Immunization and Wellness Care
Pets today can live longer, healthier lives than ever before—in part because of vaccines that help protect them from deadly infectious diseases. Over the years, vaccines against dangerous diseases have saved millions of pets and virtually eliminated some fatal diseases that were once common. Unfortunately, many infectious diseases still pose a significant threat to dogs and cats that are unvaccinated. Although vaccine programs have been highly successful and vaccines are considered routine today, we (as caregivers) and you (as pet parents) cannot afford to become complacent about keeping pets up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Many vaccines are available for use in dogs and cats, but not every pet needs every available vaccine. Some vaccines are considered core vaccines and should be administered to all pets, whereas other vaccines are optional and may be recommended for pets based on a variety of factors, such as their risk for exposure to disease. Vaccine recommendations can also change throughout a pet’s life, as travel habits and other variables change. We will consider all these factors as we determine which vaccines your pet should have.
We understand that your pet is unique and that no single vaccine program will be ideal for every pet in every situation. Our doctors and other staff members are well-educated about veterinary vaccines, and our goal is to give you the best advice for keeping your pet healthy. Let us develop a vaccination schedule and ongoing booster routine that accounts for your pet’s lifestyle, overall health, risk for exposure to infectious disease, and other factors.
Puppy and Kitten Care
Do you have a new puppy or kitten? Congratulations on this addition to your family! One of the first things you should do when you bring your new pet home is to introduce him or her to us – your veterinary care team. Puppy and kitten visits offer a unique opportunity to get you and your new pet off on the right foot!
Your puppy or kitten visit will include a full “nose-to-tail” physical examination. We will look for any signs of illness and make sure that your new pet is in good health.
Do you have questions about nutrition, training, vaccinations, grooming, parasite protection, or overall health? What about tips for introducing your new pet to other pets and family members? Even if you are a very experienced pet owner and have had puppies or kittens before, each pet is unique and offers an opportunity to learn something new! We welcome your questions and look forward to addressing any concerns you may have. The more educated you are about your pet, the better you will be able to care for him or her, so we strive to offer you all the support you need.
Puppy and kitten wellness visits also present an opportunity to discuss your new pet’s recommended vaccine schedule and the best plan for parasite testing, treatment, and prevention. Our doctors and staff are well-educated about vaccines and parasite control, and our goal is to give you the best advice for your puppy or kitten. We will review your pet’s vaccine and deworming schedule and discuss the best way to continue, so don’t forget to bring any records that you have received.
We will work hard to help you understand your pet’s health considerations, and we encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your puppy’s or kitten’s health care. Puppy and kitten visits are an excellent way to get your new pet started on the road to a happy and healthy life. Let’s take these important first steps together.
Please call today to schedule an appointment for us to meet your new pet!
Senior pets are much loved members of your family and this stage of life, they need closer observation and extra care. We consider pets who are over the age of 7 years to be seniors. Pets in their senior years are more prone to developing serious health problems such as kidney disease, heart disease, arthritis, liver disease, diabetes and cancer. Early diagnosis is the key to treating these problems. During early stages of illness, senior pets may appear healthy upon physical examination but there may be an underlying disease. Understanding the changes your pets experience as they age and how you can provide for your pet’s needs are essential to your pet’s quality of life.
The doctors at Antrim Veterinary Hospital recommend all senior pets undergo a complete physical examination along with blood work and other diagnostics at least once a year.
It is important to let the doctor know if your older dog or cat begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms: stiffness or limping, difficulty jumping or climbing stairs, changes to skin or hair coat, drastic weight changes, difficulty seeing or hearing, changes in urination or defecation habits, disorientation or confusion, tremors or shaking, difficulty breathing or coughing.
Parasite prevention and control
There was a time when parasites like fleas, ticks, and roundworms were considered mostly a nuisance. Now, however, we know that parasites can cause serious illness and even death in pets. For example, ticks can transmit infections such as Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella – the bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans. Another type of parasite, called a heartworm, is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworms live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing damage to these organs, and sometimes even death. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, also threaten pets and are even transmissible to humans.
You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites. Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks are very tiny (only the size of a pinhead), so they are very difficult to find. Intestinal parasites like roundworms can cause diarrhea and other problems, but many infected pets do not show any signs of illness at all.
Fortunately, we can recommend tests to determine if your pet has parasites. We can also examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks, or other parasites. Our expert staff can recommend medications to help control fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Preventing parasites in your pets also helps protect children and other family members.
Parasites are not just a nuisance. They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. Let us help you protect your pet. Call today to find out how!