Canine Wellness Examinations
Annual canine wellness examinations are critical to ensuring your dog's well-being. Our veterinarians are trained to catch problems you may not be aware of and they have the best diagnostic tools and equipment available to them to treat medical conditions.
The first thing our team does upon your arrival is take a weight of your dog. As with humans, weight is fundamentally important to canine health. Many conditions can be mitigated by maintaining a proper weight, and some can be exacerbated with excess weight.
Our veterinarians perform full head to tail examinations, checking every paw, armpit, toe, and whisker to find any looming concerns before they become a problem. Unlike some clinics which opt for shorter appointment times in order to see more animals, our focus is on detailed and thorough assessments. For this reason, a full 30 minutes is allotted for canine wellness examinations. We check eyes, ears, lymph node size, gum colour, teeth, heart rate and heart rhythm, breathing, and we feel for lumps, bumps, scabs. We also check for fleas and ticks.
Be prepared to answer lots of questions, such as what type of food are you feeding your dog, what is the frequency of feedings, has there been any vomiting or coughing, diarrhea or scratching, the frequency and appearance of bowel movements, etc. We will of course respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
There are many different vaccinations for canines. The core vaccinations for any puppy or dog are described in the paragraphs below.
The DHPP vaccine is formulated to prevent distemper, hepatitis (or adenovirus), parainfluenza and parvovirus. These diseases can be highly contagious and are often fatal.
The rabies vaccine is perhaps the most critical in terms of safeguarding the health of not only canines, but other animals and humans.
Vaccinating against Leptospirosis will prevent a bacteria found in the urine of infected wildlife, from causing often irreversible damage to your dog's kidneys and liver. This is a zoonotic disease, which means that we can actually develop the disease from dogs. Regrettably, we have diagnosed a number of dogs with Leptospirosis, who had not been vaccinated against the disease, over the past few years.
The bordetella (also known as kennel cough) vaccine, is a must for any canines who have regular contact with other dogs, and proof of the bordetella inoculation is usually required by boarding facilities. This vaccination is similar to a human flu shot. Because there are many different bacteria and viruses that cause mild colds, sometimes even dogs with this vaccine can develop a slight cough. The true Kennel Cough caused by the Bordetella bacteria is much more debilitating and can develop into pneumonia.
One of the more recent developments in veterinary medicine is the vaccination for Lyme disease. Lyme disease is often transmitted through ticks and dogs who go outside in grass are at risk of contracting this debilitating and potentially fatal disease.