Wellness Exams– We discover a majority of the problems we treat during our wellness exams. If your goal is to maintain your pet’s well being and comfort through all life stages, you cannot neglect these annual or semiannual visits.
Our pets tend to hide what is ailing them until the problems become serious. Dogs and cats age anywhere from 4-8 years faster than us (after the first two years) depending on life stage, size and breed. Rapid aging means rapid changes that can be missed without at least annual exams (or semiannual exams for seniors).
Our wellness exams are targeted to look for specific risk factors that can affect your pet’s well being. For the younger years we spend more time assessing for genetic/congenital issues, infectious disease prevention and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, and bonding with household and family). For the latter years, we also assess for degenerative and cancerous changes, many of which require further testing (such as blood, urine, fine needle aspirates, and/or ultrasound/x-rays) to detect.
Vaccines – Vaccines represent just one part of your pet’s health maintenance. Because not all vaccines have the same indications, benefits and risks, we only encourage vaccines to be given in conjunction with a recent professional evaluation. We do offer private vaccination appointments for those that have been professionally evaluated recently.
Fecal Testing – A majority of puppies and kittens have intestinal parasites that can infest their environment and even their people! Our adult pets can also be infected with tapeworms and other intestinal parasites that can only be detected with a fecal exam. Depending on your pet’s environmental risks, we recommend ongoing fecal evaluations. Most treatments are best chosen in conjunction with a recent evaluation of your pet’s general health.
Heartworm/Tick Disease Testing- Heartworm has historically been uncommon in Stanislaus county (less than 1% of tests reported were positive); although some surrounding regions are more heavily infested, especially northern California and Madera. We have recently diagnosed two Stanislaus county pets, one dog and one cat, with heartworm this year. Up to July 17th, 13 out of 2196 heartworm tests reported in Stanislaus county have been positive for heartworm in 2018 (see Heartworm Incidence Data link for up-to-date incidence data on many infectious diseases). Although this percentage is not much different from the whole of last year, we believe heartworm is on the rise here and are recommending all Stanislaus county dogs, and higher risk cats, be on some sort of heartworm prevention. Most heartworm prevention providers require records of annual testing and ongoing preventative medications, in order to stand behind their products. We therefore recommend annual heartworm testing along with your pet’s annual exams.