Wed 21, Jun, 2017
San Clemente harbor

Welcome to San Clemente Veterinary Hospital!! We appreciate your interest in our state-of-the-art veterinary medical and surgical center.

Please take advantage of our Wellness Packages (listed under Services on the Home Page). These provide comprehensive preventive care for every stage of your pets life.

If you are planning to become a new client with us, save yourself some time and download our New Client Form and complete it before your arrival. We do everything we can to make your visits with us productive and affordable.

Please tour our entire website for a thorough understanding of who we are and what sets us apart form the rest.

We truly appreciate your business and trust.

John Agostini, DVM
Medical Director and Owner

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Thu 15, Jun, 2017
Family and their pets

Pet insurance helps make vet bills affordable.
We want you and your pets to have the best coverage and health care available.

At San Clemente Veterinary Hospital, we recommend pet health insurance to nearly all our clients. It’s a great way to help budget for pet health care costs and protect you financially in the case of a pet’s unexpected accident or illness.

Pet health insurance can help to provide peace of mind knowing you may have help with future vet bills. Pet insurance plans can typically include reimbursement for:

* Emergency Visits, Prescriptions, Lab Tests
* Exams Cancer Hospitalization
* Surgery X-rays and more…
There are now many available policies to choose from.. It is really wise to shop for the policy that best meets the needs of your budget and your treatment philosophy.

The following guidelines may be helpful:

If you want very comprehensive coverage, look at policies offered by “Healthy Paws” and “Trupanion”. These companies are the only ones currently available that cover up to 90% of all expenses (minus your deductible) and do not limit the amount of payout per incident ot lifetime.

Alternatively, other policies such as “Pet Plan”, “Pet’s Best”, “Nationwide”, “ASPCA”, "Embrace" have a buy-up style of underwriting. These policies can fall short when major expenses occur if you choose the lowest premium they have. They can have claim caps which limit the payout per incident .

Most vet bills are under $300.00…but major medical/surgical problems such as intestinal blockages that require surgery, cancer treatment, vehicular injuries, dog attacks warranting reconstructive surgery, snakebites etc. can all cost thousands of dollars to treat. In the big scheme of things, more coverage is cheap to acquire.

We suggest the following web link which compares major pet insurance carriers:

**Not all pet insurance are alike, so do your research. We do not advocate any one company, but have placed some links on this site for your convenience. They will guide you to comparable and affordable pet health insurance companies, that we feel deliver good value.

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Thu 15, Jun, 2017
San Clemente beach

We offer many pet packages that combine the most essential needs for your pet into one low cost deal.





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Wed 14, Jun, 2017
Dog wellness package

Adult dogs should have an exam every year to detect internal, dental, and orthopedic problems early before treatment gets more complicated. Adult dogs can be vaccinated every 3 years for DA2PP (distemper-parvo), and Rabies.
Aging dogs tend to have more health problems and an annual examination is strongly encouraged.
43% discount applied to the regular pricing of the combined benefits below.
- a 20 to 30 minute comprehensive physical exam
- blood pressure screening
- chest x-ray
- abdominal ultrasound
- blood screening
- heartworm and fecal parasite test
- urinalysis

When scheduled as a wellness procedure, the cost of this can be drastically reduced. Remember, early disease detection precludes critical care which is high cost.

Does your dog travel with you? Does it go to play groups or doggie-day-care? Does your dog go hiking in the local hills with you? Or does he or she live a more home and yard lifestyle?
The answer to all of these questions will guide us into making the right wellness recommendations for your dog.
If your dog travels out of our area, you may need to have him or her on heartworm prevention. This disease is spread by mosquitoes and has regional significance. It is not yet a threat to locals in San Clemente, but may be a risk only short distances away, such as the north county San Diego and Big Bear areas.
Since the advent of play groups, dog parks, and doggie-day-care infectious diseases are on the rise. Extra protection is advised for pets in these environments.
The local foothills are a fantastic area to hike and play with your dog but are a common site to acquire ticks and encounter rattlesnakes. Protection should be provided for these risk factors.
A snakebite is a severe condition requiring emergency care. Snake venom vaccine is advised and is available through us. The vaccine does not shield your dog completely from the effects of rattlesnake envenomation but can reduce the amount of antivenin (very costly product) that is needed to treat the emergency.
Ticks can transmit infectious blood diseases. Prevention of bites is highly advised. We recommend Simparica or Brevecto oral products for flea and tick protection. The Preventic collar is also excellent for tick only protection.

**We do not feel that Frontline or Advantix provide good enough protection and no longer advocate their use. Better products now exist.

Wellness Packages are only available to animals that have no symptoms. Sick or injured pets are not eligible for wellness testing. Standard laboratory and medical fees will apply under such circumstances.

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Wed 14, Jun, 2017
New pet package

Any animal that is adopted from a shelter organization within our network of partners is eligible for a FREE examination and consultation by one of our doctors. Some of these animals come with a more complex medical history and need follow-up care. Others are healthy and need nothing more than the opportunity to meet our caring staff.

Please bring a copy of all medical documents that the shelter provided to you so that we can incorporate the data into your new pet’s record, as well as, the adoption certificate from the shelter.

Please refer to puppy or kitten Wellness Packages. These packages are designed to care for a puppy or kitten from the adoption age of 6 to 8 weeks up to adulthood. These cover all expenses for wellness care to include vaccines, wormings, parasite detection, and physical exams. They also qualify your pet for low cost spay or neuter services at our award winning facility.

Always bring all documentation of vaccines, wormings, and medical care provided up to that point. It is also best to provide a fresh stool specimen as puppies and kittens often have intestinal parasites which we will need to diagnose and treat.


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Wed 14, Jun, 2017
Kitten wellness package

Basic Kitten care should include a physical exam, worming, and vaccination starting at 8 weeks; followed by an exam with boosters every 4 weeks thereafter, ending at 16 weeks.
A bundled kitten care package is available. This provides 3 physical exam visits with the doctor, all appropriate vaccines, as well as internal parasite control.
40% discount applied to the regular pricing of the combined benefits below.
Includes 3 exam/consultation visits with your doctor
FeLV/FIV virus testing
a series of FVRCP, FeLV, and Rabies vaccines
fecal parasite testing
3 worming treatments

FVRCP = distemper and upper respiratory
FeLV = feline leukemia virus

Those who purchase a wellness package for their kitten are entitled to low cost spaying, neutering, and declawing.

Spay - 10% OFF
Neuter - 10% OFF
These packages provide optimum wellness care at a 40% savings!

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Wed 14, Jun, 2017
San Clemente Veterinary Hospital veterinarian

As a pet owner, you have a variety of ways in which you can get your prescription filled or refilled.
On site: We have our own pharmacy with "pedigreed" products that come from our medical distributors. The benefits of using our pharmacy include limited waiting time, accuracy in dosing, and a full manufacturer's warranty for safety and efficacy of the product purchased.

Please call ahead 24-48 hours and your Rx will be prepared before your arrival.
We have allied with our main medical distributor (Victor Medical) to provide another "pedigreed" source for medication refills that may be more convenient for internet shoppers and at lower cost. Simply log on to, set up your account and purchase the product or products you need. An e-mail is sent to our office and the request is approved as is appropriate. After approval, the product is shipped to your door.

Products purchased from other on-line sources are not pedigreed and are subject to counterfeiting, thus manufacturer warranties will not be available. Buyer beware. Warnings from FDA are prevalent about on-line pharmacies both human and animal.
Finally, written prescriptions are always available to you on request.
A prescription refill may be denied if your pet has not been seen within a state mandated period of time.
These products also have full manufacturer warranty because they come from a legitimate supplier. Pricing is set up to be very competitive with other on-line pharmacies and free shipping is available.

**A drug pedigree is a new regulatory method employed by FDA in order to combat drug counterfeiting that has become prevalent in recent years due to internet sales of pharmaceuticals. A pedigreed product assures you that you are getting a product that is not counterfeit, and has been stored properly to preserve potency and will be warranteed by the manufacturer

The Veterinary Practice Act in California stipulates that an existing "doctor-client-patient" relationship must exist for us to authorize refills on prescription drugs. It is further stipulated that a pet must have been seen within one year for prescription refills. There are times when an owner feels confident that all they need is another round of antibiotics for the skin infection the pet was treated for 8 months prior. This type of request may be declined because of the potential for change in the pets' condition. Eye problems are another problem area. Medication prescribed for "pink- eye" 6 months prior could lead to loss of an eye if an ulcer or glaucoma is present. Please know that we will always refill reasonable prescription requests. If the owners’ assessment is possibly inaccurate, we are likely to advise an exam before the refill is approved.

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Wed 14, Jun, 2017
San Clemente Veterinary Hospital diet plans

You as a consumer have what seems like a daunting task choosing what to feed your pet. We all know that a healthy diet is a great way to support our own good health. Many foods make fantastic claims to cure skin allergies, intestinal problems, and so on. These types of diets can be very costly for some households and deliver little or no benefit in return. If your pet is having symptoms, see our veterinarians for a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, the correct treatment will be applied to the problem. This approach gives you the best chance of success.
However, good intentions don’t make one a good nutrition counsellor especially when disease symptoms are involved. A great example of this is when a pet has allergies. When you go the pet store, it is likely that you will be directed to purchase a rather expensive bag of “hypo-allergenic” food. You buy it, feed it to your pet for several months and don’t get results. You go back and try another food, again with the same outcome. Finally, out of frustration, you make an appointment to see one of our veterinarians. Odds are that your animal will be diagnosed and treated for the common causes, flea or pollen allergy (not food allergy because it is rare) and respond. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t see this scenario in our office.

As veterinarians who care about the outcome of their recommendations, we have teamed up with two companies that produce tangible results with their products in our patient population:

Hill’s Prescription Diets
are available for a wide variety of health problems such as kidney or liver disease, intestinal upset, obesity, diabetes, urinary tract problems, and allergies (most allergies are NOT food related-see our section on ALLERGY under the SERVICES heading on our home page, for more on this). These products are “tried and true” and nearly all patients will respond to these special formulas. Additionally, we have the experience and knowledge to direct you to other niche’ products that are on the market that can work for your pet. Our expert advice can prevent you from going through a lengthy trial and error process.


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Wed 14, Jun, 2017
Happy girl in green grass with her dog

One of the most challenging problems to have as a pet owner is an allergic pet. The inability to cure the problem is often frustrating and costly. We at San Clemente Veterinary Hospital employ all modern methods of allergy control available.

The usual causes for allergies ranked in order from most to least likely include:

- Flea Infestation and Allergy
- Pollen Reaction known as Atopy
- Food Allergy

1) Flea Control
Flea control does not have to be expensive or complicated any longer. Frontline and Advantage are now obsolete and really never worked well in challenging households (the more pets you have, the more this is true).
A newer oral product named Comfortis and its cousin Trifexis (which contains a heartworm preventive as well) is taking over as the leading flea protection for both dogs and cats. It is a prescription product, but can be provided at a reasonable cost even for multiple pet households.
It has been on the market for 5 years now and has a proven safety and efficacy record!! We have never seen anything work better or faster. It truly eliminates fleas from your animals environment, rather than controlling the number of fleas.
Frontline and Advantage wear off in 2-3 weeks allowing fleas to replenish their numbers.
- Orally taken
- Your pet can have baths and swim without decreasing the effect
- It lasts a full 30 days or more.

2) Pollen Reaction
Pollen reaction or atopy is a tough one. This condition is selectively more prevalent in certain breeds but can affect any dog or cat. It is almost always seasonal, coming and going with warmer spring or summer weather.
Most affected animals have facial, ear, and or foot itching. This pattern often leads to secondary infections which cause not only odor, but pain and misery.
- Antihistamines
- Cortisone (best avoided but sometimes necessary to prevent self-injury)
- Apoquel (this relatively new class of pharmaceutical has been a "game changer" for many pets with chronic allergies. Usually successful with less side effects than cortisone.)
- Cytopoint (this brand new injectible [introduced in March 2017] has virtually no side effects. If effective the injection is usually repeated monthly.
- Bathing with special shampoos
- Atopica (rarely used currently but can be effective in chronic unresponsive cases)
- Allergy testing and hypo sensitization injections

These are the only therapies that can help control affected dogs. The cure can be difficult, but the above medications, fatty acid supplements, and more frequent bathing can provide reasonable relief.

3) Food Allergy
Food Allergy is truly the rarest of all causes, but is curable once diagnosed.
Blood and skin testing for food allergies in animals is rarely accurate. Most animals are diagnosed and treated by performing a food trial. The problem is that most pet owners "wing it" with the advice of a pet store clerk and end up wasting hundreds of dollars on "destined to fail" products.

A properly designed food trial must examine all foods ever fed to that pet. All foods once fed must now be avoided! It typically takes 2 to 4 weeks for a response, but that response will never come if the pet is eating something it is still allergic to.

The time of year that a food trial is initiated can also create a false positive response. If a pet is truly pollen allergic and the food trial is started in fall while a pollen allergy is active, the pet will improve as the weather changes and the pollen count falls. When the pollen comes back next spring the itching returns and the benefit attributed to the food change is lost.

Industry Truth.
The truth about the dog food industry is that very few products are made in the brands' own proprietary kitchen. Most name brand and boutique foods are made by a sub-contractor with food production facilities.
There are a lot of "grain free" dog foods made this way causing cross-contamination in the formula. Even though you bought "duck and potato" or "salmon and sweet potato", there still could be grain or other food residue from the prior batch made in the same facilities hoppers.

Here's another way to think of order to have the ingredients of kibble stick together and make a crunchy nugget, there has to be a starchy binder in the formula to glue it together providing another possible cause for the allergy.

Food trial worthy products must be made in a grain free kitchen. You will find these are few and far between. I could never figure out why the "hypoallergenic " kibble I was recommending to people to feed their pet didn't work until I realized this.

The best way to food trial your pet is to cook for them yourself using only one protein and one carbohydrate ingredient that is unique to this pet's feeding history, or feed a prepared product that has strict quality control of their production.
The only food that I know of that fulfills this is called Primal. They have wholesome and safe raw and freeze dried products. The reason they are "wholesome and safe" is because they use a unique method called "high pressure pasteurization" to kill possible bad germs in the food and also do microbiologic testing on their foods for safety. They maintain their own "grain free" facilities in Northern California. We have seen outstanding and unprecedented success feeding this product to allergic animals.
"Primal" (recommended)

After reading the above information, it is evident that an itching dog or cat can be complicated. We have seen pet owners waste hundreds of dollars on ineffective flea control products and foods, as well as supplements only to come to us in desperation.

Our advice is to start with one of our doctors. The odds are high that your pet will get better faster and you will save money in the long run.

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Tue 13, Jun, 2017
San Clemente Veterinary Hospital holistic medicine

Holistic Care: Holistic nursing care is defined as a practice that focuses on healing the whole animal through the unity of body, mind, and environment.
At San Clemente Veterinary Hospital, that pets benefit most from a personalized approach to their veterinary care. With this in mind, we provide integrative holistic care in wellness visits, disease prevention, and treatment by offering a blend of conventional approaches and holistic therapies.

Holistic Medicine focuses on incorporating natural healing methods and engaging the animal’s own healing abilities to work toward health. The animals’ environment, behavior, nutrition, stress factors, disease pattern, and relationship to other pets and humans in the household are evaluated. Animals are individually assessed for any health, nutrition, mobility, or behavioral issues.

Integrative holistic treatment plans may include:

- food therapies
- acupuncture
- class IV cold laser
- natural herbal remedies
- nutritional supplements

In addition to other more traditional medical or surgical procedures.

- Healing and preventing illness
- Enhancing your pets’ overall health and healing abilities
- Improving his or her quality of life.

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