Annual examinations are an important measure for keeping your pet healthy. Wellness exams should be scheduled at least once a year. Adolescent and senior pets, or pets with special health concerns such as obesity, may need to have exams more frequently, such as twice yearly.
Routine examinations allow our trained clinical team to make sure your pet is healthy and to discover any potential problems in their initial phase when they are most treatable. Even if your pet has no signs of illness, check-ups should not be skipped. You can never know what is going on underneath the surface without routine tests! A physical examination can be very informative, but beyond this procedure we also aim to perform a fecal exam and blood work once a year.
A few procedures that you can expect during your pet's wellness exam include:
Your veterinarian may also recommend:
During the wellness examination, we will take every measure to make sure your pet feels as comfortable as possible, including petting, sweet-talking, and treat-giving. We know that trips to the veterinarian can seem like traumatic experiences for our animal friends, but there is no need for this to be the case!
No one likes getting shots, but they are essential to protecting your pet, and the pet population at large, from contracting potentially fatal diseases. Vaccines expose your pet to small amounts of a disease; this way your pet's immune system has a "learning opportunity" to create antigens to fight the particular disease. If your pet's immune system ever comes across the disease again, they will be ready to defend themselves.
Puppies and kittens are usually protected from infectious diseases by their mother's milk, provided she has been adequately vaccinated. However, this protection only lasts for a short period of time before they need to receive vaccinations themselves.
Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against:
If your dog is going to be around other dogs frequently, like at a dog park or boarding facility, we strongly recommend you have your dog vaccination for Kennel Cough (or the Bordetella vaccine). In some pet-friendly facilities, this is a requirement. The vaccine is usually given via the nostrils and protects against bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus. Dogs going abroad will also need a rabies vaccination.
Cats should be routinely vaccinated against:
Current guidelines recommend that at-risk cats be vaccinated against feline leukemia virus only. Cats deemed at-risk include kittens, immune-compromised cats, cats that share a home with other cats who have feline leukemia virus, and cats who spend time outdoors.
Rabbits should be routinely vaccinated against:
If your pet is having single vaccines then the myxomatosis vaccine should be given from 6 weeks of age, and the RHD vaccine from 8 weeks. Single vaccines cannot be given simultaneously. After this time, myxomatosis boosters should be given every 6 months.
Combined vaccines offer annual protection against both diseases and can be given from 5 weeks of age.
If you are unsure about anything to do with pet vaccines, consult your veterinarian. We will advise you on the best vaccination protocol to follow.
A parasite is an animal that has evolved to subsist by deriving energy and nutrients at a host's expense, almost always to the detriment of the host. Pesky parasites like fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal worms are present in nearly every environment. Year-round fecal exams in addition to preventative measures are necessary to protect your pet from contracting a parasite infestation.
We help our patients stay protected by aiding in the selection of a preventative measure that best suits the pet's needs, lifestyle, and risk of exposure. These can be in the form of topical treatments, pills, or tasty chewable treats.
Parasites are an all-too-common phenomenon among our pets; they can compromise their health and sometimes even ours. This is because some parasites are zoonotic, or capable of infecting humans. If you suspect your pet has parasites, take precaution by using gloves when handling pet waste and washing your hands frequently. Children in particular are vulnerable to contracting parasites, because they are less likely to practice these precautions, and may play in areas which are contaminated unbeknownst to them.
These parasites are not only annoying, they can pose a real risk to your pet's health. In addition to causing itching they can cause serious infections or even anemia. Fleas can also be a vector for intestinal parasites like roundworms. Watch out for fleas in the summer months in particular and make sure your pet is on a continuous parasite preventative. Keeping a clean house and yard can prevent them from reaching you and your family.
In this area, ticks are no joke. They are plentiful and can carry the dreaded Lyme disease, along with a myriad of other nasty and dangerous maladies. They are most prevalent in grassy or wooded areas. To prevent ticks, try to check your pet for them after they play outside and make sure they are on a year-round preventative.
These parasites are carried by mosquitoes. Their natural host is dogs, but cats can also be affected. Once bitten, the heartworm larvae slowly but steadily multiply, causing irreversible organ damage and eventually proving fatal to their host if left untreated. In the beginning stages, symptoms may seem minor. They can include, coughing, wheezing fatigue and weight loss. To prevent heartworm disease, preventative medicine is required year round.
Some common intestinal worms include roundworms, hookworms, flatworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Puppies and kittens are most often affected because their immune systems are not fully developed. Humans can even contract intestinal worms from affected pets without proper hygiene habits! In order to treat worms, deworming medication can be provided by a veterinary professional.
How will your pet make their way home if they ever become lost? It might be scary to think about but when an emergency strikes, you will be glad you had a plan.
Microchips are one of the most foolproof and effective methods for identifying lost pets. With just a little light paperwork, an individual microchip is programmed with your contact information. It is inserted between your pet's shoulder blades quickly and painlessly in a routine office procedure. Your pet will not need any anesthetics or recovery time, because the procedure for insertion of the microchip is tantamount to a routine vaccine injection.
Once inserted, the microchip will stay with your pet for the rest of their life. Unlike ID tags, there is no chance it will be separated from them. Of course, we do recommend using all forms of identification at your disposal, including ID tags, for maximum security in addition to microchips. And if your contact information ever changes (like during a move), remember to update your contact information registered to your pet's microchip. Without up-to-date information, your pet will not be able to return home to you!
If your pet is not yet microchipping, please feel encouraged to ask your veterinarian to insert one today. After one quick office visit, they can be implanted with a permanent form of identification for the rest of their life.
Did you know that approximately 35% of dogs and cats are overweight?
Many pet owners in this day and age are concerned about this their pet's nutrition and weight management. In addition to overweight animals, there are many pets who have other special diet considerations. If your pet has diabetes, allergies, cancer, or a thyroid disorder, you may want to consider discussing a specialized diet with your veterinarian.
At different phases of the life cycle, there are differences in necessary pet nutritional needs which are important. For example, puppies and kittens need food to help them grow strong, and older animals may benefit from a food that provides them with more joint support.
Pet obesity in particular is a common issue that can be dangerous to pet health. Overweight pets have a decreased life expectancy and their quality of life also suffers. But do not despair if your pet needs to lose weight; we are here to help.
Tips for Getting Your Pet Back to a Healthy Weight:
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