Preventative Adult Wellness Care
As partners in your pet's life-long healthcare, Blue Springs Animal Hospital takes a proactive approach to wellness recommendations. Our goal is a long and healthy life for your pet, and we believe strongly that preventative wellness care is the primary way to achieve that objective.
COMPREHENSIVE PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS
Comprehensive Physical Examinations are the most important part of our wellness program.
Veterinarians are trained to detect abnormalities on physical exam that owners might miss, such as heart murmurs, abdominal organ enlargements, ear and eye conditions, and many other problems which pets can not communicate. Early detection, recognition, and timely intervention of medical conditions are the key to successful treatment and a long, healthy life for pets.
We recommend exams twice yearly on healthy pets because pets age 7 years for every year of our life. By seeing your pet every 6 months – 3 1/2 pet years – our doctor’s can perform a complete and thorough exam from nose to toes to detect problems early when therapy is most effective.
Although we recommend twice yearly exams, if clients prefer to only bring their pets once per year we are happy to accommodate that preference and schedule accordingly.
INDIVIDUALIZED VACCINATION PROTOCOLS
Vaccinations are tailored to your pet’s needs and risks of exposure. A lot of research and debate within the veterinary profession over the last few years has centered on appropriate wellness care and vaccination protocols for pets.
Are we vaccinating pets too much? Not enough?
At Blue Springs Animal Hospital we have followed the research and discussion with the desire to provide the very best care for our patients. Vaccinations are still absolutely critical for pets to protect them against contagious diseases, but vaccination should not be given more frequently than necessary.
New research indicates that some vaccinations provide immunity for more than 1 year. Other vaccinations provide immunity for LESS than 1 year. The time when all vaccinations should be given once yearly is past!
A vaccination protocol will be recommended for your pet based on their exposure and according to the newest knowledge regarding vaccinations. For example, most adult dogs will be vaccinated every 6 months for bordetella, but only every 2 years for Distemper/Parvo.
Cats will require some vaccinations yearly and others every other year, but the vaccinations will be split and given with the 6 month exams in order to decrease stress on the immune system.
INTERNAL PARASITE CONTROL
Internal parasite prevention is an important health care concern for pets and their human family.
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) reports many cases each year of parasitic diseases which are contagious from pets to people. Most of these diseases could have easily been prevented with routine veterinary care. Google “Companion Animal Parasite Council” for an excellent website with in depth information on the parasites of dogs and cats.
Puppies/kittens should receive a series of fecal tests and dewormings and adult companion animals should have a health assessment and fecal test every 6 to 12 months. We perform and recommend fecal testing by centrifugation, which has been shown to be much more reliable than the more common fecal floatation. Please bring a fresh, tea spoon sized stool sample in a zip lock baggie to your wellness care appointment.
In our area there is a significant risk in dogs and cats, whether they live primarily indoors or outdoors, for heartworm infections. Heartworms are not contagious from pets to people, but they are a serious disease in both dogs and cats, causing respiratory and heart damage which may be fatal. Often dogs and cats show no symptoms of the infection until severe damage has already occurred.
In dogs, the cost to treat heartworms is substantial, whereas prevention is only a few dollars per month. Dogs must be tested before starting prevention and once yearly to monitor for infection because dogs can have a potentially life threatening reaction if they have heartworms and are given a preventative.
For cats, there is no treatment for heartworms and there is also not a reliable heartworm test. However, luckily due to differences in the life cycle of the worm in cats, they can safely take a monthly preventative without testing.
For both dogs and cats we recommend giving a preventative once monthly year around. Our veterinarians will discuss your pets needs and recommend a specific product for your pet.
For more information on heartworms, view the videos to the right, or google and visit the Heartworm Society’s website.
EXTERNAL PARASITE CONTROL
External parasite control is important for the comfort of your pet and because fleas and ticks can transmit diseases. Fleas often carry tapeworms, and ticks carry several diseases diagnosed in our area in both people and pets, including Lyme disease, Ehrlickia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Choosing a safe and effective product to prevent fleas and ticks can be a confusing decision. Many available over the counter flea and tick products are ineffective or even unsafe. Adding to the confusion, some safe and effective products work well in certain circumstances, but not in others. Our veterinarians will help you evaluate your pet’s risks, and recommend a product for your pet.
The video to the right illustrates why it is important to prevent fleas. Just one flea can lay 50 eggs in your home or yard in one day! Multiply that by several fleas over several days, and it becomes clear why prevention is a good idea.
EARLY DETECTION WELLNESS BLOODWORK
Wellness Blood Work is like an internal physical examination for your pet. It can detect hidden diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and anemia which can not be diagnosed based upon symptoms or a physical exam alone.
Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly affect your pet’s response to therapy.
We recommend a mini-profile on healthy younger pets and a complete blood profile and urinalysis on healthy senior pets once yearly. Pets with chronic illness or on medications may require more frequent checks.
Click on the image to view a sample senior blood profile.
Client Education is a top priority for our veterinarians and staff. In addition to a physical examination, appropriate vaccinations, and parasite testing and prevention, our veterinarians will discuss nutrition, behavioral issues, breed specific conditions, and/or any other topics of importance to you and your pet during your wellness examinations.
Through prevention, early detection and timely intervention, together we can have a tremendous impact on the quality of life and longevity of your pet.