• Health Care Recommendations for your Dog

  • The following are preventive health care options available for your canine friend. Please review the procedures which we strongly recommend to keep your pet healthy and guard against disease. Ask a staff member if you have any questions regarding a procedure or need more information. A cost estimate can be prepared for you.

    Complete Physical Exam: Exams should be done once a year, dogs older than 7 years of age every 6 months. Examination of general appearance, weight, attitude, skin, muscle, bones, joints, heart, lungs, digestive system, eyes, ears, nervous system, urinary/reproductive system, lymph nodes, gums, and teeth for any abnormalities.

    Vaccinations: We recommend vaccinations yearly. Rabies is required by law and is available in a one or three year vaccine. Vaccinations are important in disease prevention of respiratory disease, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Leptospirosis (DHLPPC), Kennel Cough (Bordetella) and Rabies.

    Intestinal Parasite Screen: We recommend screening every 6 months. The test screens for eggs released by intestinal parasites. Not detecting parasites does not rule out that your pet does not have parasites--it may not have any in that particular sample. Tapeworm segments are the egg packets and are better diagnosed by seeing dried segments (resembles long grain rice) attached to the hair around the anus. Roundworms are the only other parasite that are visible by the eye. They resemble thin spaghetti noodles.

    Intestinal Parasite Medication: Some parasites are transmissible to humans and can cause disease in the dog and people. Common dog intestinal parasites are roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm and coccidia. The dog gets a tapeworm infection by eating a flea or rodent, the intermediate host for the tapeworm. A good flea control and controlling your environment will help prevent future infections. Heartworm prevention not only prevents heartworms, but also treats intestinal parasites.

    Heartworm Test: Testing is recommended yearly and in some cases every 6 months. Heartworm disease is present in our area. The blood test screens for the presence of a parasite that lives in the heart of a dog. Larvae are transmitted by mosquitoes. The monthly preventative which kills the larva is recommended year round to prevent infection. It does not matter if your pet is an indoor pet. Mosquitoes do get inside your home. 

    Heartworm Medication: Heartworm medication is given once a month all year long. We highly recommend veterinary approved prevention for your pet. It prevents heartworm infection and treats for roundworm and hookworm infection which can also affect people. Some heartworm medications treat for roundworm, hookworm and whipworm.

    Flea Products: It is important to treat all the animals in the household once a month. We highly recommend veterinary approved topical and oral flea/tick products to safely kill the adult flea or tick.  Topical as well as oral flea products need to be applied monthly. Controlling the adult flea and its bite has greatly diminished flea allergies that cause the dog to chew their skin and leads to hair loss. Ticks can transmit diseases to your pet.

    Urinalysis: Urinalysis should be done every 6-12 months, depending on age, medications or disease condition. It evaluates kidney function and also aids in the detection of crystals in the urine, bladder infection, bladder stones, bladder cancer, diabetes and other systemic diseases.

    Blood Profile: Blood profiles should be performed annually. After a dog reaches 7 years of age, we recommend running blood profiles every 6 months. It is also recommended prior to anesthesia in some cases. Detection of health problems early minimizes the amount of medical care needed to treat the problem. A plan can be developed to decrease the risks for the problem to be life threatening. Lab tests detect anemia, dehydration, blood protein levels, and screens electrolytes, kidney, liver, and pancreas. 

    Thyroid Gland Evaluation: Testing dogs over the age of 7 years is recommended yearly. It tests for the presence of a low level of thyroid hormone, common in older dogs or dogs with skin disease.

    Microchip Identification: A microchip, the size of a grain of rice, can be implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades at any age. Scanners used by veterinarians, humane societies and shelters can detect the chip and the information it carries can result in the return of a lost pet to its owner.  Regrettably, the microchip is not a tracking device.

    Spay/Neuter: Surgery can be done as early as 24 weeks of age and should be done in any adult not used for breeding. The surgery prevents dogs from reproducing thereby helping with the pet overpopulation problem. Other advantages include less wandering, less territorial or aggressive behavior and lower incidence of cancer.

    Dental Services: Annual professional cleaning of the teeth under anesthesia helps promote a healthy mouth. Dental exams may reveal tartar buildup resulting in gum disease, fractured teeth, retained baby teeth or mouth infections. At home, brushing teeth, CET dental chews or Prescription Diet t/d will reduce tartar buildup and may increase time between cleanings. Keeping your pet's teeth clean will also help prevent heart disease and other health related problems.