Veterinary Clinic

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State_Road_StorefrontState Road Animal Health

5343 North State Road, Alma, MI 48801
Phone: 989.463.4486

Dr. Weber:
Dr. Collins:
Dr. Armstrong:
Prescription Refills:

Why State Road Animal Hospital is the Expert

State Road Animal Hospital has been in existence for over 40 years. Dr. Tom Armstrong has owned the practice since 1993. Since then, State Road Animal hospital has grown into a three doctor hospital that includes Dr. Laura Weber and Dr. Catherine Collins. In addition to wellness and preventive care for pets, State Road Animal Hospital also provides a wide range of diagnostic and surgical services, including orthopedic surgery, cardiac and abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy, therapeutic laser treatments and behavior training. In June, 2012, we became accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). In order to become AAHA accredited, a hospital must pass an evaluation that requires the highest standards of veterinary care to be practiced, and re-evaluations happen every two years. The newest service that began in January of 2013 is Weekend Urgent Care at State Road Animal Hospital…because pets get sick on the weekends, too. Urgent Care hours are from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm both Saturdays and Sundays.


Q: Why should I get my female dog spayed when I don’t own a male dog?

A: Female dogs that are not spayed have a much higher risk of developing mammary cancer or a serious, life-threatening uterine infection call a pyometra. So, getting your female dog spayed is better for her long term health and well-being.

Q: Why should I use a flea prevention product on my cat if it never goes outside?

A: Because fleas will come inside, either on our other pets, or on us! All we have to do is walk past some flea cocoons, which are found everywhere outdoors in the summer and fall, and our movement causes those cocoons to hatch into young adult fleas that jump on us and our outdoor pets. We then unknowingly carry those fleas indoors where they find our indoor-only cat!

Q: Is the flea prevention I see at the store as good as the flea prevention from a veterinary office?

A: There are so many flea medicines on the market now that it is difficult for the consumer to know what to buy. The temptation is to go to the store and find the cheapest flea medicine available. That can end up being very expensive, however. Every year we treat toxic reactions (skin burns, liver disease, seizures) as a result of over the counter flea medicines that either have antiquated chemicals in them or have been misapplied because the owners received no instructions or support from the store they purchased it from. Products purchased through a veterinarian are the safest and most effective products available, and the veterinary staff is trained to instruct you on how to properly use it.

Q: My dog is itching all the time, but I don’t see any fleas. What could that be?

A: Itching is a very common symptom of allergies in pets. In humans, allergies cause respiratory symptoms, like sneezing and coughing. In animals, these same allergies (ragweed, pollen, etc.) will cause itching. A pet does not have to go outside to develop these symptoms because these allergens are in the air around us, both indoors and outdoors. Signs of itching can also be caused by other insects, such as skin mites. Certain autoimmune diseases may also cause itchiness and skin problems. A veterinarian can determine the cause and come up with the most effective treatment plan.

Q: My cat stays inside all the time. Does he really need vaccines?

A: Yes. We get phone calls all the time about unvaccinated cats that have been exposed to a bat that got in the house or that have gotten outside just one time and done battle with another animal. Because of so many unvaccinated cats compared to dogs, the incidence of rabies in cats has now surpassed that of dogs. So, why take the risk of your cat being exposed to rabies or other deadly viruses by unforeseen circumstances what it is so easy to prevent it with vaccines.

Q: Is dry or canned food better for my dog? My cat?

A: Dry goods are just fine for dogs, but cats should have more of a canned food diet. The reason is that cats metabolized carbohydrate differently than dogs, converting the majority of it into fat. As a result, veterinarians are seeing increasing incidence of diabetes and liver disease in our feline patients. Canned foods are mostly protein, which mimics a cat’s natural carnivorous diet. Always make sure that the food you get for your cat or dog is a high quality brand name food, and not a cheap generic food that does not have adequate nutrients.

Q: Can I give my pet an aspirin or Tylenol?

A: Do not give any human medications to your dog or cat without consulting with your veterinarian. A Tylenol tablet will kill a cat, for example.

Tip of the Month

Before you give your pet any human medications, ask your veterinarian first. Just because a medication is safe for people, does NOT mean it is safe for our pets.

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