Preventing illness and catching canine diseases early is a large focus of our practice. If a disease is caught early, it can be cured or maintained much more effectively. The most effective ways to achieve this is through annual or semi-annual wellness exams, blood work, and vaccination.
Canine Wellness Exams
A wellness exam is the routine examination of a dog that appears to be healthy. This is very similar to a “check-up” or “physical” that you would have with your doctor. During this routine wellness examination, one of our veterinarians will take a history about your pet’s diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, behavior, habits, elimination patterns, lifestyle, and general health.
Your pet will then be checked over from head to tail and their major body systems will be examined. Often times, weight management or dental health will be discussed during this visit, and you may ask any questions that you have. Puppies and kittens will have to come monthly to be examined and have vaccines, while adult animals should have yearly wellness exams, and senior pets should have exams every 6 months.
Annual Blood and Urine Tests
Blood tests are the best way to detect a potential issue or diagnose disease. We will often recommend annual blood and urine tests to examine your pet’s kidneys, liver, thyroid, blood sugar, white blood cells, red blood cells, etc. Often times, abnormalities will show up on blood tests before we start to notice changes in our pets. This is offered for all pets from the very beginning of their life, but is especially important in geriatric animals (7 years old and up). Your dog will also receive an annual blood test, called a 4DX test. This test will diagnose heartworm disease and three different diseases spread by ticks (Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis) which are extremely prevalent in this area.
Fecal examinations are also very important to do on a yearly basis to diagnose and treat our pets for internal parasites. Based on your pet’s history and physical examination, we will then make recommendations for specific preventive medicine treatments such as vaccination, parasite control (including preventive treatments for fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites, and heartworms), nutrition, skin and coat care, weight management, or dental care.
Vaccinating your dog keeps your dog healthy by preventing dangerous infectious diseases. Dogs have different lifestyles and deserve to be given individual attention and consideration at vaccination time. For more information about the vaccines we recommend for dogs, please visit our vaccination page.