Has your furry friend started coughing? Honking, hacking or raspy coughs can be alarming, particularly when they start suddenly. Although temporary throat or respiratory irritations may be to blam ...View Article
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Health and Wellness are talked about all the time, but as a veterinarian what does it really mean? When it comes to your pets, wellness includes its health now and in the future, its eating and exercise habits, its daily routine, and even its place in your family. Wellness includes anything and everything that can affect your pet's possibility of living a long and happy life. Health and wellness is an important factor in keeping your pet healthy as well as diagnosing problems early so they can be dealt with.
A pet wellness exam includes checking your pet from nose to tail. It may begin with visual examinations of the coat, skin, and foot pads. Our veterinarian will use a stethoscope to listen to your pet's heart and lungs. A physical exam of your pet's skin can determine if it's suffering from rashes, tumors, allergies, or other skin problems. It's important for our doctor to examine your pet's mouth and teeth, looking for loose teeth, bad breath, swollen or reddened gums, or problems with the tongue. You may get a lesson in brushing your pet's teeth at this time, setting you up for keeping your pet healthy in the future. Wellness exams also include age and lifestyle checks for problems such as cataracts, arthritis, and obesity.
Vaccinations are a crucial part of your pet's health throughout its entire life. Even if your pet never leaves the house or yard, other pets can bring diseases into your environment, as well as other pet owners and carrier insects. There are two types of vaccinations. Core vaccines, such as those for rabies and distemper, are those that every pet needs to get. Our doctor will administer a series of vaccinations to your pet beginning at about six weeks of age, and will give booster shots on an annual basis. Other vaccines are used for pets that need them because of lifestyle risks. Dogs that are boarded need a vaccine against kennel cough, for example. Non-core vaccines aren't necessary if your pet doesn't take part in the lifestyle or environment that may endanger it.
Everyone knows about fleas and ticks, but did you know that pets can be allergic to fleas, mosquitoes, and other parasitic insects? The scratching you see pets doing is often the result of a flea infestation, but that's only the most minor problem with fleas. Pets can scratch so much they lose fur and gouge into their skin, leaving raw and infected patches. Other parasites, such as ticks, can pass on diseases as they suck the blood from your pet's body. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can move from your pet to the furniture, leaving you with a major infestation problem. Parasite prevention is the key to avoiding this problem. Our vet will prescribe medications that need to be applied on a regular basis, and will advise you of lifestyle habits your pet needs to avoid.
Call Hilltop Animal Hospital today to schedule your furry friends appointment with Dr. Scotty A Gibbs! We look forward to meeting you soon.