Pet Wellness Services

Your Pet’s Wellness Exam

Examination PhotoAs people that have dedicated our lives to the care and wellbeing of companion animals, we understand that the best means to keep your pet healthy as well as to minimize the lifetime cost of care is through preventative care. This includes vaccinations, behavior and nutritional counseling, microchip lost pet identification and more.

However, the basis of any preventative medicine regimen is regular wellness exams. All Creatures Veterinary Care Center recommends a complete physical examination at least once a year, but more frequent exams are encouraged.

A routine examination provides you and your doctor with the opportunity to develop a picture of your pet’s overall health as well as to spot potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet’s health, habits and daily care. We also use this time to inform you about home healthcare for your pet and offer important advice and new information on the care of your particular type and breed of animal.

During your pet’s wellness checkup, your veterinarian will:

  • Listen to your pet’s heart – Early signs of cardiac disease such as heart murmurs and abnormal heart beat patterns known as arrhythmias can be heard through a stethoscope. Discovering these initial indicators of trouble ahead can lead to identifying and treating the underlying condition before it becomes a more serious health threat.
  • Listen to your pet’s lungs – Health issues such as infections, obstructive diseases and other problems can be detected by listening to your pet's lungs through a stethoscope. The doctor can also assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet.
  • Check your pet’s teeth and oral cavity – Examining your pet’s teeth and mouth is an important part of preventing serious systemic diseases, which is why dental care is an import piece of preventative care. Very young animals, such as kittens and puppies, also need to be checked to ensure they are developing an appropriate bite and that they are losing their baby teeth at the right time. We also take the time to discuss proper home dental care with you.
  • Evaluate your pet’s vision – All diseases follow relatively predictable processes and if found early can be more easily treated. Ocular conditions, which can also be prevented through regular care and screenings, are no exception.
  • Look into your pet’s ears – As with dental disease, ear disease is relatively common in many types of pets. Issues such as low-grade allergies, swimming or bathing, reactions to certain foods, mites and other parasites can all cause and contribute to otitis or ear disease. Though you may feel this is an area that can be well-handled at home, the fact is that many ear diseases are difficult to detect and require medical treatment.
  • Palpate the lymph nodes, abdomen and skin – By feeling the skin, we are looking for unusual lumps or swellings as well as evaluating for skin discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning. These can indicate the presence of more systemic problems, especially metabolic diseases, which most commonly occur in middle-aged animals.
  • Palpate joints and muscles – By examining the joints, legs and other areas of the body, we are able to evaluate for swollen joints, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size between the legs. We also observe your pet's gait for developmental issues. In puppies, we look for early indications of hip or elbow problems. For older pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be well-treated if found early.
  • Lab work – A complete physical should include a heartworm test, fecal flotation test for intestinal parasites, and a red blood cell count as anemia (decrease in the number of red blood cells) can indicate the presence of a number of disease processes. For pets seven years of age or older, we also like to perform a complete blood cell count and a chemistry profile in order to create a baseline of systemic health and to detect any emergent disease processes.

Vaccination Protocols

Vaccination PhotoVaccinations are not only safe and effective; they are an important and fundamental piece of your pet’s preventative healthcare plan. Advances in veterinary immunology have made diseases that once were relatively common and fatal to pets easily preventable. There are also vaccines—such as for rabies and other zoonotic diseases—that help protect your family from very dangerous and difficult to treat illnesses. Additionally, with each passing year, veterinary science is improving on existent vaccines as well as increasing our ability to prevent an even wider array of contagious diseases.

All Creatures Veterinary Care Center’s vaccination protocol is tailored to American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, the lifestyle of your pet, as well as to the diseases he or she is most likely to encounter in our region of the country. In addition to vaccines for diseases such as rabies and distemper we may also recommend yearly vaccinations for Bordetella, parvovirus and Lyme disease for dogs and feline leukemia virus, panleukopenia, and feline immunodeficiency virus for cats.

Parasite Prevention & Control

External parasites (fleas and ticks) as well as internal parasites (heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms) are not only a health threat to your pet, but to your family as well. Many of these parasites are considered to be zoonotic, which means they can affect animals and humans too. Additionally, as anyone who has experienced an infestation of fleas in their home can attest, parasites can be difficult and expensive to eradicate.

Therefore, the best means to keep your pet, family and home safe from these pests is through prevention. All Creatures Veterinary Care Center will work with you to develop a program that best meets the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. We will look at possible exposure points, your pet’s activities and review with you the best ways to control fleas and ticks in your house, yard and on your pet. We will also discuss with you exposure risks for internal parasites, signs and symptoms, and the best means to prevent infection.

With a little prevention, there is no reason why your pet and your family should have reason to fear these pests.

Pet Identification - Microchipping

Pet Identification - Microchipping PhotoHow would you find your pet if he or she ever got lost?

Each year, millions of pets go missing and many don't make it back home. Microchipping your pet is a safe, simple and effective way to prevent this tragedy. About the size of a grain of rice, identification microchips are encoded with your pet’s vital information and implanted beneath your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades.

Veterinary hospitals and animal shelters across the country and around the world are equipped with special scanners capable of reading these microchips. The information in the chip is used to reunite you with your pet.

All Creatures Veterinary Care Center uses the HomeAgain microchip system. HomeAgain provides a number of very useful services to pet owners such as their National Pet Recovery Database, Lost Pet Specialists, Rapid Lost Pet Alerts, Lost Pet Medical Insurance, Travel Assistance for Found Pets, and more.

Senior Pet Care

Senior Pet PhotoAs animals move into the senior phase of life, they experience changes that are very similar to aging humans. Diseases and conditions that are commonly known to affect older people also affect our canine and feline companions, such as kidney, heart, and liver disease, tumors, cancer, diabetes, depression, arthritis, thyroid conditions, hormonal problems, neuroses and loss of sensory perception.

During the early stages of these illnesses, senior pets appear healthy upon physical examination, but may have an underlying disease. Once symptoms appear, the conditions may be too difficult or costly to diagnose or treat. Understanding the changes your pet goes through as he or she ages and how you can provide for your pet's needs are essential to quality of life.

All Creatures Veterinary Care Center recommends pets 7-years and older undergo a complete physical examination with blood work and other associated laboratory tests at least once per year. This exam is part of our senior pet wellness exam, which includes:

  • Chest and abdominal radiographs
  • Expanded (senior) blood profile
  • Complete urinalysis
  • Blood pressure testing
  • Glaucoma testing
  • Electrocardiogram (if needed)

Signs to Watch For

Signs of "old age" in your pet may actually be symptoms of more serious problems. When it comes to your pet's health care, you are his or her most important partner. If your older dog or cat begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms, please let us know:

  • Stiffness or limping
  • Difficulty climbing stairs or jumping
  • Difficulty breathing or changes in breathing patterns
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Excessive scratching or changes to skin or coat
  • Drastic weight change (either loss or gain)
  • Difficulty seeing or hearing
  • Changes in urination/defecation habits
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Decreased responsiveness

Pharmacy

In numerous acute or chronic conditions, medication is required to cure or alleviate symptoms. At All Creatures Veterinary Care Center we believe that timely and convenient access to these medications is an important aspect of caring for your pet. For this reason, we maintain a comprehensive pharmacy.

Not only does our pharmacy mean you don't have to wait for important medicines for your pet, but there is a direct line of communication between the examination room and the pharmacy window. Each medication becomes part of your pet's medical record, which reduces the chance for errors and enhances our ability to monitor its use and the outcome for your pet.

Refills are easy too. Simply give us a call or visit our online pharmacy and we can either mail them to you or have them ready at your next visit.

Additional Medical Services

Non-Wellness Care PhotoIf your pet becomes ill or you suspect there may be something wrong with him or her, we cover all areas of internal medicine:

  • Cardiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Neurology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Thyroid Disease Management
  • And Oncology (Cancer Treatment)

Our medical expertise is enhanced by access to advanced diagnostic equipment, our in-house lab, and pharmacy. We also maintain close relationships with area specialists in order to provide greater treatment options for advanced or complicated cases.

In all, we are able to provide superior medical care in order to cure or manage a wide range of medical conditions.

Pain Management

Pain Management - PhotoWhether your pet is recovering from surgery or experiences chronic pain, a pain management plan can help your best friend enjoy increased quality of life. We offer pain management plans for a variety of situations, including:

  • General surgery and post-op healing
  • Orthopedic and neurological pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Ear infections
  • Hospice/end of life care

Behavior Therapy

Behavior problems are the number one reason that owners give up a pet. All Creatures Veterinary Care Center offers behavior counseling for many of your pet’s problems including inappropriate urination or defecation, aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate chewing and barking, scratching, digging, and spraying.

Our veterinarians will work closely with you to understand the source of these behavior issues and in developing a specific plan to help eliminate your pet's unwanted behavior. Oftentimes, the behavior problem, such as inappropriate voiding, can be linked to a medical issue (cystitis, bladder stones, kidney disease, etc.) and can be treated medically. For other behavior issues, the treatment plan often includes behavior modification and may include medication-assisted training. If our veterinarians and technical staff members cannot help with your pet’s behavior problem, we can refer you to a board-certified animal behaviorist.