Fairfield's Premier Animal Hospital
Southport Veterinary Center is a well-established, full-service, small animal veterinary hospital providing comprehensive medical, surgical, dental care, pain management, acupuncture, and laser therapy. We offer ultrasound, in-house lab testing, and the use of external laboratories.
What We Offer
What Sets Us Apart
Digital X-ray allows telemedicine and radiology review. Since digital is much faster than film radiology, it cuts the wait time for results to half, allowing your pet to receive more rapid treatment. Our in-house laboratory enables us to test your animal's blood quickly when they are ill. Instead of waiting up to 24 hours to get results, we can get an idea of what is happening internally in a matter of minutes. All our blood machines are the newest and most accurate testing equipment available.
We are very fortunate to work with noted dog trainer and behavior therapist, Jody Rosengarten "The Bark Stop Here." She has been in practice since 1980 and is a well-known, caring, and compassionate authority on all aspects of puppy and dog behavior.
Dr. Hart has curated a gallery of animal portraits by local artists available for sale and by commission. Most of the photos on this website have been taken by Joy Bush one of our favorite artists.
Benefits of Early Socialization: Enroll Puppies in Training Classes Earlier
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) of which we are a proud member, released some much needed updated Animal Behavior guidelines. In collaboration with Jody Rosengarten of The Bark Stops Here, we have changed the way we enroll puppies into training classes. AAHA recommends that puppies under 16 weeks should be allowed into training classes as early as possible to take advantage of prime socialization periods.
Previously, the concern was that complete protection against important transmissible viruses such as Parvovirus was not verifiable by scientific study until the 16 week vaccine was completed. A recent study compares puppies who had at least 1 distemper parvo vaccine over 8 weeks of age and entered puppy classes with puppies who had the full series of vaccines to the 16 week mark who entered puppy classes. There turned out to be no greater risk for the “under-vaccinated” group than the fully vaccinated group and AAHA has decided that the benefit of early behavioral intervention outweighs theoretical risk of disease transmission in this age group.
So… here are the new SVC guidelines for allowing your puppy into puppy training classes and/or our new Puppy Social Club (details below): At least 1 distemper parvo vaccination given no earlier than 7 and ½ weeks and at least 8 weeks of age A physical examination by a veterinarian within 2 weeks of entering class At least 1 deworming has been done and a negative or treated positive stool sample has been done within a week of starting classes. Jody will be asking all puppy owners for proof of the above and we will provide that to you after the 1st vaccination.
Important caveat: The above ONLY applies to puppy training classes where proof of vaccination is verified. The same previous rules of not allowing your puppy access to areas where unvaccinated puppies have been (the beach, the dog walking parks, the pet stores or anywhere else unvaccinated puppies may have roamed) until they are completely finished with their vaccine series at 16 weeks still apply.
Pup Social Club
Geared to our clients’ young puppies, aged 8 weeks up to 16 weeks or so, who meet the health requirements above, the Pup Social Club is a weekly get-together Wednesday evenings at the animal hospital. Here the puppies learn to play well with others, overcome shyness with other dogs and people, all in a safe and healthy environment. It’s also a time for pup owners to ask questions of the Doctor in a casual environment, share stories and get to know other puppy owners for future play dates. Lots of fun time for all; it’s by invitation only so we can match ages, temperaments and size appropriately.
Dr. Hart is a certified veterinary medical acupuncturist.She uses acupuncture as an adjunct to traditional medicine as well as a critical tool in pain management
Dr. Greco and Dr. Markleski are skilled in dentistry, and our facilities include a sophisticated dental suite allowing our hospital to offer in-house a full range of dental procedures.
Being accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, we strive to set the standards for veterinary excellence. AAHA developed the accreditation to raise the level of care for companion animals. We adhere to a high level of medical and non-medical criteria that are evaluated periodically by AAHA to ensure that we are doing the very best at caring for your pet.
We pride ourselves on being able to perform almost all the high-level diagnostics and procedures performed by specialists, and we will recommend and facilitate referrals for advanced critical care and diagnostics whenever needed.
We do not have staff for the overnight, and you always have the option of taking an animal home for overnight or transfer to an overnight facility if necessary. We strongly recommend health insurance when your pet is young without pre-existing issues. For more on pet health insurance, please go to our Resources section.
We avoid unnecessary vaccinations and base each vaccination schedule on risk and lifestyle. We use only the safest and lowest reactivity vaccines. We are proactive in tickborne disease and surveillance but do not treat asymptomatic animals without due cause. Click here for more on our vaccination protocol.
We encourage geriatric wellness care incorporating pain management and nutritional supplements to keep mobility and emotional health and recommend twice per year examination and blood screens for all pets over eight years old.
Heartworm prevention is advised for all dogs over five months of age year-round, and heartworm testing is required before filling a prescription for heartworm prevention. Dogs that originate from a southern locale have twice-yearly heartworm testing in year one because of their increased risk of having a missed infection on their 1st test. Heartworm prevention in cats is evaluated on a case to case basis. We confidently offer once yearly Proheart injections for dogs over 12months of age as well as 6-month Proheart injections for dogs under 12 months. Proheart is a once-yearly injection for continuous heartworm control in dogs. We recommend its use in all well animals especially those rescue dogs with travel history to southern states
Spaying and neutering of dogs
One size doesn’t fit all anymore. There are some larger breeds that we may recommend waiting for spaying and neutering until after the 1st heat cycle to allow for normalized orthopedic growth as well as to diminish certain cancer risks in prone breeds. For most breeds, we still recommend spaying and neutering before 6 months of age.
We do not perform declawing procedures, tail docking, or ear cropping.