Your Dog/Cat’s Health

 

Our Philosophy: To Provide Our Patients with the Best Possible Care and Service

Dogs of all ages and breeds may be at risk for one or more of the following diseases:HPIM1580
Leptospirosis
Hepatitis
Lyme Disease
Parvovirus
Coronavirus
Giardia
Infectious Tracheobronchitis
Rabies
Distemper

 

pInnCats of all ages and breeds may be at risk for one or more of the following diseases:
Feline AIDS
Feline Leukemia
Feline Calicivirus
Feline Herpes Virus
Feline Chlamydiosis
Feline Distemper
Giardia
Rabies
Feline Infectious Peritonitis

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

Detection of Problems Early Leads to Longer Life for Your Pet

Comprehensive physical examinations are an important tool in providing a long, quality life for your pet. Pet’s age 5-7 times faster than humans, can’t talk, and often hide early signs of disease.  One year represents 5-10% of the pet’s life span, whereas one year only represents a very small percentage of the average life of a human. Getting a comprehensive physical examination for your pet is like one every 5-7 years for humans.

Since pets can’t talk to us, they often are unable to communicate problems before they become a major concern and threat to your pet’s well being. Regular physical examinations increase the chances of being able to prevent or at least minimize many of the effects of aging.

The information obtained during a comprehensive physical examination of  your pet becomes part of their medical history, and can be critical when an emergency or sudden illness arises.  Any hint of abnormalities may bring recommendations for additional laboratory testing to confirm suspicions. Catching problems early solves problems more rapidly, saving your pet  unnecessary discomfort and possibly the costs of more expensive treatment later on.

 

FELINE ANNUAL VISITS INCLUDE:

Physical Exam
Recommended every 6 to 12 months, depending on age and health.
Feline Distemper (FVRCP) Vaccine:
Helps protect against feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and panleukopenia.  Given at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks and 1 year.  Boostered every 3 years thereafter.
Feline Leukemia Vaccine
Recommended for your feline friend that is allowed outdoors.  It can be started at 9 weeks and repeated 3-5 weeks later, then boostered annually.
Feline Leukemia Virus is a disease that attacks the immune system and leaves the cat vulnerable to a host of secondary infections. It is commonly spread from cat to cat through casual contact, such as grooming or sharing food or water.
Rabies Vaccine
Required by Law.  Given at 12 weeks, repeated 1 year later and subsequent vaccines repeated yearly. Stool Analysis: 
Yearly fecal analysis is recommended to make sure your pet doesn’t have any Intestinal Parasites that can effect their health and yours. (As some of them are transmittable to people)
Feline Leukemia/AIDS/ Heartworm Test
Geriatric Blood Work
Yearly blood work can uncover all sorts of health issues, including anemia, problems with protein levels, kidney and liver problems, blood sugar irregularities, and many other conditions that might need attention. This preventive care is an important part of your pet’s veterinary visit. Recommended at annual visit for every patient who is 10 years old or more.
*All patients admitted to the hospital must be free of fleas and earmites as well as current on rabies and distemper.

CANINE ANNUAL VISITS INCLUDE:

Physical Exam:  Recommended every 6 to 12 months, depending on age and health.
Distemper (DHPP) Vaccine
Started at 8 weeks. Booster at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, and 1 year.  Booster every 3 years thereafter. Helps protect against Canine Distemper virus, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Adenovirus/ Infectious canine hepatitis.
Rabies Vaccine
Required by Law.  Can be given at 12 weeks, repeated 1 year later and subsequent vaccines repeated every 3 years.
Lyme Vaccine 
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and is spread by deer ticks. The vaccine be started at 9 weeks, repeated in 2 weeks, and then boostered annually.
Naramune 2 (kennel cough) vaccine
Kennel Cough is a extremely contagious respiratory disease in dogs, known scientifically as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. It is considered to be one of the most prevalent infectious respiratory diseases in dogs. Kennel cough most commonly occurs where groups of dogs are congregated together, such as doggie day-cares, pet shops, veterinary hospitals, grooming parlors, parks, shelters, and kennels (hence the name kennel cough!).  Boostered annually.
Leptospirosis vaccine
Leptospirosis is a deadly bacterial disease spread by wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels and rats.  Lepto bacteria are shed in urine. Dogs become infected when they come into contact with fresh urine from infected carrier animals.  Infection occurs when dogs wade through or drink from contaminated water sources. The bacteria can enter through a cut in the skin or mucus membranes, such as the eye, nose or mouth.  After initial series is given annually.
Heartworm/Lyme/E. canis/Anaplasma P Test
Started as early as 6 month old and repeated annually.
Stool Analysis
Yearly fecal analysis is recommended to make sure your pet doesn’t have any Intestinal Parasites that can effect their health and yours. (As some of them are transmittable to people)
Geriatric Blood Work
Yearly blood work can uncover all sorts of health issues, including anemia, problems with protein levels, kidney and liver problems, blood sugar irregularities, and many other conditions that might need attention. This preventive care is an important part of your pet’s veterinary visit. Recommended  at annual visit for every patient who is 10 years old or more.

Don’t forget to pick up monthly heartworm preventative and flea and tick products.
– We recommend neutering your dog at 6 months of age.

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Additional Information About Treatable Animal Parasites

COCCIDIOSlS
Coccidiosis is a disease of the intestinal tract caused by microscopic parasites called coccidia.  The disease is spread from one animal to another by contact with infected feces.

Symptoms are most severe in young or weak animals, and often marked by bloody diarrhea.  Sanitation is important in the recovery process.  Clean the pet’s bedding, housing, and food pans thoroughly and regularly.  Avoid other animals per the doctor’s instructions and administer medication as directed.

HOOKWORM INFECTION
Hookworms are relatively common intestinal parasites of dogs, cats, and other animals, and one of the most serious infections.  Because they thrive on the blood of their hosts, severe anemia can result.

Animals can become infected by eating infective larvae, having larvae transferred to them while still in the womb, or through penetration of the skin by larvae. Hookworm larvae also can penetrate human skin and cause a skin disorder.  While not common, should a person develop a skin rash after having contact with a pet with hookworms, he/she should contact a physician.  Symptoms will include weakness, depression, weight loss, diarrhea, or bloody stools.  If the animal is younger and weak or malnourished, the disease can cause sudden collapse and/or death; the older animal may have more resistance and the symptoms will be more progressive in nature.

Adult worms thrive in the small intestine, passing their eggs in the animal’s stool.  A microscopic diagnosis of the stool will identify the hookworm eggs.  Treatment is best served through preventive medications. Products also exist to treat contaminated pens, cages, or tie-out areas.  If the animal has contracted the infection, the worms must be eliminated.  Treatment for anemia and malnutrition may be required, and the animal’s condition may necessitate hospitalizing if severe.

ROUNDWORM INFECTION
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite found in dogs or cats.  Animals will become infected when they swallow the eggs or larvae residing in contaminated soil, feces, or when eating infected rodents, birds, or certain types of insects.   The larvae will travel through the body to the intestine and, when mature, their eggs will pass with the stool.

Puppies or kittens are often infected while still in the womb.  They also are highly susceptible because of their playfulness and inquisitive nature, pre-disposing them to greater incidence of contact with environments harboring roundworms.  Diagnosis is made by microscopic examination of a stool sample.  People, children in particular, do face the possibility of roundworm infection, but it does not occur frequently.  Stressing the importance of cleanliness when playing with animals will help, but the real key is prevention through regular stool examination.

Successful treatment includes proper medication administered as prescribed and regular stool examinations to assure that all the worms have been eliminated.  In addition, sanitation is a must!  Eggs can remain infective in soil for years, and control measures are necessary.  Pens, runs, or enclosed areas for the animal must be maintained, stools removed daily, the soil turned to a depth of 8-12 inches in the enclosed area, and the animal not bred until totally free of the worms.

TAPEWORM INFECTION
Tapeworms are intestinal parasites found in dogs and cats.  These parasites are made up of a head and long, flat, segmented body.   The head attaches to the animal’s intestinal lining, but segments of the body will detach and are evident in the animal’s feces when passed.

Symptoms of the illness will include poor appetite, digestive upsets, poor haircoat and skin, weight loss, and signs of abdominal discomfort.  The infection is diagnosed by finding segments in your pet’s feces, in its bedding, or clinging to the hair around the anus.  The segments are yellowish to white when first passed and may expand and contract; when dry they will resemble cucumber seeds or grains of rice.

Because tapeworms do not pass directly from host to host, an intermediate host is required, such as fleas, mice, squirrels, rabbits, or squirrels.  Avoid re-infection by eliminating the contact with such hosts.

ANNUAL HEARTWORM TESTING
The American Heartworm Society recommends retesting all dogs, including those that have been on “year-round” preventive medication, on an annual basis.  Several factors influenced this recommendation:  New Hampshire and Maine are considered high risk areas.  Even a brief lapse of medication can put dogs at substantial risk and, on occasion, most owners inadvertently miss or postpone doses.  Even when administered by experts, medication may be vomited, spit out or not fully digested.

No preventative can be certified to be one hundred percent effective, so yearly testing will help us determine if any heartworms have slipped past the preventative.  This will allow us to treat the infection before serious consequences occur.

YEAR ROUND HEARTWORM MEDICINE
We are advising that all dogs receive their heartworm medication on a 12 month basis.  This advice is in keeping with current recommendations by the American Heartworm Society, University of Pennsylvania, and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.  There are important reasons for this:  Each year with the increasing mosquito population, and warm fall weather, the risk of infection can no longer be considered over on December 1st.  This can pose a threat of Heartworm disease during the time the preventative is not given.  In addition to Heartworm, your pet faces the constant threat of Intestinal Parasites such as Hookworms, Roundworms, and Whipworms.  “Heartgard Plus”, the heartworm medication we recommend, also contains ingredients which help prevent and control intestinal worms.  This makes it a great once a month general dewormer.  To effectively guard against them, medication must be continued all year.

HEARTWORM DISEASE
Heartworm is a very serious disease that may result in heart failure and/or complications which usually prove fatal.   It is caused by a parasite that circulates in the blood, and which will be taken up with the blood when a mosquito feeds on an infected dog.  After living in the mosquito approximately 10 -14 days, another dog can be infected when the mosquito feeds on it.  The microfilaria (immature heart worm) enter through the mosquito bite, eventually travel to the heart and develop into adult heartworm.

The parasite will reside in the heart’s right side and in the large vessels called pulmonary arteries.  New microfilaria will be produced within go days by these adult heartworm, but the newly infected dog will take approximately 190 days from the first mosquito bite to become a new source of infective microfilaria. Diagnosis is accomplished through a blood test in order to find the microfilaria, but occasionally a chest x-ray may be required.  Because of the complications that associate with this disease, tests for liver or kidney disease usually are made.

There are two aspects of heartworm treatment:  destruction of the adult heartworm, then the removal of the microfilaria from the animal’s blood.  Once the drug for the destruction phase has been administered, the second stage (elimination of the microfilaria) is accomplished with medication.  In the elimination phase it is important to follow the medication directions, severely restrict your pet’s activity, and maintain a stress-free atmosphere.  After the doctor determines the microfilaria have been eliminated, a preventive medication program is implemented.

 

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