Physical exams are as important as the vaccinations that your pet requires. It is important to have your veterinarian examine your pet at least once a year in order to be proactive about your pet’s health. Many disease conditions can be caught early and therefore treated and controlled before irreversible damage occurs. The routine yearly visit includes a complete physical exam, parasite screening (fecal), vaccinations (based on your pet’s risk assessment), and possibly blood work to assess internal organ function. As your pet ages, the importance of regular examinations increases. After the age of 7, we recommend exams every 6 months to properly monitor your pet. This interval is equivalent to you visiting your doctor every 3 to 4 years. As in human medicine, early detection and treatment is important for a happy, healthy pet.
2) Oral Health:
Providing routine dental care at home is a good way to prevent dental disease. However brushing your pet's teeth only goes so far. Brushing will remove plaque but not tartar buildup. ( Watch our video, to the right, to see a demonstration) In order to fully remove tartar buildup and prevent dental disease (gingivitis, periodontal disease), you should allow your veterinarian to perform a thorough dental cleaning when necessary.
Periodontal disease is caused by tartar builup under the gum line which cannot be removed with brushing alone. This will cause the gums to separate from the teeth allowing bacterial colonization which leads to gum infection and possible bone loss. Other complications from untreated gum disease can include infections of the liver, kidney and heart valves causing severe, often irreversible, illness.
In our feline patients, another condition called Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (O.R.L.) can be lessened or prevented by routine dental cleanings. These O.R.L. can be extremely painful and may eventually require extraction of the affected tooth.
We determine the necessity of dental cleaning during our physcial exam. Some of our patients need cleanings every 6 months, others every few years. The procedure does require anesthesia, and we perform in-house blood testing to make this as safe as possible. Once under anesthesia, the cleaning is the same as performed by your dental hygenist (ultasonic scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment).
We believe in a well balanced, name branded canned food for our feline patients which provides them with a low carbohydrate diet as well as plenty of moisture. (Please download our feline feeding brochure to get more specifics.) As with any diet change, certain pets may not tolerate the new food. We recommend contacting your veterinarian for advice about switching diets before attempting it.
4) Monthly Preventatives:
Cats can get heartworms and intestinal parasites just like dogs. We recommend yearly fecal exams and monthly heartworm/flea/intestinal parasite preventatives for outdoor cats and flea preventatives for your only indoor only cats. Call us to discuss the current options based on your cat's risk factors.
5) What do I need to do if I find an orphaned kitten/puppy?
First step in handling this situation is to contact your veterinarian. They will be able to instruct you in caring for the puppy/kitten in it's very delicate state. Below you will find some basic information to help in this situation.