There are many things you can do for your pet’s preventative care and it’s important that you do them all. Keeping your pet healthy overall will greatly increase the length of their life, catch diseases early enough to treat them and prevent future illnesses or decrease the severity of them, and cost you less in the long run. Maintaining proper care of your pet and bringing them in for the recommended visits will mean better overall health because we can detect and treat many diseases and illnesses before drastic measures must be taken.
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Our physical exams include a head-to-tail assessment:
- Check body weight and temperature
- Look at the eyes, ears, and nose
- Check the lymph nodes
- Look in the mouth to assess the health of the teeth and gums
- Evaluate the heart and lungs
- Feel the abdomen to check the internal organs including the kidneys and liver
- Evaluate the muscles, spine and joints
Vaccinations are a critical part of preventative care for your pet. Vaccines protect our pets from many diseases including rabies, distemper, and lyme disease. Each dog and cat is different, so our team will discuss options to determine the best course of action for your pet. Our veterinarians will determine which vaccinations your pet needs and how often they will be administered.
All dogs must be vaccinated for Rabies as required by Pennsylvania State law. We also vaccinate all dogs in our practice for distemper and parvo. Because central Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the United States, we also vaccinate for Lyme disease. Finally, if your pet goes to the groomer, kennel or to obedience classes, we may recommend the kennel cough and canine flu vaccines for your dog.
All cats must also be vaccinated for Rabies as required by Pennsylvania State law. Cats in our practice can also receive vaccines for distemper and upper respiratory disease viruses. Finally, cats which go outdoors can be vaccinated against feline leukemia.
If your pet is sick, becomes injured, or requires urgent veterinary care, PAWS Animal Hospital is here for you. If your pet seems restless, distressed, is vomiting, or suffers a traumatic injury, call us immediately. Our team of veterinarians, technicians and staff possess the knowledge, skills and experience to provide a comfortable atmosphere for pet owners and their pets during emergency situations. For after hours emergencies, call us immediately and follow the automated prompts for assistance.
In addition to the physical examination, our veterinarians use blood tests and other laboratory work to better assess your pets health. These blood tests give us a baseline of what is normal for your pet and are very valuable in the early detection of diseases in pets. Studies have shown that 25 percent of dogs and cats over the age of 10 years have a treatable disease that is not causing symptoms. Subtle changes in these tests over time may signal the presence of underlying disease. We recommend that dogs and cats have blood testing done every year during their wellness exam.
Our radiology department has an in-house x-ray machine which allows us to quickly diagnose problems not found by physical examination or blood testing such as fractures, intestinal issues, tumors, heart defects, and much more. We can take radiographs of the skeletal system, spine, heart, lungs, abdomen, and skull. Once testing is complete, our veterinary team will review the results and make a diagnosis. In some cases anesthesia is used so we can make sure we get the best and most clear view of the problem area. If your pet requires more, we also offer surgical and ultrasound services.
At PAWS Animal Hospital, we provide specialized veterinary surgery for your pet. Our staff is able to perform soft-tissue, orthopedic, and other veterinary surgeries in house. Whether your pet’s surgery was a planned spay or neuter or an unexpected emergency, our veterinary team is well equipped to provide your pet with the best surgical care available. We know that veterinary surgery can be a scary idea for you and your pet and our team is here to answer any questions you may have and discuss any concerns you as a pet owner are feeling. Our veterinarians, veterinarian technicians and other team members will provide superior care for your pet from check-in, through their veterinary surgery, and during their stay with us.
Our staff is equipped to offer a wide variety of reproductive services including progesterone testing, planned breedings, and c-sections. Evaluating when a female’s system is best ready for mating can save owners and the mating pair considerable stress. We are equipped to offer evaluations of progesterone levels through blood testing. Natural, artificial, and surgical breeding options can be confusing, but our team will help you evaluate the best options for your mating pair. Caesarean Sections can also be performed if you pet is unable to give birth naturally. Our staff can work directly with you to determine the best course of action.
To help keep your pet healthy, be sure to follow the recommendations below:
- Scheduling recommended visits
- Keeping up-to-date with immunizations
- Administering suggested (and prescribed) medications
- Applying suggested flea and tick preventative product
- Applying suggested heartworm medication
- Feeding your pet a healthy and nutritious diet
- Brushing your pet’s teeth and fur daily
- Taking your pet on walks and giving them enough exercise
- Regularly getting your pet groomed (how often depends on the individual animal)