Preventative Care Visits are the foundation of our care. These annual (or semiannual for senior pets) checkups give us a chance to review everything you’ve seen at home, perform a thorough physical exam, and collect lab samples to screen for infectious and chronic illnesses, before your pet feels ill. They are also a chance for us to review your pet’s lifestyle and any upcoming changes to it, so we can provide the best care recommendations.
Annual Lab Tests give your dog a voice that would otherwise be lacking. They tell us whether we need to perform deworming, whether organ function is changing, and what medications and supplements are best for your pet.
- Intestinal Parasite Screening is performed by checking a stool sample; you’ll receive a container ahead of time to collect a small sample the morning of our visit. In dense environments like NYC and New Jersey, checking for parasites is critical.
- Blood Tests for organ function, anemia, and inflammatory diseases let you know that there aren’t lurking health concerns; they also provide a baseline for comparison over time. The same samples are also used to screen for exposure to dangerous tick-borne diseases and heartworm disease, which is on the rise in the Northeast.
Vaccinations are a powerful tool and we use them judiciously to ensure your dog is protected from viruses he may come in contact with. We work with you to design a vaccination plan that works for your pet, not against him.
- Rabies Virus Vaccine is legally required for all pets in New York and New Jersey. We will discuss the safest schedule for administering this vaccine.
- Bordetella or Kennel Cough Vaccine reduces the severity of infections for dogs, making complications like pneumonia unlikely. This vaccine now comes in a flavored oral formula that is painless to administer!
- Distemper/Parvo Vaccine protects your dog from several common viruses that he will be exposed to in the environment, even without coming into direct contact with other dogs. After the initial puppy series, and a booster at one year old, we continue this vaccine every three years to keep your dog safe.
- Lyme Vaccine minimizes the risk that your dog will contract lyme disease if bitten by a carrier tick; rates of exposure in our area are high—especially considering the urban setting!—with approximately 25% of our patients testing positive. The vaccine is a safe way to reduce that risk for pets likely to be exposed, and an option we consider for pets with higher risk lifestyles.
- Leptospirosis Vaccine is a safe option to protect your pet from this bacteria spread by rodents and other mammals. “Lepto” persists in water, and contaminated puddles and ponds are prime sources of infection. The disease can be transmitted from our pets to our families, and progresses over 12 hours to 7 days from mild lethargy to fatal liver and kidney failure. This vaccine is not right for every pet, but is an important option to consider in urban areas, and one we will discuss with you during our visit.
Nutrition Assessment is crucial to ensuring your dog feels her best. Navigating the seemingly endless choices in available diets, as well as supplements, is something we enjoy doing! We will help you determine if the current food and portions are the best option, and if not, what alternatives exist. We’ll help you create a portion plan that keeps your dog at her healthiest weight and minimizes the risks of breathing disorders, arthritis, and diabetes.
After our visit, we review our discussion with you, as well as physical exam findings and lab results, and design a custom health plan that takes into account all of the above. You’ll be empowered to be your dog’s caretaker and advocate, with the support of our team’s expertise and the resources needed to keep your dog healthy!