Why Canine Wellness Plans?
Why Canine Preventive Care Matters
At Family Pet Clinic of Newberg we have a wide range of Wellness Plans to fit your pet’s life stage from Puppy to Senior, as well as to coincide with their breed and lifestyle. Providing optimum veterinary care is not always financially possible, however by bundling wellness care into packages at a discounted rate the financial burden can be reduced.
Preventive Care for our pets is as important as providing them with food, shelter, and love. Although the items listed below may not be attainable for every pet owner, it is our job as pet healthcare providers to inform you of available tests and why they are important. Our pets age much more swiftly than we do and cannot tell us when something hurts, makes them nauseous, or makes them otherwise uncomfortable. It is our job to help them tell us if something is wrong.
If you are interested in hearing more about our Canine Wellness Plans please ask one of our team members to explain which version would be optimal for your pet. The items/tests listed below can also be performed ala carte at a non-discounted rate. Here is a brief synopsis of the different preventive care components found in the plans and why we recommend them.
Exams: These are the foundation of health. Our pets cannot talk and thus rely on their owners and their veterinarians to be their voice. Dogs age 1-6 should receive a yearly examination. Senior dogs (age 7 and up) should be examined every six months.
Blood work: Our CBC/Chemistry/Total Thyroid screening is very comprehensive, covering over 48 individual blood tests. These tests investigate for hidden liver and kidney dysfunction, thyroid disease, diabetes, anemia, cancer and other diseases. Many of these diseases can be treated more readily if discovered in their early stages. If all the tests return as normal, now we have a healthy baseline for your pet to compare to if it should become ill at a later date.
Urinalysis: Well trained dogs sometimes do not show signs of having such painful conditions as bladder infections, bladder stones, prostate enlargement, kidney impairment, and urinary crystals. Often a food change in a young dog found to have crystals on a routine urinalysis can prevent future stone formation and expensive surgery.
Fecal testing: Most parasites affecting dogs are not visible to the naked eye. Also, no single dewormer can eliminate all parasites from our pets. With a fecal test we centrifuge the stool in a special liquid and then analyze this sample under a microscope to find the parasite eggs. Roundworms and hookworms are a human health hazard especially for children as their larvae can migrate into a child’s eye leading to blindness. One parasite that cannot be easily seen under the microscope is tapeworm. If your pet lives on acreage/farm, eats dead things your cat brings in, hunts, or has had fleas they should be dewormed for tapeworms. If you see “grains of rice” around your dog’s rectum or in its stool, it should be dewormed for tapeworms immediately and treatment should be repeated three weeks later.
Deworming: For those of you who were unable to bring a fecal sample in today, and are not currently on heartworm control, we recommend deworming for Roundworms and Hookworms as a public health service and to protect your family. We will provide you with a fecal container at your exam and if you return it at a later date will refund the cost of the dewormer.
Vaccines: Routine vaccinations are vital to prevent disease in our pets and help with community immunity for all animals. Depending on your pet’s breed and lifestyle some vaccines may not be necessary or advisable and will be deducted from the cost of your dog’s wellness plan. Some vaccines such as DHPP and Rabies are only given every three years and will be deducted from your dog’s plan if they are not needed that year. Lymes vaccine is not included in any wellness plan but should be considered by those of you who hunt with your dog, or spend time traveling to tick infested areas such as southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, the Coast Range, or areas of the United States with heavy tick populations. Flu vaccine is also not a part of our wellness plans but should be considered for dogs that frequent dog parks, groomers, or boarding/daycare centers. Lepto is a zoonotic disease that any dog can obtain as it is spread by the urine and feces of rodents, squirrels, raccoons and opossums. Lepto leads to often irreversible kidney failure.
Heartworm Testing/Heartworm Control: This is a deadly disease spread by mosquitoes that is being seen more frequently in Oregon due to increasing numbers of people moving to our state from heartworm infested areas of the country. According to the American Heartworm Association, dogs on heartworm control should be tested once yearly to ensure that the product is working properly as there are resistant strains of heartworms emerging is some areas of the country. If your pet is on heartworm control and found to be positive, the manufacturer will pay for treatment. We recommend Triheart Plus or Trifexis for heartworm control.
Flea Control: Fleas carry disease, are part of the tapeworm life cycle, cause discomfort, and lead to allergic reactions. We recommend an oral 12 week flea/tick control called Bravecto. Bravecto is labeled for breeding dogs but should not be used in epileptic dogs. We also use a 4 week topical product called Activyl which only becomes toxic once ingested by the flea. Trifexis is our third offering that is an oral combination heartworm, hookworm, whipworm, roundworm preventative. Trifexis should also not be used in epileptic dogs and its most common side effect is vomiting and it does not taste as well as the Bravecto. All of these are newer products that the fleas have not become resistant to yet.
Abdominal Ultrasound: An annual abdominal ultrasound is an excellent diagnostic test for detecting things such as splenic tumors, bladder stones, and kidney damage. If caught early these diseases are treatable. Abdominal ultrasound is not a component of all our wellness plans but is reserved for certain breeds of senior dogs.
Comprehensive Dental Exam (CDE) and Cleaning: The teeth are the gateway to the body and even with regular care many pets will lose teeth in their lifetimes. Gingivitis and abscessing teeth allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, these bacteria contribute to heart, kidney, and liver damage. Without anesthesia, we are only able to see about 50% of the problems that could be causing discomfort in your pet’s mouth. Unlike us, they will continue to eat normally and show no signs of pain even with abscessing teeth. Not every pet needs dental work and we only recommend this service if absolutely necessary. A CDE can be added on to any of our Wellness Plans at a discounted rate.