• Why does my indoor cat need vaccines and heartworm prevention?

    Infectious disease in any form whether it is parasitic, bacterial or viral can occur in any setting. Statistically, 30% of cats that test positive for heartworm disease are housed indoors only. We know that parasites that spread disease have access to our homes even without direct outdoor exposure.Without prevention, it is easy and common for infestation of these types of pests to occur, putting not only your pet’s health at risk, but your family’s as well. The use of all-in-one monthly preventative for heartworms, fleas and intestinal parasites is simple and effective. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends "core vaccines" for all cats, and additional vaccines based on a cat's lifestyle. These vaccines prevent a host of diseases that can be transmitted to your cat, as well as to Rabies which can be fatal to cats, humans, and other mammals. A vaccine protocol will be tailored to your cat after a thorough evaluation.
  • Why is a heartworm test required even if they have been on prevention all year long?

    Annual heartworm testing allows us to assess the effectiveness of heartworm preventatives as well as identify cases of resistance which have recently been documented in the southeastern United States. A recent study has shown that one out of three owners who purchase prevention misses a dose by more than one month, leaving a pet vulnerable to infection. Annual heartworm testing ensures that should this occur, infection can be detected early and treatment initiated before the condition becomes life threatening.
  • Why is blood work required for refilling chronic medications?

    Medications prescribed for the long term management of diseases can have many beneficial effects. However, along with positive effects, the long term use of some drugs can lead to undesirable changes which can often be avoided by regular monitoring. As animals age the body may change in it’s ability to handle a medication that has previously been well tolerated. Medications at dosages too high or low will not benefit your pet’s health, and may in fact be harmful.
  • Why does my pet need a physical exam annually? Why does my pet need an up to date annual exam in order to receive medications and vaccinations?

    The most important assessment of your pet’s health is a complete physical examination. A physical examination is an essential part of your pet's evaluation for procedures such as vaccination,and medication administration. For example, if your pet has an illness and a vaccination is administered, you pet’s health may suffer or the vaccination may not be effective, leaving it unprotected from disease transmission.Your pet’s health is ever changing. In light of that, we require a complete physical examination be performed within two months of the delivery of any treatment, including vaccinations. Our goal, above all, is to keep your pet healthy.
  • Why is blood work required prior to surgery or anesthesia?

    Blood analysis is part of the pre-anesthetic and pre-surgical evaluation of your pet. This method of testing helps our veterinarians to assess the major organs responsible for the metabolism of drugs and anesthetics administered. These results, along with the pet’s medical history and physical exam create the basis for which an anesthetic protocol is developed and tailored to each pet. This is part of a regimen that helps us to avoid complications associated with anesthesia. (On a case by case basis, our vets may elect to evaluate blood work performed with in two months of an anesthetic event, rather than requiring it the day of a procedure.) Remember, pets age more quickly than we do; in one year a pet ages the equivalent of 7 human years.
  • Why are dental x-rays done when my pet has a dental cleaning?

    Dental x-rays are essential while your pet is having a complete oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT). Dental x-rays allow for the evaluation of structures below the gum line (e.g. roots, bones) that cannot be assessed by direct visualization. Early recognition of problems below the surface prevent pain, tooth loss, and overall cost of your pet’s care.
  • Why is anesthesia required to perform all dental cleanings?

    General anesthesia for a complete oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT), including dental radiographs, is required for all patients. This is imperative for the safety of your pet and ensures that every aspect of the evaluation and cleaning is thorough and complete.This is the recommendation of the American Board of Veterinary Dentists as the standard of care for this practice. During a COHAT multiple sharp instruments are utilized which can cause harm if a patient is not completely still and relaxed. Tartar (a hardened combination of food debris and bacteria) is removed with the aid of water and is prevented from reaching the patient’s respiratory tract with a tube that both delivers the anesthetic gas and also seals off the lower airways.
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