Exam and vaccinations for dogs and cats

Yearly Office Visit with comprehensive exam- the best way to keep your animal healthy is to have a regular check up. Many people seems to believe that if a dog does not look sick it has no problems. This common misconception causes unneeded suffering for many pets. A good physical exam should include checking the mouth and teeth, listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope, feeling lymphnodes, checking the stomach and groin area for masses, etc.

DA2PLP (for dogs) or FVRCP-C (for cats)- otherwise known as the Distemper Vaccination, helps the animal build immunity to 5 diseases with one shot. These vaccination should begin at 8 weeks of age.

Rabies Vaccinations- are required by law. We recommend yearly Rabies vaccinations to stimulate the maximum protection against this deadly disease. This vaccination should be given to any dog or cat 3 months or older.

Fecal Flotation and Giardia Check- check a stool sample for worms is oftentimes overlooked. You must remember that there are only two intestinal worms that you can see and up to 7 parasites that your pet can get.

Miscellaneous- Other dog vaccinations to be considered include the Lyme vaccination and kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccination. We also recommend that all cats be vaccinated against feline leukemia (FeLV).

Laboratory Testing

All cats should be tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV) before being exposed to any other cat. These are viral diseases that are commonly found in outdoor cats. Kittens can aquire these diseases from their mother and it can take several years before the infected cats will show signs.

All dogs should be tested for heartworm every 1-2 years and kept on heartworm preventative year round. Heartworm disease is a nasty parasite that live in the blood vessels between the heart and lungs in dogs. While not as common in the northern states as down south, we still see several cases per year. Unfortunately, the heart damage caused by the parasite is irreversible so prevention is key.

CBC and Chemistry screen are essential in diagnosing sick pets. The West Hazleton Veterinary Hospital maintains an in-house laboratory capable of performing these tests within two hours of presentation of a sick animal. The ability to make a rapid diagnosis aids us greatly in our quest to help your pets. We also recommend running these tests for screen tests in older animals.

Electrolytes- maintaining proper electrolyte levels is essential in the recovery phase of many diseases. Our ability to run these tests in house helps us get your pet better and home more quickly. This test is also valuable for early diagnosis of kidney problems in older animals.

T4 (Thyroid Testing)- is essential in older underweight cats and dogs that have been previously diagnosed with thyroid problems.

Urinalysis- this test is oftentimes overlooked and allows us to diagnosis many bladder problems and other diseases (such as diabetes) more easily. It is also a good screening test in older apparently health animal allowing us to check for kidney failure.

Exotic Animals

Periodic Office Visit with Comprehensive Exam- Almost all pet owners would benefit by a visit to a veterinarian qualified to treat your exotic pet. Most exotic pets get sick due to poor diet or improper housing. A good veterinarian should discuss these issues with you during the course of your visit.

Ferrets need yearly distemper vaccination and rabies vaccination. Birds need periodic visit to monitor the weight and other factors. Most avian veterinarians will recommend blood testing at the first sign of illness. A veterinarian familiar with the species should check most small mammals as soon as possible after purchase. Many illness and other problems may not be evident to the untrained eye.

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  • "Knowing that Crush was in such good, caring, and professional hands meant so much to us. The extent of your care and kindness during Crush's surgery went far beyond what we have experienced with other family vets. Your sincerity made us feel very comfortable and very easy to trust you, and we know Crush felt the same way. Thank you for staying with her after her surgery and for all the love and kindness you showed during Crush's stay and healing at the hospital!"
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