Veterinary Services

At Best Friends we treat dogs, cats, “pocket pets” including hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, sugar gliders, and reptiles. (Dr. Craig has a strong interest in reptiles.) We DO NOT treat birds. Our veterinary medicine services make use of state-of-the art procedures to provide the highest standard of care to our patients. To ensure that we keep up with the ever changing field of medicine, we invest heavily in our staff and equipment. Our medical and surgical services include:

Preventative Medicine


We use the latest vaccine protocols recommended by leading immunologists and tailor our vaccination approach to each animal. This gives us the assurance that your pet will receive the proper protection from the diseases he/she is likely to be exposed to. This also will limit the chance of vaccine related side effects by not vaccinating for diseases they will be unlikely to encounter. For cats, we use the non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine called Purevax. We feel that the elimination of certain chemicals called adjuvants potentially makes this vaccine safer than others. For those cats needing the leukemia vaccine, we use the Purevax leukemia vaccine which, again, doesn’t contain adjuvants.

Comprehensive Physical Exams:

We perform a comprehensive exam each year and can provide owners with a thorough report card detailing our findings. Once a pet reaches middle age (over 6 years), we recommend exams twice yearly. Remember, pets age much faster than humans do such that one year correlates to an average of 7 years for a pet.

Health Screen Testing:

For many disease conditions the key is finding it and treating it early. Older pets, certain breeds and some species have diseases that don’t have obvious symptoms early on, yet can be detected by performing simple tests. In order to detect disease early where we can hopefully either treat & cure it or at least slow its progression, we have partnered with a leading laboratory allowing us to offer certain tests at a more reasonable cost so more pets can have this opportunity.  

Recommended Procedure

For Which Patients

Heartworm testing

All dogs annually

Stool analysis

All dogs & cats annually

Tick borne disease testing
All dogs annually


Senior pets & certain breeds prone to kidney disease

Blood chemistry & blood count

All pets annually and/or prior to surgery

Blood pressure testing

Senior cats & pets with certain conditions

Eye pressure measurement

Senior dogs & those breeds prone to glaucoma


Senior dogs & those breeds prone to heart disease

Chest X-rays

Patients with heart murmurs, older pets prior to anesthesia

Cardiac ultrasound (performed by a board certified radiologist)

Patients with heart disease


Capabilities include: Isoflurane gas anesthesia, blood pressure monitoring, EKG monitoring, pulse oximetry, respiratory monitor, use of multimodal pain and anesthesia protocols. All patients recover in our intensive care unit to maximize patient care.


Our dedicated surgical suite has been designed with positive pressure ventilation to enhance sterility. Prior to being moved to the medical care suite, our patients recover in our intensive care unit which allows us to maximize the level of post-operative care and pain control. We use multimodal pain control protocols to maximize pain control and minimize side effects. We perform a wide variety of soft tissue surgical procedures from the routine neuter to complex surgeries, as well as orthopedic surgeries such as fracture stabilization and cruciate repairs.


We recognize the importance of dental care for our pets and offer comprehensive dental services including, but not limited to:

  • Digital dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • Dental prophylaxis (includes ultrasonic scaling, high speed polishing, and fluoride treatment)
  • Tooth extraction, root planing
  • Oral surgery

In-House Laboratory:

Our in-house laboratory allows us to have quick access to diagnostic information so that our patients get the right treatment as quickly as possible.
Our laboratory is capable of:

  • Blood chemistry panels
  • Complete blood counts
  • Ear cytology
  • Fluid and aspirate cytology
  • Parvo viral testing
  • Heartworm testing
  • Direct stool analysis
  • Flotation stool analysis
  • Feline leukemia testing
  • Feline immunodeficiency testing
  • Packed cell volume
  • Blood sugar evaluation
  • Fungal cultures
  • Urinalyses
  • Skin cytology

Additional diagnostic services are available using a reference laboratory.

Pharmacy Services:

One of our goals is to offer you convenience with competitive pricing. We carry a full line of pharmaceuticals in our pharmacy. We unfortunately do not have enough shelf space to carry every brand of product available. Rest assured, our veterinarians have chosen the products that they feel are most effective, and in some cases, safest. If there is a product that we do not carry that you would like to continue using, we now offer an online store that has almost every option available. In some instances we can special order a product if needed. In addition, if your pet has received a prescription from us, you can use your pet portal or give us a call to request a refill & we will try to ensure it is ready when you can pick it up.


Skin care, diagnosis and treatment.

Ophthalmology(eye) :

  • Tonopen for measuring eye pressure (used to diagnose glaucoma and uveitis)
  • Fundic exams
  • Most cases of eyelid surgery

Contagious Disease Isolation:

Should your pet have a contagious condition, we do have a dedicated isolation ward to prevent the transmission of the disease to other patients in our facility. This not only protects our other guests, but it also ensures that your pet gets the appropriate attention it deserves in this dedicated ward.

Laser Therapy:

Class IV lasers are becoming increasingly popular as a treatment option for a wide variety of medical conditions. They have been used in the professional sports industry for many years. We offer this as a treatment option for those patients with a variety of painful and/or inflammatory conditions. Not only is it drug-free, it is pain-free and not invasive & without any side effects. Pets with arthritis can be dramatically helped with this treatment. The following link describes the therapy more in-depth.

Litecure Companion Lasers


We are pleased to announce that we can now offer our patients acupuncture! Working with Dr. Heidi Hemmett, a certified veterinary acupuncturist and owner of Healthy Balance, we can tailor a program to fit your pet’s specific needs.  Dr. Heidi is also licensed in veterinary chiropractic care!

Our Location - 202 Frank Scott Pkwy E, Swansea IL

Office Hours

Main Office


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-7:00 pm


7:00 am-7:00 pm


7:00 am-7:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm



  • "This was our first visit with our two girls as our previous vet retired. We were very impressed with all of the staff. One of our girls can be timid around strangers but everyone did a great job making her feel welcome and at ease. The vet gave us sound advice and did not try to push or upsell products to us which I greatly appreciate."
  • "You might hear this alot from reviews, but the techs and vets here actually really care about you and your furry kid. I have been taking my hedgehog in to get some issues taken care of and while it's been a long process they have cared every step of the way. Very knowledgeable and kind hearted people. Definitely a recommend for specialty exotics pets!"