We recommend a dental with possible teeth extractions because on your pets last visit the doctor noticed some teeth that looked like they may need to be removed. Removing these affected teeth may help alleviate pain in your pet’s mouth, allow him to eat better, chew on toys again, decrease the potential for infection to spread throughout the body, decrease bone loss, etc. We have removed teeth from pets before and have seen them turn in puppies again because they are much healthier and painful without the affected tooth.
We recommend spaying your pets, which is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. This helps decrease different kinds of health issues including decreasing likelihood of breast cancer, prevention of pyometra (life threating infection of the uterus), and unintended pregnancies. For cats we recommend spaying between 3-6 months and they must weigh 3 pounds. For dogs we recommend 4-6 months for dogs at a mature weight under 50 pounds and 1 year for dogs over 50 pounds.
We recommend neutering your pets, which is the removal of the testicles. This helps decrease different kinds of health and behavioral issues including certain types of cancer, territory marking, desire to roam and fight, and aggression. For cats we recommend neutering between 3-6 months and they must weigh 3 pounds. For dogs we recommend 4-6 months for dogs at a mature weight under 50 pounds and 1 year for dogs over 50 pounds.
We recommend checking your pet's thyroid every 6 months when your pet is on thyroid medication (thyroxine or methimazole). This medication dosage may need to be altered up or down based on how your pet’s body tolerates the drug overtime. This allows us to ensure your pet is on the most threptic dose.
We recommend dental cleanings every year. Most of us do not brush our pet’s teeth twice a day like we do to our own teeth. This means they are a lot more likely to get tartar and plaque buildup. Even if we do brush their teeth there is still potential to get a buildup of tartar and plaque. This can be caused by the alignment of their teeth or simply because some breeds are more predisposed to it. Dental cleanings remove the tartar and plaque and also allow for the doctor to get a good physical exam on the mouth to check for abnormalities, such as masses, infections or teeth that need to be removed. With yearly dentals you decrease the likely hood of your pet needing teeth removed, which means a happy, healthier pet!
We recommend checking a fructosamine level on your pet every 6 months. This is a simple blood test that tells us more information about how your pets diabetes is being controlled. Although a very variable tool, Spot glucoses give us only the values of their glucose that day. Fructosamine levels tell us how well your pets glucose level has been controlled for the last 2-3 weeks, like a summary.
We recommend applying a dental sealant every 6 month. This sealant helps prevent your pet from forming tartar and plaque. The reduction in tartar and plaques helps keep both your pets mouth and whole body healthy. This decreases the likelihood your pet will need extractions. An unhealthy mouth can lead to other health issues including infections and negative effects on the organs. Yearly dental cleanings and 6 month dental sealant applications are best way to be proactive about your pets teeth.
We recommend a physical exam by a doctor every 6 month to provide the best quality care to your pet. Pets age much faster than humans and in some instances 1 year in “human years” can be up to 7 in “dog” or “cat years”! A physical every 6 month helps to check for any new health issues or check on any existing issues to make sure they have not worsened. These exams help to keep your pets healthy and provide to them the best quality of life.
We do not recommend doing titers, but if an owner would like to do a titer for Distemper and Parvo we can. The problem with doing titers is that it is only checking titers for two of the 9 things in our DHLPP vaccine. So the animal could have immunity for Parvo and Distemper stilll, but not for Adenovirus or parainfluenza and we would have no way of knowing. Lepto always needs to boostered every year because it is a bacteria not a virus and does not stay in the immune system memory for longer than a year. It will not hurt their immune system to get another vaccine if their titers are still good. For these reasons, we recommend doing a DHLPP vaccine yearly because it covers all of these scenarios.
Lyme disease is a tick borne disease that 1 in 10 dogs in La Porte County test positive for. We highly recommend this vaccine. The company will cover the cost of testing and treatment if your dog comes back positive on their Lyme test after being on this vaccine consistently. The bacteria can lay dominant in the body for years with no symptoms. The main symptom we see in dogs are limping, painful joints and lameness. This vaccine can be started at 9 weeks of age and requires a booster 2-3 weeks later. A yearly booster is required and MUST be done at least 13 ½ months after the last vaccine or the company will not cover it and the vaccine series will need to be restarted for the company to guarantee it.
Heartworm & Tick Test
This checks for heartworms and three tick diseases (Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis). Heartworm is a very painful and deadly in dogs if not treated. Symptoms we see are coughing and lethargy. It is a lot more cost effective to keep the dog on yearly heartworm prevention then it is to treat the dog for heartworm disease.
This test should be done when the dog is at 1 year of age if they have been on heartworm prevention since they were a puppy. If they have not been on heartworm prevention as a puppy, it should be done at 6 months of age. Heartworms will NOT show up on test until 6 months after exposure to them because the test can only check for adult heartworms.
"Annual testing is necessary, even with pets are on prevention year-round to ensure the program is working. Heartworm preventatives are highly effective, but not 100% effective." -American Heartworm Society. Because of this, most manufacturers guarantee their product and will pay for treatment if a pet does get heartworm disease while on prevention, provided the pet had a heartworm test every year.
Therefore, yearly heartworm tests are required for surgeries and to purchase heartworm prevention. If the dog has not been on yearly heartworm prevention, we recommend retesting them 6 months after their last month of potential exposure. So if they were not on heartworm prevention from December to February, we recommend testing 6 months after February so in August.