Preventive Services

Helping Pet’s live long & Comfortable lives

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To help pets live long, comfortable lives, we encourage regular examinations to help maintain your pet’s health. Routine exams, based on your pet’s age and overall health, allow us the opportunity to keep your pet in optimal condition. Regular visits also allow us to a chance to detect any medical issues early, when they are most easily treated. During wellness visits, we perform a thorough physical exam to ensure we note any changes that might be occurring. These visits are an excellent time to answer owner questions, review vaccines that may need to be administered and perform any required laboratory testing.

A simple way you can help keep your pet healthy is by protecting him or her against parasites. Heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other internal and external parasites are much more than just pests; they can cause life-threatening conditions in your pet—and cause severe, potentially fatal, health problems for you and your family. We will recommend the best preventive regimen for your pet, based on lifestyle and risk factors. We can also provide expert advice on keeping your whole household safe from parasitic infection. Set up an appointment with us to discuss parasite prevention, or call us to refill your pet’s medication. Protect your pet and your family today!

Puppies & Kittens

During their developmental stages, puppies and kittens are ever-changing! For this reason, examinations are done at approximately two, three and four months of age. These exams allow us to monitor the many physical and behavioural changes that occur during early growth and answer the many questions our clients often have as these changes occur. Parasite control is especially important in these patients. Young immune systems are quickly challenged by external and internal parasites. Because young bodies are growing rapidly, optimal nutrition and digestion are critical for proper development. Because immunity to many diseases is developed during early life, vaccine protocols are discussed during these visits. Our goal is to assess each patient’s needs for vaccines based upon the lifestyle they are expected to lead and then vaccinate appropriately.

Adult Patients

For most adult patients, wellness visits are scheduled once yearly. Patients undergo a physical exam to make sure they stay in optimal health. We maintain their immunity by the timely administration of vaccines to fit their lifestyle. For our canine patients, annual stool and blood tests are recommended to be sure they have not become infected with internal intestinal parasites, heartworms or the widespread Minnesota tick-borne disease (Lyme or Anaplasmosis). For our feline patients, we encourage an annual stool test at the time of their yearly check-up.

We encourage all of our adult patients to have an up to date lab panel on file. These inexpensive blood tests provide us with important “inside the body” information that serves as an essential baseline of their internal organ health. This baseline data is especially important as sometimes patients physically appear normal while early internal organ abnormalities are present. Our yearly wellness visit also allows us the opportunity to discuss with you any changes you may be noticing at home and any concerns you may have. It is also an excellent time to review any medications your pet may be on.

Senior Patients

Our senior pets, much like older people, have often had many “life experiences” that can impact their health. They may suffer from chronic age-related conditions, such as arthritis, decreased vision, diminished hearing and dental disease. Their internal organs (heart, liver, kidneys) are often not able to perform as well as they once did. Therefore we often see these patients several times per year. Our preventive care often centers around the management of these patients’ medical conditions and needs. Senior patients generally need fewer vaccinations, but more individualized care and more frequent laboratory assessment to monitor their health. Our goal is to enable them to be happy, comfortable and functional members of your family for as long as possible.

Flea Prevention and Control

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Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.

Heartworm Prevention

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When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection. And those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.

In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.

Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD); the symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.

Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and it can actually kill your dog. There is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection; others might not survive it. And even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems.

Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your dog or cat safe: by administering monthly heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We can recommend a regimen of prevention for your pet.

Tick Prevention

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Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America, and they’re now being found in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter ticks. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. Contact us immediately if your pet starts coughing or has joint pain, trouble breathing, fever, weakness, or loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.

Keep ticks off your pet by keeping your dog or cat on a tick preventive. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and effective at controlling ticks and the diseases they carry. Call us to get your pet protected today!

Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if your pet is on a preventive. Some preventives kill ticks after they’ve come in contact with your pet. Ticks can hide under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. And don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have.