Examinations are considered paramount for long-term health in pets. Having regular check-ups can prevent potential health issues and identify early stages of disease or pain when they are most treatable.
At Rea Road Animal Hospital, we offer wellness exams to discuss your pet’s physical condition, behavior, habits, and care with a veterinary professional who can provide helpful advice. It is strongly recommended that pets receive a physical examination at least once a year. If the pet is older or ill, it may be vital for our team to see the pet every six months due to health problems that could advance in their later years.
An annual wellness exam at Rea Road Animal Hospital will include a full nose-to-tail physical examination. This allows us to detect any problems in your pet’s health status. The physical examination will include:
Once the examination is complete, we may recommend additional tests such as a fecal exam, urinalysis, or blood work for complete insight into your pet’s overall health status.
Routine vaccinations are considered to be one of the first lines of defense against many potentially fatal diseases. Vaccines have revolutionized medicine and have saved millions of human and animal lives since their invention. Thanks to vaccines, some fatal diseases that used to be common are now rare. It is critical for pets to receive the core recommended injections to protect them against disease.
Core vaccinations are recommended for all pets. These core vaccinations include:
At Rea Road Animal Hospital, our team carefully researches the most effective protocol for vaccines and takes into consideration any risks of exposure in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In addition, based on the pet’s lifestyle, risk of exposure, and current health conditions, our veterinarians may recommend these non-core vaccinations:
We also offer canine distemper/parvo titers in lieu of vaccines for dogs. It is important to note that while exposing the pet’s immune system to a safe and controlled dose of the particular threat, it does not actually make the animal sick. This allows them to be better prepared in the event of a disease outbreak, and will help to fight against it. Our team at Rea Road Animal Hospital takes extreme care and precaution when vaccinating pets under our care, and believes that a quick prick will prevent serious or even fatal diseases down the line.
Parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms are a nuisance and unwanted in our pets and our homes. These pesky critters can cause sickness, pain, and in some cases, death. Parasites are a serious issue and must be dealt with as soon as possible by using the proper prevention methods.
Warm summers in Charlotte, North Carolina can bring in parasites. Fleas and ticks are the most common parasites, however, it is important to be aware of others such as heartworms and intestinal parasites. Mosquitos thrive in hot weather, which increases a pet’s risk for heartworm infection.
Fleas: Known to cause itchy and irritating bites on the skin and coat of cats and dogs, fleas are small insects that are a threat to both animals and people. If left untreated, fleas can lead to anemia and even death for the animal. Preventing fleas begins with keeping the house clean, regular grooming, and year-round preventative medicine.
Ticks: Ticks are tiny insects which latch onto dogs and cats, and in addition to having a painful bite, are tough to remove and can carry dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and more. The best way to prevent ticks on pets is to keep them on year-round preventative medication and to carefully inspect the animal after spending time outside. Keeping pets regularly groomed is another effective preventative measure to ward off ticks.
Heartworms: Heartworms are internal parasites that can appear in pets with just one mosquito bite. Once a pet is infected with heartworms, they are extremely difficult, expensive, and time consuming to treat. Side effects of heartworm infection can include permanent organ damage and death. Keeping pets on a year-round heartworm medication is an effective way to prevent heartworms.
Even the best pet parents can lose their pets, no matter how careful they can be. Accidents happen and it’s important to take preventative measures to keep from losing a pet. Every year, it’s a fact that millions of lost pets are turned into veterinary offices or animal shelters. Sadly, the majority of these lost pets are never reunited with their families.
A microchip can carry the pet owner’s contact information, which helps increase the chances of lost pets returning to their original homes. Microchipping is a simple and virtually pain-free procedure that implements a rice-sized chip in between the pet’s shoulder blades. The procedure only takes a few seconds and is comparable to a routine vaccination.
After the microchip is implanted, it’s ready to be registered in the national pet-finding database. Once the microchip is registered, the pet will have the owner’s contact information for the rest of their life. It is important to note that microchips can be updated in the database if pet owners move or change phone numbers, so be sure to keep this in mind and update accordingly.
In addition to microchipping, we recommend using all forms of identification, including ID tags and pet collars, as the fear of being separated from a pet can be a terrifying thought.
Just like people, eating well and maintaining a healthy body weight are important aspects of pet health. Healthy eating habits, like eating nutritious foods in proper portion sizes, and regular physical activity can prevent health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
It’s important to keep pets on a proper nutrition plan, and at Rea Road Animal Hospital our veterinarians are here to answer any questions and provide helpful advice about your pets’ dietary needs. We answer questions about how much food pets should be eating, the best food for pets, and other aspects of veterinary nutrition.
Did you know one in three pets are considered obese? As a pet owner, if you are concerned about your pet being overweight, we’ve detailed some helpful tips to get your pet back on track: