Prevention

Our goal is to nurture happy, healthy pets.

Wellness exams

Pet health exams

Pets age faster than humans. While their lives progress, medical conditions may occur or worsen without notice. Our veterinary clinic offers annual pet wellness exams which can help detect serious medical conditions and allowing our facility to treat them before their status becomes unmanageable. In seeing your veterinarian annually, you have the opportunity to discuss your pet's future health outlook, and ask questions about any existing conditions. Prior to your pet's wellness exam, note any severe changes that have occurred with your pet including: vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, weight gain/loss, excessive thirst, or increased aggression. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms or has developed any abnormal behavior since their last wellness exam, please inform your veterinarian.

During your pet wellness exam we can perform:

  • Full body physical exam
  • Complete dental exam
  • Thorough eye exam
  • Heartworm test
  • Lab tests (blood work, urine/stool testing, and parasite evaluation)
  • X-rays
Puppy and kitten exams 
Because puppies and kittens have less developed immune systems, they are far more susceptible to disease and parasitic infection. During puppy and kitten wellness exams, vital statistics are taken and recorded. Depending on the age of your pet, we might also perform lab work to provide a comparative chart for future visits. We also examine your pet from head-to-tail, checking the vital organs for bloating or pain, and joints for any limited range of motion or discomfort. If you have a new pet, a complete health exam is recommended to detect any existing illness so we could promptly begin treatment. We also recommend vaccinating your new companion to help build their immune system and avoid contracting unwanted diseases.
Adult pet exams
Similar to a younger pet exam, our veterinarians will perform a complete health exam your adult pet from head to tail, inspecting all of the central organs, checking joint functioning, and recording vital statistics to ensure normality. If there are any pressing irregularities, lab tests or X-rays might be necessary. During adult exams, it is also a good idea to discuss diet and nutrition for your pet, as diet plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Pet owners are encouraged to consult with the veterinarian about their pet's current diet and eating habits, and discuss healthier options (if any). Senior pet exams Senior pets require more care than their youthful counterparts. Because older pets are more susceptible to age-related illnesses, it is recommended that elderly pets receive a wellness exam twice a year, with complete lab work performed yearly. During our older pet exams, our veterinarians take your pet's vital signs and perform a complete head-to-tail exam of internal organs and joints, accessing any abnormalities or pain your pet might be exhibiting.
To schedule a pet health exam, get in touch with your Veterinary Hospital today!

Vaccinations

Animal vaccines

During breastfeeding, pets receive antibodies and nutrients from their mother's milk. When nursing stops, pets become more susceptible to illnesses because their immune systems do not have the same support they once did. As a part of our preventative pet care routine, pet vaccinations can help protect your pet from life-threatening diseases. For most pets, routine vaccinations start around the age of 6 to 8 weeks old and continue regularly throughout adulthood. Some vaccinations are even combined into a single syringe so a pet experiences fewer injections. After being vaccinated, most young pets take about 5 days to build protective antibodies with complete protection taking place after 14 days. Some vaccines require multiple dosages given over a short period of time, and most require booster shots every 6 months to 3 years.

Pets who have been vaccinated have an advantage over those who have not. When a disease is detected, your vaccinated pet's immune system quickly responds, decreasing severity of the illness or preventing it altogether. While it is rare, some pets do not develop immunity from their vaccinations and still become ill. If your pet has been vaccinated, is current on all of their booster shots, and has never shown signs of illness or disease, it has likely been successfully vaccinated.

Pet owners should note that vaccinations are preventative, not curative. A vaccination will prevent an illness, but if your pet is already suffering from a disease, a vaccine will not cure them.

Core and non-core pet vaccinations

There are several pet vaccinations that are necessary for all pets and others that are recommended only under special circumstances. Core vaccinations are those that are recommended for all pets, and non-core vaccinations include those that are only administered for certain circumstances. Core vaccines depend on local regulations, geographic location, and your pet's lifestyle. Your pet will be vaccinated according to their risk of exposure and your veterinarian will discuss the best options for your pet.

Canine Vaccinations

Bordetella (kennel cough) - This is a non-core vaccine, and your veterinarian might not consider your pet to be at risk. The vaccination is first given to puppies when they are 9 weeks old, and it is repeated a full 3 weeks later. Booster shots are then given every 6 to 12 months, depending on the dog's exposure.

Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP) - These vaccines are considered core vaccines. Your puppy will receive their first vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks old, and booster shots will be given once every 3 weeks until your puppy is 15 to 18 weeks old (depending on when vaccinations were started).

Heartworm - Heartworm prevention is considered a non-core treatment and is given to a puppy/dog monthly for the extent of their life. Usually, a routine Heartworm test is performed at the 1 year exam. If Heartworm is detected, treatment is implemented.

Leptospirosis - This non-core vaccine can be given to a puppy aged 6 months or older and is an annual vaccination that is intended to prevent bacterial infections in the kidneys, liver, and other major organs. Depending on your dog's risk of exposure, this vaccination could be necessary.

Lyme - The Lyme vaccination is a non-core vaccine that is first administered when the puppy reaches 12 weeks of age. The first booster is given to the puppy at 15 weeks old, and annual boosters are recommended for dogs that reside in areas with increased exposure to ticks carrying Lyme disease.

Rabies - The rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine, and many states, like Ontario, require pets to have it by law. The initial vaccine is first given when the puppy reaches 16 weeks old. Typically the rabies vaccine must be given every year unless administered a 3 year vaccine.

Feline Vaccinations

Feline Rhinotracheitis-Calici-Panleukopenia-Chlamydia Psittaci Vaccine - This vaccine is considered a core vaccine. Your kitten will receive their first vaccinations between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks, and they will need to be repeated once every 3 weeks until your kitten reaches 15 to 17 weeks old (depending on when vaccinations were started). A booster vaccination is administered annually for the RCCP.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) - Feline Leukemia is a core vaccine and the disease is the number one cause of death in cats. The first vaccine is given when a kitten is 12 weeks old and the first booster is administered when the cat reaches 15 to 16 weeks old. Booster shots are recommended to be updated annually at pet routine health exams.

Rabies - This vaccine is also a core vaccination for kittens. The initial vaccine is first administered between 12 and 16 weeks of age. This vaccine must be administered yearly.

Preventable canine diseases and symptoms

Adenovirus - an animal life-threatening disease that causes hepatitis.

Distemper - also a dog life-threatening disease that causes diarrhea, pneumonia, seizures, and vomiting.

Heartworm - a life-threatening parasite contracted through mosquito bites. These parasitic roundworms reside in the lungs and if left untreated, spread to the heart. Early symptoms include coughing and exhaustion, especially when exercising. Rarely, the roundworms get lost within the host and spread to other parts of the body, causing blindness, immobility, or seizures. Without treatment, roundworms build up in the lungs and heart, causing a pet to cough up blood, faint, and lose significant weight. It eventually results in congestive heart failure.

Leptospirosis - an animal life-threatening disease that causes severe liver and kidney damage and hemorrhaging in the lungs. Symptoms include loss of appetite, yellowed eyes (jaundice), vomiting, lethargy, and urine that is dark brown in color.

Lyme - a disease transferred through ticks. It is most common in the northern hemisphere. Symptoms include circular skin rashes, depression, fatigue, fever, muscle stiffness, paralysis and headaches. Lyme disease can be controlled with antibiotics if it is caught in earlier stages.

Parainfluenza and Bordetella - both are highly contagious illnesses that cause kennel cough. While it is generally not life-threatening, symptoms include a non-stop runny nose and excessive coughing. Parvovirus - a potentially life-threatening disease that results in diarrhea, vomiting, and deterioration of the white blood cells.

Rabies - a fatal disease attacking the central nervous system. Because there isn't a cure for rabies, animals that contract the disease are euthanized. The greatest risk of keeping the pet alive is that the disease can be spread to humans.

Preventable feline diseases and symptoms 

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) - a retroviral disease (one that duplicates itself and integrates with the host's DNA) that causes immune suppression in cats. Most cats that have the illness appear normal for years until the disease eventually depletes the immune system entirely, resulting in death.

Feline Leukemia Virus - a potentially life threatening virus that causes chronic immune suppression, leading to frequent infection and illness.

Herpesvirus and Calicivirus - highly contagious illnesses that cause fever, nasal and eye discharge.

Panleukopenia (also known as Feline Distemper) - a life threatening disease that causes pets to suffer dehydration, diarrhea, low white blood cell count, and vomiting.

Rabies - a fatal disease attacking the central nervous system. Because there isn't a cure for rabies, animals that contract the disease are euthanized. The greatest risk of keeping the pet alive is that the disease can be spread to humans.

Pet vaccination concerns

Similar to human vaccinations, pet vaccinations do carry a risk of side-effects. While negative side-effects do exist, it is important to note that your pet is statistically more likely to develop a life-threatening illness when not vaccinated, than to suffer adverse reactions from a vaccination. None-the-less, it is important to remain informed so you can ask your veterinarian the appropriate questions at your pet's appointment. After being vaccinated, the injection site can be swollen or sore. Some pets also have a reduced appetite, fever, and experience lethargy. These side-effects should diminish over the next 24 to 48 hours. If you notice your pet's side-effects are not subsiding, please contact our veterinary clinic. Very rarely, pets develop an allergy to a vaccine. Allergies can be detected within minutes of receiving a vaccination and if left untreated, can result in death.

If you witness any of the following, contact your veterinary clinic immediately: collapse, non-stop diarrhea, continual vomiting, difficulty breathing, itching, or swelling of the legs or face.

Regulations regarding rabies vaccinations

Vaccination laws vary from country to country, so if you plan on moving, be sure to check necessary requirements to ensure a smooth transition for your family. If you have any questions about vaccination or want to schedule an appointment for pet vaccination, contact our veterinary hospital today.

Deworming

Deworming

We offer deworming services in our yearly protocol, because it is an essential aspect of pet care. While nearly 85% of kittens and puppies are born with parasitic infections, most animals develop immunity over time. However, illness and stress can weaken your animal's immune system to fight off these parasites and can awaken any dormant larvae living in your pet. Intestinal parasites affect growth and development and can be transferred between pets and their owners. If you think your pet might be suffering from a parasitic infection, we can perform fecal exams to detect microscopic parasite eggs and determine an infection. Common internal parasites:

  • Coccidia
  • Giardia
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworms
Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about which dewormer is best for your pet's age, infection type, and current medical status. Different dewormers target different parasites. It is also important to administer the medication as prescribed. While the anthelmintic (active ingredient in the medication) is a poison meant to directly target the parasites, pets weakened by parasitic infection might be too fragile for the toxicity of the medication and an overdose is possible if directions are not followed. Typically, newborn puppies and kittens are dewormed every two weeks starting at the age of 2 weeks. They should be continually dewormed monthly afterwards. The mother should also be dewormed along the same schedule as her offspring to prevent infection when drinking her milk. 
How to control parasites?
Parasites are known for their ability to continually re-contaminate their host. In order to control parasites, destroying the eggs and larvae before re-infestation is critical. To achieve this, pet owners must maintain clean and dry living areas for their pets. 

Pharmacy

Animal pharmacy

As top veterinarians, we quickly get a thorough understanding of your pet's medical history, current needs, and temperament. To further serve our patients, we provide an in-house pet pharmacy which allows us to better monitor your pet's health when taking prescribed medications. Offering you and your pet the convenience of having an in-house pharmacy allows you to easily obtain your pet's prescription while you wait, after your office visit, or have it prepared for pick-up. Some of the items available include :

  • Dental care products
  • Dietary supplements
  • Flea and tick medication
  • Heartworm preventatives
  • Medicated shampoos and conditioners
  • Most over-the-counter medications
  • Odor control and pet stain removal products
  • Prescription food and treats
Return policy for prescriptions The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and FDA Compliance Policy Guideline 7132.09 state that our facility is not to allow patients to return unused prescriptions or over-the-counter products. Our veterinary clinic is held solely responsible in any instance of altered or contaminated prescription drugs harming any pet or pet owner. For this reason, we cannot accept any returns of opened items or any returned prescriptions. Also, any items that are beyond their expiration date are not acceptable for return. Please keep in mind that these policies are set in place to protect you and your pet from receiving potentially harmful substances. If you have any questions about this policy or our pet pharmacy, please contact us at your convenience.