Wellness is an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing and treating diseases. An annual physical exam allows the staff of Youngsville Animal Hospital to get to truly know you and your companion while developing a picture of your pet’s overall health so we may detect disease before it becomes a serious health condition. Annual exams also allow us to develop a long-term comprehensive health baseline profile for your pet which will aid us in future treatment. Every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a wellness exam every 12 months and more often when he/she enters his/her senior years. Many aspects of your pet’s health can change in a short amount of time, so make sure your pet does not miss even one exam! Similar to people, pets need to visit the veterinarian more often as they get older in order to prevent and treat illnesses that come with age.
After a thorough physical exam and lifestyle discussion, the doctor of veterinary medicine will customize a preventative care plan based on your pet’s risks and current American Animal Hospital Association recommendations. Annual blood work to monitor internal organ function is an important part of the exam to help us detect conditions early, monitor any changes, and keep current normal baselines for your pet. We also offer titer testing before vaccination.
We strive to provide the most up-to-date care for our patients so they can be a healthy part of your family for longer, so do your part to care for your furry friend.
- Heart and Lung Evaluation
- Ear Examination
- Eye Examination
- Dental Evaluation
- Neurologic Evaluation
- Abdominal Organ Evaluation
- Musculoskeletal Evaluation
- Coat and Skin Analysis
- Weight Assessment and Nutritional Counseling
- Heartworm, Tick Borne Diseases Test (dogs)
- Stool Analysis/Internal Parasite Test (worms)
- Vaccinations or titers according to your pet’s individualized vaccination plan
- Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Blood Test (cats)
PUPPY & KITTEN CARE
Congratulations on your new companion! We can’t wait to meet your newest family member!
We can’t wait to meet your new puppy or kitten. Getting a new pet is the first step to having a wonderful companion, friend and long-term family member. It is an exciting time, and it is important to do everything you can to make sure he or she grows up strong, healthy and happy. Proper health care is essential throughout your new pet’s entire life.
It is important to your new pet that we examine your puppy or kitten as soon as possible to identify any potential health issues early on. During your pet’s first wellness exam we will examine your pet and will answer your questions on caring for your companion long-term, including nutritional questions, vaccinations, dental care and other health topics and behavioral issues.
When you pick up your puppy or kitten, remember to ask what and when he/she was fed. Replicate that schedule until your first visit with us. We will discuss your new pet’s nutrition needs and best food choices during the first wellness exam. There are so many choices available and we want you to be able to choose the right food for your puppy or kitten.
We recommend testing your kitten for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Viruses. Testing for these diseases is very important, especially if you have another cat in the house. Ensure that your cat is healthy and is not carrying either of these two fatal viruses that can be passed from mother to kitten. The mother cat can be negative but if dad is positive mom will get it from him and pass it to all of the kittens.
What to bring with you:
- Your puppy should be on a leash and your kitten should be in a carrier.
- Any health information the seller or shelter provided to you, such as history of vaccines or deworming.
- A fresh stool sample (less than 12 hours old).
Puppies – the initial exam will include:
- A thorough physical exam.
- Flea/tick control. We will discuss the best product for your puppy’s lifestyle.
- Heartworm preventative given monthly.
- Fecal examination for intestinal parasites and appropriate deworming.
- Answering all of your questions.
- Advice regarding the appropriate vaccination schedule for your puppy’s anticipated lifestyle.
- Required versus optional vaccines and vaccine boosters.
Kitten – the initial exam will include:
- Complete physical exam.
- Discussion of the appropriate vaccination schedule for your kitten’s breed and anticipated lifestyle; develop a vaccination schedule.
- Necessary vaccines or vaccine boosters.
- Heartworm preventative.
- Flea/tick control. We will discuss the best options for your new kitten.
- Fecal examination for intestinal parasites and appropriate deworming.
- Testing for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
Please give us a call today to schedule your new pet’s wellness exam!
For additional info on dog vet care, visit our Dog Vet page.
SENIOR PET CARE
All of us at Youngsville Animal Hospital want your aging pet’s senior years to be as healthy and happy as possible. We believe the best way to keep your aging dog or cat healthy is through proactive wellness care throughout their lifetime and a senior wellness program after they reach the age of 7. This allows us to diagnose and treat age-related health issues early.
Just as the health care needs of humans change as we age, the same applies to dogs and cats. Our senior care programs includes bi-annual comprehensive physical exams and blood work to evaluate organ function, thyroid output, and the health of the white and red blood cells. We also recommend a complete urinalysis and additional tests as needed, such as chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, blood pressure monitoring, and eye pressure checks.
As your pet reaches the “golden” years there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they can face, including:
- weight changes
- osteoarthritis and mobility problems
- kidney, heart, and liver organ malfunctions
- tumors and cancers
- hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance
We are here to help! Talk to us today about how to keep your senior pet at his/her healthy best.
After a thorough exam and lifestyle discussion, the veterinarian will recommend vaccines to protect your pet from fatal diseases to which they may be exposed. These vaccines may include:
- Leptospirosis – Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria (leptospires) that live in water or warm, moist soil. The bacteria are shed in urine of infected mammals (especially rodents). Dogs become infected by drinking or swimming in contaminated water or playing in areas where infected urine is present. The leptospires enter the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth or through a cut or scratch of the skin. Clinical signs can range from fever and loss of appetite or energy or muscle weakness to vomiting and diarrhea. The majority of dogs that are infected with leptospirosis develop kidney damage which can be fatal. If your pet has this disease, you need to take special precautions to protect yourself as the infection can spread to people.
- Distemper – Canine distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal virus that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. It is usually spread through secretions when an infected animal coughs or sneezes. The most common sign of early disease is a discharge from the eyes. As the disease progresses, the infected dog may develop a fever, nasal discharge, and cough or have vomiting and diarrhea. The later stages cause neurologic changes. There is no specific treatment to cure an infected dog but there are supportive care efforts to help prevent secondary complications while the dog’s immune system is fighting the virus.
- Parvovirus – Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that affects gastrointestinal tracts of dogs. It is spread by direct contact with infected dogs or contaminated environments (yards, bowls, kennels, leashes, etc.). The virus can even live on clothing and hands of people that have been in contact with infected dogs. It can live in the environment for long periods of time as it is resistant to heat, cold, humidity, and drying. Dogs infected with parvovirus are lethargic, not eating, vomiting, and having diarrhea. The disease can cause rapid dehydration and death. There is no specific drug available to kill the virus but aggressive supportive care is imperative while the dog’s immune system fights the virus.
- Parainfluenza – Parainfluenza is a virus that can attack the respiratory and rarely the neurology systems of dogs. It is typically seen in dogs that come into close contact with other dogs as it is transmitted through direct contact with affected dogs, on contaminated fomites (bowls, bedding, kennels), or through airborne particles from coughing and sneezing. Common clinical signs include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge. Occasionally a fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite can be noted. There is no specific treatment for parainfluenza but some patients require supportive care.
- Rabies -Rabies is a deadly virus that is secreted in saliva of infected mammals. Animals and people typically become infected through a bite wound or less commonly an open cut. The virus attacks the nervous system causing a variety of behavioral changes. The state of North Carolina requires a current Rabies vaccine for all dogs and cats even if they are indoors only.
- Bordetella – Bordetella or infectious tracheobronchitis is a respiratory infection of dogs and cats. It is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted through the air (coughing, sneezing), direct contact (licking, nuzzling), or via contaminated fomites. Mild clinical signs include coughing, retching, sneezing, and watery nasal discharge. Severe cases can lead to loss of appetite, fever, lethargy, and pneumonia. Pets that board at a kennel, go to grooming, play at dog parks or day cares, or participate in events or competitions are at an increased risk of infection. Some pets require treatment with antibiotics, cough suppressants, and bronchodilators.
- Lyme – Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to dogs (other animals and people) by ticks. Signs to watch for in dogs include fever, lameness, loss of appetite, and loss of energy. These symptoms can come and go making it difficult to diagnose. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
- Influenza – Canine influenza (dog flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory tract of dogs (and cats). Mild signs include coughing and sneezing for up to 21 days. More severe cases can lead to pneumonia. Some dogs will have the virus and not show any signs but can still be passing the disease to other dogs. The virus can remain alive and able to infect others on surfaces for 2 days, clothing 1 day, and on unwashed hands for 12 hours. There is no specific treatment for this disease but supportive care to help prevent pneumonia is important.
- Rhinotracheitis – Rhinotracheitis is a respiratory disease caused by herpesvirus-1 that is spread between cats through direct contact with the eyes or nose of an infected cat or through contaminated objects, such as food and water bowls. Herpesvirus type 1 is the number one cause of infectious feline upper respiratory diseases, however it can also affect the reproductive tract causing problems during pregnancy. The most common clinical signs are sneezing, watery eyes and nose, and irritated eyes. Since it is a virus, there is no specific treatment but supportive care to prevent secondary bacterial infections is important.
- Calicivirus – Calicivirus is a common virus of the respiratory tract. It can be transmitted between cats through direct contact with the eyes or nose of an infected cat or coming into contact with objects that an infected cat has sneezed on or touched. Signs to watch for include sneezing, discharge from eyes or nose, pneumonia, mouth sores, and arthritis
- Panleukopenia – Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious viral disease of cats that can cause abortions in pregnant queens, affect the brain and eyes of kittens, and attack the intestinal tract of adult cats. Cats are infected oronassally by exposure to infected animals, their feces, secretions, or contaminated fomites (bowls, bedding, crates). Fever, depression, decreased appetite, and vomiting are the most common clinical signs however kittens may die suddenly. Treatment requires correcting dehydration while controlling vomiting, preventing or treating secondary bacterial infections, and providing parenteral nutrition.
- Rabies – Rabies is a deadly virus that is secreted in saliva of infected mammals. Animals and people typically become infected through a bite wound or less commonly an open cut. The virus attacks the nervous system causing a variety of behavioral changes. The state of North Carolina requires a current Rabies vaccine for all dogs and cats even if they are indoors only.
- Feline leukemia – FeLV is a disease that reduces the cat’s immune system to be able to fight off common infections. It is transmitted to other cats through casual grooming or sharing of food/water bowls and litter boxes as well as through bite wounds. Cats can be infected and not show any signs; therefore outdoor cats should be tested annually. Once cats are infected they are usually infected for life so they should be kept indoors and away from FeLV negative cats.
- Feline immunodeficiency virus – FIV is a disease that reduces the cat’s immune system making it difficult for him/her to fight off secondary infections. Cats often show no signs of infection or can just seem like they aren’t feeling well. Outdoor cats need to be tested annually and if they test positive they need to be kept away from FIV negative cats. Once a cat is infected they remain infected for life as there is no treatment for this disease. There is a vaccine but it is not currently recommended by our veterinarian and staff.