You may have heard the saying, “the best way to kill a weed is by the root.” In most cases this rings true. Similarly in veterinary medicine, we treat your pet’s problems, ailments, and sickness, but are we helping any if we don’t stop the cause. You can cure the disease of one patient, but can you stop the epidemic? This is why veterinary medicine isn’t only about treating your pets, it’s about preventing it from causing further problems. At Shirley Veterinary Hospital, we want your pets to stay as happy and healthy as possible. Below are some of our recommendations and services we offer to keep them this way.
When you bring your pet in for a comprehensive exam, he or she will receive a nose-to-tail checkup – but what exactly does that entail? The comprehensive exam includes an examination of all of your pet’s major body systems to help ensure that they are functioning at their best.
What to expect:
- Weight Check: your pet will be weighed to determine if he or she is at a normal weight and body condition. Nutritional counseling and exercise recommendations will be provided at this time if necessary.
- Vitals Check: After your pet has been weighed, a veterinary technician or assistant will obtain your pets vitals. Using a rectal thermometer they will take your pets temperature. This is normally falls between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t worry, your pet is not hurt by having their temperature taken. The assistant will also check your pet’s heart rate, respiration rate, and capillary refill time.
- Skin and Eyes: Our veterinarians will check your dog or cats skin and coat as they are great indicators of a pets overall health. When examining the eyes, your veterinarian will look for irregular responses to light, discharge, redness or irritation, and examine the structure in the back of the eye. In older pets, they often look for signs of developing cataracts, which may lead to clouded vision of your dog or cats lenses and if untreated lead to blindness.
- Ears Check: Your veterinarian will also examine the ear flap, deep ear canals, and ear canals with an otoscope. They also check for abnormal smells, redness, infection, parasites, growths or tumors.
- Nose and Mouth: Your pet’s nose will be checked by your veterinarian for any abnormal appearance or irregular discharge. After the sniffer check, the veterinarian examines your pet’s mouth to look at dental health for any abnormal smells, swelling, or masses. They also check for plaque and tartar build up and for any missing or injured teeth. This helps to detect signs of periodontal disease. Since dental health is an important contributor to a health pet, regular brushings can greatly improve your pet’s dental health, and overall quality of life. Based on the veterinarian findings, they can provide important recommendations to improve your pet’s dental health.
- Entire-Body Review: By manipulating and feeling your pet’s legs, joints, and abdomen, your veterinarian is able to check for unusual reactions, appearance of pain, or abnormal lumps. If a stoop sample is available, your veterinarian will also perform tests to check for intestinal parasites.
- Heart and Lungs: Using a stethoscope, your veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to check for heart murmurs and abnormal lung sounds.
- Focused Area: If you’re bringing your pet in for a special reason like limping on a certain paw, the veterinarian will provide recommendations for any further diagnostics your pet may need.
- Administering Vaccinations: If your pet is visiting our hospital for an annual examination and vaccines, after the exam is complete, the doctor will administer vaccines and provide you with any take home medications, and other things your pet may need.
Remember that saying about killing the root of the problem? Vaccinations are a big help to accomplish that. By vaccinating your pet, just like a child, you are limiting the potential for them to contract certain contagious diseases and potentially spread them to other pets. Your veterinarian may modify or recommended a varied vaccination schedule or type, but listed below are the vaccinations we recommend your dog or cat having.
Dogs: Rabies (required by federal law), Distemper, Parvo, Parainfluenza, Lyme, Leptospirosis, Adenovirus Type I and II, and Coronavirus
Cats: Rabies (required by federal law), Feline rhinotracheitis virus, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, and leukemia.
For additional information about each vaccine you can visit our client resources page here
On a yearly basis, we recommend running a diagnostic checks on your pets as part of their annual visit. Although examinations are great for finding out what’s wrong in places that we can hear, see or feel, it doesn’t tell us how our pet’s internal organs are functioning. Below are our recommendations for dogs and cats yearly.
Dogs: Heartworm and Tick Born Disease SNAP test, Intestinal Parasite Screen, Thyroid Check, Complete Blood Count, Chemistry Panel (checking organ function), and Urinalysis.
Cats: Heartworm and Feline Virus SNAP test, Intestinal Parasite Screen, Thyroid Check, Complete Blood Count, Chemistry Panel (checking organ function), and urinalysis.