Wellness Care for Every Stage of Life
Apple Valley Animal Hospital recommends wellness examinations for the same reason that your physician recommends them: if a health problem or issue can be detected in its early stages, there is a far greater likelihood it can be resolved and treated with less difficulty, less expense and greater success. In addition, dogs and cats go through similar life stages as humans. Just as you would not expect the same care for a baby, adolescent, adult or senior, you should not expect the same care throughout your pet’s life stages. You may have questions about behavior, nutrition or medical needs with each stage — yes, puppies and kittens go through their own “terrible twos” — and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Puppy and Kitten Care
Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home can be wonderful, but it can also be a lot of work. Apple Valley Animal Hospital offers special discount packages for puppies and kittens based on their age. Our veterinarians perform a full examination of your pet and discuss with you vital information including vaccine schedules, intestinal parasites, nutritional needs, house/litter box training, safety strategies, behavior counseling and more.
Schedule your puppy or kitten for their first exam as soon as possible. Until your pet has received a series of vaccines, they are susceptible to many serious but preventable diseases. The core vaccines offered at our veterinary hospital in Apple Valley are:
- Puppy vaccines: DHLPP, Bordetella and Rabies
- Kitten vaccines: RCP, Leukemia and Rabies
We will also test your puppy or kitten for intestinal parasites and make sure they are dewormed. Parasites can cause a potential threat to your family because they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring your puppy or kitten is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe.
Senior Pet Care
Thanks to advances in veterinary health care, pets are living longer and healthier lives. Though ages vary when it comes to considering a pet a “senior citizen,” a good rule of thumb is to consider large dogs at 5 years of age and small dogs and cats at 7 years of age to be senior pets.
Preventive health care is critical for senior pets. Like humans, older pets are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease, cancer and other diseases. Because not all pets exhibit visible symptoms, these diseases can often go undetected. Early detection of these diseases results in earlier treatment and better overall health for your pet and for this reason we recommend senior pets have twice yearly exams.
While it may not seem that long ago that your faithful companion was a frisky kitten or playful puppy, your senior pet requires a different health and wellness plan than was necessary in their younger days. The veterinarians and staff at Apple Valley Animal Hospital understand the medical needs of senior pets — that’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive senior pet wellness program.
During a Senior Wellness Exam, we listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to detect signs of heart murmurs, abnormal heart beat patterns, infection, tumors and other diseases. Your pet’s vision is evaluated, a glaucoma screening can be performed, and a Healthy Pet ultrasound will be offered. Hearing and blood pressure may also be tested. Senior wellness exams also include special laboratory tests, which examine your pet’s thyroid, blood, stool and urine. For breeds at risk for developing heart disease, we may also perform an electrocardiogram.
The staff at Apple Valley Animal Hospital encourages you to take an active role in the care of your senior pet. A decline in energy, a decrease in vision and hearing, weight gain, dental disease and skin conditions are all signs of old age. Other signs to look for include:
- Behavior changes
- Slow movements, including slow rising
- Change in water intake or in urination behavior
- Trembling or shaking
There is also an important role for you to play as your pet’s primary caregiver. While you cannot control age-related decline, you can influence your pet’s activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior medical care and daily nutrition. With the help of our Apple Valley Animal Hospital veterinarians, you can manage these factors to prolong your pet’s good health, vitality and increase his or her well-being, even as your pet’s pace slows a bit. We all value the affection we share with our pets. Nothing helps that friendship more than working with your veterinarian to maintain your pet’s health and quality of life.