The dogs in our lives are often companions, friends, work partners and part of our family. At the Groton City Animal Hospital we understand the bond that many of you share with your canine companion and strive to provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for him or her. We feel very strongly that preventive care is the foundation for keeping your friend healthy well into their “golden” years.
For those of us whose lives have been graced by the presence of a cat, we understand how different cats are from the rest of the animal world. When we talk about cats choosing us, they very often do adopt us, rather than the other way around. At the Groton City Animal Hospital we truly understand not only their different personalities but also their different health care needs. Cats have unique needs both for routine care as well as understanding how they may be affected by different diseases as they age.
A comprehensive physical exam is also important in identifying any problems that your pet might have from simple things like skin issues to more major problems such as heart disease.
In addition to our doctors using their skills to exam your pet, we may also recommend blood screening to help identify some diseases at an even earlier stage than might be apparent on a physical exam. Some of the things we might test for would be anemia, kidney disease, liver dysfunction, heartworms and thyroid function. We also might recommend testing your pet’s urine to identify things such as bladder stones, bladder infections, kidney disease or early stages of other diseases.
Testing your pet’s stool for internal parasites on a regular basis is a very important part of general wellness care. Internal parasites can cause a variety of physical problems from weight loss to diarrhea and vomiting.
Individual tests would be recommended based on your pet’s age, physical signs and the doctor’s exam. Many of the blood tests can be run here at our office and we also have the capability of doing digital radiographs and basic ultrasounds here.
At home, watch for subtle changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, water intake, urination and bowel habits, as well as general attitude and activity level. These changes may be signs of medical problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin may seem harmless, but can be cancerous. Ear infections, abscessed teeth and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become obvious until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical exam is the tool to evaluate your dog's, cat's or other pet's health status and to help you make informed decisions about the care of your special companion.
We encourage our clients to come in for yearly thorough physical exams in addition to updating vaccines on a regular basis. Our vaccine recommendations have changed over the past several years as we learn more about vaccines, how long the immunity to certain diseases last and most importantly evaluating your individual animals risk factors for getting a disease. The time when all dogs/cats got the same vaccines on the same schedule is gone. We now tailor our recommendations to your pet.
Core Vaccines for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets
Core vaccines for dogs include canine distemper, canine adenovirus (hepatitis), canine parvovirus and canine parainfluenza. Combined in one injection, the vaccine is called DAPP. Rabies vaccine is required for all dogs by the state of New York.
Core vaccines for cats include panleukopenia virus (also known as feline distemper), feline calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis (also known as herpes virus). The vaccines are combined in one injection called FVRCP. Rabies vaccine is required for all cats by the state of New York.
Core vaccines for ferrets include ferret distemper (a unique vaccine made for ferrets, which protects them from Canine Distemper virus) and rabies.
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
Non-core vaccines for dogs include Bordetella, Leptospirosis and Lyme disease vaccines. Bordetella is a bacteria commonly associated with respiratory infections in dogs. It is one of the more common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis—also known as kennel cough. Bordetella is highly contagious, easily transmitted through the air or direct contact, and fairly resistant to destruction in the environment. The vaccine is strongly recommended if your dog attends day care, visits dog parks, boarding kennels, or any other location where he or she comes into nose-to-nose contact with other dogs.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria found in soil, water and the urine of infected animals. The vaccine is strongly recommended if your dog is exposed to areas where there are possible carriers such as raccoons, rodents, coyotes, and opossums, or is a “puddle drinker.”
Lyme is a bacterial disease causing vague signs of illness leading to arthritis in the joints similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is spread by the bite of an infected Deer Tick. Strongly ecommended if you have ticks in your area or if you travel with your dog to areas that have a current Lyme disease problem.
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a contagious disease of cats and spreads primarily through intimate nose-to-nose contact with infected saliva. This very often occurs during cat fights, grooming, and mating. Contaminated urine, blood, and feces are also sources of infection. Though FeLV is not a core vaccine, it is recommended for cats at risk of exposure to this serious disease.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance; they carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Although they're a bigger problem in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them... especially in our area. Fortunately, flea and tick problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. Please talk to our veterinary staff about your pet's specific needs as no one product is "the best" for every patient.
Click on the product or for more detailed information on Flea and Tick Prevention.
Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease affecting dogs and cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite. Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms, as are coughing and difficulty breathing. Because heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually. Heartworm disease prevention is simple and effective. If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet and your family from these dangerous parasites, please call Groton City Animal Hospital today for an appointment.
The most important part of your visit to our hospital with your pet is the time that we spend talking with you about your pet, his or her lifestyle, and getting information on anything that may be a concern to you about your pet and especially spending time educating you about health care for your pet. Educated clients are our best clients and make better pet owners! We encourage owners to ask questions about their pet on every subject from diet to behavior. You can also rest assured that if at any time, your pet’s health care needs are beyond the scope of the equipment available at our hospital, you will be informed of options for referral for additional diagnostics or more advanced medical and surgical care. Situations where this might arise include complicated orthopedic cases, seriously ill medical patients that require round-the-clock intense monitoring, and the need for advanced diagnostics such as abdominal ultrasounds, MRI or CT scans.
Our office does not currently offer adjunctive therapy in areas such as acupuncture or chiropractic but we are happy to provide referrals to other local practitioners that do provide this type of care. Acupuncture can be used for skin disorders, urinary tract disorders, musculoskeletal and neurologic disorders, behavior problems, quality of life improvement, gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory disorders.
For acupuncture and homeopathic veterinary services:
Information coming soon.
For chiropractic evaluation and treatment:
Tracy Durham, DVM