Today, more than ever before, we’re seeing pets live longer, healthier lives because of greater adherence to preventive care. Advances in vaccines and development of medications that target pest and parasite control, have been instrumental in virtually eliminating certain fatal diseases among treated populations. As pet owners, and pet care providers, we cannot take these gains for granted by falling behind on prevention. We invite you to click on the following headers to learn more about our recommended protocol of Routine/Preventive Care.
Routine care visits are an opportunity for us to develop a comprehensive profile of your pet’s current health status. Staying in touch with you and your pet helps forge a doctor-owner-patient partnership and creates the greater likelihood that should a problem arise, early detection will result in early intervention. Our recommended standards of routine care are as follows:
- Annual or bi-annual exams, depending on your pet’s individual needs as determined by their Veterinarian.
- Core vaccines, and where deemed appropriate
- Optional vaccines i.e. Bordetella, Lyme, related to your pets’ lifestyle
- Heartworm tests
- Fecal tests
During your pet’s annual checkup, we will discuss any changes that you’ve observed in your pet since your last visit, including nutritional concerns and behavioral changes, as these can often be signs of underlying health issues. We will also perform diagnostic testing where necessary.
At Bayshore Veterinary Hospital, we administer vaccines based on established standards of care, taking into consideration your pet’s overall health, lifestyle, and age. For pets who are older, vaccines often become less of a concern in favor of diagnostic testing. We do not subscribe to a “cookie cutter” approach, but instead tailor our prevention protocol to the needs of our individual patients.
As with humans, it is not uncommon for some health problems experienced by our pets to have their origin in nutrition. Our doctors hold a special interest in pet nutrition and are always available to work one-on-one with owners and their pets, to establish a healthy diet plan. Our multi-faceted approach will include gathering data about your pets’ diet, meal sizes, meal frequency, and supplementary snacks in order to identify contributing factors, and develop the nutritional plan that can target maximization of positive results.
We’ll work to educate and inform you of the rationale for moderating your pet’s nutrition…centering the majority of their calorie intake in a dedicated pet diet with snacks given sparingly as supplements. Our team will counsel you on human foods that are dangerous and should be avoided, and identify healthy alternatives that can be given in moderation. We fully understand the relationship between ownership and food as a reward, as well as a demonstration of affection, and will help formulate healthy alternatives that will allow you and your pet to continue to enjoy that special bond.
It is significant to note that certain medical conditions warrant a formulated prescription diet…severe allergies, diabetes, early stage kidney disease, to name a few. Our doctors will work with you to find the diet that satisfies your pets’ taste buds while supporting their needs medically. They will also guide you through the process of transition.
Did you know that microchipping your pet could very well save their life? At Bayshore Veterinary Hospital, we recommend microchipping all pets, just to be safe. Even if your cat never leaves the house or your dog spends most of their time in a fenced-in yard, it’s better to be prepared… just in case.
When you bring your pet into our office for microchip placement, we provide all the information you’ll need for registration. For your convenience, we use a universal chip that can be read by all scanners found in humane societies, shelters, and veterinary offices around the country. We recommend inserting a microchip in puppies and kittens during their spay or neuter surgery, but chip placement can be completed quickly and easily at any time with little, if any, discomfort for your pet.
Are you the proud owner of a new puppy or kitten? We recommend bringing them in right away for a checkup. We would love to meet them and give them a thorough physical to ensure that everything is in great working order. Early care is highly recommended to get your pet started on the right paw to a long and healthy life.
Early in your puppy or kitten’s life, we will:
- Test for diseases and parasites
- Administer early vaccinations
- Discuss your pet’s needs, including nutritional, behavioral, and medical care
- Provide new pet owner education
- Provide information about important health decisions, such as spay and neuter surgeries
When your pet begins to show signs of age—usually after about seven years—it is not uncommon to observe physical and/or behavioral changes. We can help you identify the often subtle signs of pain associated with aging…reluctance to use stairs or favorite pieces of furniture, unwillingness to play or go for walks, decreased appetite, and more. We can offer a number of pain management options to restore comfort and enable them to participate in the life they enjoy. In addition to supplements and prescription medications, we’re experiencing tremendous success using Laser treatments to increase mobility among our seniors. We will also work closely with you to discuss:
- Diagnostic test results that identify developing health concerns
- Vaccination protocol adjustments geared to seniors
- Dietary changes which may be necessary depending on your pet’s physical condition
- Accommodating your aging pet in your home, whether that means allowing them to live on one floor of the house, or offering them steps to help them sleep on their favorite couch
- Quality of life and end of life concerns
The most important thing you can do for your senior pet is observe. Take note of changing behaviors and discuss them with us.
We are here to help you no matter what life stage your pet is in. When you have questions or concerns, we’re a phone call away.