Bringing your pet in for an annual diagnostic and wellness checkup can help reassure you that your dog or cat is healthy or help us detect hidden diseases or conditions early. Early detection can improve the prognosis of many diseases, keep medical costs down, and help your pet live longer. Many dogs and cats are good at hiding signs that something is wrong, so subtle changes in their health or behavior might be easy to overlook. And, depending on the disease, some pets don’t show any symptoms.
Dogs and cats age far quicker than humans, so it is even more crucial for our companion animals to receive regular exams. In addition, the risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, and kidney and liver problems all increase with age.
During your pet’s wellness exam, we will perform a physical assessment, checking your dog or cat from nose to tail. We will also make sure your pet receives appropriate vaccinations and preventives. We may recommend a diagnostic workup, which may include blood, fecal, and urine tests to check for parasites and underlying diseases. We may also recommend that your pet receive dental care. When your pet is nearing his or her senior years, we will recommend a baseline exam and diagnostic workup so we’ll know what’s normal for your pet. This will enable us to keep track of any changes.
Because you spend the most time with your pet, you are your pet’s expert, as well as his or her greatest advocate. Please let us know if you’ve noticed any physical or behavioral changes in your pet, as well as any other concerns you might have.
Call us today to schedule your pet’s exam! If you have any questions, we would be happy to discuss our adult wellness program in more detail.
Preventive Care/Wellness Visits
- Yearly visits to the veterinarian are for more than vaccines. At this visit, the veterinarian will perform a comprehensive physical exam which is vital to ensuring the continued health of your pet. This allows us to find any health concerns early.
- STAC recommends a minimum of 1 preventive/wellness visit per year and twice-yearly exams for older, geriatric (over 7 year old) animals.
- Wellness Lab Panels:
- STAC offers a couple discounted lab panels for wellness visits that provide a baseline that allows for early detection of disease
- These allow us to detect subtle changes over time so we can institute treatment early
- CORE VACCINES:
- FeLV/FVRCP:FeLV is Feline Leukemia Virus. FVRCP vaccinates for the following conditions: Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. This is a combination vaccine that protects against the common Feline viruses. STAC STARTS WITH A FVRCP VACCINE AT 9 WEEKS THEN A FVRCP/FeLV VACCINE AT 12 AND 16 WEEKS OLD. Yearly vaccine administration is recommended for continued immunity.
- RABIES:This disease is coming closer and closer to Ohio, with pet cats dying in recent history in Pennsylvania and West Virginia after exposing humans to this almost 100% fatal disease. This vaccine legally cannot be administered until 12 weeks of age. STAC ADMINISTERS THIS VACCINE AT THE TIME OF THE FINAL FeLV/FVRCP VACCINE. The first Rabies vaccine is good for 1 year and every Rabies vaccine after that is good for 3 years.
- HEARTWORM/FLEA/TICK PREVENTATIVES:Heartworm disease in cats is dramatically different than dogs, as is testing. Testing is not accurate or easy to get an accurate positive. Cats are more easily affected by parasites spread by fleas than dogs and are much more susceptible to developing flea anemia from a high flea burden. There is also a serious tick-borne illness in cats called Cytauxzoonosis. STAC RECOMMENDS REVOLUTION PLUS MONTHLY AS A HEARTWORM/FLEA/TICK PREVENTATIVE. This product not only works for the 3 parasites previously mentioned but it also treats ear mites, scabies, hookworms, and roundworms.
- SPAY: Spaying reduces the risk of unwanted kittens, therefore aiding in population control. It also curbs the annoying signs of an 'in heat' cat. Spaying also eliminates the risk of pyometra, which is a pus/infection-filled uterus that warrants an emergency spay on a potentially unstable patient.
- NEUTER: Castrating helps aid in population control. Castration prior to "puberty" can reduce inappropriate elimination or "spraying." The vast majority of cat fights and cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus are intact male cats.
- CORE VACCINES
- DH(A)LPP-Lyme- This vaccine is yearly the first year then every 3 years after that.
- Lyme/Leptospirosis- This vaccine is given the years that the DHLPP-L vaccine is NOT given. These are bacterins, not viruses, so their immunity is not as long
- HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVES:Heartworm disease is a disease caused by parasites spread by mosquitoes. Since our area of Oho does not have a "mosquito season," we do not have a heartworm (HW) preventative season. STAC RECOMMENDS YEAR ROUND ADMINISTRATION OF A HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE. HW PREVENTATIVES CAN BE STARTED AS EARLY AS 8 WEEKS OF AGE. If you miss more than 60 days of preventative, a HW test will be required to re-start. A puppy over 6 months of age will need a HW test in order to start preventatives. A yearly HW test is required at STAC. Talk to a staff member to find the preventative that is appropriate for your pet.
- Treating heartworm disease is expensive and painful. It requires months of doxycycline administration and injections of an arsenic based medication into the back muscles, followed by 16 WEEKS OF STRICT CAGE CONFINEMENT. Prevention is easier and cheaper and carries the added benefit of monthly de-worming.
- FLEA AND TICK CONTROL:It takes a solid 3 months and maybe longer to break the flea life cycle. It is important to reiterate - PREVENTION IS TREMENDOUSLY EASIER THAN TREATMENT!!!!!!!!! Fleas can carry blood parasites and an over-abundance of fleas can cause flea anemia, which may require a blood transfusion. Ticks carry serious diseases, like Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Ticks have to be attached for over 24 hours to spread Lyme disease to the pet. Once again, PREVENTION IS TREMENDOUSLY EASIER THAN TREATMENT!!!! Talk to a staff member to find the preventative that is appropriate for your pet.
- SPAY/NEUTER:Spaying or neutering your pet carries numerous health benefits beyond population control. STAC RECOMMENDS SPAYING/NEUTERING YOUR PET AT 6 MONTHS OF AGE. In male dogs of certain breeds, mainly giant breed dogs, some sources recommend waiting until physical maturity to castrate to prevent damage in bone growth. Waiting may lead to an owner's desire for a scrotal ablation to eliminate the scrotum since it is less likely to shrink in older dogs.
- SPAY: Spaying a female dog prior to her first heat cycle decreases her risk of developing mammary (breast) cancer by 95%. Spaying also eliminates the risk of a condition called pyometra, which is a pus/infection-filled uterus that warrants an emergency spay in a potentially unstable patient.
- NEUTER: Castrating a male dog 100% eliminates the patients risk of testicular cancer while greatly reducing the risk of rectal tumors and an enlarged prostate. Also, the vast majority of hit-by-car and dog-attack patients are intact male dogs.