Pet Wellness Center of Southern Illinois offers a wide range of veterinary services for our patients. Just a few of our wellness and preventive care services are listed below. For more information on these or other services, please call 217-342-7444.

Puppy & Kitten Care

Getting your new puppy or kitten off to a healthy start sets the stage for their lives as healthy adults. Regular physical examinations, core and elective vaccinations, fecal testing for parasites, and deworming are all important elements of ensuring good health for your puppy or kitten. Our knowledgeable staff can help your family learn about potty training your pup, performing nail trims on your puppy or kitten, dietary recommendations, and potential health hazards for your new pet.

Spaying and neutering are additional topics to consider; the appropriate age for the timing of sterilization surgery may vary upon the species and breed of your pet. You may also want to consider Pet Health Insurance – a great way to get your new little family member off to a good start. Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider whether your new puppy or kitten may need preventives such as monthly heartworm prevention and flea/tick preventives. We realize that adding a new family pet can come with lots of questions… but don’t forget, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call.

Puppy Vaccination Protocol:

We recommend that puppies start their vaccine series at 8 weeks of age. At this visit they will be weighed, examined, given a dewormer, and given their first Da2PCPV vaccine. You will be scheduled an appointment 3-4 weeks later for a booster vaccination. At this visit  your puppy will receive their next vaccine which will be a booster of their Da2PCPV with Lepto (a serious virus in our area) added in. We also have the option of adding Lymes into their vaccine series at this time. At this visit they will also receive a free dose of heartworm preventative and a free dose of flea and tick preventative. They will then be scheduled for their final booster appointment in 3-4 weeks. At this visit they receive their final booster of Da2LPCPV, as well as, their Rabies vaccination. If your puppy is going to be boarded or groomed, they will receive the Bordetella oral vaccine at this time. We recommend getting them spayed or neutered at this visit as well.

Kitten Vaccination Protocol:

We recommend that kittens start their vaccine series at 8 weeks of age. At this visit they will be weighed, examined, given a dewormer, and given their first FVRCP (upper respiratory infections) vaccine. You will be scheduled an appointment 3-4 weeks later for a booster vaccination. At this visit, it is recommended that you kitten be tested for FeLV (feline leukemia) & FIV (feline HIV). If your kitten is negative, we will go ahead and proceed with their next vaccine which will be a booster of their FVRCP and their first FeLV. They will then be scheduled for their final booster appointment in 3-4 weeks. At this visit they receive their final booster of FVRCP & FeLV, as well as, their Rabies vaccination. We recommend getting this spayed or neutered at this visit as well.

Wellness Care

Preventive veterinary care is the cornerstone of keeping your pet their healthiest so that you and your pet can have more great years together. Since pets age more quickly than people do, it is critical to have regular physical examinations done to assess your pet’s health. During routine preventive exams, your veterinarian will assess:

  • Overall Body Condition
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Heart and Lungs
  • Abdominal Organs
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neurologic System
  • Urogenital System
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Skin/Coat

When health problems are identified, a medical plan will be outlined to evaluate the problems in depth. If your pet appears to be healthy enough for routine preventive care, your veterinarian will discuss which immunizations are advised, as well as parasite prevention including heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, etc.). Annual age-appropriate lab tests, testing for heartworm and/or tick-borne diseases, and fecal tests for parasites may also be recommended for your pet. Finally, your pet’s nutrition, diet, and exercise routines can be assessed and optimized to help your pet be in best physical condition for their lifestyle and age. Remember, keeping up with preventive care for your pet is the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy for life.


Feline Vaccination Protocol:

We recommend vaccinating your indoor-only cat for FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia) every year. If your cat is both an indoor and outdoor cat, we recommend vaccinating with our combo vaccination of FVRCP/FeLV. FeLV stands for feline leukemia. We also recommend both our indoor and outdoor cats be vaccinated with the Rabies 1year vaccination or Rabies 3 year vaccination. Your adult cat can receive a Rabies 3 year vaccination if they have been vaccinated with a Rabies 1 year vaccination before.

Canine Vaccination Protocol:

When your pet comes in for their yearly vaccinations we will confirm the vaccinations they are due for and then get those ready. The most common yearly vaccinations are Da2LPCPV (Distemper, Adenovirus, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Corona Virus, Parainfluenza Virus), and the Rabies 1 year or Rabies 3 year vaccination. If you live near the woods or go camping with your canine friend, then we recommend we give your dog a Lymes vaccine that can be given as a combo with the Da2LPCPV vaccine. If your pet has never had the Da2LPCPV vaccination or the Lymes vaccine, they will need that vaccine boostered 3-4 weeks after receiving the initial vaccine. This is to ensure the patient builds up the antibodies that are needed. Your pet can have a Rabies 3 year vaccination if they have had a Rabies 1 year before. If your pet ever gets Groomed or Boarded, they will receive the Bordetella oral vaccine. This vaccine prevents Kennel Cough.

Senior Pet Care

We love Senior Pets! Senior pets have special needs, and benefit from more regular veterinary visits compared to their younger counterparts. Age-associated conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dental Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Endocrine Disorders

These conditions will start to become more prevalent as your pet gets older. For this reason, we recommend twice-yearly veterinary visits for pets over 7 years of age. Your aging pet may be showing early signs of osteoarthritis such as stiffness after rest or play, difficulty going up or down stairs and reduced activity. Early intervention with joint supplements and prescription arthritis medications when indicated, along with modified nutrition and exercise plans, can greatly improve your pet’s comfort and mobility. Likewise, performing annual screening lab work on your older pet can help identify early stages of medical problems that might go unrecognized, and progress significantly without treatment.

Some pets experience age-related behavioral changes that can be a sign of cognitive dysfunction, which is similar in some ways to dementia. Your veterinarian can recommend diet modification and supplements to help improve your older pet’s mental sharpness. Getting older doesn’t have to be fraught with troubles for your pet… see your vet regularly to help keep your senior pet healthy and comfortable.

Spay/Neuter/Soft Tissue

To spay/neuter or not to spay/neuter, that is the big question most new pet owners struggle with. We at Pet Wellness Center of Southern Illinois, encourage our clients to spay or neuter their pet at the age of 16 weeks or older. We are very respectful of a client’s decision to not alter their pet if they would like to breed.

A spay is an ovariohysterectomy, which is a medical term for surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. Neuter or castration is the surgical removal of the testicles.

Benefits and Risks of Spaying/Neutering:

Benefits- When you spay your female pet it greatly decreases her chance for the development of mammary (breast) cancer, and a pyometra (infection of the uterus). When you neuter your pet you will eliminate his ricks of testicular cancer. For alternating both males and females you will remove unwanted hormonal related behaviors, and pet overpopulation

Risks- As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk the pet could have a negative reaction to the medications and anesthesia that is used.

As Risks are always a possibility, every patient that is to be sedated will receive an IV catheter. This allows us to give the induction agent, keep the patient on fluids during their procedure, and gives us direct access to give emergency medications. Also, any patient that is 6 years of age or older will receive a pre-anesthetic blood panel to be sure everything internally is functioning properly before any form of anesthesia is given. If your dog is not on heartworm prevention they will be tested before anesthesia to ensure they are negative. As long as everything appears normal with their blood work, we will continue as planned. There will be a trained Veterinary Technician monitoring your pet the entire time they are under anesthesia and all their vitals will be recorded on a surgery report. After surgery, you will be notified of how everything went, and we will set up a specific pick-up time to go over the discharge.

Contact us at 217-342-7444 if you have any questions regarding these procedures or to schedule your appointment at your convenience.

Parasite Control

Pets are a part of our families, and preventing parasite infestations is an important part of keeping them healthy. Both ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites) can affect your pet at some point in their life. Ectoparasites, such as fleas and ticks, are not only a nuisance to your pet, but can transmit vector-borne diseases to humans and pets such as Bartonella (cat scratch disease, transmitted by fleas); Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Fleas can also cause a severe dermatologic condition for your pet resulting in very itchy, inflamed skin, due to flea allergy dermatitis.

Roundworms are the most prevalent endoparasite in pets. Others include hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Pets are typically infected with these parasites through accidental ingestion of parasite eggs (which are microscopic) from areas that have fecal contamination from other infected animals. Alternatively, some parasites are acquired through ingestion of intermediate hosts such as rodents (Taenia tapeworm species; Toxocara roundworm species) or fleas (Dipyllidium tapeworm species). These parasites are also a health risk to humans and are considered zoonotic – meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. For example, if a person accidentally ingests roundworm eggs, the larvae can migrate in the body and cause organ damage and potentially blindness. Hookworm larvae in the soil and grass can infect bare skin and cause a condition in people known as cutaneous larval migrans.

Heartworm is another important endoparasite, but one which is not zoonotic. Heartworm infections result from pets being bitten by infected mosquitos. The larval form of the heartworm travels through the bloodstream to the heart where it develops into an adult. The adult heartworms live in the right side of the heart and left untreated, result in progressive heart failure and death. In initial stages of heartworm disease, pets may be asymptomatic. As the condition progresses, symptoms may evolve including a cough and exercise intolerance in dogs, and vomiting/coughing in cats.  Treatment of heartworm disease can be very risky for the pet, and very costly.

Because of the health risk to your family and pets, it is important to keep your pet on a year-round parasite prevention program. There are several preventives that when used properly, are very effective at greatly reducing the risk of your pet acquiring heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and tick transmitted diseases. Additionally, you can help prevent the risk of zoonotic disease to your family by practicing good hygiene (frequent hand washing), avoiding eating unwashed raw vegetables or undercooked meats and cleaning up pet feces in your yard. For more information about pets and parasites, visit, and consult with one of our friendly staff!

Pet Dental Care

One of the most common but also frequently overlooked health problems for companion animals is dental disease. By age 3, most pets have some degree of periodontal disease. This occurs as a result of bacterial infection along the gum line, due to the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance containing millions of bacteria that forms along the tooth surface and gum line. Without frequent removal, plaque eventually hardens into tartar. Left untreated, this leads to gradual destruction of the gum tissue and supportive structures around the teeth, which can result in tooth loss. Not only is periodontal disease harmful and painful because it results in loss of teeth, but it can also cause damage to important vital organs such as the:

  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys

When it comes to dental disease, most pet owners don’t realize the extent of the problem until it is quite advanced; hence the importance of yearly to twice yearly physical examinations including a thorough oral health care assessment. In the early stages of dental disease, your veterinarian can recommend home dental health care measures such as tooth brushing, dental treats and rinses, and dental diets. When professional dental care is needed for your pet, general anesthesia is necessary. Your veterinarian will discuss the procedures involved in a COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) plan with you when dental care is needed. Most often, this will involve a day at the veterinary hospital to plan and perform the procedures, which may include doing:

  • Pre-Operative Lab Work
  • IV Catheterization
  • General Anesthesia
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
  • Dental Charting
  • Extractions when indicated

Upon discharge, the veterinary team will review any instructions pertaining to post-dental medications, special feeding instructions, and when to resume home dental care. Your pet will thank you for remembering to take care of his or her mouth, and live a longer and happier life as a result.



Surgery & Related Services

At some point in your pet’s life, they may need a surgical procedure. Whether your pet is having an elective surgery such as spay or neuter, or an emergency surgery for intestinal obstruction, you can rest assured that our staff will provide the very best care possible for your pet.

Our facility offers the following surgical services for companion animals:

  • Routine spay and neuter
  • Dentistry
  • Tumor removal
  • Abdominal and soft tissue procedures
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Endoscopy and biopsies
  • Laparoscopic surgery

In the best interests of our pet, we require a physical examination appointment with one of our doctors prior to scheduling procedures. Before the procedure is scheduled, our staff will explain the process including:

  • Any pre-surgical testing that is recommended – baseline laboratory testing is beneficial so that there are no surprises on surgery day. Knowing that your pet has normal blood test results can help prevent anesthetic complications or surgical complications such as excessive bleeding, which can occur when patients have low platelet counts or abnormal clotting. When there is liver or kidney disease, this may affect the choices of anesthetic drugs recommended by your veterinarian, to prevent anesthetic complications and promote a smooth anesthetic recovery.
  • Food and water intake restrictions prior to surgery – a period of fasting may be necessary prior to your pet’s procedure. Our staff will let you know what is advised.
  • What procedures are to be done on the day of surgery – from initial intake to sedation and general anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, the procedure and recovery, the staff will walk you through what will happen with your pet once you leave the hospital.
  • Discharge and aftercare for your pet – some patients may be able to go home the same day as their procedure, whereas others may need an overnight stay or referral to a 24-hour care facility. The veterinary team will advise you as to what is best for your pet, and also discuss aftercare for your companion and any rechecks needed.

Diagnostic Care

When your pet is sick or injured, they can’t tell us what’s wrong. A thorough physical exam and history (symptoms you’ve noted at home) are the first important step. If the diagnosis is not immediately evident upon initial assessment, your veterinarian will recommend specific diagnostic tests. These may include:

  • Laboratory testing for baseline blood counts and organ function tests, or infectious disease. Blood and/or urine samples may be collected from your pet, for point-of-care testing, or reference lab tests. Point-of-care tests are those tests that are done on-site in our hospital so as to be able to determine results and make treatment recommendations in the most timely fashion possible. In other cases, lab samples may need to be sent off to off-site laboratories (reference laboratories) – when the test cannot be performed with in-hospital lab equipment, or when the test results are not needed urgently.
  • Imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound, which allows diagnosis of conditions of the heart and lungs, gastrointestinal obstruction, tumors of the internal organs or bones, fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity, urinary stones or gallstones, reproductive diseases, and bone/joint disorders. For most patients, gentle restraint can be used for these procedures, however, in some cases, sedation may be necessary.
  • Microscopy is quite useful in the evaluation of lab samples such as ear swabs, skin impressions and scrapes, and needle biopsies of tumors. These tests are helpful in diagnosis of dermatologic and otic (ear) conditions.
  • Ocular conditions may warrant evaluation for tear production (Schirmer Tear Test), corneal injuries (fluorescein stain), or abnormal intra-ocular pressures (Tonometry).

Diagnostic testing is an important step in the development of a treatment plan for your pet, allowing your veterinarian to most effectively target the underlying problem(s) and assess the probability of successful treatment. Your veterinarian can explain the purpose of each diagnostic test for your pet, and help prioritize which tests may be most helpful in determining the cause of your pet’s illness.

In-House Laboratory

When your pet becomes suddenly ill or in event of an emergency, timely diagnostic test results are extremely important to help your veterinarian determine the best treatment plan. We have state-of-the-art in-hospital laboratory equipment capable of yielding lab results within minutes. Baseline laboratory testing for your sick pet may include:

  • Determination of blood cell counts: changes in white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts, and platelet counts can indicate problems such as anemia, dehydration, infection, auto-immune disease, and certain types of cancerous conditions
  • Blood chemistry tests: these tests assess liver function, kidney function, blood sugar, blood proteins, calcium and phosphorus levels, and pancreatic function.
  • Electrolyte tests: Sodium, potassium and chloride levels may be abnormal when your pet is dehydrated or having fluid losses through vomiting or diarrhea. Intravenous fluids and/or supplementation may be indicated when electrolytes are severely deranged.
  • SNAP tests: point-of-care “snap” tests are available for certain infectious diseases such as Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Canine Parvovirus, Giardia, and Leptospirosis.
  • Coagulation tests: these tests detect deficiency in clotting disorders, which can be present in cases of certain kinds of rodenticide poisoning and in severe liver disease/failure
  • Microscopy: microscopic evaluation of bodily fluids including blood, urine; samples of skin and ear secretions, and needle biopsies of swellings or tumors can be performed in-clinic to assist in the diagnosis of systemic diseases, urinary disorders, skin and ear diseases, and differentiation of benign vs. cancerous tumors.

Our veterinary team will help explain which tests are most important for your pet. It is very important to us to include you in the decision-making process for your pet, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question if you need clarification.

Laser Therapy

Laser treatment is for dogs and cats, the machine employs deep-penetrating light to promote a chain of chemical reactions, this is known as photobiostimulation. The laser is used to help relieve pain through the release of endorphins and stimulate cells to heal at an accelerated rate. The Pet Wellness Center of Southern Illinois uses a therapeutic laser for therapy on pets with the following: Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries, post-surgical and soft tissue trauma, back pain, ear infections, Hot Spots and open wounds, Arthritis/ Hip Dysplasia, Degenerative Disk Disease, and Anal Gland infections. When it comes to using the laser for pain relief the goal is to reduce inflammation through Ovasodilation (the opening of blood vessels), and by activating the lymphatic drainage system. This drains the swollen areas, which reduces the pain associated with these areas. The laser stimulates nerve cells that block pain signals, which reduces nerve sensitivity.

Laser therapy helps alleviate pain, stimulates the healing process which speeds up healing, strengthens muscle and tissue, improves mobility, and helps enhance your pet’s quality of life. The process of using the laser is relatively quick and normally takes between 3-10 minutes. We offer to do a single laser treatment, a series of 6 treatments or a series of 10 treatments. Pets typically start feeling better after the 1st to 3rd treatment depending on the severity of the condition we are treating. This is a quick and painless process for your pet to get on a quicker road to recovery. Laser treatments for pets have no known side effects. If you have any other questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic to set up an appointment.


At the Pet Wellness Center, we offer our clients access to digital radiology. This means we can take your pet’s x-rays and develop them instantly which means no waiting for results! While we are able to diagnose most common issues in-clinic, we also have the option to email your pet’s x-rays to a boarded radiologist for interpretation. This allows someone who is an expert in the field to look over the images and find something that we may have missed which could be crucial to diagnosing the issue. In some cases, it is necessary to sedate the patient in order to prevent injuries to the patient and to the staff during the x-ray taking procedure.

Dental Radiography

At Pet Wellness Center of Southern Illinois, we take dental health and diagnostics very seriously. With this in mind, we have a digital dental radiology machine, to radiograph your pet’s mouth during their dental procedure. Most pets will not hold still enough for us to take a dental image while they are awake, so when the patient is sedated for their dental we recommend we also taking a dental radiograph. This type of diagnostic can help us determine if there is any bone damage in the jaw after significant buildup, a piece of the tooth root, and the amount of damage to the gingival tissue.

Emergency & Urgent Care

In emergency, seconds count. When you arrive with your pet on emergency or urgent care basis, our highly trained staff will perform an immediate triage assessment to assess the stability of your pet and need for emergency medical intervention. In life-threatening situations, you may be asked for consent to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

The first component of basic triage is assessing your pet’s level of consciousness, airway/breathing (labored breathing or choking, lack of oxygen), circulatory status (pale gums or weak pulses, racing heart), and pain score. Patients needing urgent medical attention, upon consent will be moved to our treatment area for immediate doctor assessment and commencement of emergency care.

Placing an IV catheter and administering IV fluids, giving oxygen supplementation, and pain relief medications may be elements of the initial stabilization of your pet. As your pet is stabilized, your veterinarian will review a diagnostic plan which may include imaging (radiographs, ultrasound) and laboratory evaluation (blood and/or urine tests) to ascertain the severity of the situation and tailor treatment for your pet.

At times, your pet may need advanced care at a referral or specialty center. When this is the case, our staff will discuss options for transfer and referral. Your primary veterinarian will stay abreast of your pet’s status at the emergency facility.


We have two very talented groomers on staff who are more than qualified to give your pet a fresh new look!

  • Jen’s Availability: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Lindsey’s Availability: Monday, Friday, and Saturday.

All prices depend on the condition of your pet’s coat and their behavior. The groomer can give you an estimate at drop-off. *All grooms include nail clipping, ear hair plucking, a bath, and anal gland expression.*

Our groomers also offer add-ons to any groom! Make the most out of your appointment!

Specialized Services

While we do offer a wide variety of different services for our patients, there are some things our doctors are just not experts at. For some of these types of services, however, we do have outside resources we can utilize so that you don’t have to go on referral. These services include orthopedic surgery, ultrasonography, & expert radiological interpretations. For more details of these services, please explore the other tabs under this section. Also, feel free to contact us at 217-342-7444.


Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound-waves to allow us to view organs within the body. The images can show size, shape, and texture. Reasons a veterinarian will recommend an ultrasound may include: chronic vomiting and diarrhea, abnormal blood work, change in urinary habits, abnormal weight loss, and fluid in the chest or abdomen.

For our ultrasounds, we use Veterinary Ultrasound Services which is operated by Jessica Hopwood, CVT. This is a service that we have to schedule ahead of time, so if your pet is in critical condition, it may be recommended that you go on referral to an emergency clinic.

The services Jessica offers include:

  • Abdominal Ultrasound Organs within the abdominal cavity scanned include Liver, gallbladder, stomach, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, adrenals, urinary bladder, prostate, lymph nodes, colon, and the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Urinary System Ultrasound Scanning is limited to the kidneys, urinary bladder, prostate, testicles, and iliac lymph nodes.
  • Echocardiogram Cardiac imaging allows a non-invasive look into the heart to evaluate the chambers and valves for any abnormalities and assesses heart function, blood flow, and pressures within.

Orthopedic Surgery
We work with two outside orthopedic surgeons for all of our specialized orthopedic cases. These doctors come to our practice and perform the surgery so that you do not have to travel. Your pet will then be hospitalized in our clinic until they are ready to go home. In most cases, they will need to stay 1-2 nights before being sent home. We do have to schedule these procedures ahead of time, so if your pet is in critical condition, it may be recommended that you take your pet to an emergency clinic.

We work with Dr. Tim Holt, a board-certified veterinary orthopedic surgeon, with Relief Surgical Services. He has been traveling and performing specialized surgeries for clinics all over the midwest since 2005. Dr. Holt offers a wide array of specialized procedures and consultations. The other surgeon we work with is Dr. Jennifer Wardlaw with Gateway Veterinary Surgery. Dr. Wardlaw became board certified in 2009 and has been performing surgeries and speaking at conferences ever since. Please give us a call with any questions about the services Dr. Holt & Dr. Wardlaw offer at 217-342-7444.