Preventive care for your pet
Your pet’s health changes with age, just as yours does. But our pets age much faster than we do. Regardless of your pet’s age, you play a key role in helping him combat illness and remain as healthy as possible.
Remember, your pet cannot describe symptoms to you, but he will show you signs of disease or illness. Awareness of the signs of the most common diseases is one way to help reduce your pet’s risk. It’s a little scary to consider that 10% of pets that appear healthy to their owners during their regular checkups have underlying diseases.
We offer a variety of prepaid preventive healthcare plans for your pets needs. Ask us today!
Why is preventive care screening important?
The picture of your pet’s health isn’t complete without comprehensive testing. These tests often detect illness that can’t be discovered with a physical examination alone.
- Your pet’s blood values may change over time. These changes are often subtle, so test results may appear to be “normal.”
- Every animal is unique, so it’s important to know what a normal result is for your pet. By establishing your pet’s baseline values during health, we have something to compare his or her results to on a yearly basis.
- Trending these results helps us diagnose problems earlier and respond quickly. Early detection leads to better outcomes, improved quality of life and lower treatment costs, should they arise.
Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are known as ectoparasites, or parasites that live on the outside of the host animal. Both fleas and ticks survive by taking a blood meal, which means they must bite their host to draw blood for food. While the bite itself is small, flea saliva can cause severe allergies, dermatitis, anemia, itching, and infection. Tick bites can also cause infection, abscesses, paralysis, and even death. In addition to allergic reactions, fleas and ticks can also transmit a variety of diseases to cats. Cats aren’t as susceptible to tick-borne diseases as dogs, but there is still a risk of illness. In some cases, ticks can also transmit diseases to cats that can then infect humans (e.g., zoonotic diseases). The best way to prevent flea and tick allergies, or to reduce the risk of spreading diseases, is to prevent infestation in the first place. Fortunately, there are a variety of products to help keep your pet free of parasites.
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, so any area of the country that has mosquitoes, even just a few of them, can also have heartworm disease. Pets don’t just need prevention during warm-weather months. Heartworm preventives work by treating heartworms that already infected the pet within the past month or longer; meanwhile, preventives need to be given on time, every time to be effective.
Heartworm preventives come in different forms, including monthly chewable pills and topical medications. Some preventives only prevent heartworms, and some protect pets from many different parasites, including heartworms, intestinal worms, fleas, ticks and mites.
We recommend strategic deworming for your pet every 6 months. Strategic worming assumes that your pet has, or has been exposed to, parasites and that these parasites are a threat to your pet, your family, and the environment. Strategic worming is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent transmission of parasites from pets to people. We will need to repeat this treatment in 2 weeks to be effective. For more information on strategic deworming please visit the Centers for Disease Control Website. All puppies and dogs should be dewormed regularly after 4 weeks of age. We recommend deworming every 6 months unless your pet is on a monthly preventative.
We recommend Wellness Intestinal Parasite Testing every 6 months for your pet. Intestinal parasites can be identified by microscopic examination of your pet's stool for the presence of worms or worm eggs. We recommend these tests to identify parasites that may be either a threat to your pet or to your family.
The ECG, or Electrocardiogram, monitors the electrical activity of the heart. It can help determine the reason for irregular heartbeats and abnormal heart sounds and determine heart dysfunction in pets that have no external signs of heart disease.
Elevated blood pressure is a very serious complication of heart and kidney disease. Blood pressure measurement is easy, high technology equipment, and can be completed with no discomfort to your pet. Heart disease, kidney disease, anesthesia, position of your pet, fluid administration and fluid losses can all affect your pet's blood pressure. Blood pressure monitors can also be used to monitor your pet's blood pressure while your pet is under anesthesia.
A HomeAgain microchip is your pet's permanent ID. A pet microchip—the size of a grain of rice—goes beneath your pet's skin. This permanent ID can never be removed or become impossible to read. HomeAgain uses this ID to contact you and reunite you with your pet.
Pets have become members of our family, and because we interact with them every day by touching and petting them, their hair coat needs to be clean and enjoyable. This increased level of interaction necessitates frequent hair and skin cleaning. Because pet's skin and hair coat have differences in pH, skin layers, hair type and hair numbers, special considerations must be given to grooming. The following care instructions represent traditional hair coat care for your pet's coat type. We recommend professional hair coat care by a pet groomer, supplemented by your home care on a routine basis. You may increase the frequency as needed to make your pet a huggable part of your family.
Behavioral concerns are very common with pets and may be the most common reason for pet abandonment and pet euthanasia. This is sad because most pet behavioral problems can be diagnosed and treated when the proper care and knowledge are applied to your pet's issues.
We recommend an examination of all twelve of the body systems. We recommend a physical examination once a year on all normal pets. Because pets age more rapidly than humans, having a physical examination every year is important to discover any health problems. Pets are unable to communicate how they feel with words, so they are on a faster path toward illness than humans. Many pets mask their illness from us, so only an experienced veterinarian can perform a proper exam to determine the state of wellness. Pets with chronic illness may need to be seen more frequently than once yearly.
Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets. Vaccinating your pet is one of the easiest ways to help them live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, but there are also different types and combinations of vaccines.
Spaying & Neutering
Neutering is the term used to denote removing the ability of a pet to reproduce. Neutering is the correct term for either males or females but is more commonly used to denote the surgical removal of the sexual organs in a male pet. A spay is the surgical removal of the sexual organs in a female pet. We recommend neutering for all pets not explicitly used for breeding purposes. Neutered pets have fewer diseases, roam less, fight less, have cancer less and live longer.
Routine dental cleanings are an important part of general health care maintenance for your pet. The teeth are a potential source for life-threatening infections to the heart, liver, and kidney, if periodontal disease develops. Pet's teeth are very similar to human's teeth and dental disease is very common in pets. Routine dental care is recommended because maintaining good oral health will greatly improve the health and breath of your pet. Teeth cleaning procedures completed at our hospital, followed by our recommended home care treatments, are the best way to ensure the long life of your pet's teeth.
We recommend a Wellness Blood Screen every 6 months for your pet. This test will help us assess internal organ functions, which cannot be determined based on physical examination alone. Indications of internal organ functions, such as the liver and kidney functions as well as the presence of infection or anemia can be determined.
The biochemical properties of the urine are tested by a urinalysis and can help to determine the cause of a urinary tract disorder. The presence of blood or white blood cells in the urine indicates inflammation, while a change in the acid content of the urine may indicate infection. Microscopic evidence of crystals may indicate that bladder or kidney stones are present and microscopic evidence of casts (from the kidney) can be an early warning of kidney disease. The concentration of the urine can reflect kidney function and the presence of dehydration. The presence of glucose is suggestive of diabetes. Other biochemical tests can be completed and if infection is suspected, a culture of the urine will be recommended.
Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma
Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis are known as tick-borne diseases because they are transmitted when ticks bite and feed. Because ticks can carry more than one of these diseases, and dogs can be bitten by multiple ticks, infection with Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis can occur at the same time in the same dog.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are contagious, viral diseases that can damage the immune systems and cause cancers in cats. Even perfectly normal looking cats can silently carry these diseases. Both FeLV and FIV can be transmitted through bite wounds. In the case of FIV, saliva from an infected cat is the primary mode of transmission. The FeLV virus is shed through saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces, and milk; it may be transmitted through mutual grooming, from mother to kitten, bite wounds, or rarely, through shared litterboxes and feeding dishes.
A Glaucoma Screening will help us determine if the eye contains excessive pressure, which is generated by fluid production within the eye. As the fluid is produced, it is drained from the eye through the filtration angle. Anything that reduces the drainage of the fluid will cause an increase in the pressure within the eye, which can lead to blindness, due to the negative effect on the retinal and optic nerve. Increased intraocular pressure is called glaucoma, which is a common hereditary disease in many pets and routine screening is recommended.
Schirmer Tear Test
A Schirmer tear test (STT) is a diagnostic test to measure the rate of tear production in an animal’s eyes. Used in the evaluation of conjunctivitis to diagnose tear deficiency as a contributing factor to ocular surface diseases and to assess lacrimal gland function.
Like our own health crises, pets' medical emergencies never happen when you expect them. Many times, an unexpected vet bill means a big debt or drained savings. Or even saying no to treatment. Pet insurance reimburses you for covered veterinary bills, so you can focus more on your pet's care—not the cost.
Pet insurance typically covers pets for accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Regular vet check-ups, vaccines, preventive medications, and other routine care are not typically included in coverage unless added as an additional rider. Pet insurance is most appropriate for helping with unexpected costs, such as an accident, injury, or illness. Pet insurance can help offset some of the healthcare costs associated with a pet. There are different pet insurance plans based on the pet, the type of coverage, and the insurance company.