Well Pet Care
Wellness care and disease prevention is a vital part of your pet's medical care. We emphasize providing the best preventive medicine possible so that your pet can live a long, healthy life. We offer comprehensive wellness care for every stage of life, beginning with our Puppy Plan or Kitten Plan for pediatric patients.
No two pets are the same and we believe every pet should have an individualized plan of wellness care that best meets his or her needs. All of our wellness care, including our adult wellness care and senior wellness care is customized for each patient, so that we look at your individual pet's medical history, risk assessment and current medical condition while working with you to develop the best plan of preventative health care for your pet.
At the yearly (or twice yearly for senior or otherwise high-risk patients) Wellness Visit, your veterinarian will perform a complete Physical Exam, review your pet's medical history and recommend needed tests or services which may include: intestinal parasite testing & control; heartworm and flea/tick control; customized vaccination program; spay or neuter; behavioral and nutritional counseling and specialized blood and urine tests for all life stages.
Immunizations are a vital tool in preventing serious and potentially fatal diseases. Recent research has shown that some immunizations last for up to two or three years, while others require annual (or more frequent) revaccination. New guidelines and product labelling is being established on a monthly basis, so we know how important it is for our veterinarians to be up-to-date with current standards and committed to making the effort to develop a plan customized for each pet's needs.
Since every medication, including immunizations, carries risks as well as vital benefits, it is important to make sure your pet gets every immunization he needs, when he needs it, but does not receive unneccessary immunizations.
Every year, at your pet's annual Wellness Visit, your veterinarian will review your pet's history, risk-factors and current medical condition to develop a customized immunization plan for your pet. Animal Medical Center carries a full line of immunization alternatives to select the appropriate immunizations for your pet.
Heartworm Preventative & Testing
Preventative Medications: Every dog and cat should be on monthly heartworm preventative (HWP) to protect against heartworms (yes, these are deadly worms that infect the heart!) as well as intestinal parasites. This monthly medication is one of the simplest and most important things we can do to protect our pet's health. Since HWP also controls common intestinal parasites, this pill also takes care of the need to deworm your pet monthly.
Monthly HWP should begin between 8 & 12 weeks of age and continue for life. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites and outdoor cats and all dogs are at highest risk, but even indoor only cats have been diagnosed with heartworm disease.
There are several good HWP products available for both cats and dogs. To prevent heartworm disease and to also control intestinal parasites, we generally recommend Trifexis or Sentinel/Sentinel Spectrum for dogs and Advantage Multi for cats.
Testing: Dogs need to be tested for heartworms before beginning preventative and have an annual heartworm blood test for life. Dogs who begin HWP when they are older than 4 months of age will also need a follow up test a few months after beginning preventative.
These tests are needed because it is possible to have a "break through" case of heart worm disease while on HWP and it is also dangerous for your dog to receive HWP if he is heartworm positive. If your dog is on HWP and tests positive for heartworms, the manufacturer of the HWP will pay for your pet's treatment (so long as you have purchased the HWP through a veterinarian and used as prescribed).
Because of the differences in the life-cycle of the heartworm in cats, it is not necessary to test your cat for heartworms while on preventative. Testing is also more complex in cats than in dogs. Testing will be recommended for your cat only if he is showing symptoms of heartworm disease.
Intestinal Parasite Control
Intestinal parasites including hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and coccidia can make your pet very sick (or even die). Many of these parasites can also infect people. We provide appropriate testing to screen your pet for these parasites and prescribe medications to both treat and prevent parasite infections. Puppies and kittens are at very high risk for intestinal parasites and so we treat puppies and kittens aggressively during their early months to control infections they acquired from their mother before or soon after birth and to prevent reinfestation. Adult pets also need routine control of intestinal parasites since they routinely pick up new infections from their environment, soil contact, from prey animals they consume and from fleas.
Fecal Exams: Because many different intestinal parasites infect cats and dogs and no one dewormer controls every parasite, we need to check your pet's stool for parasites. Since parasites are evident on fecal exam only at certain stages of their life cycle, a fecal with "no parasites seen" does NOT mean that your pet is clear of parasites but just that we weren't lucky enough to catch them today. If a fecal is "negative", your pet will receive a dewormer that is effective against the most common parasites. A "positive" fecal allows the veterinarian to choose a dewormer that is effective against the parasites we know your pet has. Fecal exams are needed once yearly if your pet is on a monthly preventative.
Dewormings: Monthly deworming is advised for all adult cats and dogs. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a HWP that also controls common intestinal parasites.
Permanent identification with a microchip implant and visible identifcation with a name tag work together to provide assurance that should your pet become lost or stolen, you will be reunited. Microchips have helped reunite thousands of pets with their families.
Individualized Flea & Tick Control Programs
Fleas and ticks not only irritate your pet, they also carry diseases and can cause serious allergic responses and skin irritation and even severe skin infection. We develop programs for the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. We carry a complete range of the best available flea and tick control products including Simparica, NexGard, Trifexis, Comfortis, Sentinel, Sentinel Spectrum, Capstar, Program Injectable and Advantage Multi as well as Knockout to help control severe flea infestations of your home.
We will review with you the best ways to control fleas and ticks in your house, in your yard and on your pet and work with you to ensure your pet stays flea & tick free.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (304) 292-0126 or request your pet's appointment online!