thyroid
  • Lyme Testing
  • FeLV/FIV
  • Parvovirus
  • Fecal Analysis
  • Urinalysis
  • Quantitative & Qualitative Fecal Exam
  • Fecal Egg Reduction Counts
  • Cytology
  • Complete Urinalysis with Sediment Exam
  • Uterine Culture
  • and More

USDA-Accredited Referral Lab – Cultures and Biopsies

Specific testing for certain cultures and biopsies are referred to the most appropriate university, federal, state, or private lab on an individual basis. Referrals are carefully made to reputable laboratories as determined by our veterinarian to ensure the most accurate test results.

Diagnostic Imaging – Radiology and Ultrasound

Stationary and Portable

Bracken Ridge Veterinary Hospital opened our doors in January 2020 with a full range of brand new, state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment and analytical software. We are equipped with a Vet-Ray Digital Vet stationary imaging system, a Cuattro Slate high-definition portable digital x-ray system, ECG, stationary and portable digital ultrasound equipment, and a full range of modern imaging tools that enable us to acquire superior images, instantly view them, and pursue the most appropriate treatment immediately. The digital nature of our imaging systems also enable us to efficiently document results into client records, upload images for specialist review when necessary, and provide clients with digital copies of their records upon request.

-Digital Reproductive Ultrasound Examinations

-Digital Internal Imaging (including tendons, ligaments, intestines, and all soft tissues to identify and help diagnose lesions, damage, injuries, and other conditions)

-Digital Ophthalmic (Eye) Examinations

-And More

Geriatric and Disabled Pets

Comfort Care and Pain Management

Bracken Ridge Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to providing exceptional care for all our patients throughout their entire lifespan. As your dog, cat, or small animal pet ages, you may wonder what you can do to help him live his best life. We can help! Our team offers older and disabled pet patients easy access to the highest quality care modalities. With a full complement of advanced diagnostic equipment and effective therapeutic options, today’s geriatric or disabled pet patient can achieve a level of care formerly available only at universities and specialty care centers.

Your pet is and has always been there to comfort you. Be sure you return his love as he enters his senior years or when suffering from a disabling accident or medical condition. Ease your older or disabled pet’s muscle aches, painful arthritic joint flare-ups, inflammation, and pain resulting from age and chronic disease with a comprehensive professional veterinary pain management plan.

  • Anesthetics and Analgesics
  • Joint Supplements
  • Therapeutic Laser

Solutions for Mobility, Feeding, and Other Physical and Mental Ailments

There are many options available to help alleviate your pet’s symptoms of aging, physical or mental disability and help him enjoy the highest possible level of wellness. If your pet is having mobility or feeding issues, panting, pacing around at night, experiencing hygiene issues, pain, anxiety, or other medical conditions, we can determine what is going on and explore your options to help make every day life more enjoyable for both you and your pet. In many cases, the solution may involve a simple modification such as raised feeding bowls, “doggie steps,” washable or disposable pads/diapers for incontinence issues, a more supportive bedding option, or other senior-care and disabled pet products.

Humane Euthanasia

Compassionate End-of-Life Care for All Animals

When the pain is too great, the suffering too extreme and unrelenting, as your beloved pet’s trusted caregiver, you must decide when mercy is the appropriate action. The hardest decision you will ever face is determining when your own pain of saying goodbye to your best friend is eclipsed by your pet’s suffering. During this intensely emotional time, it can be helpful to approach the situation objectively with a quality-of-life evaluation. Although no simple test or questionnaire can determine when it is time to make this extremely difficult and personal decision for your pet, it can be helpful to complete an honest quality-of-life evaluation by yourself or with the assistance of our veterinary medical professionals to help ensure this profound decision is made with your pet’s best interests in mind.

How Do I Know When it’s Time?

Preparing for Pet Euthanasia

Being There for Your Pet’s Final Moments

Dedicated Euthanasia Suite
At Bracken Ridge Veterinary Hospital, we maintain a dedicated Humane Euthanasia Suite that allows you to be with your pet and support him as you say your final farewell and he travels over the Rainbow Bridge. This is a place where both you and your pet can feel safe. It is located away from the other patients, as well as the hustle and bustle of the hospital.

Supporting and Comforting Your Pet
Everyone handles the situation differently. Some prefer to be alone with their pet while others have the entire household present to say goodbye. Some pet parents lay with their pet while others pet and talk to him to provide comfort. In any case, no matter how hard or emotional you may find the situation, your pet needs and deserves the comfort of your touch, your love, and your presence. Your job is to comfort your pet during the procedure and we strongly encourage you to be there to support your pet. Please understand that we perform euthanasia solely as an act of mercy and that no matter how often we perform the procedure, it is emotionally taxing – especially when a pet is left alone during this time.

Please plan to leave your pet’s collar on until after he has passed. Do not take any actions that you know may cause your pet undue emotional distress. Allow him to pass on without the added stress of the unknown.

It is OK to cry. Sometimes, we cry, too. It is normal and expected that we feel a wide range of intense emotions when saying our final farewell to the companion we love.

It is OK to celebrate! Take time to share something special with your pet before you bring him in. Give him his favorite treats. Laugh and play with him. Although this will be one of the most difficult days in your life, it doesn’t have to be that way for your pet.

Prepare and Understand the Process
Be sure you fully understand how the euthanasia process works and what to expect ahead of time. We are here to explain anything you don’t understand and answer your questions. Plan to take care of all paperwork and arrangements ahead of time. You will want your attention and complete focus to be on your pet during the procedure – and on your own well-being after. You may want to arrange to have a ride home. Additionally, you might consider having a friend, loved one, or religious support available, as well as a plan for your first meal after the procedure.

Bereavement and Grief Support
Even though your decision was the best one for your pet, you will go through the grieving process. It is important to seek support to maintain your mental well-being. You may choose to seek the assistance of a medical professional, an informal local support group, or an online bereavement support group such as The Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Support Community Online and on Facebook.

Sharing Your Love Again
Often, the best way to overcome extreme grief over the loss of a beloved pet is to open up your heart to a cat or dog who is lonely and desperately in need of a “furever” home. There is no recommended waiting period and you are not disrespecting your pet’s memory by sharing your love again. On the contrary, your bravery (and commitment to doing what is best for your pet) makes you a great pet parent – and sharing love is the best gift of all.

Humane euthanasia is available for all animal species. If humane euthanasia is the right decision, we offer compassionate professional support, as well as burial planning assistance.