We recognize that your pet’s preventative health care can be a bit overwhelming! Preventative medicine plays a crucial role in keeping your furry family member happy and healthy. Listed below are the most commonly used preventative care practices utilized in our hospitals that may be discussed in your upcoming appointment.
Annual Preventative Care Exam
Annual exams are so much more than just vaccines! During the exam, the doctor will assess your pet from nose to tail. The personal attention your pet receives in the appointment allows us to use their current physical condition, the history provided, and our professional experience to formulate recommendations that we believe will help your pet live the best life possible. Many chronic conditions can be caught and managed early when your pet is evaluated on an annual basis. Every stage of life brings a different set of challenges and as your trusted pet care provider, we will be here to help you every step of the way!
We are committed to the long-term wellness of our pet patients. Below are the primary vaccines we recommend depending on the pet’s lifestyle. We will discuss these with you at your pet’s appointment to determine which of these are recommended.
- DHPP Vaccine – This vaccine is used to protect your pet from 4 potentially fatal but preventable diseases (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvo).
- Bordetella Vaccine – Bordetella is one of the more common causes of kennel cough/canine cough (infectious tracheobronchitis). The vaccine is also required by most groomers and boarding facilities.
- Rabies Vaccine– A vaccine that is required by law due to the risk to people and the disease being very fatal.
- Lepto Vaccine – This disease is spread through the urine of infected animals. It is also a bacterial infection that can be spread to people. As of May 2017, over 70 dogs in Maricopa County have been diagnosed with Leptospirosis so we highly recommend this vaccine for your pet.
Make sure to ask us about our Free Vaccines for Life program which is designed specifically for adult animals. After a one-time Enrollment fee your pet’s vaccine costs will be free for the rest of their life. All you must do to keep the benefits going year after year is bring them in for their annual Preventative Care exam! Visit https://www.azpetvet.com/free_vaccines.php for more information on our program.
A fecal exam detects microscopic parasites found in the stool such as whipworms, hookworms and roundworms. A yearly test is recommended to allow for proper treatment if needed. Make sure to bring a fecal sample in a bag with you to your pet’s preventative care exam.
Heartworm Testing and Prevention
Heartworm is a preventable parasitic disease in dogs and cats spread by mosquitoes. In the last 3 years, Arizona has seen a significant increase in positive cases throughout the state. There are multiple ways to protect your pet, all of which are much simpler, safer, and more cost-effective than treating the disease if it occurs. We recommend annual blood testing and monthly prevention to ensure your pet is protected.
Fleas and ticks are the two most common external parasites found in dogs and cats. They survive by feeding on the blood of dogs, cats and sometimes people. Flea and tick bites can lead to health problems including constant itching, hair loss (alopecia), hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), as well as infections and transmission of disease. Fleas and Tick prevention is as easy as a monthly flavored treat.
Proper nutrition is a key to keeping your pet happy and healthy! It’s estimated that 56% of dogs are overweight. Special diets are commonly used to impact nutritionally related conditions such as bladder stones, diabetes, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, weight management and much more! Food allergies are also very common and can cause skin, ear, and gastrointestinal problems.
A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip itself is very small, about the size of a grain of rice, and is implanted subcutaneously (just under the skin) between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet’s neck. Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner.
If you’ve had a whiff of your pets’ breath and said “Eeeewwww!” you’re not alone! Dental disease is one of the most common problems found during a pet’s annual wellness exam.
Left untreated, the bacteria can lead to issues such as gum disease, tooth infection, bone loss, chronic pain and infection of the kidneys, liver and even the heart. Veterinary dental treatment has evolved over the years. It requires general anesthesia so that the teeth can be thoroughly evaluated and cleaned. Dental x-rays are also taken to examine the health of the mouth. Talk with your doctor to see if dental treatment is necessary for your pet!
Senior Blood Work
Once a patient is 7 years old, annual senior blood work is highly recommended. Annual blood work helps detect health problems, so treatment is begun before symptoms worsen. It also helps establish a baseline, which can be helpful in comparison with future testing if your pet becomes ill.
We hope this information helped clarify some of the things we may discuss in your pets upcoming preventative care appointment. We look forward to seeing you and your furry family member soon.