When your pet gets their annual wellness checkup, here’s what you can expect. First, your pet will be checked over in a general way that starts with a physical examination. This is done to help catch any potential obvious problems such as deformities, growths, areas of pain or discomfort, or motility issues.
During the visit, you’ll discuss your pet’s health at home, and you’ll have the opportunity to convey anything that may be concerning you, such as changes in behavior or appetite, or anything else that’s changed since the last visit. Your vet will also ask you specific questions in order to highlight common potential issues, as well as to get a better sense of the animal’s lifestyle at home.
Next, your pet’s file will be carefully reviewed, with an eye toward ensuring that all preventative treatments and any local government mandated animal treatments are brought up to date during the annual wellness checkup. These may include things like:
Annual wellness checkups provide the chance for your pet to receive needed diagnostic procedures and treatment in a wide range of service areas. Additional services that may be conducted during your pet’s annual veterinary check up include items such as:
Consistent wellness checkups are also crucial for pets that fall into special categories, such as aging pets and relatively newborns, like puppies and kittens.
At Northside Veterinary, we customize vaccine schedules based on your pet's lifestyle and potential for exposure. While we try to minimize the number of vaccines we give, we also understand that there are situations where some pets require more vaccine protection than others. In those circumstances, we prefer to split vaccines in order to reduce reactions and use only thimerosal (mercury) free vaccines. Our doctors and staff will assess your pets risk for disease and design a preventative health care plan with you specific to your pet's needs. Most importantly, we want you to be comfortable with our recommendations and we are happy to discuss all options with you.
Furry family members mean almost as much to you as their human counterparts – if not just as much. Why wouldn’t you, therefore, give them all the same tools to live long, stay strong and experience maximum health?
Of course you would, and vaccines are an inescapable part of any pet health plan. They help animals fight disease before it takes hold, and keep pet populations as a whole safe from infection. To see exactly why vaccines are so important and how best to ensure your pet’s safety, it’s critical to understand how they work.
Here are some of the most common questions, and their answers.
Vaccines administer a very low dose of a pathogen to a pet, so that their immune system can “learn” to fight it. When a virus or bacteria enters the animal’s body for the first time, they will not possess an immunity, but introducing the disease prompts their system to manufacture antibodies to help fight it, explains the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Those antibodies then live in their bloodstream from then on, so should they encounter that pathogen in real life, full-strength, they will already have the tools to fight it.
This is a tricky question. Some animals who receive vaccines do develop total immunity. Others only develop partial immunity. Still others, if they don’t receive booster shots regularly, may lose part or all of their previous immunity.
That’s why the concept of “herd immunity” is so important. When the entire population susceptible to a particular disease is vaccinated, the disease can’t find a foothold. Therefore, even if an animal didn’t have 100 percent immunity, it wouldn’t matter, because other animals couldn’t get infected and pass it on.
However, today’s reports show that not nearly enough animals are getting vaccinated. Let’s all work to change that.
Your pet needs “core” vaccines and may need “non-core” vaccines. Core vaccines for dogs include canine parvovirus, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis and rabies. Core inoculations for cats include feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, feline rhinotracheitis and rabies.
Depending on your individual dog or cat, your vet may recommend other vaccines as well. For instance, if your cat is at risk of developing feline leukemia, your vet may advise a vaccine to help combat the chance.
Usually, no. Vaccines are safe and well-vetted, and we’ve been using the same ones on dogs and cats for years. At most, pets may experience a bit of mild fever or discomfort associated with the low dose of the disease they’ve received. In rare cases, however, you may notice a serious allergic reaction: itching and swelling of the skin and face, vomiting and diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of this, please seek veterinary assistance right away.
Mostly, though, vaccinations are a routine part of any pet’s life, and there’s nothing for you to worry about.
Want to learn more about vaccinating today? Feel free to get in touch with us at (718) 387-0541!
With a variety of potential pests out there, most animals will have a parasitic infection at some point during their lives. While it is true that symptoms vary based on the type and degree of infection, if you suspect that your pet has been introduced to a parasite, testing is available at our office. It is important to reach out to a veterinarian shortly after your animal starts displaying symptoms of potentially harboring any parasites. Although they are common, uncontrolled infestation can quickly escalate and become serious or even life-threatening. The types of parasites we typically see within most small animals are:
Prevention is key in taking action against any parasitic infections. If you suspect your pet could be experiencing a parasitic infestation, speak with a member of our team regarding preventative medications and our available on-site treatment options for active infestations or infections.
It is required by New York state law that any animal shelters, hospitals, or clinics scan all lost or stray animals brought in for a microchip within 24 hours of being found. The ability to identify your pet if they wander off or become lost is crucial. While collars are useful, they can be easily removed by scratching or getting caught on something in passing. Microchips are small pieces of technology (the size of a grain of rice) that are implanted in your pet's skin, typically between the shoulder blades. This procedure usually does not require any type of anesthetic.
We know that a lot of pet owners have adopted the attitude that their pet's weight can sometimes feel like a non-issue, something that is seemingly harmless and needs to be addressed if it becomes "out of control". While it may not present as an immediate emergency, animal obesity can have serious complications and take a huge toll on your pet's body over time. Weight management issues should be taken seriously when thinking about preventative medicine and maintaining long-term health goals for our animals. Weight issues within animals can cause problems like arthritis, liver disease, renal disease, respiratory issues, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. If your pet's weight has gotten away from you, we may recommend a combination of dietary changes, increased activity, and an overall dedication to your pet's lifestyle adjustment. Our team will help you formulate the best and most realistic weight management solution for your pet.