An annual wellness exam is very important for the assessment of your pet’s health. A wellness exam involves checking your pet from head to tail for any potential problems. We assess heart and lung function, vision, weight, neurologic status, and overall health. Your pet is thoroughly examined for any signs of infection, tumors, or other problems. We also recommend an annual heartworm exam even if your pet is on year-round heartworm prevention. Annual bloodwork (CBC and Chemistry) can also be useful tool, especially in older animals, to assess organ function and other body system abnormalities before they become a serious problem.
We carry all core vaccinations for dogs and cats as well as Bordetella (Kennel Cough) and Lyme vaccine. Vaccines provide protection by preparing your animal’s immune system to fight the disease. Vaccinations are very important in protecting your pet from infectious disease, and they also protect you and your family from infectious diseases that can be spread from your pet to humans. Each vaccine protocol is tailored to each animal based on their environment and lifestyle. Recent recommendations by the American Animal Hospital Association suggest that dogs and cats now only need to be vaccinated once every 3 years. However, recent studies have shown that vaccines are 80-90% likely to be effective for 3 years. The question is, is 80-90% protection of your pet good enough? At Howard County Veterinary Service, we like to get an “A” in protection, not a “B,” which is why we strongly suggest yearly vaccination and do not believe in over-vaccination.
Vaccination for Lepto, a bacterial disease that can come from exposure to urine from raccoons or rodents, is also suggested yearly. Studies have shown that 10-20% of dogs have seroconverted to Lepto (they have been exposed). In addition, it is very important to begin vaccination of puppies and kittens at 6 weeks of age. Young dogs are at very high risk for parvovirus, which is a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. Most puppies die without treatment with IV fluids. Treating a parvo puppy (with hospitalization and IV fluids) can range from $700-$1500 with no guarantee of survival. Vaccinating a puppy is a very small fraction of that cost. In other words, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Bottom line, many of these diseases are not rare in dogs and vaccination is very important for the protection of your pet and your family.
At Howard County Veterinary Service, we are proud to offer some new preventative healthcare plans for your furry friends, young and old! These plans can help us detect trends and catch disease earlier to keep your pet happy and healthy as long as possible. Read more in the brochure to learn more about how these plans can help your pet at an affordable price!
What are preventative healthcare plans, and how do they work?
Preventative healthcare plans are simply additional testing that we can submit during your pet’s annual vaccination and wellness exam that give us more information regarding your pet’s overall health. While a lot of information can be gathered when your pet is examined from head to tail, there are a lot of diseases that we cannot detect on a general exam. Samples from your pet are collected during their annual visit and submitted to a reference lab. Because a reference lab is used, we can run a lot of tests and get a lot of information for a very affordable price.
When can I expect to get the results from my pet’s tests?
Results will be reported to you with a phone call from a veterinarian or staff member within 2-3 business days. If any abnormalities are found in the tests, they can be discussed with your veterinarian at that time. You may also request hard copies of your pet’s test results.
Canine Young Wellness (dogs less than 7 years of age)
Chemistry measuring 10 analytes, SDMA (test that detects kidney disease earlier than standard bloodwork), complete blood count, standard fecal, heartworm test, and tick-borne illness test.
Feline Young Wellness (cats less than 7 years of age)
Chemistry measuring 10 analytes with SDMA, complete blood count, and fecal ova and parasite test.
Canine Senior Wellness (dogs 7 years of age and older)
Chemistry measuring 27 analytes with SDMA, triglycerides (fats), complete blood count, heartworm test, tick-borne illness test, Spec cPL (pancreatic function), fecal, thyroid profile, and urinalysis.
Feline Senior Wellness (cats 7 years of age and older)
Chemistry measuring 25 analytes with SDMA, complete blood count, Spec fPL (pancreatic function), fecal parasite test, thyroid profile, and urinalysis.
Benefits of Preventative Healthcare Plans
- The bloodwork in preventative plans helps us confirm that your pet’s organ systems are functioning properly and detect hidden illnesses that may put your pet’s health at risk.
- In young, healthy animals, these plans help us establish baselines that can help us detect illness more quickly for years to come. Our software graphs every analyte measured every time bloodwork is run on your pet, allowing us to detect trends instead of just high or low values.
- The preventative plans detect disease in senior pets that are more at-risk. Waiting to run tests when your pet is sick often leaves us with fewer options for treatment. Detecting disease earlier gives us more treatment options and more opportunities to give your pet a good quality of life for longer.
Microchipping is an important tool used to reunite owners with pets in the event that they get lost. A microchip is a very small device that gets implanted just under the skin in animals of all species (horses, dogs, cats, etc.). When the microchip is scanned, it emits a number that links you to your pet.
Unlike collars and tags, microchips cannot be lost and are a more reliable means of identifying your pet. Microchipping is a simple office procedure that can be done in 5-10 minutes.