An annual health exam is recommended for keeping your pets healthy
Pet Wellness and Preventive Care include a variety of services designed to keep your pets healthy, including physical exams, Vaccines, Diagnostic tests, nutrition counseling, and client education. Good preventive care starts with routine exams and vaccinations for your pet. During the annual health exam, your veterinarian will check your pet from nose to tail. They evaluate your pet’s overall physical condition.
Is your pet at a good weight?
How are the muscles?
How are the haircoat and skin? Fleas? Ticks?
Are there lumps and bumps? Skin tags? Rashes?
Are the ears clean? How are the eyes?
How are the teeth and gums? Is there tartar? Broken or loose teeth?
Does your pet have a heart murmur? How are the lungs?
Take vitals: temperature, pulse, respiration
Feel the lymph nodes, and the abdomen
How is your pet’s appetite? Vomiting? Diarrhea?
Do you have any concerns regarding pet wellness and preventive care? Contact us.
Core and non-core vaccinations that can help ensure your pets lead long and healthy lives
Vaccines are a simple and effective way to prevent your pet from contracting common illnesses. Most vaccines have about a 95% success rate for preventing infections and fatal diseases.
- Rabies: Rabies is a fatal disease and can be transmitted to humans or other pets. New York State law requires all pets to be vaccinated against rabies.
- Distemper: Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease. It can affect the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Some can survive but it is often fatal. Normally distemper is spread through respiratory secretions but it can also be spread through the feces or urine of infected animals. Raccoons, coyotes, and other wildlife get distemper, but it is not transmitted to humans.
- Parvo Virus: Canine Parvo Virus is a highly contagious viral disease. It causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. A less common form attacks the heart muscles of young puppies. The vaccine is often given in combination with the distemper vaccine. It is spread by contact with an infected dog or coming in contact with an infected dog’s stool. It is not transmitted to humans.
- Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice, liver or kidney disease, and several other issues. Leptospirosis is contracted through contact with infected water such as lakes, streams, and puddles. It can also be transmitted through contact with soil contaminated with urine from an infected animal. Foxes, coyotes, rodents, and other wildlife. It is transmissible to humans. The vaccine can be given in combination with the distemper vaccine, or alone.
- Lyme: Lyme disease is caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. It causes varied symptoms, most commonly lameness, loss of appetite, and lethargy. In some cases, it can cause acute kidney or heart failure. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. The tick must be engorged to transmit the disease, usually 24 to 48 hours. Dogs do not get the “bulls-eye” rash that people often get. It is a separate vaccine and most effective when given in the series of puppy vaccines.
- Influenza: Canine influenza, also known as the dog flu is a fairly recent vaccine. First identified in 2004, it has had some outbreaks as close as Westchester County. It is a viral disease and is extremely contagious. Influenza causes nasal discharge, persistent cough, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and loss of appetite. The vaccine is given to dogs that are going to be boarded, going to dog parks, groomers, or other places where there can be contact with numbers of other dogs. This disease is contracted through airborne contact (barking, sneezing, coughing), or contact with infected food bowls, cages, etc.. Most dogs can recover with treatment and supportive care, but some dogs can develop pneumonia.
- Bordetella: Bordetella, more commonly known as kennel cough is a bacterial disease. It causes irritation to the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi. A highly contagious disease, it is spread through airborne droplets from an infected animal by sneezing or coughing. Bordetella can also be spread through contact with infected surfaces, such as a kennel. Vaccination is recommended for dogs that are going to be boarded, going to dog parks, groomers, or other places where there can be contact with numbers of other dogs. For it to be most effective, it is recommended the vaccine be given at least 7 days prior to boarding. It can be treated with antibiotics, and most dogs respond well to treatment.
Laboratory tests give the veterinarian information they can not see during the physical exam. Many lab tests are done in house, meaning we run them in the hospital ourselves. Other lab tests are sent out to a veterinary testing lab, and on occasion, your vet may need to send a sample to a Veterinary College for special testing.
Lab tests can be run on blood, feces, urine, or other secretions.
Blood Tests: Blood tests are run prior to anesthesia, when pets are showing signs of illness, after a trauma or seizure, to monitor organ function when on prescription medicines, to measure therapeutic blood levels of prescription medicines, and to monitor blood sugar (glucose) levels in diabetic pets. Good preventive medicine includes running an annual screen to establish what is normal for your pet, and also for senior pets to detect early changes in organ function.
The most common blood tests are:
- Heartworm (annual screening for dogs)
- Feline Leukemia and AIDS screening (new kittens and cats)
- Complete Blood Chemistry
- Complete Blood Count
- Tick-Borne Disease (4Dx) screens for Lyme, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Heartworm
- Thyroid Level
Fecal Tests: These are run annually to detect internal parasites. More information can be found under the parasites banner below.
Urinalysis: Urine exams are done to detect bladder infections, the presence of bladder stones or sediment, or other metabolic diseases.
Other Lab Tests: Ear swabs, microbial cultures, tumor aspirates, and skin scrapings are just a few of the other lab tests your veterinarian may recommend for pet wellness and preventive care.
Parasite Screening and Control: Parasites can be on the outside of your pet, inside your pet, or both! Outside parasites are ticks, fleas, or mites. Internal parasites are intestinal worms or heartworms.
We recommend annual screening and year-round heartworm prevention for dogs. Annual fecal exams for dogs and cats are also recommended to ensure pet wellness and preventive care.
Ticks and fleas can carry diseases. Preventing your pet from getting them is easier than treating a flea-infested house, or treating a sick pet. There are a variety of preventive treatments that can be tailored to your pet’s and family’s needs. We carry a large selection of products including Heartgard Plus, Interceptor, Bravecto, Nexguard, Frontline, Advantage, Advantix, Seresto Collars, and Revolution.
Internal parasites are more commonly known as “worms”. Intestinal worms cause irritation to your pet’s intestines, can cause diarrhea, rob your pet of nutrition, cause intestinal obstruction, or even cause anemia. Your pet can get them from infected soil, infected animals, hunting, or ingesting fleas. Puppies and kittens can get roundworms from their mother before they are even born. Other intestinal parasites are transmitted by wildlife and can be contracted by drinking from an infected water source. The internal parasites we see in the northeast are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, coccidia, and giardia. Many of these can be passed onto humans, so detection, treatment, and prevention are important for both you and your pets.
Heartworm is an intestinal parasite that is transmitted by mosquitos. It can be very serious and even fatal to your pet. Giving preventative is simple, and cheaper than treating your pet once infected! There are several options for preventing heartworm. These include pills and topicals. We carry Heartgard Plus which is a chewable pill given once a month. It also helps prevent roundworm and hookworm infections. Another monthly chewable pill we carry is Interceptor Plus which also prevents roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. We also carry a monthly topical medication called Revolution that protects your pet from heartworms, fleas, American Dog Ticks (not Deer Ticks), sarcoptic mange, and ear mites.
Preventative Care for Dogs
Annual physical examinations are vital for providing pet wellness and preventive care. The thorough examination of your pet’s overall physical condition each year establishes what is normal for your pet, as well as finding any changes early, which aids in detecting any potential health problems. In addition to the complete physical, the veterinarians can discuss preventive care recommendations based on your dog’s age, medical history, breed (genetic) factors, and lifestyle.
The physical exam allows the doctor to assess your pet’s eyes, ears, teeth, and gums. They will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs. The veterinarian will evaluate skin, hair coat, and body condition. Palpating the abdomen and lymph nodes will give them additional information regarding your pet’s general health.
Annual screening for heartworm and intestinal parasites is also recommended. Methods for preventing infections will be discussed during the annual exam. Geriatric blood work may also be indicated.
Vaccinations are based on your dog’s age, breed, and lifestyle. Routine vaccination for Distemper and Rabies is recommended. All dogs are required by New York State to be vaccinated for Rabies. Leptospirosis, Lyme, kennel cough, and flu vaccines are also available and will be discussed at the annual exam.
Preventive Care for Cats
An annual exam is vital for pet wellness and preventive care. The thorough physical examination of your cat’s overall physical condition each year establishes what is normal for your pet, as well as finding any changes early which aids in detecting any potential health problems. In addition to the physical, the veterinarian can discuss any preventative recommendations based on your cat’s age, overall health, breed, and lifestyle.
The physical exam allows the veterinarian to assess your cat’s eyes, ears, teeth, and gums. They will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs. The veterinarian will evaluate your cat’s skin, hair coat, and body condition. Palpating the abdomen and lymph nodes will give them additional information regarding your cat’s overall health.
Annual screening for external and internal parasites is also recommended. Methods of preventing parasites will also be discussed. Geriatric blood work may be indicated.
Vaccinations are based on your cat’s age and lifestyle. Routine vaccination for Distemper and Rabies is recommended. All cats are required by New York State to be vaccinated for rabies (even the indoor-only ones)! Feline Leukemia vaccines are also available.
Pet Wellness and Preventive Care
Puppy and Kitten Care
Just like human children, puppies and kittens require a series of vaccines and physicals.
Your new pet’s first physical is the important first step towards a lifetime of good health. Starting at 8 weeks of age, a series of physicals will help your pet get the best start in life.
Vaccinations ensure your pet is protected against diseases. Pets can come in contact with diseases within your yard, at the dog park, groomers, boarding facility, obedience class, and even the veterinary office. A puppy or kitten’s immune system is immature and must receive a series of properly timed immunizations. Based on your pet’s breed and lifestyle, your veterinarian will recommend a schedule that is the best for your pet.
We recommend fecal samples to check for intestinal parasites for both puppies and kittens. Kittens should be tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS if they weren’t tested before adoption. Puppies should be tested for heartworm at 6 months of age.
During your physicals, our veterinarian can discuss microchipping, spaying, neutering, housebreaking, training, or any other concerns you may have regarding pet wellness and preventive care.
Spay and Neuter Procedures
Spaying and neutering your pets is important for several reasons. Spaying your female dog prevents unwanted puppies, a possible uterine infection later in life, as well as possible mammary tumors. We recommend spaying your female dog before her first heat, approximately 6 months of age. Neutering male dogs can prevent prostate problems, testicular cancer, and help with behavioral problems such as marking, dominance aggression, and wandering. Your veterinarian can recommend the best age to neuter your dog based on breed and behavior, normally after 6 months of age.
Spaying or neutering your dog will also save you money on licensing.
Sick and Injured Care
While preventing illness is our goal, sometimes your pet may become ill or become injured, requiring medical care. At Valley Vet Hospital, we offer quality diagnostic methods, and medical treatments to help your pet return to health. Our in-house laboratory and digital x-ray machine minimize the time and exposure of your pet. We have travel specialists that can perform ultrasounds and a board-certified cardiologist for echocardiograms.
Our in house laboratory includes:
- Complete blood counts
- Blood Chemistries
- T4 (thyroid) Test
- Tick-borne disease testing
- Heartworm testing
- Feline Leukemia and AIDS testing
- Internal Parasite testing
- Canine Pancreatitis testing
- RingwormEar Mites, ear cytology, and other microscopic exams
Our reference laboratory offers any other testing your pet may require, in addition to a telemedicine service that allows your veterinarian to consult with specialists.
Hopefully, we will never have to see your pet for an emergency, but we do see emergencies during normal office hours. If your pet is seriously ill, and requires overnight care, if your pet requires a specialty we can not provide, or in the event of an after-hours emergency, we will refer you to the appropriate emergency or specialty hospital.
We offer a HomeAgain Pet Recovery and Identification System. A microchip is a tiny electronic device placed under your pet’s skin. It serves as a permanent, unique identification number for your pet. The number and owner information is stored in a national registry. If a pet is found, most animal hospitals and shelters will scan the animal for a microchip. If found, they’ll contact the registry with the number. The registry can then locate the owner. It is very important you keep your contact information current with the registry.
Pharmacy and Products
Our pharmacy is fully stocked with the prescription medicines your pet may need. We carry a full line of prescription medicines to prevent heartworm, and flea and tick control products. We have a wide selection of prescription diets. In addition to prescription items, we carry a large selection of over the counter nutritional supplements and other items to keep your pets happy and healthy.
We will see emergencies that occur during normal business hours. After hours emergencies, animals that need overnight care, or animals that require a specialist’s care will be referred to an appropriate veterinary hospital.
We carry a wide selection of prescription diets and treats if your pet’s condition warrants a special diet. Our veterinarians are happy to help assist you in making the correct food choice for your pet’s well being.
Euthanasia and Final Care Services
Saying goodbye to a loved pet is a difficult thing to do. Our veterinarians offer humane, dignified euthanasia services for when that time comes. Cremation is available with our on-site crematory. This ensures that your pet’s remains are treated with care and respect.