EMERGENCY CARE
We are open extended hours 7 days per week,
365 days per year for your convenience.
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Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital offers microchip identification for pets. We use the HomeAgain Pet Recovery and Identification System. You can rest easy knowing your pet is protected – whether you are at home or you take them out of town.

Pet Microchip and Grain of RicePlease call us at (609) 298-4600 to make an appointment.

Did you know that getting lost is the No. 1 cause of death for pets?

One in three pets goes missing during its lifetime and without identification, 90 percent of pets never return home. Microchip implantation causes no more discomfort than a vaccination and is a simple one-time insertion with a syringe.

Almost all humane organizations have scanners that read microchip IDs. HomeAgain Pet Recovery & ID System reports they recover 10,000 lost pets each month and have helped more than 1 million lost pets return home.

For more information, visit the HomeAgain website.

Pet Supplies and ProductsColumbus Central Veterinary Hospital offers an array of both prescription and over the counter products to keep your pet happy and healthy. Our in-house pharmacy is stocked with prescription medications to provide preventive care, treat illnesses and ensure that your pet’s medication is always available.

Other products available include:

Veterinary Diets
Harrison’s Bird Foods
Royal Canin Prescription Diets

 

 
 

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.

  Pet Exams icon   Pet Vaccines icon  
 

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.

 
Pet Dental & Oral Care icon   Veterinary Lab Tests icon   Parasite Prevention icon
Dental and oral care prevents bad breath and diseases that could become life-threatening.   Lab tests diagnose and prevent sickness or injury in safe and non-invasive ways.   Parasite prevention treats and protects against deadly heartworms, parasites, and flea/tick infestations.
         
  Pet Nutrition icon   Spaying & Neutering icon  
  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 Home Care icon   Care for Pets at All Ages icon   Pet Ages & Stages icon

Home care is just as important as veterinary care in keeping your pet happy and healthy.

 

Care for all ages includes veterinary care and home care tips for your pet at every age.

 

Ages and stages is our chart to help you find out your pet's age in "human years."

clientcare@columbuscentralveterinaryhosp.com

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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.

Pet Exams for Dogs and CatsYour 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 Mind

Your 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.
 
     


Download the Pet Exams handout

clientcare@columbuscentralveterinaryhosp.com

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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.

     
  Canine Vaccines

Rabies

The rabies vaccine is required by law and protects against the fatal illness. Rabies can be transmitted to other pets and people through the bite of an infected animal.

Distemper (DHPP)

This combination vaccine protects against viruses that cause life-threatening neurologic, respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.

Leptospirosis

This vaccine protects against a bacteria that can cause deadly kidney or liver disease. Leptospirosis is also transmissible to people.

Lyme

This vaccine helps prevent Lyme disease, which is easily transmitted through the bite of an infected tick.

 
 

Lifestyle Vaccines

These might be recommended if your dog visits boarding facilities, groomers, training classes, dog parks, and other social settings.

Bordetella

This vaccine protects against an airborne respiratory virus known as "Kennel Cough."

Canine Influenza

The canine influenza vaccine protects against a contagious respiratory infection.

 
 
     
  Feline Vaccines

Rabies

The rabies vaccine is required by law and protects against the fatal illness. Rabies can be transmitted to other pets and people through the bite of an infected animal.

Distemper (FVRCP)

This combination vaccine protects against viruses that cause life-threatening respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
 
     
 

Lifestyle Vaccine

This is given to all outdoor cats, including those who go out occasionally -even if it's just on an open porch.

Feline Leukemia

This vaccine protects against the contagious and often fatal disease, which is easily spread between cats.

 

 

     
 

Vaccines are the key to a long and healthy life. Your veterinarian will suggest the best vaccines for your pet based on age, medical history and lifestyle.

 
     

Download the Pet Vaccines handout

New Clients

Thank you for choosing Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital to care for your pet. Downloading and filling out the New Client Form prior to your first appointment will greatly assist us in adding you and your pet to our system. Please feel free to fax it to us at 609-298-8091 or to bring it with you to your pet's first appointment. We will be happy to contact your previous veterinarian to obtain any necessary information or documentation regarding your pet's medical history.

 

Pet History Questionnaire

Any information that you can provide about your pet will help us provide the best care and veterinary services. Please download and fill out the Pet History Questionnaire — or for reptile owners, please download and fill out the Reptile Questionnaire — and bring it with you when dropping off your pet for its appointment. Feel free to fax your pet’s history to us at 609-298-8091 prior to arrival.

 

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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.

Pet Dental & Oral Care

     
 

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.

 
     


Download the Pet Dental & Oral Care handout

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Yearly lab tests are safe and non-invasive ways to diagnose and prevent sickness or injuries in pets that a physical exam cannot detect.

     
  Dog and Cat icon

Blood Screening

A blood screening checks for anemia, parasites, infections, organ function and sugar levels. It is important to get a blood test annually for your pet, to help your veterinarian establish a benchmark for normal values and easily see any changes that may point to problems.

Urinalysis

This test has the ability to screen for diabetes, urinary tract infections, bladder/kidney stones, as well as dehydration and early kidney disease.

Intestinal Parasite Check

Using a stool sample, your veterinarian can check to see if your pet has parasites. Many parasites can be passed on to humans, so it is important to complete this screening annually, especially if your pet has any symptoms including upset stomach, loss of appetite and weight loss.

 
     
 
 
     
 

Routine testing can add years to your pet's life. Your veterinarian will recommend lab tests appropriate for your pet based on age and lifestyle.

 
     
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  Dog Icon

Canine Tests

Your veterinarian may check for the presence of heartworms in your dog, as well as the three common tick-borne diseases – Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia Canis.
 
     
 
 
     
  Cat icon

Feline Tests

A combination test checks for heartworm, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FeLV and FIV are serious diseases that weaken the immune system, making cats susceptible to a variety of infections and other diseases. FeLV is spread through casual contact, and FIV is transmitted primarily through bite wounds. They can also be transferred to cats by their mothers. Any new pets, or sick/stray cats entering a household, should be tested.

Blood Pressure Testing

Senior cats are routinely tested for high blood pressure. It may occur as a secondary disease to another illness and is commonly seen in older cats. But it can affect a cat at any age and cause damage to the eyes, heart, brain and kidneys. A new heart murmur or alterations in your cat's eyes during a routine exam may prompt your veterinarian to take a blood pressure reading.

 
     
 

Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital has been on the leading edge of providing superior veterinary emergency surgical and medical services to our colleagues since 1976. Our facility is equipped with the latest laboratory technology, digital radiography, digital dental x-ray, ultrasound, and EKG machine.

We understand the problems encountered routinely in private practice and strive to provide exceptional service and compassion for clients and their pets. Our veterinarians are available for appointments/emergencies 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 8am to 10pm. Our experienced nursing staff is on duty 24 hours a day. We also have access to a board certified surgeon and cardiologist.

We provide communication and follow-up to referring veterinarians allowing the primary care veterinarian to play a more active role in their patient's health management.

How to Refer a Patient for Emergency or Specialty Veterinary Services

If you'd like to refer one of your patients to us, please do one of the following:

Advanced Veterinary Emergency Surgeries

referrals@columbuscentralveterinaryhosp.com

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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.

     
 

EXTERNAL PARASITES
are assessed visually by your veterinarian.

 
     
  Flea icon

Fleas

Fleas thrive when the weather is warm and humid. All cats and dogs are susceptible to flea infestations. Beyond the skin irritation and discomfort, flea infestations can also cause deadly infections, flea-allergy dermatitis (OUCH!) and the transmission of tapeworm parasites if ingested.

Tick icon

Ticks

Ticks can spread serious infectious diseases such as Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis to pets and people. Pet owners should inspect their pets regularly for ticks, large and small, especially after being outside in a wooded or grassy area.

 
     
 
     
 

INTERNAL PARASITES
are assessed by blood tests and fecal exams.

 
     
 
  Intestinal Parasite icon

Intestinal Parasites

Roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm, Coccidia, Giardia and Cryptosporidium are all common in cats and dogs. Many of these parasites can be transmitted to you and your family if your pet becomes infected.

Heartworm icon

Heartworm

Mosquitoes can spread heartworm, a harmful disease that affects both dogs and cats. As its name implies, heartworm lives in the blood of a pet's heart and blood vessels. We recommend annual screenings for both dogs and cats, even if they are already on heartworm preventatives.

 
     
     
     
 

Life is better for your pet and family without parasites.
Let us help you choose your flea, tick, heartworm and
intestinal parasite preventatives today!

 
     


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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.

Proper Nutrition

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.
Pet Nutrition

 

Growth Diet

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.

Adult Diet

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.

Senior Diet

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.

   
     
 

Every pet ages differently. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your pet's needs.

 
     


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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...

Uterine Disease

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.

Testicular Cancer

This cancer, as well as prostatitis (an infection causing malignant or benign swelling of the prostate), can be greatly reduced with early neutering.

 

Behavioral Problems

Unwanted behaviors such as dominance aggression, marking territory and wandering can be avoided with spaying or neutering.

Overpopulation

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.Cat and Dog graphic

   
     
 

Spayed and neutered pets live healthier and longer lives! Consider the benefits to your pet and the community, and ask us when is the best time to spay or neuter your pet.

 
     


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Make your pet's well-being a priority. See your veterinarian regularly and follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Nutrition

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.

Identification

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.

Safety

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.

Grooming

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.

 

Exercise

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.

Training

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.

Environmental Enrichment

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 Care at Home

     
 

Be Your Pet's Guardian Angel

Call us if your pet experiences vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, trouble breathing, excessive drinking or urinating, wheezing or coughing, pale gums, discharge from nose, swollen eye or discharge, limping, and/or difficulty passing urine or stool as these may be signs of illness.

 
     


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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.

Annual Wellness

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.

Spay/Neuter

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.

Nutrition

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.

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Exercise

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.

Training

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.

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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 Ages & Stages Chart

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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

Humane Societies

Pet Grief Support

Pet Health Information on Dogs

Pet Health Information on Cats

Pet Insurance

Pet Products

Veterinary Education

Lisa Antas, DVMDr. Antas has been practicing at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital for over 10 years and is our Chief of Staff. She grew up in Hamilton, New Jersey, and now currently resides in Shamong, New Jersey. She received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers' Cook College in 1996 and her DVM degree from Cornell in 2000. While she was in vet school, Dr. Antas worked at our hospital as a veterinary technician. We feel so lucky to have such an outstanding Chief of Staff treating our beloved patients!

Dr. Antas focuses on general and emergency medicine, and providing outstanding care to all of her patients and their families. Outside of work, Dr. Antas likes to play sports, hike, and spend time at the beach. She also enjoys spending free time with her friends, family, and especially her son Alex and her daughter Dylan. Dr. Antas also has three pets—a cat named Darby and two dogs, Sedona and Sierra.

Marian Boden, VMDDr. Boden has been a veterinarian at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital for several years. She grew up in central Pennsylvania and currently resides in Hainesport, New Jersey. Dr. Boden received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown in 1991 and her VMD from University of Pennsylvania in 1996. In addition to practicing at North East Animal Hospital, Dr. Boden has also spent time practicing at several other veterinary hospitals in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Boden's medical interests include emergency medicine and she appreciates establishing close relationships with her clients and their pets. Dr. Boden spends her leisure time gardening, watching movies and traveling. She also enjoys being with her friends and family as well as her pets, which include several dogs, cats and fish.

Kelly Stephan, DVMDr. Stephan, who joined Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital in 2005, grew up in Cream Ridge, New Jersey, and currently resides in Yardville, New Jersey. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgian Court College in 2000 and her DVM from Mississippi State University in 2005.

Dr. Stephan's medical interests include internal and feline medicine. She truly believes in delivering the best possible care for her clients and their pets. Dr. Stephan spends her leisure time exercising, taking day trips and traveling. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as her many pets.

Mark Madzy, DVMDr. Madzy is a veterinarian at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital, joining us in July 2011. Growing up in Upstate New York (Endwell), he now happily resides in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Dr. Madzy received his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1986 and undertook his veterinary studies at Mississippi State University, earning his DVM degree in 1991. Prior to joining our team, he spent time practicing in both Northern and Central New Jersey as well as in South Eastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Madzy has a special interest in dermatology and internal medicine. He also enjoys working with exotics (birds, reptiles, and pocket pets) and looks forward to meeting new clients and their beloved pets.

In his free time, Dr. Madzy spends time outdoors with his wife, two daughters, and their four pets. He enjoys biking and hiking when time allows.

Patrick McGeever, DVMDr. McGeever joined the Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital family in October 2015. He was raised in Long Island, New York and currently resides in New Jersey. Dr. McGeever graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Marine Biology and went on to earn a DVM degree from Western University of Health Sciences. After graduation, he practiced veterinary medicine in both California and New York.

Dr. McGeever is thrilled to be a part of the wonderful team at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital! His special interests include neurology, radiology, and emergency and critical care.

In his spare time, Dr. McGeever enjoys hiking and traveling with his fiancé Lena and his dog Savannah.

Dr. Veronica Jones with dogsDr. Jones joined the Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital team in June 2016. She received an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University Cook College and a DVM degree from Tuskegee University. Her special interests include internal medicine and emergency/critical care.

Dr. Jones has two black miniature poodles named Duchess and Bella. When she is not spending time with animals, she enjoys traveling with friends, eating out, baking, yoga, dancing (she's done ballet and African dance for 10 years).

Fun fact: Dr. Jones previously worked here as an exam room technician. We're so excited to have her back as a veterinarian!

Dennis Ting, DVM, Dipl. ACVSDr. Ting is originally from Southern California where he attended the University of California, San Diego for his undergraduate work in the field of Animal Physiology and Neuroscience. He then earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California, Davis in 2003. In the following year, Dr. Ting returned to Southern California to complete a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery. With a growing interest in small animal surgery, he completed a surgery specific internship in Denver followed by an orthopedic research fellowship at Michigan State University. Dr. Ting then stayed at Michigan State University and completed his residency training in small animal surgery.

Dr. Ting, who is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS), performs advanced surgeries at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital by appointment. He has particular interests in orthopedics, traumatology, and oncologic surgery. He is trained in minimally invasive surgeries such as fluoroscopic-assisted fracture repair. Dr. Ting has also published a number of original orthopedic articles in various veterinary surgery journals and has presented numerous lectures on national and local levels.

dr lisa mcknight dvm 250pxDr. McKnight received an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame of Maryland University and in 2016 she received a DVM degree from Tuskegee University. After graduation, she was accepted into a small animal rotating internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists; in Charlotte, NC. Her special interests include exotic animal medicine as well as client communication and education.

Outside of work Dr.McKnight enjoys going to the movies, traveling abrpad with friends, and spending time outdoors. However, most of her free time is spent caring for her menagerie of animals, which includes several dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and reptiles.

Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital on Facebook

3075 US Route 206 South
Columbus, NJ 08022
P: (609) 298-4600
F: (609) 298-8091

We're excited to share that we will be renovating our hospital to better serve you and your pets!

Renovations coming soonUpgrades will include all new floors, lighting, paint, signage, and a refresh of our exam rooms. We are also building a larger lobby and separate waiting areas for dogs and cats, to help increase their comfort while visiting!

Construction is expected to begin early December, and completed next spring. We will remain open during the process.

We are thrilled about this project and look forward to being able to provide a more comfortable experience for you and your pets! Please feel free to call us at (609) 298-4600 if you have questions at any time.

One of the most common emergencies we see at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital is the "blocked cat." Predominantly a syndrome found in male cats, a urinary obstruction can also be seen in female cats and dogs of both sexes, but with much less frequency. A "mechanical" urinary obstruction can form from bladder stones, an accumulation of crystals that form from certain minerals in the diet, an infection, or a mucus plug. Neurologic deficits or spasms of the musculature of the bladder and urethra can also cause the inability to void urine. Regardless of the cause, a urinary blockage is a medical emergency and death can occur within 24 hours if not treated promptly.

Urinary Obstructions in CatsMale cats are the most prone to urinary blockages because of their anatomy. Their urethra, the pathway from the bladder to the external body, is long and narrow; therefore it is easier for stones, crystals or a mucus plug to get stuck. The initial symptoms of a blocked cat are straining to urinate with little or no urine output, but occasionally, small drops of bloody urine may be seen, vocalizing or crying in pain while straining to urinate and licking the genital area. Very quickly, toxins begin to build when the urine cannot be voided and the pet usually becomes lethargic, quiet and may begin to vomit. A veterinarian can immediately feel a distended bladder upon palpation. The immediate solution is to pass a urinary catheter to relieve the obstruction and empty the bladder of urine. X-rays are taken to look for the presence of stones, or an ultrasound is used to better see a mucus plug or a tumor. Blood work to determine electrolyte levels and kidney function are also performed. The functioning of the kidneys is usually impaired temporarily and sometimes permanently depending on the severity and length of time of the obstruction. Intravenous fluids are administered to "flush" the kidneys and body of the buildup of toxins and stabilize the patient.

Those who watch or play football have most likely heard of a "torn ACL" or ligament injury of the knee. Dogs can suffer the same injury. Larger dogs often suffer an acute injury after a sudden twisting, slipping or impact injury to a hind leg. It could also be a result of chronic degenerative or structural issues with the knee, such as obesity, arthritis, or a luxating patella (knee-cap moves in and out of place). The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in the dog may be partially or completely torn in this injury, resulting in hind-leg lameness or non-weight bearing of the leg, pain and possibly some swelling at the knee joint. Typically it is seen in larger breed dogs such as Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Pit Bulls, and Rottweiler’s, but any breed can be affected.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament in DogsA diagnosis of a torn cranial cruciate ligament is based on a description of the onset of symptoms, radiographs to look for boney abnormalities (positioning or arthritic changes), and manipulation of the knee joint, sometimes with sedation, to feel for "cranial drawer" or abnormal joint laxity. Surgical intervention is recommended for most cases of torn or partially torn CCLs. Smaller dogs under 25 pounds may stabilize and be comfortable without surgical intervention using arthritis medications.

There are various surgical techniques for repairing a torn ligament, and new techniques are evolving. The goal of surgery is to "re-create" the torn ligament using suture material and/or plates and screws. Often, the meniscus, which is the cushion or “shock absorber” between the upper and lower leg bones is torn or crushed due to the instability of the ligament injury. At the time of surgery, the meniscus is evaluated and removed if necessary. The technique used here at Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital is a modified Lateral Suture / Anchoring technique, and our success rate meets or exceeds those published in veterinary journals. After surgery, the patient is sent home with pain and anti-inflammatory medications. We see the typical patient become weight bearing in 5 to 7 days. Strict leash walking for 6 to 8 weeks is followed by a gradual increase in activity. Keeping the patient compliant is often the most difficult part of the recovery.