Animal Clinic of Holland, PLLC Dr. W. James Havenga, DVM
Dr. Kay C. Havenga, DVM
Dr. Susan J. Vanderjagt, DVM
Dr. Allison Emig DVM
1106 S. Washington Ave
Holland, MI 49423

Wellness Exams

During your pet's wellness examination, we are able to obtain on overall assessment of your pet's health. We check your pet's weight and compare that with previous visits. We check your pet's heart and lungs for irregularities such as heart murmurs and congestion. We also check your pet's coat for possible parasites (like fleas and ticks!). We check the eyes for any changes that may affect your pet's vision such as injuries or age-related changes. We check the ears for signs of parasites or infection. We'll check your pet's mouth and teeth (to the degree that they let us) to check for any problems. We feel the abdomen to check for abnormalities. Our veterinarians will discuss his/her findings during the examination and provide any recommendations based on those findings. This may include adjusting your pet's diet, starting or adjusting medications, or further laboratory workup or testing. Vaccinations are also usually administered at your pet's wellness exam.


The following is a Vaccination FAQ prepared by the American Veterinary Medical Association (or click this link):

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are health products that trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians.

Is it important to vaccinate?

Yes! Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even though some formerly common diseases have now become uncommon, vaccination is still highly recommended because these serious disease agents continue to be present in the environment.

Which vaccines should pets receive?

When designing a vaccination program, veterinarians consider the pet's lifestyle, related disease risks, and the characteristics of available vaccines. "Core vaccines" (e.g., rabies, feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus infection, canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection, and canine hepatitis) are recommended for most pets. Additional "non-core vaccines" (e.g., feline leukemia, canine kennel cough and other vaccines) may be appropriate based on the pet's particular needs.

How often should pets be revaccinated?

Veterinarians have traditionally vaccinated annually; however, they are now learning that some vaccines induce immunity that lasts less than one year, whereas others may induce immunity that lasts well beyond one year. The AVMA recommends that veterinarians customize vaccination programs to the needs of their patients. More than one vaccination program may be effective.

How does my pet's lifestyle affect its vaccination program?

Some pets are homebodies and have modest opportunity for exposure to infectious disease, whereas others have a great deal of exposure to other pets and/or wildlife and infectious disease by virtue of their activities. Still other pets live in geographic areas that place them at greater risk for contracting some infectious diseases. Differences in lifestyle illustrate the importance of customizing a vaccination program to individual patients.

Are there risks associated with vaccination?

Vaccines have protected millions of animals from illness and death caused by infectious diseases. All medical procedures, however, carry with them some risk. Fortunately, in the case of vaccination, serious adverse responses are very infrequent. Veterinarians minimize risk by carefully selecting vaccines on the basis of a pet's individual needs and by choosing appropriate injection sites. In an effort to find ways to prevent even these limited numbers of adverse responses from occurring, the AVMA is working with government and industry to redefine how information regarding adverse responses is gathered, analyzed, and disseminated.

What should I expect after my pet's vaccination?

It's common for pets to experience some mild side effects after receiving a vaccine. You should talk with your veterinarian about what to expect after vaccination, and be sure to inform him or her if your pet has had prior reactions to any vaccine or medication. More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, can be life-threatening and are medical emergencies. Seek veterinary care immediately if any of these signs develop:

Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Itchy skin that may seem bumpy ("hives")
Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
Severe coughing or difficulty breathing

Is serologic testing useful to evaluate immunity to some diseases?

Theoretically, tests that measure antibody response (i.e., serologic titers) may help veterinarians determine the need for revaccination in some cases. Unfortunately, veterinarians cannot be certain that a specific concentration of antibody is always protective or that a lower concentration leaves an animal unprotected.

This information has been prepared as a service by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Redistribution is acceptable, but the document's original content and format must be maintained, and its source must be prominently identified.

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Flea and Tick Treatments

It is important to use a once-a-month treatment from spring (when flies appear) to winter for fleas (year-round for pets that go outdoors). To prevent ticks, treatment needs to be used anytime snow is not present, especially mid-to-late fall and early spring. A flea infestation affects ALL pets in the household whether they go outdoors or not.

If you are seeing fleas, treatment should be used on all dogs and cats in the household for at least 3 months consecutively to break the flea's life cycle. It is possible to see a lot more fleas during the first month of treatment, because fleas are hatching out from cocoons in the environment, jumping onto the pet and then getting killed. They will usually decrease in number about the time of the second dose.

Treatment options for DOGS:

  • Frontline Plus: once-a-month liquid topical; treats fleas, flea eggs, and ticks, and is the most waterproof topical. Frontline Tritak is also available which has an added ingredient to kill fleas and ticks faster.
  • Seresto: advanced extended-release collar that kills fleas, and repels and kills ticks for up to 8 months.

  • NexGard: oral once-a-month chew that treats and controls both fleas and ticks.

  • Trifexis: once-a-month chewable tablet which kills fleas, and also prevents heartworms and common intestinal worms. Must have negative heartworm test before beginning.

  • Revolution: once-a-month liquid topical that treats fleas, flea eggs, ear mites and prevents heartworms.; but has little effect against ticks. Must have negative heartworm test before beginning.

  • Bravecto: For dogs 6 months and older; oral every 3 month chew that treats and controls both fleas and ticks.

  • Capstar: oral tablet that starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and lasts for 24 hours

Treatment options for CATS:

  • Frontline Plus: once a month liquid topical; treats fleas, flea eggs and ticks. Frontline Tritak is also available with an added ingredient to kill fleas and ticks faster.

  • Revolution: once a month liquid topical that kills fleas, some intestinal worms, and ear mites, and also prevents heartworms.

  • Cheristin: once-a-month liquid topical; treats fleas only, and starts killing fleas within 30 minutes.

  • Seresto: advanced extended-release collar that kills fleas, and repels and kills ticks for up to 8 months.

  • Capstar: oral tablet that starts killing fleas within 30 minutes, lasts for 24 hours.

Topical products are more effective if pet is not bathed 36 hours before or after application.

Internal Parasites of Dogs and Cats

All pets should be dewormed at least once a year with medication from a veterinarian. A yearly fecal exam is highly encouraged. Not all pets show symptoms of a parasite infection, but if it goes untreated it could eventually cause problems and could cause life threatening issues. All exposed pets should be treated.

Hookworms: Animals become infected with hookworms by ingesting eggs or larvae present in the environment, penetration of feet by larvae; or they can be passed from the mother to the puppies/kittens, even from mothers that don't have an active infection and test negative on fecal exam. Clinical signs are weight loss, diarrhea, and bloody, tarry stools, and can cause life-threatening anemia, especially in young animals. Rarely, the worms are passed in the feces, but they are small and easily missed.

Roundworms: Animals become infected by oral contact with contaminated objects or areas, or by prenatal infection. Infective eggs can persist for long periods of time in the environment. Infection with roundworms can cause poor hair coat; diarrhea, and a pot-bellied appearance. Worms can sometimes be vomited up or seen in feces. The worms look like spaghetti.

Whipworms: Animals become infected via oral contact with contaminated objects or areas. Diagnosis can sometimes be difficult because whipworms are not prolific egg-layers. Clinical signs that can be seen are weight loss and diarrhea (+/- blood). These worms are usually not seen in the stool.

Tapeworms: Animals are infected by eating small rodents such as mice, or by ingesting fleas. The worms look like small pieces of rice, and are usually seen around the anus or on the stool. Clinical signs are rare, but can include unthriftiness, shaggy coat, irritability, diarrhea, lethargy, or scooting.

Coccidia: Animals become infected via oral contact with contaminated objects or areas. Clinical signs can include weight loss, lethargy, and diarrhea with mucus in it (+/- blood).

Intestinal Parasites can cause disease in humans, so it's important to follow these preventative steps:

  • Use heartworm preventatives. Many provide protection against many intestinal parasites.

  • Control fleas!

  • Remove feces from your lawn, street, or kennel daily, or as often as possible, to prevent habitat contamination.

  • Exercise your pets in areas not frequented by other animals and avoid contact with infected pets.

  • Prevent your pet from eating feces, animal carcasses, rodents and earthworms.

  • Deworm puppies (beginning at 2 weeks) and kittens (beginning at 3 weeks). Deworm their mothers at the same times. Also deworm females just before breeding.

  • Fecal examination of your pet's stool should be done every 6-12 months.

  • Use specific dewormers for the type of parasite present, as determined by microscopic fecal examination. Over-the-counter deworming medications may not always be effective.

Heartworm Prevention

It only takes one mosquito to give your dog heartworms which can potentially be fatal, and can cause chronic damage to the heart and lungs. Please remember that all dogs are at risk for heartworms, no matter the size or type of dog, or the amount of time they spend outdoors. Infected mosquitoes can easily carry this disease into your house.

We recommend using once a month treatment year-round to prevent heartworms.

Different choices:

  • Revolution: once a month liquid topical, prevents heartworms, ear mites, and fleas.

  • Heartgard: beefy chew given once a month, prevents heartworms and also roundworms and hookworms.

  • Trifexis: chewable tablet given once a month, prevents heartworms, also roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, and kills fleas.

  • Interceptor: chewable tablet given once a month, prevents heartworms, also hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms.

All are safe to give in conjunction with flea and tick medication.

It's cheaper, easier and better for your dog's health to prevent heartworms than it is to treat!

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By 2 years of age, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease.

Dental care is an important part of your pet's health. Bacteria that live in your pet's mouths can spread to other vital organs of the body, including the liver, kidneys, and heart, possibly leading to serious medical problems.

Evaluation of the teeth, gums, and mouth is an important aspect of your pet's medical exam. Specifically, we'll be looking for plaque or tartar buildup on the teeth, any signs of infection of the teeth or gums, gingivitis (swelling of the gums), any loose or fractured teeth, or any other abnormalities in the mouth that may affect how your pet chews it's food.

To help promote the health of your pet's teeth and gums, we may recommend a professional dental cleaning at our clinic. During this procedure, your pet will be placed under general anesthesia with a gas inhalant. The teeth will be professionally cleaned using an ultrasonic scaler and high-powered polisher. In some instances, hand scaling the teeth is also required. Our clinic also offers OraVet Barrier Sealant, an invisible, polymer sealant that is applied to your pet’s teeth after a dental cleaning. The sealant adheres to teeth to create an invisible physical barrier that helps prevent bacteria from accumulating on teeth.

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Our highly-skilled veterinary team offers a vast array of surgical options for your pet. This includes:

  • Spay/Neuter
  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Declawing of Cats
  • Mass Removal
  • Laceration Repairs
  • Exploratory/Foreign Body
  • Dental Extractions and Oral Tumors
  • Ceasarean Sections
  • Emergency Surgeries

Most surgeries are completed using general anesthesia. This may include injectable sedatives or anesthetics, gas anesthesia, or a combination of these. Your pet's safety is of the utmost importance to us. We closely monitor your pet under anesthesia during surgeries to ensure it's safety.

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Digital X-Ray

We're proud to announce the latest technological addition to our clinic: Digital X-Ray! This advanced technology allows us to take high-quality diagnostic images with near-instant image processing. This means less waiting for you! And we are better able to evaluate the source of your pet's ailment/injury, leading to a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Digital radiography also allows our office to more easily share your pet's x-rays with another referral clinic if necessary.

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Therapy Laser

The Animal Clinic of Holland offers Companion Laser Therapy. Here's a brief summary of the therapy laser as described by Litecure, the manufacturer of the Companion Therapy Laser:

"Laser Therapy is an FDA-cleared modality that reduces inflammation and that results in pain reduction. Laser Therapy is effective in treating acute pain, chronic conditions, and post-operative pain.

Laser therapy treatment is safe, painless and fast. Treatments to deeper tissues are administered in 5 to 10 minutes. Typically, even chronic patients exhibit improvement after 3 to 5 treatment sessions. Laser therapy utilizes the body’s own healing powers by stimulating cellular activity. Despite short treatment times, laser therapy treatments initiate a healing process that continues to actively reduce inflammation for up to 24 hours after treatment."

For more information, visit their website
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Prescription/Veterinary Diets

We offer a vast selection of specialty foods for your beloved pets from Hill's and Royal Canin available only at a veterinary office. Specialty veterinary diets are formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists with your pet's specific condition in mind to help improve their quality of life. Our veterinarians will determine which diet your pet would most benefit from and prescribe accordingly. We carry most foods in a dry and canned version. Feel free to ask more about a specialty diet for your pet. Here are some of the foods we carry:

  • Hill's Prescription Diets
  • a/d Urgent Care
  • c/d Urinary Care
  • d/d Skin/Food Sensitivities
  • i/d Digestive Care
  • j/d Joint Care
  • k/d Kidney Care
  • r/d Weight Reduction
  • t/d Dental Health
  • u/d Urinary Care
  • w/d Digestive/Weight/Glucose Management
  • y/d Thyroid Care
  • z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities
  • Metabolic Weight Management
  • Metabolic + Urinary - Weight & Urinary Care
  • Metabolilc + Mobility - Weight & Joint Care
  • Hypoallergenic Treats

  • Royal Canin
  • Urinary SO
  • Selected Protein PD
  • Selected Protein PV

Other foods from these manufacturers may be available by special order. Ask us today about availability of other diets.

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In-House Laboratory

We have an in-house laboratory to process samples quickly and accurately. Our veterinarians may recommend checking a sample from your pet during times of illness or injury to help determine a diagnosis. We may also suggest labwork before your pet is to have surgery. Some of the testing services we offer are:

  • Fecal flotation testing to detect intestinal parasites.
  • Urinalysis to detect signs of infection or abnormalities in urine or bladder.
  • Cytology to check for sources of infection in ears or cellular contents of lumps.
  • Blood Glucose testing to check the level of sugar in the bloodstream. This is helpful in diagnosing diabetes.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) to check for anemia, dehydration, clotting ability, immune system issues, or signs of infection.
  • Blood Chemistry Analysis for measuring levels of electrolytes, glucose, calcium, enzymes, sodium, potassium and other substances produced by the internal organs to assess their function.
  • Fungal Culture and skin scraping to assist in the diagnosis of skin diseases.
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We stock an extensive inventory of veterinary pharmaceutical products and medications, including flea, tick, and heartworm prevention products. Whether your pet has a chronic condition requiring long-term medication, or if your pet just needs pain meds after surgery or sedatives for the 4th of July, we've got you covered! Here are just some of the pharmaceuticals we carry:

  • Antibiotics
  • Joint Supplements
  • Cortisones
  • Pain Medications
  • Thyroid Supplements
  • Heart Medications
  • Anti-Emetics
  • Anti-Diarrheals
  • Allergy Medications
  • Multivitamins

  • Not to mention many of our topical medications including:
  • Ear Treatments
  • Medicated Shampoos
  • Ophthalmic Drops and Ointments
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Emergency Services

The Animal Clinic of Holland, together with the East Holland Veterinary Clinic, offer limited after-hours emergency services on a rotating schedule. Typically, our offices will tend to your pet's after-hours emergency situation after closing time and before 9 pm, seven days a week. After 9 pm and in other instances, emergency calls may be forwarded to the Animal Emergency Hospital in Grand Rapids. Simply call our office to determine who is accepting emergencies at that time. A recorded message will provide you with the phone number of the on-call clinic or hospital.

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Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 8:00 AM- 5:30 PM
Tues 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
SAT 8:00 AM - NOON

Call us today at (616) 396 - 6543 to set up an appointment for your four-legged friend!.

Payment is expected at time of service. For your convenience, we accept the following forms of payment:

Cash, Check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, CareCredit.

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