October is National Senior Pet Wellness Month!!!
If you are like most pet owners you consider your pet’s health to be just as important as your own. You may also be aware that pets age much faster than we do. On average it is seven times faster! By the age of four many pets are considered to be “middle-aged” and by the age of seven, they are considered to be entering their senior years. This is why it is so important to have regular checkups and routine bloodwork for your pet. We recommend twice yearly exams for pets that are middle aged or older.
During the wellness exam our technicians will measure your pet’s temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate and ask you any questions or concerns you may have about your pet. Because you are with your pet every day, you are one of the most important sources of information regarding your pet’s health. At this time you can share any changes you may have noticed or anything new or unusual. Next, the doctor will perform an extensive physical exam where they will check your pet’s major systems including heart, lungs, skin,and teeth for any potential problems, and make recommendations based on those findings. These visits give our doctors an opportunity to evaluate for health changes such as cancer, dental and heart disease.
Our doctors also recommend annual or routine bloodwork on your pet once they reach their middle years. Studies have shown that between 10 and 15 percent of pets that seem healthy based on a physical exam alone have underlying health problems that the veterinarian could detect by performing further testing. The blood testing recommended can help our doctors to detect any early changes in your pet’s health including cancer, kidney and liver disease and diabetes. They also help us to provide a nice baseline in the event your pet becomes ill in the future. We ensure fast and accurate results because our bloodwork is run in-house using state-of-the art lab equipment.
When your pet receives regular wellness exams over their lifetime, it can help our doctors to detect and treat diseases that could become life threatening if left undiagnosed. Many diseases and potential health problems are easily managed if caught and treated early. In addition these visits can be vital in maintaining your pet’s weight, dental care, health and overall good temperament. Give your pet the best opportunity for a long healthy life by providing them with a physical exam twice a year!
Hunting Season is upon us, what is the real threat of Lyme disease?
It is time again to take our favorite hunting partner into the field,but before you go out make sure they are protected from ticks. Lyme disease is a very dangerous disease that has become more and more prevalent in the past few years. The disease is caused by a bacterium known as a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms of Lyme disease include a fever ranging from 103 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy and/or loss of appetite. Some dogs can develop severe and progressive kidney disease. The kidney failure is difficult to treat and may result in death. If a dog tests positive for Lyme disease our doctors would recommend further lab work including kidney function tests as well as a urinalysis. Some dogs may develop heart problems or nervous system disease as well.
Our doctors recommend that any dog with potentially high tick exposure(including hunting dogs, dogs that spend a lot of time up north, and dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors) be vaccinated against Lyme disease. We also recommend that before you and your dog go out hunting this year, make sure he or she is protected with FrontlinePlus or Nexgard to decrease the chance of the disease being transmitted.