- Annual Physical Exams
- Canine Vaccines
- Feline Vaccines
- Rabies Information
- Flea/Heartworm Preventives
- Intestinal Parasite Screens
- Blood-work Screenings
- Dental Cleaning/Maitenance
Preventative medicine for pets is medical care given to help avoid certain illnesses and conditions. It comprises annual physical exams, vaccinations, blood-work screens, heartworm testing and prevention, intestinal parasite screens and dental prophylaxis. Flea and tick control products also serve as preventive medicine. The annual physical exam is designed to allow for a comprehensive clinical overview of your pet, where the condition of teeth, eyes, ears, heart and lungs, body weight, coat condition, and other parameters are reviewed. Evidence of abnormality is noted, and the significance is discussed with you. Dietary issues are discussed both with owners of animals with chronic illnesses or obesity as well as with owners of healthy pets.
Vaccinations are designed to help the immune system ward off selected infectious diseases. Schedules are determined individually. For example, some canine vaccines may be given every six months, others yearly, and still others, tri-annually. Feline vaccines are generally given every three years, but your cat's circumstances may warrant a different schedule.
Puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccines at three week intervals and depending on the age at which the series is begun, they may receive one, two or three boosters. All cats and dogs should be vaccinated for RABIES, as this is an important public health issue and is required by law.
Most dog owners are familiar with heartworm testing and preventive medication. Heartworm is a parasite carried by mosquitoes. The microscopic form carried by them can grow in an infected, non-protected dog to a sizeable worm attached to blood vessels in the heart and lungs, causing heart failure in the worst cases. We recommend keeping pets on monthly Heartworm Prevention year round and also recommend a test each year to document the status of that pet to ensure a heartworm free status.
Fecal testing is important, especially in puppies and kittens, and for pets that go outside, to identify intestinal parasites. Most intestinal parasites can cause some degree of distress and illness in pets, and some can be transmitted to humans. Regular testing helps prevent a public health issue and keep your family and pet parasite free!
The idea behind blood-work screening is to obtain information, confirm or deny a suspicion, rule out potential health problems or identify problems at an early stage that a physical exam might not reveal. Sometimes a change in diet or the introduction of medications may help a pet deal with a chronic problem and improve quality of life. These panels help to pinpoint and define these areas of concern for pets young and old.
Regular dental care for pets contributes to the overall health and well being of your pet as well as maintaining oral health and cleanliness. Dental disease is often a silent disease. All pets are subject to dental problems that can cause pain and infection. Tooth brushing, dental chews and diets can all help keep mouths clean. Dental cleaning under anesthesia is also a means of preventive oral health care for dogs and cats. Not only dogs and cats need regular oral health checks. Guinea Pigs and rabbits should have their teeth checked as well. Guinea pigs and rabbits have continuously erupting incisors which in normal guinea pigs and rabbits are worn down with the proper diet but malocclusions can also be a result of genetics, trauma or a previous infection that disturbs the alignment of the teeth. This needs to be monitored and trimmed routinely by your veterinarian.
As you can see, preventive medical care helps the veterinarian help your pet stay healthy and comfortable. Early diagnosis of problems in an asymptomatic pet allows for early intervention - before an illness or chronic condition has a chance to get out of hand.