34249 Pacific Coast Highway Dana Point, CA 92629
Dr. Jill Granite, DVM
Dr. Julie Ryan Johnson, DVM
Dr. Gary Johnson, DVM, CEO, CMO
- CT Machine
- Dental Care
- Advanced Treatments
- Spay & Neuter
- Preventative Care for Cats
- Preventative Care for Dogs
CT machines are important diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine. These machines create three-dimensional images of pets’ bones, tissues and organs, allowing veterinarians to locate abnormalities and health issues.
With CT scans, Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital can diagnose a whole host of ailments, including:
- Problems with the kidneys, liver, lungs, intestines, pancreas and adrenal glands
- Heart disease
- Bone trauma, like fractures
- Problems with blood vessels
- Abnormal brain tissues
- Blood clots
- Internal bleeding
Vaccinations are the best defense against many viral and bacterial infections, as they prevent deadly diseases like canine parvovirus and rabies. However, over-vaccinating pets is an issue in the veterinary industry, and at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital, we strongly believe that pets should not be over-vaccinated. We rely on titers, a simple blood test, to determine if a pet’s immunity needs boosting with additional vaccines. In Orange County, the only mandatory vaccine is the rabies vaccine for dogs, which must be given every three years after the initial vaccinations at 4 months and one year. For all other vaccines, we can rely on titers to tell us when your pet actually needs a booster. We also use non-adjuvanted rabies and feline leukemia vaccines for our feline patients, which reduces the risk of sarcomas (cancerous tumors). Keep your family member safe by scheduling their vaccinations or titers at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital today.
A nutrient-rich diet is your pet’s first defense against disease.Proper daily nutrition is an important factor in keeping your pet healthy, bolstering their immune system and supporting normal growth and development. Nutritional requirements vary from pet to pet, as they depend on breed, size, and age. Selecting food for your pet is an important decision, and your Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital veterinarian can help you choose. Have questions or concerns about pet nutrition? Schedule an appointment with a Dana Niguel veterinary nutrition expert today.
Keep pests away.Your pet is an easy target for parasites. Pests like ticks, fleas and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes feed on our pets, potentially infecting them with many dangerous diseases in the process. These parasites may be small, but the problems they can cause are rather large. All pet owners in California should administer year-round broad-spectrum parasite control that protects against heartworm, intestinal parasites with zoonotic potential, fleas and ticks. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital administers dewormers to puppies and kittens starting at two weeks of age, repeating administration every two weeks until regular broad-spectrum parasite control begins. We recommend keeping pregnant and nursing pets on broad-spectrum control products as well.
Common Parasites in Southern CaliforniaFleas Fleas feed on mammals and lay eggs in their fur. They can transmit harmful parasites like tapeworms and murine typhus and can cause dermatitis and anemia. One flea can reproduce nearly 50 times a day, so one or two fleas can quickly turn into an infestation. Because they spread throughout the home, living sneakily in carpet and furniture, they’re tough to eradicate, so it’s best to keep them from ever meeting your pets in the first place. Ticks Ticks lurk in shrubs and tall grass. Though they’re nearly microscopic, ticks pose an incredible threat to our pets. A single tick bite can pass along a host of potentially fatal diseases including Lyme disease, typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. Although it’s fairly rare, ticks can also move from animals to humans and vice versa, so they’re a threat to everyone in the family. After spending time outside in wooded areas, take special care to inspect your pet and yourself for ticks. Heartworm Mosquitoes transmit heartworm from animal to animal. Once larva has been transferred, it slowly develops in the blood vessels and makes its way to the heart. There, it multiplies in the pulmonary artery. Eventually, as it develops, heartworm can cause constricted blood flow, heart disease and major organ failure. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s parasite control guidelines reflect the guidelines from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC):
- We prescribe control programs based on prevalence of local parasites and every pet’s individual lifestyle factors. We also adapt prevention recommendations to address emerging parasite threats.
- We recommend physical examinations at least every six to 12 months.
- We recommend annual heartworm testing in dogs before administering preventative medications and regularly thereafter based on history and physical findings.
- We strongly recommend conducting fecal examinations two to four times during a pet’s first year and then one to two times per year for adults, depending on the pet’s health and other lifestyle factors.
Tips for reducing parasite risks:
- Feed pets cooked or prepared food (not raw diets unless you’re using pasteurized meals and strict sanitary protocols) and provide plenty of fresh, potable water at all times.
- Cover sandboxes when they’re not in use and protect garden areas from fecal contamination.
- Pick up feces immediately whenever walking your dog in a Dana Point public area. Remove feces from your backyard at least weekly.
- Report raccoon latrines. Raccoon feces can harbor dangerous zoonotic parasites.
- Practice good personal hygiene when handling animal waste. This is particularly important for children and other individuals with weaker immune systems.
- Start deworming puppies and kittens at two weeks of age, repeating every two weeks until they are two months old. Then, administer deworming medication monthly until your pet is six months old.
- Conduct fecal examinations two to four times a year in adult pets, depending on patient health and lifestyle factors, and treat with appropriate parasiticides.
Pets can’t tell us what is wrong, so we must observe their behavior carefully to find signs of underlying issues that may need to be addressed. Behavioral problems are often a result of social, environmental and medical conditions affecting our pets. Unwanted and abnormal pet behavior can often be improved through pet education and consistent training, which we offer at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital. But first, we must confirm that the behavior is not due to an underlying health concern.
Common BehaviorsAggression Uncharacteristic aggression and dominance-seeking is one of the most serious behaviors found in dogs. Aggressive actions include biting, lunging, growling, baring teeth and barking, which can all be dangerous for people and other pets. Aggression has a broad range of potential social, environmental and medical causes. Dana Niguel’s staff has additional training in aggressive behaviors, and we can help identify and treat your pet’s aggression with you. Separation Anxiety Separation anxiety occurs when pets become distressed while they are separated from their owners, other people they live with and other people they are attached to. Many pets exhibit destructive behavior when they are left alone, like barking, chewing, digging, attempting to escape and improper elimination. We can help you ease your pet’s separation anxiety so you and your pet will feel better when you have to leave your pet alone. Barking Barking and howling are typical forms of communication for dogs. However, excessive vocalization can become a real nuisance. Dogs bark for a number of reasons, including to alert people to what they perceive is a danger; to seek attention; to show they are excited, lonely or anxious or because they are simply bored. Proper training can help control improper barking habits. House Training House training generally occurs when a pet is young, but it can be taught to older animals as well. This process teaches pets to eliminate waste in a designated location outside the home. Remember, house training takes time, and accidents will happen. Owners should use consistent, positive reinforcement to achieve the best results when house training. We can provide assistance and guidance on techniques for house training. Inappropriate Elimination Disorders Inappropriate elimination disorders result in an adult pet improperly eliminating waste. Inappropriate elimination disorders have a range of causes, but they are often a symptom of separation anxiety, excitement or urine marking. They can also be a sign of underlying physical causes, like a change in diet, gastrointestinal distress, infection or incontinence. Your Dana Niguel veterinarian must first rule out any health issues before moving forward with training. Storm Phobias Thunder, lightning, heavy wind and rain often frighten cats and dogs. This can lead to them seeking “safety” in locations around the home where they feel secure. Many pets end up getting stuck in small, cramped spaces while finding a place to hide, or they’ll desperately find a way to escape by running out the front door or even jumping out a window. While agitated, they may also bark excessively or eliminate waste in an inappropriate location. We can help you calm your pet’s fears of loud noises so they feel comfortable even during the nastiest storms. Cognitive Dysfunction Cognitive dysfunction syndrome is most often seen in elderly pets and those with dementia. It is characterized by persistent disorientation, difficulty following commands, unresponsiveness to external stimuli, sleep-wake cycle changes, improper waste elimination and a decreased level of activity. Many symptoms of cognitive dysfunction are seen in unrelated medical disorders. Treatment must begin with an exam with your Dana Niguel veterinarian so we can determine if the changes in behavior are the result of cognitive dysfunction or a different underlying medical condition. Destructive Chewing Chewing is a natural behavior in pets, but it can easily become destructive if it’s left unchecked. Inappropriate chewing often occurs in pets with separation anxiety and pets that are frustrated, bored or stressed. This often leads to widespread damage around the home. Redirecting your pet’s energy to toys and edible bones is a good way to condition your dog to chew on appropriate objects. Your Dana Niguel veterinarian can provide further guidance on how to reduce destructive chewing. If you observe any of these behaviors in your pet, please contact Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital. After a comprehensive pet examination to rule out any medical causes, we may refer you to our trusted, board-certified veterinary behavior specialist to help identify and treat the source of your pet’s behavior.
Our pets’ dental health affects their general health. If their teeth aren’t cared for properly, our pets can develop dental disease. This not only causes pain and leads to tooth loss, it can also spread infection to the internal organs, like the heart, kidneys and liver, causing severe organ damage. Periodontal disease is the most common medical disorder among pets nationwide, affecting more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by age three. A study conducted at UC Davis on faculty and student pets showed that most pet owners (even veterinarians and future veterinarians!) did not realize that their pets had periodontal disease. Many animals’ teeth will look great on the surface, but dangerous decay and disease can hide under the gum line. Often, only a dental X-ray can show the extent of disease. Though dental disease is a common issue, it’s also entirely preventable and can even be reversed in its early stages. Regular cleanings at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital along with at-home care will keep your pet’s teeth pearly white!
Teeth CleaningsRoutine professional dental cleanings are important for maintaining your pet’s dental health. The American Veterinary Dental Society recommends full dental cleanings every six months. Before cleanings begin, our dental patients receive a physical exam and blood work to ensure they are healthy enough for anesthesia. We provide pre-surgical medications to eliminate any possible stress, and pets remain on IV fluids during the dental procedure to keep them hydrated throughout. At Dana Niguel, we use modern and safe ultrasonic tools during dental cleanings to thoroughly clean each tooth above and below the gum line. Our dental technicians are registered veterinary technicians that have received advanced training in oral examinations, dental charting, cleaning, extractions, dental X-rays and polishing. If we suspect teeth may need to be extracted, we will use dental radiographs to fully visualize the teeth and the spread of disease. After teeth are cleaned, we treat them with fluoride, which helps strengthen enamel, and we apply OraVet, a waxy gel that adheres to the smooth tooth surface and helps prevent plaque buildup. The short video below shows the entire process of an anesthetic dental cleaning at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital:
Non-Anesthetic Teeth CleaningsThe first Friday of every month is Dental Day at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital! On these days, Veterinary Dental Service (VDS), a highly regarded Dana Point specialist working with pets since 1997, is brought to our hospital to provide special anesthesia-free dental care to our patients. Non-anesthetic dental cleaning is appropriate when pets don’t have significant gingivitis or deeper periodontal disease. If these conditions are present, then a COHAT (comprehensive oral health and treatment) procedure is needed under anesthesia. Under the close supervision of Dr. Gary Johnson, VDS’s non-anesthetic cleanings supplement anesthetized dental work, offering another safe and effective method to reduce tartar buildup and improve overall oral health. Because Veterinary Dental Service is our exclusive dental partner, your pet will see the same technician every visit, which helps build a comfortable and trusting relationship.
At-Home Dental CareRegular at-home dental care is just as important as routine cleanings at our hospital. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital offers the latest in dog and cat toothbrushes, toothpaste and aftercare snacks and treats that reduce tartar and plaque buildup. A good daily oral health routine is key for avoiding most types of periodontal disease. Schedule your pet’s dental cleaning at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital.
Keep track of your pet.Roughly 1 in 3 pets become lost at some point in their lives. Microchip implants help those lost pets become found. Microchips are an incredibly simple, inexpensive and effective way to keep track of your pets and keep them out of Dana Point animal shelters. Every year, nearly 8 million animals enter shelters in the United States. By supporting microchipping, Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital hopes to lower this number.
A simple processMicrochips are contained in tiny, biocompatible capsules. The device is nontoxic, hypoallergenic and completely safe. During a quick and easy procedure, a veterinarian or veterinary technician places the transponder just under the skin where a special biopolymer keeps the device in place. The device transmits radio waves with an animal-specific tracking number that, when connected to the central database, displays the pet’s name and owner’s contact information. Should your pet run away or get lost, a simple scan of the chip will allow the proper authorities to determine your identity, contact you and return your pet. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital believes microchipping is the safest, most effective method of pet recovery and identification available. To learn more about the benefits of pet microchips or to schedule an appointment to have your pet microchipped, please contact Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital.
Deciding whether or not to spay or neuter a pet is an important decision for pet owners to make. In the United States, an estimated 8 million pets enter animal shelters every single year. Once they get there, about half of these animals are adopted. Sadly, the other half are euthanized. These are all animals that could have made great companions. Spaying or neutering pets reduces the number of unwanted animals in animal shelters, and this is why Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital recommends spaying or neutering your pets.
SpayingSpaying is a common surgical procedure performed on female cats and dogs. The procedure, called an ovariohysterectomy, involves removing the patient’s uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes so the pet can no longer reproduce. The best time to spay a pet depends on the breed, but Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians typically recommend spaying pets when they are around six months of age. Ideally, pets are spayed before their first heat. Benefits of spaying Spaying pets provides many notable health benefits:
- Prevents unwanted pregnancies
- Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine tumors
- Removes the possibility of uterine infections
- Reduces the chances of breast cancer
NeuteringNeutering is a common surgical procedure performed on male cats and dogs. The procedure involves removing the testicles so the pet is unable to impregnate other animals. The best time to neuter a pet depends on the breed, but Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians typically recommend neutering pets when they are around six months of age. Benefits of neutering Neutering provides many notable health benefits:
- Prevents unwanted reproduction
- Placates the animal, reducing aggressive behavior and decreasing dominant tendencies
- Reduces roaming and spraying (territory-marking)
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer
Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer state-of-the-art surgical facilities and equipment. Our hospital provides a large number of surgical procedures, from standard practices like spaying and neutering to more specialized procedures. Surgical procedures offered at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital:
- Foreign-body removal
Surgical LaserDana Niguel Veterinary Hospital utilizes a surgical laser to reduce pain during operations. The surgical laser seals nerve endings as it moves through tissue, so pets feel less pain at the site of the incision after surgery. It also causes less trauma, swelling, and bleeding, which results in a faster recovery time.
Laparoscopic and Endoscopic SurgeryDana Niguel Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer endoscopy and laparoscopy. These minimally invasive procedures use small, flexible telescopic cameras to observe, diagnose and operate on a pet’s internal structures without a major incision. This means the infection is less likely, the patient experiences less pain and discomfort and the postoperative recovery period is quicker. We know surgery is stressful for pets and pet owners alike. To help you feel more comfortable and at ease, our veterinary team will educate you throughout the entire process. This way, you have all the tools you need to make informed decisions regarding your pet’s treatment. Our veterinarians and staff are available every step of the way to answer questions. Contact Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital to schedule a surgical consultation.
Keep your pet looking and feeling fresh.Grooming is the best way to help your pet look and feel great. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital does not currently provide professional hair cuts, but we do offer bathing and other services that help keep your pets clean and in good health. Spa and grooming services offered at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital:
- Pet bathing
- Nail clipping
- Ear cleaning
- Anal gland expression
If you are going away, and your pet needs a place to stay, we’d be happy to care for them at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital! We provide safe, clean, air-conditioned kennels for your dogs and cats. Best of all, your pets are under veterinary supervision when they stay with us. That means if any health issues were to arise during their stay, we can address them immediately. We offer extra walks and playtime upon request, discounts for owners boarding multiple pets, discounts on extended stays and complimentary baths for pets that stay 11 or more consecutive nights. Feline Guests Cats enjoy boarding in our cat suites, which can be seen from our reception room. They provide the cats with cubby holes to curl up in, sunshine to bask in and plenty of room to move around! While they’re with us, cats will be fed a Purina Pro-Plan diet that is specifically designed for indoor cats. A canned food diet is also available upon your request. Canine Guests Most dog owners opt to board their dogs in our indoor runs, which measure 3 feet by 6 feet. Dogs enjoy walks three times per day while they stay with us, and you may request additional walks for an extra fee. Unless you provide a special diet that you would like us to feed your pet, we will feed your dog our house diet, Purina EN, a low-fat, easily digested diet.
On-site Medical SupervisionOur boarding charges include a technician examination. Upon arrival at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital, each pet will have his or her coat, weight, teeth and overall condition assessed by our veterinary technicians and assistants. Your pet will also be given a complimentary Capstar tablet, which is a fast-acting flea control medication that helps us maintain our flea-free environment. The technician who performs your pet’s examination may recommend a dental cleaning or physical exam while your pet boards with us. We will contact you if that is the case. We can take care of all of your pet’s routine medical needs while you are away from Dana Point! All boarding pets must have had an exam by one of our veterinarians within the past 12 months and must be current on their vaccines. To comply with California regulations, all cats must be current on rabies and FVRCP, or their titer must show immunity, and all dogs must be current on rabies and distemper/parvo, or their titer must show immunity. Please give us a call if you have any questions about your pet’s vaccination status. Boarding is by reservation only. Our boarding spaces tend to fill quickly during the holidays and summer. Please call or email Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital for a reservation as soon as you know the dates you will be away. We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon!
A proactive approach to feline veterinary care.Preventative care keeps your cats healthy and keeps illness away before it has the chance to strike. Annual exams allow us to prevent, diagnose and treat disease in its early stages, often before you even notice symptoms. Treatments are more effective when they begin early, so regular exams and other methods of preventative care keep your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering.
Preventative Health Measures Recommended by Dana Niguel Veterinary HospitalAnnual veterinary exams: Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s comprehensive annual exams evaluate temperature, skin and coat health, ear health and hearing acuity, lung and chest health, internal health, oral hygiene, eye health and visual responsiveness. Vaccinations: Updated vaccinations and booster shots are a highly effective way to prevent many common diseases and infections like feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and rabies. We also use titers to check pets’ immunity and avoid over-vaccination. Dental care: Annual or biannual teeth cleanings and thorough at-home dental care are the best ways to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Dental disease can spread through pets’ bodies and cause significant organ disease, so it’s important to prevent this by keeping teeth clean. Parasite control: Anti-parasitic medications make it easy to eradicate parasites and prevent them from bothering your pet in the first place. Skin and coat care: Regular grooming and bathing keeps your pet clean and comfortable. Improper skin and coat hygiene can lead to mange, matting and bacterial infections, which decrease your pet’s quality of life. Nutrition: Proper nutrition supports all of your cat’s bodily processes. It also bolsters the immune system and ensures normal growth and development. Behavioral evaluations: Changes in mood or behavior are often symptoms of underlying medical conditions. Identifying these behavioral shifts helps us identify and treat their root causes.
Preventative Care for Senior CatsPreventative care is even more important for older cats. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital recommends twice-yearly exams for elderly animals. As pets get older, they are prone to age-related diseases that are increasingly difficult to diagnose and treat, so more frequent exams allow us to identify potential health issues early before they become huge issues. Schedule your cat’s preventative care at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital.
A proactive approach to canine veterinary care.Preventative care keeps your dogs healthy and keeps illness away before it has the chance to strike. Annual exams allow us to prevent, diagnose and treat disease in its early stages, often before you even notice symptoms. Treatments are more effective when they begin early, so regular exams and other methods of preventative care keep your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering.
Preventative Health Measures Recommended by Dana Niguel Veterinary HospitalAnnual veterinary exams: Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital’s comprehensive annual exams evaluate temperature, skin and coat health, ear health and hearing acuity, lung and chest health, internal health, oral hygiene, eye health and visual responsiveness. Vaccinations: Updated vaccinations and booster shots are a highly effective way to prevent many common diseases and infections like distemper, rabies and parvo. We also use titers to check pets’ immunity and avoid over-vaccination. Dental care: Annual or bi-annual teeth cleanings and thorough at-home dental care are the best ways to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Dental disease can spread through pets’ bodies, so it’s important to prevent this by keeping teeth clean. Parasite control: Anti-parasitic medications make it easy to eradicate parasites and prevent them from bothering your pet in the first place. Skin and coat care: Regular grooming and bathing keeps your pet clean and comfortable. Improper skin and coat hygiene can lead to mange, matting and bacterial infections, which decrease your pet’s quality of life. Nutrition: Proper nutrition supports all of your dog’s bodily processes. It also bolsters the immune system and ensures normal growth and development. Behavioral evaluations: Changes in mood or behavior are often symptoms of underlying medical conditions. Identifying these behavioral shifts helps us identify and treat their root causes.
Preventative Care for Senior DogsPreventative care is even more important for older dogs. Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital recommends twice-yearly exams for elderly animals. As pets get older, they are prone to age-related diseases that are increasingly difficult to diagnose and treat, so more frequent exams allow us to identify potential health issues early before they become huge issues. Schedule your dog’s preventative care at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital.
If you are a pet owner living in Dana Point, California, or the surrounding area, then you have picked the perfect place to find a veterinarian! Your pet’s health and well-being is very important to all of us at Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital, and we make sure we’re always providing pets with the best veterinary care possible.