Annual veterinary care is crucial to keeping your pet happy and healthy. Click the icons below to learn more about what your veterinarian can do for your pet.
Exams check overall health and detect problems before they become severe or costly.
Vaccines protect against common and fatal diseases based on your pet's age and lifestyle.
|Nutrition ensures your pet gets the balanced diet it needs and maintains a healthy weight.||Spaying and neutering protects pets from serious health and behavioral problems.|
Care Guides for Pet Owners
Your pet's health also depends on you. Click on the icons below to learn more about what pet owners can do at home to keep their pets living a long, healthy life.
Pet Wellness:Pet Exams
Bringing your pets to the veterinarian for a physical exam every year is the smartest and easiest way to keep them healthy. Exams allow your veterinarian to detect any problems before they become severe or costly.
Your Veterinarian Will Check...
- muscular and skeletal health by feeling for healthy muscle mass and joint pain.
- neurologic system – it could indicate birth defects in younger pets, and cognitive issues in older pets.
- appropriate weight and lifestyle for your pet's age.
- lymph nodes – swollen nodes can indicate a wound, virus, infection or some other illness.
- vital signs (temperature, pulse and respiration) – an abnormal reading could indicate illness.
- skin and coat condition for growths, infection wounds and overall skin health.
Bring Your Pet to the Veterinarian Every Year for a Clean Bill of Health and Peace of MindYour pet can't tell us what's wrong. But routine physical exams can help your veterinarian detect any problems or diseases you might not have otherwise picked up on, including heart murmurs, tumors, enlarged organs, cataracts, ear infections, ear mites, dental and gum disease, skin issues and allergies.
Vaccines protect against common diseases that your pets may become exposed to.
Did You Know?
Vaccines have about a 95% success rate for preventing infections and fatal diseases.
Pet Wellness:Dental & Oral Care
Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. Without proper preventive or home care, plaque and tartar can build up, which may cause oral infections, bad breath, infected gum tissues (gingivitis) or even bone loss (periodontitis).
Did You Know?
It's not normal for your pet to have bad breath – it can be a sign of serious dental or gum issues.
Sixty percent of dental disease is hidden below the gum line, and can only be found with x-rays. Brush your pet's teeth regularly and check with your veterinarian about screenings, cleanings and products available to help keep those pearly whites clean.
Pet Wellness:Lab Tests
Yearly lab tests are safe and non-invasive ways to diagnose and prevent sickness or injuries in pets that a physical exam cannot detect.
Pet Wellness:Parasite Prevention
Prevention is the best approach in protecting your pet against deadly heartworms, intestinal parasites, and flea and tick infestations. Your veterinarian will help you find the product that is right for your pet based on his or her needs.
Just like humans, an animal's diet directly affects its overall health and well-being. Allowing a pet to overeat, or to consume the wrong foods, may lead to a wide variety of ailments including obesity, diabetes and arthritis.
Did You Know?
Over 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are obese or overweight.
Although we think of our pets as family members, they shouldn’t be allowed to eat like us. Maintaining a proper diet will help keep your pet at a healthy weight. Be sure not to overfeed, and that you are providing a diet tailored to your pet's breed, age, weight and medical history.
Common Foods To Avoid
Think twice about feeding your pet table scraps. Common foods such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic could be dangerous to an animal. Some non-food items like lily plants and antifreeze are also toxic to pets. Check with your veterinarian if your pet has ingested anything questionable.
Growing puppies and kittens need more nutrient-dense food than adults. Ask your veterinarian which food is right for this stage of life. Cats switch to an adult diet right after being spayed or neutered, no matter what the age, to decrease the likelihood of obesity and related conditions.
Selecting an adult dog or cat food that will keep your pet healthy and energetic starts with knowing your pet's lifestyle. Does your dog weigh just the right amount and go for long walks daily? Or is it a lap dog that loves nothing more than to snooze the day away? Talk to your veterinarian about these issues to help guide you in choosing the best food for your pet.
Your senior dog or cat may need fewer calories, less fat, and more fiber as he or she ages. Many older pets can continue eating the food they always have – just a little less to compensate for not being as active. Check with your veterinarian which food and amount is best for your pet.
Pet Wellness:Spaying & Neutering
Spaying or neutering can protect your pet from serious health and behavioral problems later in life. It also helps control the stray animal population.
Spaying or Neutering Reduces the Risk of...
Known as a pyometra, this is a potentially life-threatening condition which can be very expensive to treat. It is 100% preventable if your pet is spayed.
Mammary Tumors (Breast Cancer)
Over one-half of all mammary tumors are malignant and can spread to other areas of the body. Early spaying, prior to your pet beginning its heat cycles, significantly reduces the incidence of tumor formation.
This cancer, as well as prostatitis (an infection causing malignant or benign swelling of the prostate), can be greatly reduced with early neutering.
Unwanted behaviors such as dominance aggression, marking territory and wandering can be avoided with spaying or neutering.
There are more puppies and kittens in shelters than there are people willing to provide them with love and care. Sadly, many are euthanized. Spaying or neutering can help reduce the number of animals in need of homes.
Pet Wellness:Home Care
Make your pet's well-being a priority. See your veterinarian regularly and follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Your veterinarian will give you a recommendation for a high quality and nutritious diet for your pet, and advise you on how much and how often to feed him or her. Diets may vary by species, breed and age.
Microchipping is a safe and permanent identification option to ensure your pet's return should he or she get lost. Ask us about the process and get your pet protected.
Always keep your dog on a leash in public, and your cat indoors to protect them from common hazards such as cars and other animals.
Frequent brushing keeps your pet's coat clean and reduces the occurrence of shedding, matting and hairballs. Depending on the breed, your pet may also need professional groomings.
Dental and Oral Health
Brush your pet's teeth regularly and check with your veterinarian about professional cleanings as well as dental treats and products available to help prevent bad breath, gingivitis, periodontitis and underlying disease. Although your pet's teeth may look healthy, significant disease could be hidden below the gum line.
Be sure to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with your cat to keep him or her active and at a healthy weight. All dogs need routine exercise to stay fit, but the requirements vary by breed and age. Ask us what's best for your dog. Doggy daycares and boarding facilities are other ways to help to burn off some energy and socialize your pets.
Enroll your dog in training classes to improve his or her behavior with pets and people. Cats need minimal training. Be sure to provide them with a litter box beginning at four weeks of age.
Entertain your pet's natural instincts by using toys that encourage them to jump and run. Cats especially need to fulfill their instinct to hunt – provide interactive toys that mimic prey like a laser pointer or feathers on a wand. You can also hide treats in your pet's toys or around the house to decrease boredom while you're away.
Pet Wellness:Care for All Ages
Every animal is unique, and the start of each stage of life calls for different home and veterinary care. Check with your veterinarian to establish a proactive wellness plan to keep your pet happy and healthy throughout its life.
Puppies and kittens must receive a series of properly staged vaccines and physical exams. During these exams, your veterinarian may also recommend parasite preventatives or lab tests.
Adult pets will need to continue visiting the veterinarian annually for physical exams, recommended vaccines and routine testing.
Senior pets can develop similar problems seen in older people, including heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and arthritis. Your veterinarian may recommend biannual visits to ensure your pet's quality of life.
Females spayed before their first heat cycle will be less likely to get uterine infections, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Males neutered at any age will be less likely to get prostate disease. Spaying or neutering also helps prevent behavioral problems like marking and escaping. Talk to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your pet.
Pets require different types of food to support each life stage. Growing puppies and kittens need more nutrient-dense food than adults while adult dogs and cats need food that will keep them healthy and energetic. Your senior dog or cat may need fewer calories, less fat, and more fiber as he or she ages. Talk to your veterinarian to determine what's appropriate for your pet.
Adult dogs should stay active with daily walks and one-on-one training. Keep your adult cats fit by using toys that encourage them to run and jump, and be sure to give them at least 15 minutes of playtime a day.
Weight management of your senior dog or cat is extremely important to ensure they are at an ideal body weight and able to move around comfortably.
Behavioral issues are a major cause of pet abandonment. Begin training your puppy or kitten right away to prevent bad habits and establish good ones.
Start house training your puppy as soon as you get home. Keep your puppy supplied with plenty of chew toys so he or she gets used to gnawing on those and not your belongings.
All cats need a litter box, which should be in a quiet, accessible room. Place your kitten in the box after a meal or whenever it appears he or she needs to go. Be sure to scoop out solids daily and empty it out completely once a week. The number of boxes in your household should be the total of number of cats plus one.
Pet Wellness:Ages & Stages
Animals age at a faster rate than humans do, and your pet's health needs will evolve over time. Use this chart to figure out your pet's age in human years, and check with your veterinarian to establish a wellness plan specific to your young, adult or senior pet.
Pet Wellness:More Resources and Links
The veterinary resources featured on this page provide useful information to pet owners on a variety of topics related to veterinary medicine and pet health care.
Animal Breed Associations
Pet Grief Support
Mark Beck, DVM — Chief of Staff
Dr. Beck has been part of the Amsterdam Animal Hospital team for about 13 years. Growing up in Amsterdam, New York, he still resides here today. Dr. Beck completed his undergraduate studies in 1978 at Cornell University and then went on to earn his DVM from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. Prior to joining our team, he worked for 13 years at a mixed animal practice in New Castle, Kentucky. We are very lucky to have such an experienced and dedicated veterinarian here at Amsterdam Animal Hospital!
Dr. Beck has special interest in all aspects of surgery. Outside of work, he enjoys antique autos (he owns three—a 1952 Plymouth, a 1963 Morris Minor, and a 1969 AMX), woodworking, gardening and watching sports. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 28 years Sue, his eldest son Jacob (a crew chief on Blackhawk helicopters with NY Army National Guard), middle son Christian (a MK2 in the US Coast Guard) and youngest son Zachary. Lastly, the Beck family loves spending time with their loveable Siberian Husky “Ooke Ook”.
Katie Schlecker, DVM
Dr. Katie Schlecker grew up in Perryville, Maryland and currently resides in Ballston Spa, New York. She received an undergraduate degree from Towson Paterson University and earned a DVM degree from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Amsterdam Animal Hospital team, Dr. Schlecker practiced at Genesee Valley Equine Clinic in Rochester. Her special interests include internal medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, and nutrition.
In her spare time, Dr. Schlecker enjoys running, hiking with her dogs, soccer (watching & playing), ceramics, and home renovations with her husband, Lou. She also shares her home with several pets, a Redtick Coonhound, Boone, a black lab mix, Marge, a calico, domestic short hair cat, Charlie, and an Arabian mare, Faye. Dr. Schlecker is very excited to join the team!
Address / Hours
191 Wallins Corners Road
Amsterdam, NY 12010
P: (518) 842-0540
F: (518) 843-6547
We're excited to share that more hospital renovations are underway!
To provide a more comfortable experience for you, and a better workflow for our staff, we are upgrading the interior and exterior of our hospital. This means all new paint, flooring, front desk area, cabinetry, updated lobby and exam rooms, and more!
Renovations are expected to be complete later this year, and we will remain open during the process.
Please feel free to call us at (518) 842-0540 if you have questions. We look forward to better serving you and your pets with our new-and-improved facility.
Protect Your Pets, and Family, Against Harmful Parasites
Did you know that even during the fall and winter, pets are susceptible to flea/tick infestations and heartworm disease?
Prevention is the best approach in protecting your loved ones. Here's what we recommend:
- Heartworm Preventatives: They protect against the harmful disease spread by mosquitoes. They also help treat and prevent intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
- Flea/Tick Preventatives: Having your pet on monthly flea and tick preventatives protects them against fleas that transmit tapeworms and ticks that spread tick-borne diseases.
Let us help you choose the right product for your pet. Call us at (518) 842-0540 today!
Board Your Pet With Us During the Holidays!
Are you planning on traveling for the upcoming holiday season? We believe both you and your pet should enjoy a relaxing vacation!
We also offer additional services including individual playtime, to ensure that your furry friend isn't lonely while you're gone. Learn more about our pet boarding services here.
Call us today at (518) 842-0540 to book your pet's vacation with us!