Parkside Veterinary Hospital provides a full range of preventive care services to help your dog live a longer, happier life and to increase the odds of detecting problems early, before they become severe.
Our veterinarians make their annual preventive care recommendations based on the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association. We then customize our recommendations based on your dog’s hereditary factors, age, medical history and lifestyle.
Annual Physical Examinations
Examinations are an important tool in providing a long, quality life for your dog. Pets age 5-7 times faster then humans, they can’t talk, and often hide early signs of illness.
During an examination our veterinarians will:
- Take a complete medical history
- Perform an ear and eye exam
- Perform a heart and lung analysis
- Take a temperature reading
- Examine your pet's mouth for signs of gum disease
- Check for fleas
- Examine the skin and coat
- Perform a musculoskeletal examination
Many serious infectious diseases can be controlled by vaccination. With over 50 million dogs in the United States, your pet is quite likely to come in contact with an infectious disease at one time or another. Even indoor pets can be exposed to viral diseases carried in the air, in dust or on clothing. Vaccinations are an inexpensive way to protect your dog from these threats.
Rabies is a fatal infection of the nervous system that attacks ALL warm-blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious dog or wild animal.
Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners. New York State requires all dogs to be vaccinated against Rabies. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even dogs that are kept indoors may come into contact with an infected animal in a basement, garage or an attic.
Because there is no cure for Rabies, vaccination is your pet's only protection.
Distemper is a virus that enters the nervous system which can cause convulsions, twitches or partial paralysis. Every dog will be exposed to distemper within the first year of its life.
Parvovirus appeared worldwide in 1978, since then most dog owners have heard of Parvo. Parvo is spread through direct contact with an infected dog’s feces. The younger the dog, the greater the chance that this disease will cause the dog’s death. Dogs remain susceptible to Parvovirus infection until two weeks after the last injection in the vaccination series. This is the most serious and fatal disease we see in dogs today. Signs of the disease include: vomiting, fever, depressions and diarrhea (which often will contain a large amount of blood).
Infectious Canine Hepatitis
Hepatitis affects the dog’s liver. Hepatitis is spread through an infected dog’s urine; exposure can mean anything from a mild infection to death. Puppies are at the most risk of this disease. Vaccination has controlled this disease for several years, making it rarely seen by veterinarians today.
This is a respiratory infection with a very noticeable dry hacking cough. It often lasts for several weeks and is highly contagious. This vaccine is recommended for any dog that will be attending any of the following: doggy day care, agility, boarding or obedience training.
Lyme disease affects the musculoskeletal system as well as other vital systems of the body. Lyme is spread by the attachment of an infected tick. Dogs that are most at risk are ones that are walked in wooded areas, tall grassy areas or in areas where wild animals frequent.
This bacterial infection causes liver and/or kidney failure in dogs and people. The infection is spread through the urine of small mammals and is especially prevalent in areas of standing water. The vaccine can be given to puppies once they reach the age of 12 weeks and then repeated in 3-4 weeks.
Parkside Veterinary Hospital uses a variety of diagnostic tests to ensure your dog is healthy on the inside as well as the outside.
Blood and urine diagnostics are the "window" into your dog's body.
- Annual Exams — For healthy pets, diagnostic testing can detect pre-existing conditions such as anemia or kidney function problems. Also, doing blood work on younger dogs will give us a base line in which we can use to monitor and track their health throughout their lives. The slightest change can be significant in diagnosing and treating diseases later in their life.
- Sick Exams — For older or sick dogs it is extremely important to run full panel blood screens. Many diseases are present long before a dog shows any outward signs. For ill or senior dogs, diagnostic tests are used to diagnose illness and disease, monitor organ degeneration, and to monitor response to medication.
- Pre-Surgical Blood Work — Blood work helps us better understand organ function and allow us to foresee problems before your dog is showing any outward symptoms. Before surgery, it is important to ensure the dogs internal organs are healthy and able to process anesthesia. Failure to perform this testing may significantly affect the success of the anesthesia and the overall outcome of the surgery.
- Urinalysis — A urinalysis run in conjunction with blood work gives the most accurate, well-rounded picture of the pet’s health. Urinalysis can also show signs of urinary tract problems, bladder stones, infection, diabetes, and early renal disease.
- Fecal — A stool sample is examined for intestinal parasites. Many parasites cause weight loss, diarrhea, anemia and loss of appetite. It is important for routine fecal examinations, as many of the parasites that can infect our dogs, can also be transmitted to humans.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition of worms residing in your dogs heart and major blood vessels.
Important facts about Heartworm
- Heartworms are found throughout the United States and Canada. Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes biting your dog after they have ingested blood from an infected dog.
- Heartworms occur in ALL breeds of dogs: both large and small, inside-dogs and outside-dogs.
- It takes 3-6 months for an adult Heartworm to develop in a dog after it is bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Adult Heartworm live in the right side of the heart. They are 7-12 inches long. Heartworms impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Serious damage may occur, even before outward signs are detected.
- Advanced signs include difficult breathing, coughing, tiring easily, listlessness, loss of weight and fainting.
- Heartworms can be prevented!!!! We strongly recommend the once/monthly heartworm preventatives which also aid in the prevention of other intestinal parasites. It should be given ALL YEAR LONG to avoid any lapses in complete coverage.
- Testing for Heartworm once a year is suggested for all dogs! The earlier the detection, the more successful treatment can be administered, and the less chance of serious side effects of the disease.
- Treatment is highly successful when the disease is detected early. The adult worms are killed with an injectable drug given in a series. A few days later, the worms begin to die and are carried away from the heart by the bloodstream to the lungs where they begin to decompose and absorbed into the body over several months.
Flea and Tick Control
Flea infestations are the most common parasite problem of dogs in our area. Americans spend millions of dollars on flea and tick products each year—most of which do not work!
- Flea eggs are laid while the flea is on your dog and roll off the fur into their environment. Eggs usually hatch 1-10 days later, depending on the temperature and humidity. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae move to get away from light and begin the search for food. Eventually they form a cocoon and emerge in as little as 12 days or as many as 140 days after.
- Adult fleas are attracted to your dog by the warmth of their body, movement, changes in light intensity and exhaled carbon dioxide. Adult fleas are excellent jumpers; they can jump as high as 13 feet!
- Adult fleas spends their entire adult life on the dog. Once the flea begins to feed on the dog, it must have almost constant access to the blood of the pet for it to survive. Adult fleas cannot live off your pet more than 3-4 days without a meal.
- Ticks can actually live for several years!
- Ticks attach to your dog to feed. Many times you will not see a tick on your dog until it has become completely engorged with blood.
- Many ticks transmit disease such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasma, which can seriously affect your dog’s health.