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Health Recommendations for dogs
Veterinarians recommend yearly wellness exams for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them – if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it's more likely to be treated and resolved more effectively, more successfully and less expensively.
Oral Health Care
During the annual exam, your veterinarian will do an oral exam to check your dog’s mouth for disease or abnormalities. Oral disease is common and results in bad breath, painful gum and tooth infection. In advanced cases, dental disease may compromise your dog’s overall health. We recommend daily tooth brushing, oral dental treats and professional cleanings to treat and prevent periodontal disease.
Spaying and Neutering
Spaying and neutering your dog is recommended. Pet overpopulation is a major problem and unwanted pets are euthanized in shelters every day. Discuss the risks and benefits of spay/neuter surgery with your veterinarian.
Rabies: The vaccine is required by law and prevents infection by a fatal virus carried by skunks, raccoons and other wildlife. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted to humans. If your pet is bitten by wildlife or bites a human/animal, lack of a current vaccination will result in quarantine at owner’s expense.
DHPP (Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza): Recommended for all dogs to prevent these potentially fatal communicable diseases. In particular, parvovirus can live for up to two years in the environment and can cause fatal gastroenteritis.
Leptospirosis: A bacteria found in the urine of wildlife, commonly carried by skunks, raccoons, deer, rats, ect…that is passed through contaminated water (including puddles, streams, lakes). The disease can be fatal and, although rare, it may pass to humans.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough): A highly contagious upper respiratory illness passed via direct contact with other dogs or contaminated surfaces/items. Recommended for dogs who visit kennels, groomers, dog parks or daycares.
Rattlesnake: This vaccine may reduce the severity of (but does not prevent) the effects of a rattlesnake bite. Emergency attention is still required if your dog is bitten.
Influenza: This is a highly contagious respiratory virus passed via direct contact with other dogs or contaminated surfaces/items. Outbreaks are rare, discuss with your veterinarian whether this vaccine is appropriate for your dog.
The HomeAgain Microchip is a safe and effective way to make sure that your dog will be identified properly to ensure it returns home to you quickly and safely.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. It is caused by foot long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected dogs, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease is carried by mosquitoes and affects not only dogs, cats and ferrets, but also can be in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans.
Most dogs are exposed to and may harbor worms, like roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and single cell organisms (giardia and coccidian). Dogs can contract intestinal parasites via different routes, such as when an animal inadvertently ingests parasite eggs or spores in contaminated soil, water, feces or food.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas are especially common in the Sacramento area and thrive year-round. They live wherever there are cats, dogs and other mammals – including indoors! Consistent flea control is essential to prevent infestation and prevent itchiness and secondary skin complications.
Ticks occur anywhere wildlife and natural vegetation occur – including parks and backyards! Ticks may carry bacteria or viruses that can be transmitted to a pet while the tick is attached and feeding. Avoiding tick-bites is the best way to avoid these diseases.
Nexgard is a chewable treat taken monthly to protects your dog from flea and tick infestation. If living in the Sacramento area, we recommend treating your dog year round for fleas and ticks.
Heartgard is a chewable treat taken monthly to protects your pet from heartworm disease and intestinal parasites. We also recommend treating your dog year round with Heartgard for heartworm prevention.
Fecal test: We recommend an annual screening for disease causing parasites that your dog may easily pick up from the environment and that may be spread to humans. Common local intestinal parasites include hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, giardia, coccidia and tapeworm.
Heartworm test: Annual heartworm testing is recommended by the American Heartworm Society for early detection of infection.
Early Detection Lab Work
Annual lab work is recommended as a precaution to detect early disease in your dog (i.e. kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc.) prior to your pet showing any signs or symptoms. Even dogs that appear happy and healthy can have hidden medical problems that might become serious, even life-threatening, if left undetected. Blood and urine tests may help identify diseases at the earliest most treatable stage possible.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give our hospital a call and schedule an appointment today!