Annual Wellness Recommendations - Canine
Every patient at our clinic receives an annual physical exam with a veterinarian to check teeth, eyes, ears, lung sounds, heart sounds, check for any lumps/bumps, etc. This also maintains a current doctor/client/patient relationship and allows our clinic to continue prescribing any necessary medications (such as monthly heartworm prevention) throughout the year. A new client visit is typically scheduled for 60 minutes to allow you plenty of time to meet our staff and doctors and have all questions and concerns you may have.
Once we have an annual physical exam, you can bring your pet in for vaccines and labwork for 365 days without seeing a doctor or paying for another physical exam. We do not have a fee for an "office visit" so if you needed vaccines or labwork drawn, it would just be the cost of that item(s). The only time you would pay for another physical exam would be if your pet is ill or you want to speak to a doctor and have them assess your pet during the year.
There are four vaccination recommendations that we feel all canine patients should have. These are Rabies, DHPP, Bordetella, and Leptospirosis. We can review any previous medical records you may have to determine if your pet is indeed due for all four recommend vaccines. We follow AAHA vaccination guidelines, so there may be some vaccinations your pet has received in the past that we do not recommend and there may be some vaccinations we recommend that your pet has not had in the past.
You can view more information about AAHA vaccination guidelines and what the vaccinations protect against at https://www.aahanet.org/Library/Guidelines.aspx. Some of the vaccinations (Rabies and DHPP) can be tri-annual vaccines, meaning they can be given every 3 years. Depending on your previous veterinarians' protocols, your dog may not be due for these vaccines at this time. Rabies is the only vaccination required by law, but we do highly recommend that all dogs remain current on the other 3 vaccinations. Most boarding and grooming facilities and even dog parks and day cares will require at least the Rabies, DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations. Depending on the breed and size of your pet, often times we will recommend splitting up vaccinations over the course of several weeks to minimize the potential for vaccine reactions.
Heartworm Testing and Labwork:
We recommend heartworm testing (blood test), intestinal parasite exam (stool test), annual labwork/senior labwork (blood test), and heartworm prevention. We recommend that your pet remain on monthly heartworm prevention for their entire life. There are many different products, in many different price ranges, covering many different parasites that we will discuss with you. We want to help you select the most appropriate prevention for your pet's lifestyle.
Even if your dog receives monthly heartworm prevention, the American Heartworm Society highly recommends annual testing for heartworms. You can find more information about this recommendation at http://www.heartwormsociety.org/. We recommend an annual intestinal parasite exam to ensure your pet is negative for worms and other intestinal parasites that can be transmitted to your other pets and your family!
Finally, we recommend annual labwork/senior labwork. Labwork is recommended for pets of all ages, however, the type of labwork that we recommend changes as pets age. Young pets should have labwork prior to anesthesia (for spay or neuter) and then yearly as a baseline for what they look like healthy. This gives us a comparison as they get older. As they age, the labwork profiles before more in-depth and extensive and allow us to find out more about the pets' internal health. The earlier we catch problems with kidneys, liver, thyroid, etc, the easier those diseases are to control (through diet and medications).
If you are cost conscious, but still want to provide your pet the optimum care possible, many of our clients like to split up their visits over the course of a few months. You could bring in your dog for an exam and then choose a couple of additional services to perform that day.
You could come back a few weeks later and have more tests/vaccines done to help split up the cost. Alternatively, Care Credit is a medical credit card that can be used at many dentist, surgery and veterinary offices. If you would like to apply for this card to use for your pet''s medical services, you can do so at www.carecredit.com <http://www.carecredit.com> .
As always, we know you have options when choosing a veterinary facility and we appreciate that you trust Animal Hospital of Rowlett and Diagnostic Center/Animal Hospital of Heath with your pet''s veterinary care!