They say the best way to treat an illness is to prevent it, which is why we’re focused on wellness and preventative care for our patients. Treating health problems in our pets can be expensive and difficult, and some conditions are life threatening—but if you get to them early, treatment can begin sooner and is likely to be more effective. The only way to do that is by making sure your pet gets regular wellness exams, blood work, and preventive care, which includes:
- Wellness Exams
The annual wellness exam allows our veterinarians to examine your pet from nose to tail and document any areas of concern. If necessary, we can discuss treatment or diagnostic recommendations such as blood work.
At the same time, we do a wellness exam, we may also do a dental exam if your pet will allow one because most pets over three already have some symptoms of periodontal (dental) disease. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy is about more than just preventing bad breath: left untreated, dental disease can eventually cause tooth loss, gum infections, pain, trouble eating, and in later stages might even threaten your pet’s life. Click here to read more about our comprehensive dental services.
Pet vaccines provide protection against potentially fatal viruses and diseases, including rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, and Lyme disease, making them an important component of your companion’s preventive health care. Shawsheen Animal Hospital offers routine vaccines with annual reminders that are customized to your pet’s lifestyle.
In veterinary medicine, there are two different kinds of vaccines available: core and non-core. Core vaccines are required for all dogs and cats, regardless of their lifestyle, breed, etc. Typically, a core vaccine protects against a very serious illness (such as rabies) and/or one that can be easily transmitted to humans. On the other hand, non-core vaccines are considered “optional” vaccines that are based on a pet’s risk of exposure to a certain illness.
- Wellness Blood Work
Wellness blood work involves checking various values to establish a baseline of health and reference point for future appointments. Such testing includes a complete blood cell count (CBC) and blood chemistry. The CBC test can help us detect signs of anemia, leukemia, and various immune disorders. The blood chemistry panel helps us check electrolyte balance and diagnose diseases of the liver, kidneys and pancreas. These tests give us a general picture of your pet’s overall health, and may also serve as a starting point for further testing if a problem is detected.
- Pet Parasite Prevention
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are more than just pesky. Did you know they’re linked to diseases like allergy dermatitis (flea-borne), Lyme disease (tick-borne), and heartworm disease (mosquito-borne)? Without treatment, some parasitic diseases, such as heartworm disease, can be fatal. That’s why keeping your pet on a parasite preventive medication all year-round is so important, and we can help you decide which parasite preventives are right for your pet and your budget.
- Pet Nutrition Counseling
A proper diet is just as important to your pet’s health as routine examinations and vaccinations. Our technicians will provide you with the helpful recommendations regarding which diet (prescription or non-prescription) will best fit your pet’s nutritional needs and health conditions if that is a concern.