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To ensure a proper diagnosis, we often need to examine your pet. We begin a medical assessment by looking at your pet’s eyes, ears, and skin and checking his or her cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and skeletal systems for any abnormalities. We will perform blood and/or urine tests as necessary to check your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Based on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as radiography (x-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound, or biopsy.
If you’re concerned that something may be wrong with your pet, please call us to schedule a medical assessment. Depending on the symptoms, we may ask you to bring in your pet right away.
Imagine if your dog or cat got lost. You’d want to give him or her the best chance of getting home. With microchipping, you can.
Microchipping is a safe, permanent way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost. A microchip, which is a tiny device about the size and shape of a grain of rice, is placed just under the loose skin at the back of the neck. When a lost dog or cat without an ID tag is found, a veterinarian or veterinary technician will use a handheld microchip scanner to check for a chip. If the pet has one, it will transmit its ID number to the scanner via a low-frequency radio wave. The veterinary hospital or shelter then calls the chip manufacturer, retrieves the pet owner’s contact information, and calls the owner.
Even the most responsible pet owners can’t always guarantee their pet won’t get lost. A leash could break or slip out of your hand, a pet could push through a screen door or window, or a contractor or friend might accidentally leave a door or gate open.
We recommend that you use a microchip, along with a collar and ID tag, to identify your pet. An ID tag is still a reliable identification method. Pets that have tags with current contact information are more likely to not end up in shelters and tend to get home faster than those without tags. However, collars and ID tags aren’t permanent and can be removed (overnight or for grooming); pets can also lose them. With a microchip, your pet will have a much better chance of being identified and returned to you. Pets without microchips that end up in shelters may be adopted out to another family or even euthanized.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment to microchip your pet. Although we hope your pet never becomes lost, we want you to be prepared. We can also suggest a plan to have in place so if your pet does go missing, you’ll be able to act quickly.
Puppy and Kitten Appointments
Do you have a new puppy or kitten in your life? Congratulations! We’re happy to offer you an exam and a series of vaccines to protect your pet from serious and potentially fatal diseases. Rabies is a public health concern and required by law to protect pets and their owners. We offer a number of vaccines for your pet’s optimum protection.
During your kitten and puppy appointment, the veterinarian will give your pet a thorough physical exam from head to toe checking ears, teeth, fur, mentation, hydration, signs of parasitic infection and discuss nutrition. We recommend you bring in a fecal sample. We’ll examine it in our laboratory during your appointment to determine if your pet has parasites. If the test is positive, your veterinarian will recommend appropriate medical treatment to eliminate these parasites.
We recommend annual visits for vaccines and general health assessments. For senior pets, blood work can help assess organ and system health and early intervention to optimize pet health. Book your appointment today!
Flea Prevention and Control
Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.
You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.
When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection. And those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.
In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.
Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD); the symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.
Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and it can actually kill your dog. There is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection; others might not survive it. And even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems.
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your dog or cat safe: by administering monthly heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We can recommend a regimen of prevention for your pet.
Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America, and they’re now being found in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter ticks. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. Contact us immediately if your pet starts coughing or has joint pain, trouble breathing, fever, weakness, or loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.
Keep ticks off your pet by keeping your dog or cat on a tick preventive. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and effective at controlling ticks and the diseases they carry. Call us to get your pet protected today!
Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if your pet is on a preventive. Some preventives kill ticks after they’ve come in contact with your pet. Ticks can hide under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. And don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have.
An antibody titre refers to the highest dilution of a serum sample that causes a positive test reaction (i.e. the most diluted sample that still causes a positive test reaction). Serum is the liquid portion of a blood sample from which the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the platelets have been removed. After separation, the serum will still contain antibodies. If you are interested in testing the antibody level to a vaccine given to your pet, we will take a blood sample and send it out for lab testing. Results will be available in about 2 weeks and will indicate if your pet requires a vaccine for optimal protection from serious and potentially
If you are interested in testing the antibody level to a vaccine given to your pet, we will take a blood sample and send it out for lab testing. Results will be available in about 2 weeks and will indicate if your pet requires a vaccine for optimal protection from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
A canine nomograph is an estimate of the amount of antibody passed to a litter of pups from the mother via her colostrum.
During the puppy’s first hours of life, its intestinal tract is able to allow colostral antibody to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This passive antibody helps to protect the newborn from all the diseases that the mother is protected from. As the puppy grows, the maternal antibody breaks down in approximately 2 week “half lives” until it is no longer present. While this antibody is at higher levels, it is able to neutralize viruses such as canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus. Because of this neutralization, a puppy vaccine can be blocked and be unable to immunize.
Maternal antibody interference is one of the most common causes of vaccine failure to immunize. Puppies are given multiple doses of vaccine because we don’t really know what their maternal antibody titers are, and so don’t know when the vaccine will be effective.
Nomograph testing helps to understand the best timing of vaccination to assure a litter will be effectively immunized. Because the nomograph is limited by the ability of the mother to make colostrum and for the pups to receive it, nomograph results should not be used as a definitive indication of protection from disease.