The Coastal DifferenceThese are the reasons why we think this is the best hospital on the planet (and why we have such loyal clientele)
We are a new generation of veterinary hospital. Wellness exams are the cornerstone of our philosophy. The very first recommendation we make in our wellness exams has been proven to make dogs live nearly 2 years longer. Each subsequent step in our clearly laid out wellness program will build on that benefit and will decrease pain and suffering your pet would otherwise experience throughout their life. Our goal for your pet is simple: Thrive.
Besides our approach to wellness, here are a few other ways we are a new generation veterinary hospital:
- Laparoscopic spays. We championed the less-painful spay in San Diego. We decided as a hospital that we would make the investment in time, training, and expense to provide a less painful experience for pets. It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do.
- 4-year vaccine protocols. Did you know some hospitals are still giving vaccines annually? Most hospitals give their vaccines every 3 years. We chose a vaccine that is guaranteed by the company to last for 4 years. Why? We feel if we can give less vaccines over the course of a pet’s life and keep them protected, then that is the right thing to do.
- Annual Cancer Screening Day. This is a program we created (and to our knowledge is not done anywhere else in the country) to detect cancer before your pet becomes sick from it. Unfortunately there is not a good blood test to check for cancer and the most reliable way is to actually look for it using a combination of X-rays of the chest (a common place for cancer to develop) and an abdominal ultrasound to evaluate the internal organs for any abnormality. What makes this a unique program is the cost of those two tests are typically over $675 but on the Cancer Screening Day, we negotiated with our radiologist to decrease the cost by almost half which makes the testing more affordable.
- Gold standard dentistry. It is difficult for a lay-person to compare apples to apples when it comes to animal dentistry. But here is one statistic: 80% of teeth that are extracted in vet hospitals are done wrong – leaving root tips behind. We perform “gold standard” dentistry which includes taking full mouth X-rays before and after an extraction to ensure the entire tooth is removed. This is just one piece of better dentistry and why we have better outcomes.
- Modern, safe anesthesia. This is another area that is hard for an average person to evaluate when comparing hospitals. Anesthesia is not standardized and the safety and quality varies widely from place to place which is why you have heard numerous stories about dogs and cats dying under anesthesia. When anesthesia is done well and when modern, safe anesthetic drugs, monitoring devices, and well qualified people are in place, the risk of an unexpected fatal complication is less than one-tenth of one percent. Places that offer cut rate prices on anesthetic procedures are cutting expenses somewhere and just like the analogy of removing 1 leg of a 4 leg table, it may be fine if you never lean on that side, but if you do, the table will collapse. For the lowest chance of having an unexpected fatal complication while under anesthesia, we do not recommend removing the stability of the proverbial table. At Coastal, we score very high on the safe anesthesia scale.
- Multi-modal pain control. Preventing pain is the most effective way of treating and controlling pain. Single agent pain control is not as effective because pain is conducted by multiple pathways in the body. For surgeries, we will use a combination of opioid pain medications, local anesthesia (lidocaine) blocks, continuous rate infusions of pain medications, injectable NSAIDs, Laser therapy, and combinations of oral medications depending on the level of pain anticipated for each procedure.
- Minimally-invasive surgeries. Besides the laparoscopic spay, we can also minimize pain and recovery time for a myriad of other procedures such as preventative gastropexy, cryptorchid surgery, bladder stone removal, liver biopsies, and more. Minimally-invasive, or laparoscopic, surgery is the standard of care in human medicine because it is better for the patient and the same benefits are now available for our pets.
- Telemedicine. We are one of the pioneering vet hospitals in the field of telemedicine. This technology is becoming more and more commonplace in human medicine and is just now developing on the veterinary side. We are proud to offer follow up appointments (when indicated) over the internet as a way to make your life more efficient and to decrease stress on your pet from another vet visit.
- Wellness plans. There is a formula to keeping your pet healthy and avoiding the preventable pitfalls we see day in and day out. Our Roadmap to Lifelong Health and Anxiety-Free Pet Ownership is that formula. If you haven’t watched our short webinar on our approach to wellness and why each of the steps are listed, please do so now. We promise you will learn something and understand how to best take care of your pet. We offer Wellness Plans that include all of our recommendations to make it easy for you to follow. Because we believe in this so strongly and is our goal to have as many of our patients go through this program, there is a significant discount on the program to help make Wellness available to everyone.
- Fear-free training. A lot of our patients love to come in and wag their tail at us. However, some pets are scared and that fear response is unhealthy for them. We offer in house fear-free training with our local trainer, Marilisa Markey of Doggywood, to help instill confidence in these pets and decrease the fear of the vet visit.
- Monthly journal rounds. One of the major differences between our hospital and others is our commitment to improving our practice. We host monthly journal rounds to evaluate the latest research and methods. Without this critical evaluation on an on-going basis, many seemingly high-quality practices end up continuing to practice outdated medicine in spite of evidence to the contrary. Need proof? Ask your vet why they are removing the uterus of young, healthy dogs and cats during a spay (spoiler alert – there isn’t a good reason to – it’s just what they have been doing their entire practice and refuse to change even though there is no benefit, may actually cause more complications, and there is an abundance of evidence to support it).
- Team medicine. Do you remember the time doctors and veterinarians dictated from a mountaintop what you had to do? That style didn’t work well then and it still doesn’t work today. We consistently get better outcomes because we include the most important person in the decision making – you.
- Salaried doctors. Pay structures of employees tends to be a taboo subject and typically not discussed. However, we believe it is a very important distinction. Most hospitals pay their doctors on a percentage of the revenue they generate. So with every test they recommend, those doctors make more money and creates an incentive that may skew judgement. Our doctors are paid on a salary basis to remove any incentive to “upsell” and therefore make recommendations based on what is important to ensure our pets stay healthy or get back to health as quickly as possible.
- Better microchips. When we started we were using the same microchips that most other hospitals use. Then we found a microchip that was smaller (and therefore less painful to insert), was less likely to break (they do break! We have seen broken microchips on X-ray), and was less annoying (the other company sent an up-sell letter each year which tricked people in to thinking they needed to sign up for an annual fee to keep their microchip useful – which wasn’t the case. No up-selling is part of our mission statement).
- Housecalls. This exemplifies our tagline: Modern medicine, Classic service. Sometimes our pets cannot make it in to the veterinary hospital. Whether it be that your cat is too terrified of the car ride or your old dog can’t get up anymore to get in to the car, we have the option of coming to them to give them the medical care that they need. Plus, if your pet is at the end of their life and we have made the tough decision to euthanize them, we are proud to offer that service to them in the comfort of their own bed so their transition is as easy and stress free as possible.
- Laser therapy. Pills are not the answer to every problem we encounter. Often, effectively treating pain isn’t possible based on other diseases that may also be present. Laser therapy is a great, drug-free treatment modality that possesses 3 important benefits: Decreases inflammation, decreases pain, and speeds healing. To see how this occurs in the body, watch this short video which explains the mechanism of action (the big fancy word is: photobiomodulation).
- In-house board-certified specialists. Sometimes the best medicine is to see a board-certified specialist to help guide your pet back to health as quickly as possible. Their input and expertise is invaluable and we are proud to offer the services of a board certified radiologist, cardiologist, and surgeon right here in our clinic.
- In-house diagnostics. If your pet is sick, we often can’t wait until tomorrow to find out what is causing them pain. We maintain industry best in-house blood work analyzers because not only is speed important, we need to be able to trust the results are accurate. We also have digital radiographs, digital dental radiographs, and ultrasound to help us come to the diagnosis faster and with more reliability than older non-digital systems.
- Judicious use of antibiotics and steroids. What you may have experienced at most veterinary and human hospitals is frequent and over-prescribing of antibiotics and steroids. This is wreaking havoc on our immune systems and (what we are now realizing) our healthy bacteria which are essential to our health. While these medications are often critically necessary, at Coastal Animal Hospital we do our best to avoid prescribing oral antibiotics and steroids unless we do not have an alternative. We have found that if we can treat the root cause of the disease (such as allergies), then those medications are often unnecessary.
- Education. This is a big point of pride at Coastal. We do our best to educate you during each visit so you can better understand the recommendations we make and then will be better positioned to make an informed decision about what you think is right for your pet. Outside of the exam room, we also strive to have informative blog posts and articles that help to explain various aspects of pet health so you can fight back against the barrage of bad internet information.
- Giving back. We started The HANA Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation because we saw too many pets not receiving care due to financial constraints. These pets would needlessly suffer or would be euthanized due to the insurmountable costs. We feel it is our duty to find a way to help these needy pets and people get through these rough patches and get them back to health. We also created the LOVE for Fosters program where we provide free laparoscopic spays for rescue organizations. Pets in foster care have enough stress in their life and we are proud to make one aspect of their journey easier and less stressful.
- Community service. All of our doctors and staff love our town and community and want to see it continue to grow and inspire future generations. Dr. Evans is the president of the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association and our hospital is active in many of the events along historic Highway 101.
- Surf while you wait. It is no coincidence that we opened Coastal Animal Hospital steps from the beach. While there was selfish intent, you too get to reap the benefits. Stonesteps beach is a short walk away and while we try to be as efficient as possible with your appointment time, just say the word and we can slow down the whole process and give you a chance for a quick paddle out!
reception arealiving room. Before Dr. Evans started Coastal, he was a housecall veterinarian and loved treating pets in their own home. When he opened Coastal, he wanted the lobby to feel like a home away from home so the pets (and you) could feel just as comfortable as when they are in their own environment.