Pet Wellness Care – Tallahassee, Florida

Preventative Medicine Recommendations for Northwood Animal Hospital

850-385-8181

One of the goals of Northwood Animal Hospital is to prevent disease in our patients and clients by developing a regular program of preventative medicine for the pets we treat.

Here are some of our recommended practices:

All susceptible species (dogs, cats and ferrets) should be on a monthly parasite prevention program, specifically protecting against heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas and/or ticks. Some of these intestinal parasites are zoonotic, meaning you can get them from your pets. The whole family, including the pets, are healthier with regular veterinary care. Consult with one of our staff to devise the appropriate preventative program to meet the individual needs of your pets.

Physical exams and fecal checks are recommended be performed on your pets twice a year. One year for a dog is like 5-7 years between exams for a person. If we can detect a disease process early, or note something about the condition of your pet (such as obesity) that could predispose your pet to illness, early intervention may be able to stop or at least slow the progression of disease. Outdoor cats should be screened for Feline Leukemia and FIV yearly through a blood test.

Due to the prevalence of heartworm disease in our area, we highly recommend that all dogs be tested yearly for heartworm disease as well performing twice a year screening for intestinal parasites, even if your dog is receiving prevention regularly.

Northwood Animal Hospital recommends Wellness Screening for dogs and cats over the age of 7 years. In addition to the regular lab work needed for all ages (heartworm testing, fecal floatation) we recommend running full general health panels for senior pets. This more extensive lab work varies from pet to pet depending on their needs. Included in most panels is a CBC (complete blood count to evaluate cells in the blood), chemistry panel to check organ function, thyroid screening and urinalysis.

The preventative program for puppies and kittens centers around protecting them from parasites and infectious viruses which can wreak havoc on their little bodies. We would like to see your new puppy or kitten within a few days after it comes to live with you. We will perform a full physical exam and check for intestinal parasites. Kittens that have not previously been screened for FeLV or FIV should have that blood test run. Starting at 6 weeks of age, puppies and kittens need vaccines administered which are then boostered every 3 weeks until 14-16 weeks of age when they are old enough to receive a Rabies vaccine. Puppies and kittens need to be dewormed and started on the appropriate preventative program for their lifestyle.

We advise that all pets (dogs, cats and rabbits) be castrated or spayed unless intended for breeding purposes. It is recommended in most cases that the surgery occur between 4 and 6 months of age. Surgical neutering helps prevent some unwanted behavioral problems (aggression, wandering, marking). It also prevent some types of cancer (breast cancer and reproductive cancers) as well as preventing some other life threatening conditions (pyometra, dystocia and prostatic disease).

We tailor the vaccine needs of your pet based on his or her lifestyle. When you come for your appointment, you will be asked to fill out a vaccine consent form. This form asks you questions concerning where your pet spends most of its time, what other animals it is exposed to, etc. Based on your answers to those questions and in consultation with you, a customized vaccine protocol will be developed for your pet. We do recommend the core vaccines for most animals (DA2PP and Rabies for dogs; FVRCP and Rabies for cats). Some pets need non-core vaccines depending on their risk of exposure to the diseases for which the vaccines protect (Bordetella and Leptospirosis in dogs, Feline Leukemia in cats). We recognize three year length of protection for many of our vaccine booster in adult pets (DA2PP, FVRCP and Rabies). Vaccines such as FeLV, Bordetella and Leptospirosis are given yearly for susceptible pets.

This is not a comprehensive listing of our preventative medicine policies but gives you some idea of how we go about helping you give your pet a happy, healthy life. Please call if you have any questions about your individual pet.