Our core philosophy is personalized wellness plans based on your pet’s age, breed and risk assessment. No single plan or recommendation is right for all pets. We look forward to helping you decide what to do to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible.
Comprehensive physical exams
We know it looks like we are just lovin’ up your pet while we chat about the weather, but our doctors are actually completing a comprehensive physical exam at the same time. This nose to tail exam includes checking for lymph node size, lumps and bumps, tightness or pain in muscles or joints, organ size in the abdomen, clarity of eyes, normal heart rhythm and sounds, breath sounds, etc. This exam, coupled with the detailed information you provide us about their behavior at home, is the best way to detect health problems early.
- Complete exams should be done annually until the age of seven for dogs and age ten for cats.
- We all know things change faster as we age, so our senior pets should come back for a check-up every six months.
As complete as it is, a physical exam cannot detect the subtle things that are going on internally. To assess organ function and detect illness early, we recommend screening bloodwork. Think about the aging process… if an animal ages about 7 years every 12 months, wouldn’t you expect your doctor to do bloodwork every 7 years?
- Basic screening bloodwork (complete blood count and basic chemistries) should be done annually until the age of eight for dogs and age ten for cats.
- After reaching senior status we recommend an annual full screening profile - complete blood count, chemistries, electrolytes, urinalysis and thyroid level. Luckily, when we package those tests together we can offer it at an affordable rate.
Unlike people that develop hypertension (high blood pressure) secondary to smoking and diet, our older pets develop hypertension because of other conditions that are happening in
their system, such as kidney disease, diabetes, Cushings disease or many others. Besides making them feel bad and act lethargic, untreated hypertension can cause blindness
and blood clots that can become lodged in the brain and vessels feeding the rear legs.
We are so pleased with our PetMap -- a simple, portable device that allows us to measure your pets blood pressure in the comfort of the exam room with no loud noises and no sticky gels. This should be done annually once they have hit senior status.
We do not believe in over-vaccinating, but we do believe in keeping you and your pets safe, protected and healthy. This is best determined by your lifestyle and risks your pets face.
Core vaccines for dogs - every dog should have them
- Rabies vaccine is required by law - the first vaccine is a 1 year vaccine; thereafter, it is good for 3 years.
- DAPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus) - is given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age; then every 1 to 3 years, depending on lifestyle and risk.
Non-core vaccines for dogs - decision to vaccinate for these is dependent on risk and exposure
- Leptospirosis – a bacteria spread in the urine of wildlife that causes kidney failure in dogs and can be transmitted to people. We recommend this annual vaccination if you and your dogs spend time in wooded areas or go hiking.
- Lyme – tick protection is even more important than the vaccine; however, vaccination adds another layer of protection. We recommend this annual vaccination if you dog spends time in areas where ticks are commonly found.
- Bordetella/Parainfluenza/Adenovirus - this intranasal vaccine provides local immunity for some respiratory infections. Exposure risk is greatest at boarding/grooming/dog park facilities. Vaccine is given every 6-12 months based on risk exposure.
- Influenza - see our blog for information regarding the CIV vaccine.
Core vaccines for cats - all cats should have them.
- Rabies vaccine can either be the standard 1 or 3 year vaccine. Vaccination with one of these is required by law, even for indoor-only kitties.
- FVRCP is given at 8, 12, 16 weeks; then, every 1 to 3 years based on lifestyle and risk.
Non- core vaccine for cats:
- Feline leukemia vaccine - we recommend testing kittens for FeLV and FIV at 12 weeks then vaccinating all kittens at 12 and 16 weeks. If in a high-risk lifestyle (foster home, outdoors), vaccinate at a year of age then continue every 1 to 2 years.
Fecal exams - We strongly recommended routine fecal testing every 6-12 months to check for intestinal parasites. Fecal tests check for the presence of giardia,
roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia. It is important to check for intestinal parasites because they can cause significant intestinal problems and can be transmitted from
animals to humans.
Heartworm Testing and Prevention - Heartworm tests look for a protein produced by adult heartworms. It is important to test annually and keep your pet on prevention year-round. This can come in the form of a monthly pill (like Heartgard or Interceptor) or an injection every 12 months (Proheart12).
Want more information? Check out www.heartwormsociety.org
Bug control - Effective flea and tick control is important to prevent tapeworms, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and RMSF, plus the discomfort of itchy bug bites. It is much easier to prevent flea infestations than deal with an infestation. Ask us about the right prescription for your pet!