It all starts with a thorough yearly examination of your pet. We change the batteries in our smoke detectors in our homes, take our cars for oil changes and tune ups to make sure all is working well or identify an issue before a breakdown on the road.
This exam is your pets “tune up” and our way of identifying potential underlying issues before they cause a bigger problem in the future. Over the past several decades, we have been able to reduce the spread of infectious disease in our pets with vaccination protocols. These vaccines start when a puppy or kitten is between 7 to 8 weeks of age and continue until the pet is about 16 weeks of age. At this point, the maternal antibodies that these youngsters acquired from their mothers will have waned, and the puppy or kitten would be open to potentially becoming infected with one of several life threatening diseases. (Rabies of course, is required every 3 years by state law).
We also check your pet for Heartworm and various tick borne diseases with that same blood sample and obtain results in 8 minutes. Intestinal parasite testing is important, especially in multi pet households and households with children. Your pet will receive cardiac and thoracic auscultation, palpation of the abdomen and peripheral lymph nodes, oral examination and indirect/direct ophthalmoscopy. We have the capability to check intraocular pressures if there is a concern or symptoms indicate the potential for glaucoma or other related issues. Certain breeds are predisposed to ophthalmic diseases, and many of these can be identified early utilizing these techniques.
Male dogs will receive a rectal examination to evaluate prostate health as prostatic disease can affect a male dog irrespective of being neutered or being left in tact.
As a pet ages, we may consider blood work or baseline radiographs, once again, to identify potential issues before they advance. We consider this yearly examination our opportunity to have an open dialogue with you regarding your pets health and address any concerns during this time.