Thursday, February 4, 2016

               What is Animal Health Center Up To Now?

If you have been to our clinic or driven by you might have noticed that we are doing some construction on our building. People keep asking "What are you guys doing now?" 

You may or may not know that we have a couple rescues in our area that save dumped, neglected animals. They have done a wonderful job of lowering the population of stray animals. We are trying to do our part by helping to treat them for their medical needs. We want to help these animals however, we want to keep our patients safe and well. Since the time the clinic opened in 1994 we have had a isolation area. This is a separate area away from the animals who are at our facility. It can only hold four animals at a time. The large volume of rescue dogs that we treat has made this a problem. In order to help more rescue dogs we are expanding  this isolation area. We will be able to keep sick animals separate from un-vetted stray animals. We are always looking for ways to help the animals in our community.  

You might notice that it has an upstairs. In 2010, Dr. Williams realized that he needed someone to do his book keeping so he could concentrate on helping animals. So he hired Melissa Ensor to fill this much needed position. The space that she has been working was inadequate when she started but now she reached maximum capacity. So to make good use of space we have created an office space just for her. She will be able to do an even better job than she already does.

Our goal for 2016 is to continue to provide the best, most up to date veterinary services and to take care of your pets as if they are our very own.   

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Trouble With Teeth

When it comes to dental health, some pets seem to have big problems. They tend to be prone to dental disease, and many begin loosing teeth before they hit midlife. By being proactive about your companion's oral hygiene, you can help protect them from tooth decay and the slew of the other conditions that come with it.

Tooth brushing removes the soft, mushy mess, but if it's not cleaned off, after a short 24 hours that plaque mineralizes to tarter between it and the gum below. Food material gets jammed in there, acting as a haven for bacteria-which is when the real trouble starts. Tarter looks solid but acts like a sponge. Bacteria breed inside it, creating odor. Bacteria then migrate into the gums, triggering inflammation. Bacteria can also spread into the bloodstream, producing havoc. It damages heart valves, causing congestive heart failure; form micro abscesses in the liver, and cause irreversible kidney damage.

Just like in humans, periodic cleanings play a crucial role in keeping your pet's teeth in tip-top shape. The month of February is recognized as National Dental Month and in observance we are offering $10 off. Call and schedule a dental cleaning with one of our doctors and together lets keep your pet's pearly whited as healthy as possible.

                                                              Dr. Becky Smith-Durham

Friday, November 15, 2013

Trifexis In The News

There has been some concern regarding Trifexis after a post that made on Facebook and was also picked up by the media. The post claimed that Trifexis was causing the death of some dogs and that is a serious accusation, so we had to investigate. We contacted Elanco, the maker of Trifexis and they were aware of these claims. They have researched these claims and have found that in each case, the autopsy's that were done by an outside source, found  that drug toxicity was not the cause of death. Elanco went above and beyond before releasing Trifexis. They tested the drug using 10 times the dose for 30 days and it did not cause a single death in any of the test subjects.  As with any medications there can always be side effects. The most common side effect is  possible vomiting and/or lethargy (sluggish, sleepy),  which subsides within 24 hours.  Trifexis is not recommended for dogs with seizure disorders.

We feel confident that Trifexis is safe and we will continue to recommend it. However, if you have any questions or concerns you can always call us at 573-471-4500.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cat Ages From Cat Fancy Magazine

Q: Do cats age the same way as dogs? For example, our cat, Bob, is 2 years old. Does that mean that he is 14 years old in cat years? 
A: The notion that dogs and cats age seven years for every one year is a myth that's stuck around for years. If you think about it, some cats can live to be 18 or 19 years old. If they aged seven years for every one year, an 18-year-old cat would be equivalent to a 126-year-old person, clearly not very likely. In my practice, we have at least 10 cats who are over 20 years old, but there are certainly no 140-year-old people. The seven to one rule is just not true.
Cats age faster when they're younger, but this slows down as they get older. At 6 months of age, a female cat already can reproduce. At 1 year of age, cat bones fully stop growing. This occurs in people at approximately 24 years of age, give or take a few years. So, a 1-year-old cat is roughly equivalent to a 24-year-old person. From that point on, cats age approximately four years for every one year. While this is certainly not an exact science, the table below should offer a reasonable guideline as to how cats age compared to humans.
Cat Age     Human Age
6 months     15 years
1 year           24 years
2 years         28 years
3 years         32 years
4 years         36 years
5 years         40 years
6 years         44 years
7 years         48 years
8 years         52 years 
9 years         56 years
10 years       60 years
11 years       64 years
12 years       68 years
13 years       72 years
14 years       76 years
15 years       80 years
16 years       84 years
17 years       88 years
18 years       92 years
19 years       96 years
20 years       100 years

 Give us your 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Great News!!!!

This weekend we had three dogs that were lost but were later recovered by their owners. This scenario happens quite often this time of year in the spring with dogs getting loose.

Unfortunately, they did not have microchips. We scanned two of the three dogs and no microchip was found. Micro-chipping is a simple procedure that only takes a couple of minutes and will permanently identify your pet. It would have been faster to locate the owners if these two had been micro-chipped. Instead, the kind people who found them spent the day searching all over town. The company we use for our microchips provides lost dog insurance so if anything happens to your pet while it is lost a portion of the cost would be covered. The membership fee is relativity low per year for your peace of mind if your pet ever happens to get lost....

Last year a dog was found in Benton Missouri that had been lost for over a year. We scanned him for a chip and when one was found we were able to reunite him with his owner who lived in Western Kentucky. Stories like this make us believe in micro-chipping.

For more information contact our office at 573-471-4500.

Dr. Stephen A. Williams, DVM

Monday, April 8, 2013

April-Flea and Tick

IT'S SPRING and flea and tick season is fast approaching! We all know fleas and ticks are a huge nuisance to our pets but more importantly can cause serious disease. These diseases can affect both dogs and cats. Ticks are known to carry Lymes disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ercholosis in dogs and Cytauzoon in cats. Hemobartonella can be transmitted by fleas and make our kitty friends very sick. Fleas can cause tapeworms in both canines and felines. Our goal is to control the the nuisance problem but also prevent disease. I recommend Trifexis in most patients for heartworm, fleas and intestinal parasite control. I recommend Vectra for tick control. Both are given monthly. Call us today and let's get your furry friends protected for summer. Let's keep them parasite free!

Dr. Becky Smith-Durham D.V.M.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Well, here it is! The Animal Health Center Sikeston blog. Who knew? We are going to use as variety of  social media sites to help keep our clients educated and informed. Right now we are on Facebook and Twitter. We are going to be on Pinterest soon. If you haven't already gone to our website it is

How about a little history: In March of 1994, Dr. Stephen A. Williams opened the doors to The Animal Health Center. He wanted to offer the people of Sikeston and the surrounding towns with a full service Veterinary Hospital including grooming, boarding and quality Feline and Canine food. 18 years later we have done that and more.  In 1999  Dr. Becky Smith joined the practice. Between the two doctors we have a well rounded practice. We care for and treat cats, dogs, birds, pocket pets (Guinea pigs, hamsters, ect....), reptiles and some exotics. We do OFA Certification and a variety of bone surgeries. We have laser, blood chemistry on site and digital x-ray.

We are passionate about healthy pets and one thing we know is that good food makes all the difference. That is why we only carry the highest quality foods. For canines we carry Hill's Science Diet, Royal Canin, and Canidae. For felines we carry Hill's Science Diet and Royal Canin. We also carry a whole line of Hill's Prescription  Diet and Royal Canin Veterinary Diets for both dogs and cats.

We have an indoor, climate controlled kennel. We offer both cages and runs. We also have a separate boarding area for cats. We are actually in the process of renovating our runs to make then even better. I will post photos soon.

We provide a whole lot more services that I will blog about in the coming weeks.      

If you have any questions and would like to contact us, our email is You can also call us at 573-471-4500. Our office hours ate 7:30-5:30 Monday-Friday and from 8-1 on Saturday.