VCA Noah's Ark Animal Hospital
By Kelly Huntamer, Manager, VCA Noah's Ark
Published: December 31, 1969

Back to News

Preventative Care is the Best Medicine!
Emergency and acute care are on the rise as clients try to save money by postponing care for ill pets, according to practice managers and owners who participated in a series of discussion groups on "Weathering the Recession" at the AAHA Yearly Conference.

Here at VCA Noah’s Ark we are very aware of our cities’ struggle with the hard economic times. We would like to remind people that the best medicine is preventative medicine. Even though your pet may seem fine on the outside, they may have something wrong on the inside. Yearly wellness exams are essential for your pet. Although our veterinarians always perform a thorough exam on your pet no matter the reason they are here, there are some very large differences between a health problem exam and an annual wellness exam.
*At a health problem exam, the doctors are mainly concerned about the pets presenting health issue. Although they will listen to your pets heart and lungs, the doctor will spend the majority of the time scheduled addressing the current health problem. 
* A wellness exam is very important to do when your pet is healthy so that we can concentrate our time and energy on all of the preventative measures necessary to keep your pet in good health. We address parasites, lab work, and diet recommendations, as well as any other measures that may only be specific to your pet’s needs.
*At an annual wellness exam, we use the time to discuss the pet’s lifestyle with the owner. We examine the pet to be sure that it is healthy and if the pet needs vaccines, we can do them at that time. If a pet is not feeling well for a wide variety of reasons, it is not as effective to give the vaccines since the pet’s immune system may be compromised and already working on fighting a different health issue. The pet must be deemed healthy at the time of vaccines, or we will not do them. Our doctors work directly with the clients to decide which vaccines each pet needs and how often they should be administered. There has been a lot of research that shows some vaccines should be given more often than once a year, while some vaccines don’t need to be given more often than every 3 years, if at all. These are decisions that only a doctor can make with the client’s input on their pet’s lifestyle at the wellness exam.
*We are legally required by the state of California to have a current wellness exam to renew or prescribe any medication. This means an exam done at our facility by one of our doctors within the last 6 to 12 months depending on the medication.
*If you have any questions about annual wellness examinations, vaccines, or screening lab work, feel free to discuss it with our health care team!
     In lieu of the current economic state, we would like to offer our Preventative care Clinic to help you keep your pet healthy.
Written by Kelly Huntamer, Manager VCA Noah’s Ark
VCA Noah’s Ark
Preventative Care Clinic
Every Wednesday
1pm to 5pm
Get 50% off of all due Vaccines
With a paid wellness exam
By appointment only


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency please call VCA Care Specialty and Emergency at (805) 899-2273. They are located at 301 E. Haley Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101, it is on the corner of Garden street and Haley, parking and entrance is on Garden St.