Wellness Exams and Vaccines
Pet Wellness Care for Dogs & Cats
Wellness and prevention in veterinary care is both a practice standard and a philosophy, with the primary focus on maintaining health, quality of life, and longevity in your pet.
At Pacific Animal Hospital, this approach generally includes routine care such as comprehensive physical exams twice a year, pet vaccinations, parasite detection and prevention, and dental care. Our goal is to protect your pet’s health and help ensure a long, happy, and comfortable life for your four-legged family member.
During your pet’s first wellness visit, the veterinarian performs a comprehensive exam and compiles a complete medical history. Ongoing visits add to this record, giving our veterinary team comprehensive knowledge of your pet’s health from newborn to senior pet. Visit these pages of our website for a more in-depth discussion of the health care needs of Puppies and Kittens and Senior Pets.
Disease and parasite prevention is a very important part of your pet’s wellness plan. We address prevention with an individual approach by tailoring vaccination and prevention plans to meet the needs and lifestyle of each individual pet and owner.
Vaccines are designed to protect your pets against deadly and contagious diseases. Not all vaccines are given to all animals—while some pets will require several vaccines, others may require less. At Pacific Animal Hospital, every pet is given an individualized vaccination schedule based on the breed, age, health needs, and lifestyle.
Many pet diseases infect only their own species and are not dangerous to other animals or the members of your family. However, some pet diseases are in the classification of zoonotic diseases—that is, they can be passed from your dog or cat to the members of your family. Some of the most common zoonotic pet diseases are:
- Rabies - A fatal virus that affects all warm-blooded animals and can be passed through blood or saliva, usually by a scratch or bite.
- Leptospirosis - A bacterial infection that damages your dog’s liver, kidneys, and other major organs and can be passed to people through contact with the dog’s urine.
- Roundworms, Hookworms, and Giardia - These parasites may be passed from your pet to a family member through contact with feces or soil contaminated with eggs or larvae.
The staff at Pacific Animal Hospital can provide more information about these diseases, as well as treatment and prevention methods to protect your pet and family. In addition, the CDC offers more information about zoonotic diseases. Visit the CDC website to learn how to keep your family and pets safe.
For a handy reference at home, download our general vaccination schedules for dogs and cats:
Please remember that your pet may not receive all of these vaccines; this information is for general knowledge only, and your veterinarian will be pleased to discuss the specific needs of your dog or cat at your next visit.
Pet Parasite Control
External parasites are those that are found on the outside of your dogs or cats, including fleas, ticks, mange mites, and ear mites.
Dogs and cats can suffer greatly from external parasites, most specifically fleas and ticks. Fleas survive by jumping onto a host, puncturing the skin, and feeding on the blood. Not only does this cause itching and irritation, but many pets develop flea allergy dermatitis. This is a miserable and uncomfortable condition resulting in excessive biting, skin abrasions, and hair loss. Fleas may also transmit tapeworms, an internal, segmented parasitic worm.
Ear mites are easy to identify in most dogs and cats, and your veterinarian can generally offer treatment that will clear them up in a short time. Symptoms include scratching the ears and rubbing the head and face.
The professionals at Pacific Animal Hospital recommend that you contact our office if you notice your pet scratching, scooting, find a tick on your pet, or suspect fleas. We will discuss the best solution for your pet and offer suggestions for an appropriate treatment.
The Pet Health Center at WebMD offers answers to frequently asked questions about controlling fleas and ticks on cats. They also offer this helpful discussion about parasite prevention and products for dogs.
Internal Parasites In Pets
Two of the most common parasites we discuss with dog and cat owners are heartworms and intestinal worms.
Heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly disease, found in both dogs and cats. This parasite is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito into the animal’s bloodstream. Adult heartworms grow and develop in the animal’s heart, leading to heart failure, lung disease, and death.
Pets should be placed on heartworm preventive at an early age and continue on this medication for their entire life. In dogs, a simple blood test is performed annually to ensure that your pet is free from heartworms. Read more about heartworm disease in dogs and cats.
Other internal parasites are easily diagnosed through a fecal test at the annual wellness visit. You may suspect intestinal parasites if your pet has a change in stools or is scooting or scratching at the hindquarters. If you suspect your pet has worms, however, do not attempt to treat it yourself. Various types of worms respond to specific medications, and some over-the-counter products can harm your pet. Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication for the type of parasite identified. Treatment is typically an oral medication—simple and relatively inexpensive.
The specific care your pet requires—including parasite prevention and treatment, pet vaccinations, as well as other prevention needs – depends upon your pet’s age and lifestyle. We design your pet’s preventive care to be flexible, changing as needed over time. Our individualized disease prevention is tailored to the needs of every patient and pet owner, at every stage of your pet’s life.
Contact Pacific Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns about pet diseases or parasites.
During wellness visits we address issues important to pet owners such as spay and neuter decisions, pet training or unacceptable behaviors, and managing safety with microchip services. Support for our clients includes a vast collection of resources.
Preventive care and wellness includes every area of pet health and ownership.