Just as human doctors want to see you annually, we strongly recommend that your pet get a yearly checkup. Disease prevention is key to keeping your pet healthy and extending life span. At your pet’s annual wellness, your veterinarian will assess your pet’s current condition, review previous health information to see if there are any changes, check the mouth and teeth to be sure they are in good condition and the pet is not in pain, and address any questions and concerns you may have. As the one who observes your pet on a daily basis, you are most likely to notice issues of concern. Additionally, this is a time for your veterinarian to offer additional medical testing or treatment options, and a time to review all treatment protocols to ensure we are working together to keep your pet healthy and pain-free.
We have breed-specific recommendations for diet, exercise, nutrition and spay/neuter surgery for your pet. Different breeds have different genetic predispositions for cancers, orthopedic injuries, and metabolic diseases. Genetic testing, bloodwork, and radiographs can identify risk factors for disease and drug sensitivities. Ask us about breed-specific care plans for your dog or cat.
We recommend spaying and neutering pet dogs based on the most current research. There are few opportunities in the lifespan of our beloved pets to change their risk for the number one killer of pet dogs, which is cancer. Timing spay or neuter surgery based on your pet's breed and risk factors can make a difference.
We offer several vaccinations to prevent disease. Talk with your doctor about "core vaccinations," those that are considered critical for health and safety, and recommended vaccinations, those that may be especially desirable in our geographical location or for certain populations of pets.
LYME DISEASE VACCINATION
There is a high incidence of Lyme disease in our area. We recommend that all of our dogs are vaccinated as soon as possible for Lyme disease and that they receive booster vaccines every year. Puppies may receive Lyme vaccines beginning as soon as 8 weeks.
We also recommend routine flea and tick prevention to try and prevent the ticks from transmitting Lyme disease, even through the winter months. Ticks may go dormant, but they don't die off.
Additionally, we recommend annual screening in case our patients become positive because we want to proactively prevent some of the chronic side effects of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease, if left untreated, can cause chronic joint inflammation and arthritis as well as chronic kidney disease and other health issues in dogs.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection which dogs acquire from water in which wildlife or farm animals have urinated. Leptospirosis can be fatal and can be "zoonotic," meaning that it can be spread to humans.
For many years, we've recommended this vaccination for our hunting dogs and dogs who run or hike in the game lands in our area because of all the seasonal wet areas with puddles and free-standing water. However...! Recent research has shown that very small breed dogs are the most likely to be ill with leptospirosis. Based on this research, we should be vaccinating smaller breed dogs more proactively that we have been in the past.
Canine influenza, also known as "dog flu," is a relatively new disease that is extremely contagious. There is no treatment other than supportive care, and the virus can lead to pneumonia. More and more dog owners are choosing to get this vaccination for their pet.
For more information about canine influenza, visit Dog Flu.