At the Mount Airy Animal Hospital, our services and objectives are designed to assist in routine preventive care for young, healthy pets; early detection and treatment of disease as your pet ages; and complete medical and surgical care as necessary during his or her lifetime. Our canine and feline companions age more quickly than we do. This is why we emphasize the importance of biannual exams to aid in the early detection of disease and maintenance of preventive health care. We have updated our vaccine schedule for both cats and dogs to give less frequent vaccinations for certain diseases. Our focus remains providing appropriate preventive health care to give your pet the best quality of life possible. This includes prevention of heartworm disease, fleas and ticks, intestinal parasites, viral and bacterial diseases, obesity, dental disease and behavioral problems.
Heartworm is a blood parasite that can infect dogs and cats, and is spread by the mosquito. We recommend testing dogs annually for heartworm (a test that includes tests for certain tick-borne diseases as well), and we recommend heartworm preventative year round for both dogs and cats. Cats are at risk for heartworm, even if they live inside. The disease is much harder to test for and treat in our feline patients, so our focus is on prevention.
Our pets can acquire intestinal parasites from their mother as well as their environment. Some of these parasites can be infectious to humans, especially children, the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems. This is why it is important to check fecal samples for parasites at least twice per year, and de-worm our pets as necessary.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and Ticks can cause itching and discomfort for our pets, cause infestations in our homes and can serve as vectors for dangerous diseases for both pets and people. There are several safe and effective preventatives currently available. However, not all products marketed for this purpose are created equal. Please consult one of us at the Mount Airy Animal Hospital for advice on the best choice for your pet.
Our pets accumulate plaque and tartar throughout their lifetime just as we do. Brushing and regular dental cleanings are critical for preventing the advancement of periodontal disease, pain, infection and tooth loss.
We recommend performing blood work yearly on our aging pets. This aids in the early detection and treatment of diseases whose frequency is increased in the geriatric population. When diseases are caught before your pet starts exhibiting outward signs of disease they can often be treated more promptly and with less expense. Checking for normal organ function is also recommended prior to your pet undergoing anesthesia. Changes in your pet’s routine or behavior can be important signs of disease. Vomiting, diarrhea, changes in appetite, thirst or urination are all good reasons to bring your pet in for an exam.
Obesity is a growing problem in our canine and feline patients. Not only does it cause increased stress on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, but can predispose to diabetes and skin disease. Occasionally, hormonal imbalances can contribute to obesity. Usually, simple changes in feeding habits and the type of foods fed can be effective in achieving weight loss.
Behavior problems are the number one reason why people give up their pets. Problems such as feline inappropriate urination can be frustrating and costly to deal with, while issues like aggression, separation anxiety and noise phobia can result in injury to the pet, other pets or people. Dealing with behavior problems does require a lot of patience, but behavior modification, environmental changes and sometimes medication can be helpful in restoring the bond between you and your pets.
For more info on pet wellness, visit the CDC Healthy Pets Healthy People website