Wellness exams keep your dog as healthy as possible! A regular wellness exam by one of our veterinarians, combined with a thorough history, can often detect potential health problems before they become apparent to a dog’s family. Identifying conditions early enables us to minimize suffering and prolong a healthy life. To protect your dog you need to be proactive and take specific actions to prevent disease and to detect it early.
The Value of Regular Wellness Exams Wellness exams once a year [or more often, depending upon your pet’s medical needs] are the best step to keeping your dog as healthy as possible – along with your vigilant observations at home. Bringing your dog in for regular wellness exams is the very best you can do to assure longer life and the highest quality of life for your dog. The wellness exam is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you have about your dog’s health with one of our veterinary professionals. Topics ranging from nutrition, allergies, bad breath, mobility issues, risk of infections and any lifestyle and age related changes, are all important for your dog’s health, and our veterinarians’ expertise is at your disposal.
Our Wellness Exams are Comprehensive During your dog’s wellness exam, our veterinarians will:
Obtain a medical history.
Check vitals and record your dog’s weight.
Perform a complete physical examination, discuss any findings and make recommendations.
Perform a dental evaluation. Dental care is very important for your dog’s overall health, especially as he gets older. We visually examine your pet’s teeth and gums for plaque and tartar, tooth weakness and decay. This screening often detects mouth pain and infections that can affect your pet's heart, kidneys and liver.
Discuss heartworm, flea, tick & other parasite prevention.
Offer screening blood work for common diseases such as diabetes, kidney, liver and thyroid disease.
Discuss your dog's nutritional needs with you.
In addition, your dog will receive:
Protection from infectious diseases through judicious use of vaccines.
Protection from internal and external parasites and the diseases they transmit.
Heartworm Prevention for travel. Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and if left untreated can be fatal. It is virtually preventable through prescription medication. We recommend your dog be on heartworm prevention if he or she is traveling outside of Alberta.
We Tailor Vaccines to the Needs of Each Dog Vaccinating your dog keeps your dog healthy by preventing serious diseases. At Best Friend's Animal Hospital, vaccines are individually tailored for each dog. Dogs have different lifestyles and needs and each dog is given individual attention and consideration at vaccination time. We will take into consideration your pet’s age and lifestyle, such as exposure to the outdoors, travel plans, boarding plans, health status and immune competence. These factors may change over time, so we will review your dog’s vaccination plan with you at each wellness exam. Discuss with us what you have planned for your dog’s life in the months ahead and what has happened in the past. Information about vaccination reactions in the past is of critical importance for your dog’s safety during future vaccinations, so be sure to discuss your dog’s vaccination history with us.
Common diseases we recommend vaccination against include:
Canine distemper is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the coughs, urine and feces of infected animals. Puppies are the most susceptible. Early symptoms such as fever and coughing often progress to vomiting and diarrhea and then to seizures, tremors and other neurologically related problems. Distemper is often fatal, and even recovered animals frequently experience lifelong difficulties.
Canine parvovirus is a hardy, highly contagious, often deadly virus that’s spread through the feces of infected dogs – sometimes carriers displaying no symptoms. It usually attacks the intestinal tract causing symptoms such as bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Puppies are most vulnerable to the virus, and certain breeds may show a higher susceptibility.
Canine adenovirus type 1 (infectious canine hepatitis) is transmitted through contact with the feces and body fluids of infected dogs. This disease progresses very quickly with a variety of symptoms including fever, coughing, and bloody diarrhea. It often leads to liver damage and chronic problems in surviving animals.
Parainfluenza affects puppies and older dogs most severely. Spread through nasal secretions, the virus causes a range of symptoms such as fever and coughing and can progress to potentially fatal conditions such as pneumonia.
Rabies is a disease affecting mammals that’s caused by the rabies virus. Rabies poses a particularly serious threat to public health because it is zoonotic (can be transferred between humans and animals). The virus is usually spread by a bite or scratch from an infected animal. It ultimately infects the brain causing death. For more information about Rabies click here.
Please call us today to schedule a visit with one of our veterinarians so that together we may assess and discuss your pet’s health in detail.