Annual Comprehensive Physical Examination
Comprehensive physical examinations are the most important part of your pet’s annual visit. Since we cannot talk to our patients like human doctors can, we rely strongly on the history of their health and well-being provided by their pet parents and our skilled veterinarians at detecting abnormalities on their physical examination. A complete and thorough examination is performed of all body systems to check for any abnormalities or problems. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions or discuss any concerns that you have about your pet’s health and well-being.
Every patient’s body condition and weight are evaluated to determine if their’s is under, over or ideal. Weight changes can indicate underlying health problems and can contribute to health problems for your pet.
Nutritional evaluation and advice is provided with each visit to determine your pet’s specific needs. Many of our veterinary diets not only provide superior nutrition with extensive research to support their benefits, but also are used therapeutically in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Consequently your pet receives a food that tastes great, provides excellent nutrition and benefits their health!
Oral examinations are performed with every annual wellness consultation. Periodontal disease is the number one disease seen in companion animals. It contributes to many other diseases in the body such as heart, liver and kidney diseases. Early detection of dental disease can often be reversed with routine dental treatments. Options are discussed for appropriate dental homecare products depending on the extent of disease present and the compliance of the patient.
Immunizations for dogs are recommended and administered based on age, risk assessment, health and current research evaluation. Core vaccinations for dogs in our geographical area include distemper, hepatitis (adenovirus), parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis and rabies.
Other immunizations given are bordetella (canine cough) which are given to those dogs that have contact with other dogs through parks, grooming facilities, dog daycare and dog hotels.
Annual Wellness Blood Testing
Our furry companions cannot talk to us in terms that we can understand. If they did it would make our job here a lot easier… and surely even more entertaining than it is! Pets do not complain of aches and pains or just that they do not feel right. Hiding signs of illness is an evolutionary mechanism animals naturally express to prevent being picked on or eaten by others. Some owners may noticed their pet becomes quiet, or slows down and this can be misinterpreted as them ‘just getting older’. Others can mask their signs until it is at a severe state in which they can no longer hide these signs of illness. Consequently, veterinarians must act as detectives using the information that we gather from their comprehensive physical examinations and diagnostic testing to put together a picture of a pet’s overall health. Blood and urine testing is an integral part of this evaluation process to give us a window into a pet’s internal health. Regular blood screening early in life also gives us baselines to compare with as they get older and to follow trends for early detection of problems.
Our wellness blood testing is a small, inexpensive blood test that sometimes includes a urine test which screens for common problems in pets. We pay special attention to tailor these tests specific to your dog’s breed risks.
Annual Blood Parasite Testing
Heartworm and tick diseases cause serious and potentially life threatening disease to dogs. Heartworms live in dog and other wild canid hearts and the blood vessels going to the lungs. As you can imagine it can cause major damage to your dog’s heart and lungs but also to other organs. The disease is transmitted by mosquitos and is very serious and expensive to treat, but easily preventable. Ticks are an ever growing problem spreading disease (lyme, anaplasma, erlichia), which can be subtle initially, but later develops into serious disease affecting blood cells, joints and organs. Many people are becoming familiar with lyme disease as it is a human health problem as well.
Preventive medications for heartworm, ticks and other parasites are given in the spring, summer and fall, and before they are started, a blood test is performed. This test detects for previous exposure to heartworm from the year before. It is always important to test before starting medications since treatment of heartworm is very different from the medications used to prevent it. This also allows us to detect those dogs that may have missed a dose and ones that for some reason were able to contract the disease despite the prevention medications used properly.
Heartworm, Flea, Tick and Intestinal Parasite Prevention
Prevention of Heartworm, Fleas, Ticks and Intestinal Parasites is now made easier with the use of once a month, topical or oral medications that are safe for you and your pet. We know many people, like ourselves live very intimately with their pets having them in their beds, giving them kisses and see them as a cuddly member of the family. Providing them with protection against these serious disease causing parasites, will also protect you and your family, who are also at risk.
Intestinal Parasite Identification and Treatment
Intestinal parasites affect all companion animals and often occur with little or no signs to your pet. Detection is based on a stool sample submitted one to two times a year to look for microscopic eggs and larva that are present. Treatment is based upon the specific organism that is present since one deworming medication cannot eliminate all of the different types of parasites.
To illustrate the extent of the environmental contamination, one infected dog with a single parasite can result in millions of potentially infective eggs per day throughout the area the dog is allowed to roam. Once the eggs become infective, they can remain in the environment for years.
Detection and treatment of intestinal parasites is an important part of your dog’s health but also of your family’s heatlh. The Center For Disease Control indicates there are thousands of blood tests submitted to the CDC each year for infected humans. A parasitic disease contracted by a human can be more serious than the intended host, your dog or cat. So be sure to stoop and scoop a sample for us to test your dog each year.