The Granby Animal Clinic, Inc.
GENERAL HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS
All dogs that have finished their “puppy” visits should plan on visiting the Veterinarian’s office at least once a year for an annual physical. The annual exam helps to screen your dog for abnormalities that you might not have noticed at home (such as weight loss, dental problems, anemia and growths) and gives your veterinarian a baseline of information that is helpful to compare against when your dog becomes sick. During this visit your dog will receive any vaccinations that are due. You will be updated on new health issues and your questions concerning the care of your pet will be answered.
We highly recommend all dogs to be on year round heartworm medication and to be tested for annually for heartworm disease. If you miss giving your dog more than one month of heartworm medication, you should call the office to find out if retesting is recommended before administering additional doses of heartworm preventative. In addition to preventing heartworm disease, the preventatives that we recommend also help to control common gastrointestinal parasites.
Lyme disease is common in this area; therefore, we strongly recommend that your dog be vaccinated against Lyme disease. If your dog is not currently vaccinated, please talk to the doctor about vaccination. Lyme disease is a painful disease and if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to long-term problems. If you choose not to vaccinate your dog, you should consider annual screening for the disease and year round tick protection with products like K9 Advantix or Seresto collars.
We also offer a vaccination for Leptospirosis, This disease is currently on the rise. It can lead to serious and potentially fatal kidney and liver disease. Leptospirosis also has the potential to be zoonotic (transmissible to other pets and people). We currently recommend vaccination for most dogs.
Vaccines for Bordetella and Canine Influenza are also available and are recommended for dogs that socialize regularly with multiple other dogs, such as at the park, day care or boarding.
Your dog should have a stool sample checked for parasites at least once or twice a year (more frequently if you live in a heavily contaminated environment). In addition, your dog should be dewormed at least 4 times a year. If you are using Heartgard Plus® or Sentinel® for your dog’s heartworm preventative, no additional medication is needed unless you have a known problem with a parasite not killed by the medication.
We are in a tick endemic area with several known tick-borne diseases; therefore, year-round tick protection is recommended. Please talk with the staff to determine the best medication for your individual pet.
Some breeds of dogs are predisposed to developing glaucoma or heart disease. Routine screening for these diseases can lead to early diagnosis and a better ability to control your pet’s disease. Ask if your dog should be screened.
Dental disease is very prevalent in our pet population and causes both systemic illnesses and pain for our pets. If possible, you should clean your dog’s teeth daily. During your dog’s annual exam, his/her teeth will be examined as well as possible. If significant dental disease or tartar is present and your dog’s health is OK, your dog should have a dental cleaning. To properly clean your dog’s teeth, they need to be given an anesthetic. During the cleaning your dog’s teeth will be examined more closely for problems. In addition to home brushing, you might want to consider a diet formulated to decrease tartar formation (Iams and Eukanuba have “dental defense” and Science diet has an oral care formula). We offer a variety of canine dental treats (CET Chews®, Tartar Shield rawhide®), as well as other oral dental care products that have been shown to decrease tartar production. They are an easy way to improve dental health. If you have questions on how to take care of your dog’s teeth, please ask.
Dogs that are over 7 years old (Giant breed dogs over 5) are starting to enter their golden years. Like with your own heath, the more preventative steps you take in general, the better your dog’s health will be. Disease states often progress faster in our pets due to their shorter life spans. You should consider having a semi-annual (twice a year) physical done on your dog to track changes better. In addition, bloodwork and a urinalysis should be done at least once a year to help alert us to possible problems. Some diseases that are very common in our older dogs that can be picked up with these tests are kidney disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, hyperadrenocorticism and some cancers. Other less common diseases can be found as well. Please let us know if you would like this additional care.
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