A complete physical examination is recommended on a yearly basis for all cats, indoor and outdoor, and dogs. Examinations are tailored to the individual pet’s breed, age, lifestyle and previous medical problems.
For vaccinations , deworming, heartworm and flea prevention, wellness testing and senior care are made based on the individual pet’s needs.Senior pet examinations and requirements are often more complex and involved. We need to ensure these older cats and dogs are as comfortable and well cared for as possible.
See OVMA Importance of physical exam.
The vaccines needed for your pet depend on a variety of factors which will be discussed and decisions will be made together with your input. Vaccinations are a preventative measure against infectious diseases. Many of the infectious diseases can be very serious or fatal for cats and dogs. Some, such as rabies, can also be transmitted to people. Core vaccines are vaccines universally recommended, all dogs and cats should receive them. Non core vaccines are administered selectively depending on lifestyle and geographic details of your specific pet. Decisions must always be made on an individual basis and vary with risk and lifestyle factors.
See OVMAQ and A vaccinations page.
SeeAmerican Association of Feline Practitioners vaccine guidelinesfor more information on Feline vaccines.
Vaccination needs of adult cats should be assessed at least once yearly, and if necessary, modified on the basis of an assessment of their risk. Kittens younger than 16 weeks of age are generally more susceptible to infection than are adult cats and typically develop more severe disease.
Feline panleukopenia. (core) Vaccination against FPV (feline parvovirus) is highly recommended for all cats. Following the initial series of vaccinations and revaccination 1 year later, cats should be vaccinated no more frequently than once every 3 years. Clinical signs of the disease include fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), and feline calicivirus (FCV) Virus (core) account for up to 90% of all cases of infectious upper respiratory tract disease in cats. Vaccination against FHV-1 and FCV is highly recommended for all cats. Following the initial series of vaccinations and revaccination 1 year later, cats should be vaccinated once every 3 years. Regardless of the route of administration, FHV-1 and FCV vaccines induce only relative, not complete, protection. At best, these vaccines induce an immune response that lessens the severity of disease; vaccinates are not immune to infection, nor are they protected from all signs of disease. Symptoms most often include fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, tearing, discharge from eyes and nose and coughing. Rabies (core) is transmitted mainly through bite wounds of infected mammals. The rabies virus attacks the nervous system and is fatal. Rabies virus vaccination is highly recommended for all cats.
Feline leukemia virus. (non core but recommended for all kittens) Experimental data demonstrate that kittens younger than 16 weeks of age are most susceptible to infection, with cats older than this being relatively resistant. Cats at greatest risk include outdoor cats (free-roaming pets, stray cats, and feral cats). Also at risk are cats residing in open, multiple-cat environments, cats living with FeLV-infected cats, and cats residing in households with unknown FeLV status. Feline Leukemia attacks the immune system can leave a cat vulnerable to secondary infections. It inhibits the immune system and causes a complex of debilitating diseases that can include various types of cancer. Death usually occurs within 3 years of infection.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) -(non core, restricted in cats at high risk) Symptoms in felines include immune system suppression and chronic susceptibility to other infections. There is no cure for FIV. This vaccine is used only in very special situations.
Canine Distemper-(core) The Distemper virus attacks many organs including the nervous system. Symptoms include listlessness, diarrhea, fever, coughing, vomiting, and discharge from the eyes and nose. In the final stages it can cause convulsions or paralysis. Following the initial series of vaccinations and revaccination 1 year later, dogs should be vaccinated no more frequently than once every 3 years.
Canine Parvo Virus- (core) Highly contagious and debilitating, the virus is spread through infected fecal matter. Symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea, listlessness and in severe cases can lead to shock and death. Following the initial series of vaccinations and revaccination 1 year later, dogs should be vaccinated no more frequently than once every 3 years.
Rabies (core) is transmitted mainly through bite wounds of infected mammals. The rabies virus attacks the nervous system and is fatal. Rabies virus vaccination is highly recommended for all dogs.
Canine Adenovirus. (Core) Following the initial series of vaccinations and revaccination 1 year later, dogs should be vaccinated no more frequently than once every 3 years. Leptospirosis (non core) is more prevalent in certain geographic areas. Vaccination is recommended in high risk areas only. The disease attacks the dog’s liver and kidney. It can spread through humans. Infection occurs on contact with the urine of infected dogs, rat and wild animals. Symptoms can be severe and include loss of appetite, fever and jaundice.
Canine Parainfluenza virus (non core) Is a canine respiratory infection that causes fever and coughing. Following the initial series of vaccinations and revaccination 1 year later, dogs should be vaccinated no more frequently than once every 3 years.
Bordetella bronchiseptica (non core) Is also a canine respiratory infection that causes coughing. Dogs that come into contact with other dogs should be vaccinated yearly or as recommended by the veterinarian.
Senior dogs and cats may require more extensive examinations and screening to ensure the best quality and quantity of life. Our job is to keep them comfortable and happy. These screening procedures may include blood work, urinalysis and fecals. Heart work-ups may be indicated in some senior pets and may involve imaging ( radiographs or ultrasound), electrocardiograms and blood pressure assessments. As our pets age they are more likely to begin to have problems and early identification of these problems helps to keep pets comfortable and active longer. As part of providing the best preventative health care to pets, we encourage clients to have a blood and urine analysis (wellness profile) done on their pets annually. This is particularly valuable for dogs and cats who are 7 years of age and older. Pets may be at an increased risk of developing age-related problems such as Arthritis, diabetes, liver and kidney disease. The wellness profile gives us a more complete picture of your pets overall health. It also provides a baseline for comparison with future profile results.
Senior Pet Tips
- Physical examinations twice a year with your veterinarian will help prevent and diagnose disease.
- A yearly wellness blood and urine test beginning at 7 years will help detect problems early and measure any changes over time.
- Regular dental examinations will help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Older cats and dogs are less adaptable – avoid exposing your senior pet to extreme heat and cold.
- Your cat or dog may have impaired vision and hearing so keep it out of harm’s way.
Regular veterinary examinations are a way to uncover medical problems early when they are much easier to treat. Screening procedures may include blood tests, urinalysis and fecal analysis. More advanced testing may be indicated in some patients.
Periodontal disease is a very common condition for cats and dogs over 3 years in age. Periodontal disease is inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Our dental services include a complete examination of the teeth and mouth, looking for broken or missing teeth, discolored teeth, growths, tartar and periodontal disease. Dental x-rays are used to find problems not seen by a visual examination. Dental cleaning is a common procedure. More advanced dental procedures are also commonly performed. Yearly examinations help to detect and prevent early stages of dental disease. See Dental Health for pets on the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association website. Cats are very prone to developing cavities (small holes) in the teeth called resorptive lesions. We are now recommending full mouth dental radiographs for all our feline dental patients to find and treat these painful areas as early as possible. One of the most common dental problem in dogs and cats is periodontal disease (Inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth.). Accumulation of tartar contributes to gum recession around the base of the tooth. Infection follows and the gums recede. Untreated infection speeds and eventually the tooth loosens and falls out. If the disease is caught at an early stage and a thorough dental scaling and polishing performed, most of the teeth and gums will have a full recovery. Examination is the key to diagnosis and helps determine the type of treatment needed. See the Veterinary oral health council for more information.
Diagnosis and treatments of sick pets is an important part of our hospital. Consultation, examination and testing are commonly preformed. Blood work, urinalysis, radiographs, electrocardiograms and blood pressures may be indicated. More advanced testing such as ultrasound, may also be needed in some cases. Hospitalization involving intravenous fluids and medications may be used. Many types of medical and surgical procedures are available
Pets may need to be hospitalized for illness or surgical care. Our animal hospital is clean and comfortable. Pets are supervised by veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Our patients are treated very gently and monitored very closely. Treatment and medications are given and pet owners are kept up to date with progress reports.
Our surgical suite provides a wide variety of
surgical procedures which include feline and canine spays and neuters, growth removals and biopsies, exploratory surgery, cystotomy, laceration repairs and various other surgical procedures. Our animal hospital strongly believes in the comfort of your pet and therefore provides a pain management program to fit the needs of the individual pet.
Anesthesia is often used in the hospital for surgical and painful procedures. Many types and levels of anesthesia are available and each patient’s needs must be assessed individually. Patient monitoring during anesthesia includes: blood pressure, electrocardiograms, pulse oximetry and respiratory monitoring. Veterinary technicians remain with patients throughout the entire procedure, monitor vital signs and assist the patients in wake up.
Pain Management Protocols are often used in the hospital and are tailored to the individual patient’s needs. Pain medications are often send home with patients to help in recovery. Physiotherapy protocols are also helpful for a full comfortable recovery in some patients.
End of Life issues are a major concern to many pet owners. A time may come when you and your veterinarian determine that euthanasia is the most humane choice for your pet. Many clients chose to remain with their pet and every effort is made to make this a calm, quiet and peaceful departure time. A high dose of an anesthetic class drug is used from which the pet does not wake up from. We welcome your questions regarding this procedure and the option of having your pet’s ashes returned.
Problems such as excessive barking, chewing, spraying, scratching, digging, house soiling and aggression are problems that many pet owners encounter. Our veterinarians can provide consultation services regarding the diagnosis and correction of many behavioral issues.
Our on-site X-ray equipment provides radiographs to help the veterinarian evaluate musculo-skeletal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and urinary systems.
Many patients also require ultrasounds.
We provide ECG services on-site as well as consultations with cardiology specialists.
Our in-house laboratory facility provides for cytology, serum chemistry, hematology, urinalysis and parasite testing. We also utilize several commercial veterinary laboratories for specialized diagnostics and consultations which can often have results to us in less than 24 hours.
Our on-site pharmacy contains many medications, supplements, shampoos and heartworm/flea preventatives to meet the needs of your pet. We are also able to special order flavored chewable, liquid and transdermal medications for pets that are a challenge to medicate.
We develop programs for the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. We will review with you the best ways to prevent/control fleas and heartworm disease for your pet. We are now testing for heartworm all year round. Depending on your dogs lifestyle, heartworm testing may be required annually or every other year. Our goal is to move heartworm testing to the time of your pets annual examination. Heartworm prevention medication is given monthly starting June 1st through to Nov. 1st. We would like to help educate you on heartworm prevention medications and select the one that is best suited for the needs ofyour pet and family. Please call us to arrange for heartworm testing and to pick up these medications. See the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association article onHeartworm disease.
We will provide guidance regarding your pet’s nutritional needs for each life stage, including dietary requirements for growth, weight maintenance and performance. Diets for specific diseases are available. We offer a variety of maintenance and therapeutic diets to suit your pets’ needs. Guidance for home cooking is also available.
Medicated bathing services at the animal hospital are available.