At Mill Plain Veterinary Clinic, we believe that prevention contributes to your pet's long-term health and minimizes the lifetime cost of care. We strongly recommend routine wellness exams, vaccinations, regular lab work, fecal checks, and medications to prevent fleas, ticks, and heartworms to help keep your pet in optimum health.
Wellness examinations are the same for your pet as the yearly physical you receive from your doctor. It is a chance for us to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, and educate and update you on advancements in veterinary care. It is also an opportunity for you to discuss any of your concerns.
Regular Blood Work: Baseline testing of your pet’s blood and urine can identify the presence of underlying diseases and helps create a baseline should your pet become ill between regular examinations. Additionally, blood work is recommended if a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia is needed.
Deworming and Fecal Check: Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns (or any other place a pet defecates).
At home, watch for subtle changes in your pet's bodyweight, appetite, water intake, urination and bowel habits, as well as general attitude and activity level. These changes may be signs of medical problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin can be serious. Ear infections, abscessed teeth, and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become obvious until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical exam is the tool to evaluate your dog or cat’s health status and to help you make informed decisions about the care of your special companion.
Due to the many innovations in veterinary medicine, your pet can be protected against most major infectious diseases. Today, many immunizations and preventative treatments are available that did not exist a decade ago. Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease.
For the health and safety of our patients, clients, and staff, we strongly recommend that all core vaccinations be up-to-date. If you choose not to vaccinate your pet according to our recommended schedule, we may require serum blood titers to determine if your pet has adequate protection against certain diseases as a result of previous vaccines.
Core vaccines for dogs include canine distemper, canine adenovirus (hepatitis), canine parvovirus, and canine parainfluenza, which are combined in one injection, abbreviated as DHPP. The rabies vaccine is also required for all dogs by the state of Connecticut, and titer testing for rabies is not considered an acceptable alternative.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria found in soil, water and the urine of infected animals. The vaccine is strongly recommended if your dog is exposed to areas where there are possible carriers such as raccoons, rodents, coyotes, and opossums, or is a “puddle drinker.” We recommend this vaccine for most dogs, and it is usually included as a combination with the DHPP vaccine.
Lyme disease a common tick-transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms in dogs include recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints, lack of appetite, and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidney, and rarely heart or nervous system disease. Lyme disease can only be contracted when bitten by a deer tick and cannot be spread between dogs and humans.
Bordetella is a bacteria commonly associated with respiratory infections in dogs. It is one of the more common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis—also known as kennel cough. Bordetella is highly contagious, easily transmitted through the air or direct contact, and fairly resistant to destruction in the environment. The vaccine is strongly recommended if your dog attends day care, visits dog parks, boarding kennels, or any other location where he or she comes into nose-to-nose contact with other dogs.
Canine influenza virus (CIV) causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as canine flu. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs are susceptible to infection when they are first exposed because they have not built up natural immunity. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lack of energy, fever, runny nose, and cough. Most dogs that develop canine influenza have a mild to moderate illness, but some dogs get very sick and may require treatment, as rarely death can occur.
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs: Non-core vaccines for dogs include Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Bordetella, and Canine Influenza vaccines. Non-core vaccinations are recommended for some dogs based on their lifestyle.
Core vaccines for cats include panleukopenia virus (also known as feline distemper), feline calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis (also known as herpes virus). The vaccines are combined in one injection called RCPN. The rabies vaccine is required for all cats by the state of Connecticut.
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats: Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a contagious disease of cats and spreads primarily through intimate nose-to-nose contact with infected saliva. This very often occurs during cat fights, grooming, and mating. Contaminated urine, blood, and feces are also sources of infection. Though FeLV is not a core vaccine, it is recommended for cats at risk of exposure to this serious disease.