General Wellness Care
Comprehensive physical examinations, immunizations, nutrition and parasite prevention are the cornerstone of a healthy life.
The veterinary professionals at Alliance Animal Health Center and Animal Hospital of Park Glen strive to prevent illness. Our preventative care recommendations all focus around the ultimate goal… the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible for pets.
Pets are unique and the care that they require should be unique as well. We strive to create a health plan that will optimize the care and prevention needed for your pet dependent upon its life stage.
Did you know that pets age at a faster rate than human beings? See the “Pet Age in Human Years” chart to learn how old your pet is in human years.
On average, an exam performed once a year for a pet is the equivalent to a human visiting a doctor every 6 or 7 years. In addition, many animals, especially cats, are masters at hiding health problems. An examination by an experienced veterinarian provides the opportunity to discover health concerns that might otherwise go undetected. The benefits of early discovery can lead to an increased quality of life, less pain, and decreased cost.
At a minimum of once (preferably twice) per year, a pet’s wellness care should include:
Wellness examination: What happens during a wellness examination? Your pet’s visit will begin with a trained veterinary technician obtaining medical history for your pet. In addition, the technician will obtain important vital signs such as, weight, body condition score, pulse, respiration and temperature. Next, the veterinarian will perform a complete body system examination that will include the following assessments:
If you have questions about anything related to your pet’s health and well-being, the wellness examination visit is an ideal time to speak to your veterinarian about your concerns.
Vaccinations: Immunizations that have been handled properly, are administered appropriately and are given at the correct intervals help protect pets from disease. When designing a vaccination program for your pet, our veterinary professionals will consider your pet’s lifestyle and risk of exposure to diseases before making recommendations. Up-to-date vaccination records are important, especially if you travel with your pet, allow your pet to board in an out-of-home facility, have your pet professionally groomed or venture to area dog parks. Through Petly (free to our clients) you have the ability to access and print a copy of your pet’s immunization records… of course, you can always just give us a call as well. We would be happy to assist you!
Intestinal parasite screening and prevention: Both cats and dogs are susceptible to infections by internal and external parasites. Unfortunately, some of these parasites are zoonotic (possess the ability to infect people as well as animals). For this reason, prevention of intestinal parasites is important for the health of the entire family.
Most intestinal parasites are not visible in feces or by the naked eye. Your veterinary team is able to screen for infection by obtaining and then processing a small sample of feces and performing a microscopic analysis.
In addition to intestinal parasite screening, periodic deworming and parasite prevention medications are likely to be recommended and/or administered.
Symptoms of intestinal parasite infection can include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and poor overall body condition. Because of the risk to pets and humans, it is important to perform intestinal parasite screenings and include monthly preventatives in the routine care of family pets.
Would you like to learn more about intestinal parasites and the risks associated with them? Visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s website.
Heartworm Prevention: Heartworm is a worm that resides in the heart and lungs of infected dogs and cats. Unfortunately, due to the mostly mild temperature, level of humidity and abundant water sources, heartworm disease is prevalent in our area.
Heartworm larva is transmitted from pet to pet by mosquitoes. Once a pet is bitten by a larva carrying mosquito, the larva will complete it’s life cycle in their host (your dog or cat) and become capable of causing a life threatening disease.
Signs of heartworm infection can include:
Fortunately, heartworm infection is a preventable disease and there are a number of exceptional heartworm preventions available. These products, when provided year-round, provide excellent protection against heartworms and many preventatives also protect against several species of intestinal parasites that can harm pets as well as people.
Would you like to learn more about heartworms and the risks associated with them? Visit the American Heartworm Society’s website.
Flea (and Tick) Control: Fleas and ticks are bothersome and potentially dangerous external parasites. Flea and tick problems can be difficult to treat. Therefore, we recommend a year round, complete (pet and environment) prevention program.
Health concerns associated with fleas:
Health concerns associated with ticks:
Fortunately, there are several effective flea and tick preventives available to assist in the war against these parasites. Pet owners may be tempted to purchase an over-the-counter product to protect their pets from these parasites, but please be cautious since many of these products can have serious side effects if used improperly. In addition, some products are known to have limited effectiveness.
Nutritional counseling: Similar to human beings, what our pets nourish their bodies with is extremely important. The quality of the nutrition our pets eat can have either a positive or negative influence on their overall health and well-being. Our staff can provide guidance regarding your pet’s nutritional needs for each of their life stages. In addition, our hospitals can also provide information on diets that assist in the therapeutic maintenance of many different health concerns (heart, kidney, skin, urinary, etc). At each of our locations we carry a comprehensive line of high quality Hill’s prescription and non-prescription foods. In addition, our hospitals carry a selection of Royal Canin veterinary prescription diets.
Would you like to learn more about Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin Veterinary Diets? Visit their sites by clicking the website links below:
Blood screening: Like in human healthcare, routine blood work for pets enables veterinarians to establish baseline blood values for each individual. In addition, performing blood work at routine intervals can help detect subtle changes and assist in diagnosing disease early. Early detection = early intervention!
Would you like to learn more about why blood screening for pets is important and what the results mean? Please read the articles below: