Physical Exam

A thorough physical examination initiates all visits for illness, trauma or routine annual wellness assessment.

Various diagnostic tests or procedures may then be used to help complete the visit and/or arrive at a diagnosis.


In-house capabilities include automated blood counts, individual chemistries, pre-surgical screening, general profiles and urinalysis that allow for rapid access to data in urgent situations.

Other commonly used tests such as: heartworm, feline leukemia/Immunodeficiency virus, fecal exams, ear cytology, bacterial culture and sensitivity, etc. may also be done in-house for rapid results.

Several different outside labs are used for non-urgent cases and special tests.


Radiology is capable of standard plain film x-rays and contrast studies of the bowel and urinary bladder. OFA X-rays for certification of hips and elbows are also available.


Endoscopy is available for noninvasive examination of the esophagus, stomach and colon, depending on patient size.


We subscribe to Cardiopet, a transtelephonic service that transmits the EKG via telephone to a veterinary cardiology group for interpretation and treatment recommendations.


The Tonopen measures eye pressures to screen for glaucoma.

Behavioral Counseling

Individualized behavioral counseling is available to help manage undesirable habits. Methods include conditioning, medications and personal trainers. Some cases require referral to a specialist in veterinary behavior.

Pain Control/Management

Many disorders, especially arthritis in the older patient, require medications to help control pain and improve mobility.

Numerous medications and protocols are employed for short or long term use. Various medications are used post operatively for pain relief and longer if indicated.


Various anesthetic protocols may be employed and are chosen based on patient need and risk.

Anesthetic monitoring is done by both physical observation and monitoring devices.


  • Elective Procedures - Spay, neuter, feline declaws.

  • Soft Tissue - Common surgeries of the bowel, urinary bladder, eyes, ears, tumor removal and wounds.

  • Orthopedics - Uncomplicated fractures, limited procedures of the hip and knee.

  • Referrals - Some cases with advanced needs are referred to specialists in veterinary surgery.

  • Dentistry

    Oral health is a significant factor in overall health and well being.

    Routine dental cleaning and polishing helps to preserve teeth, avoids dental pain and maintains a healthy oral environment.

    Extractions and gingival flaps if needed for non-salvageable teeth.

    Gingival resection for overgrown gums.

    Surgery of oral tumors.

    Preventive hygiene instruction: brushing, sealants, tartar control diets, dental chews.


    Post operative and medical case hospitalization is provided for patients requiring further care.

    Critical care monitoring and treatment for urgent cases may be referred to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine or the Tri-County Animal Emergency Clinic.

    Exotic Animal Services

    Drs. Johnson and Chesher have a special interest in exotic animal species which includes: birds, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, other small mammals and reptiles.

    Services include examination, medicine and surgery, dental care, wing/beak/nail trims, blood sexing, post purchase exams and nutritional, behavioral and husbandry counseling.

    Vaccinations & Wellness Exams

    The visit for vaccinations includes a thorough physical exam.

    A vaccination protocol will be designed for your pet starting with the recommended core vaccines and any additional ones needed based on exposure risk.

    County registration papers are issued with a rabies vaccination.

    Senior pets may also benefit from routine blood profiles to screen for underlying abnormalities.


    A complete in-house pharmacy is in place to dispense most of the commonly used drugs your pet may require.

    Less frequently used medicines and some special compounded drugs may be scripted to local pharmacies or to distant compounding pharmacies.

    Some drugs can be prepared in pet friendly flavor bases for those that are difficult to dose.

    Nutritional Counseling

    We carry a comprehensive line of prescription diets that are used to aid in the management of specific medical disorders.

    Weight reduction programs can also be designed to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

    Our major prescription diet manufacturers include:

  • Hills
  • Royal Canin
  • Purina

  • Microchip Identification / ID Tags

    Many lost pets never find their way back home, microchipping and ID tags can help.

    The microchip is a permanent identification system.

    The chip is the size of a grain of rice with an encoded number that is implanted under the skin over the shoulder blades.

    You register your personal data with the national registry.

    The chips are detected with a scanner and if found, then the national registry is contacted and they in turn contact you.

    Simple ID tags with your pets name and your phone number are also strongly recommended.

    PAH uses and recommends the following:
    AVID for microchip identification
    Monroe Specialty for ID tags

    Parasite Treatment

    Flea Control

    We can help design protocols for the treatment of current infestations or the proactive prevention of fleas.

    We will help educate you about the flea life cycle and the treatment strategies that are best for you and your pets.

    We utilize several different flea control products depending on need and include:

  • Comfortis - Canine once monthly flea tablet
  • Advantage -Canine/Feline once monthly flea topical
  • Frontline - Canine/Feline Once monthly flea and tick topical

    Internal Parasites

    Dogs and cats are subject to many different species of parasite (worms) that are spread primarily through the infected stool from an animal who is carrying them.

    Tapeworms, however, are spread through eating the parasites intermediate hosts: fleas or rabbits/rodents.

    If advanced, affected pets made show signs of weight loss and bowel disease or if early in the infection, there maybe no symptoms.

    Intestinal parasites are diagnosed through a fecal exam and numerous medications are used to treat them.

    Some parasites are contagious to people (Zoonotic) through fecal-oral contact.

    The age group at risk are toddlers that often have their hands in their mouths. These parasites can undergo abnormal migrations when in humans and may cause serious problems.

    The monthly heartworm preventive medications, given year-round, can help prevent these parasites.

    For more information, see CAPC website.


    Heartworms are a potentially fatal blood parasite of dogs and an emerging but uncommon problem in cats.

    They are 6-8 inches long, live inside the heart chambers, give birth to baby worms (microfilaria) and are spread by mosquitoes.

    Heartworms are common in our area and are detected with a blood test.

    Heartworms can be easily prevented with a monthly medication that also helps prevent several of the intestinal parasites, hence it is given year round.

    Products used include:

  • Interceptor
  • Sentinel
  • Heartgard
  • Revolution

    For more information, see the American Heartworm Society website.

  • Choosing a Pet

    We can help with advice and sources of information on choosing the species, breed, gender and special needs of pets you are considering.


    Uncommonly we may have a pet that needs a new home. Please call us for availability.


    We offer boarding and medical boarding services for all types of companion animals including exotics. Like most reputable pet care facilities, we require proof of current vaccination status before your pet can be boarded with us. We also require dogs and cats to be on a veterinary grade flea preventative. These rules are not only for the protection of your pet, but also for the protection of the other pets in our care. We recommend calling in your pet’s reservation as soon as possible, particularly during peak holiday and vacation periods.


    What vaccinations does my dog require to board? - Bordetella (commonly referred to as kennel cough), Rabies and D.A.P.P.

    What vaccinations does my cat require to board? - Rabies, F.V.R.C.P.

    What do I need to bring? - We encourage you to bring your own pet food. Maintaining his/her regular diet will reduce the risk of your pet experiencing digestive problems because of a dietary change. We do stock Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and will provide food in the event you forget or run out.

    If your pet is on prescription medications or a prescription diet, bring them along.

    If you are not purchasing your veterinary grade flea preventative from us, please bring the packaging or current receipt as proof of your flea preventative.

    If your pet has a special “comfort” toy, feel free to bring it along.

    There is no need to bring your pets bedding or bowls, we provide those.

    If you are boarding a small mammal, reptile, bird or any other type of exotic, please bring their habitat or enclosure and any special dietary needs they may have during their stay with us.

    What is considered a “veterinary grade” flea preventative? - If you purchased your product from a local grocery, home improvement store or other retail establishment, it is not veterinary grade. While there are many products on the market, many of the ones available at your local retail stores are ineffective. For the protection of your pet and all the other pets staying at our hospital, we require veterinary grade, a product requiring a veterinarian’s authorization to purchase. A partial list of acceptable products includes: Revolution, Simparica, Trifexis, Nexgard and Cheristan for Cats. If you do not have your pet on a veterinary grade product, your pet can be given an oral flea preventative upon arrival at an additional cost to you.

    When can we check in? - We open at 8am, Monday thru Saturday. We recommend you have your pet checked in no later than 4:30pm to allow our staff time to assess your pet’s comfort level before we close for the evening. To expedite your check in process, a Boarding Check-In Form is available on our website; completing this form prior to your arrival can expedite the process.

    When can we pick up our pet? - You can pick up your pet during normal business hours, 8:00am to 5:30pm, Monday thru Friday and 8:00am to Noon on Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and pickup is not available. Please keep in mind, if you arrive during the lunch hour, you may experience a delay because our staff level is minimal at that time.

    Bathing / Grooming

    Routine bathing is available. Grooming is limited to uncooperative animals that require anesthesia and shearing.

    Emergency Services

    After hours emergency care is provided by the Tri-County Animal Emergency Clinic. The Emergency Clinic is a fully staffed and equipped veterinary facility designed to provide day-practice quality of care in after-hours situations.

    They are located at:
    1800 N Sterling Ave
    Peoria, IL 61604


    When the days of quality life have ended and it has become a struggle for your pet to just get through the day; then perhaps it is time. The decision for euthanasia can be accompanied by feelings of guilt and the tendency is to procrastinate; to postpone this very painful decision, even if you know in your heart that it is clearly the right thing to do. But, you may take solace in knowing that you are making the best decision for you, your family and your pet at that point in time. When the time comes, we will provide as comfortable an end as possible for all concerned.


    Some cases require specialists with advanced diagnostic equipment and treatment skills. There are several multi-speciality referral practices that can be utilized including:

    College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana

    Veterinary Specialty Center, Buffalo Grove

    Animal Emergency Referral Center, Northbrook