Pet Wellness Care in Wilson, NC
Prevention is the key to your pet's long term health. Wilson veterinarian, Dr. Shannon Foy, and the medical staff at Brentwood Veterinary Center recommend that your pet receive a complete Wilson pet wellness examination at least once a year at our animal hospital, but more frequent exams are encouraged. During veterinary wellness exams, we perform a complete physical and recommend a heartworm test, fecal flotation test for intestinal parasites, and red blood cell tests that can indicate the presence of underlying diseases. To keep your pet parasite free, we also recommend preventive medication for heartworms, fleas and ticks. Our preventive approach allows us to detect potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns and expensive to treat.
Beyond Pet Wellness Exams
Beyond these standard elements of good preventative care, we also offer a range of servies at our animal hospital such as microchip identification in case your pet gets lost, nutritional and behavioral counseling, internal medicine services, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, advanced diagnostic testing capabilities, and much more.
Regular examinations are our chance to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in medical care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. Wellness exams are especially important for senior pets—animals over seven years of age. They provide us with a general picture of your pet's overall health and are invaluable in diagnosing and treating your companion.
During your pet's annual wellness exam we:
- Examine teeth, throat, and oral cavity
- Check vision and examine the eyes
- Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
- Examine the respiratory system
- Assess your pet's heart
- Test your pet's reflexes
- Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
- Inspect the skin
- Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
- Test to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood, and other systems
Regular Blood Work
A complete pet wellness physical includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and should include a blood test. Not only can a chemistry panel and complete blood count (CBC) identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill. Additionally, blood work is necessary if a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia is recommended.
After your pet returns home from our animal hospital, you need to 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.
Pet Wellness Vaccinations
Due to the many recent discoveries and innovations in veterinary medicine, your pet can be protected against most major infectious diseases. Today, many veterinary immunizations and preventative treatments are available that did not exist a decade ago.
Vaccines are useful in preventing canine distemper, parvovirus, bordetella, rabies, Lyme disease and other diseases in your dog and feline leukemia, panleukopenia, rabies and feline immunodeficiency virus in cats. Our staff at Brentwood Veterinary Center can assist you in deciding which preventative measures are necessary for your pet.
Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease. However, not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Our veterinarians tailor a vaccine protocol that is specific to your pet based on his or her lifestyle and recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association.
Vaccine schedules are balanced to provide needed protection without over-vaccinating your pet. Please contact us at (252) 243-66252 or via email for more information about vaccinations.
Core Vaccines for Dogs and Cats
Core vaccines for dogs include Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus (hepatitis), Canine Parvovirus and Canine Parainfluenza. Combined into one injection, the vaccine is called DHPP. Rabies is also a core vaccine for dogs and is a requirement for all dogs living in the state of North Carolina.
Core vaccines for cats include Distemper, Feline Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis. The vaccines are combined into one injection, called DRC. Rabies vaccine is also a core vaccine for cats.
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
Non-core vaccines for dogs include Bordetella and Leptospirosis vaccines.
Bordetella (B. bronchiseptica) 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. This vaccine is strongly recommended if your dog attends day care, visits dog parks, boarding kennels or any other location where he / she comes into nose-to-nose contact with other dogs.
Bordetella is highly contagious, easily transmitted through the air or direct contact, and fairly resistant to destruction in the environment.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria (Leptospira interrogans) found in soil, water, and the urine of infected animals. It affects dogs but can also infect other animals, including humans. If not diagnosed and treated early, Leptospirosis can be deadly. L. interrogans can survive in water and is frequently found in swamps, streams, lakes, and standing water. The bacteria also lives in moist soil and outbreaks occur often after flooding. Your veterinarian will recommend Leptospirosis vaccination if your dog is at risk.
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 dangerous disease. Your veterinarian at Brentwood Veterinary Center will recommend FeLV vaccination if your cat is at risk. To provide your cat with proper immunity, FeLV vaccine needs to be given twice during the first year and once-a-year afterwards.
Deworming and Fecal Check
Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns or any place a pet defecates.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. 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. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance; they carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. (Ticks of course are the main carriers of Lyme disease.)
Fleas are most abundant during the warm weather; however, if left untreated, they can be a nuisance year-round. Ticks tend to thrive in wooded areas or in high grass. It's often difficult to keep your pets away from tick infested areas, so if they do go exploring, check them when they come inside.
In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. We recommend all dogs be vaccinated against Lyme disease.
Flea and tick problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our animal hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective.
Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening illness affecting dogs and, to a lesser extent, 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. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once-a-month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat.
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 from this dangerous parasite, please call Brentwood Veterinary Center today for an appointment.
Puppy & Kitten Care
Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is always something to celebrate. They add energy and fun and are a source of unceasing affection as they bond with you and your family.
However, new pets require a little extra attention to ensure a good, healthy start at life. This means that comprehensive veterinary physical exams (at key developmental stages) from one of the veterinarians at Brentwood Veterinary Center are essential. When you get a new pet, it's important to schedule an appointment right away so that we may review their prior medical records and make timely recommendations for appropriate wellness care.
Your first visits with your new puppy or kitten at our Wilson animal hospital are perhaps the most important. These initial visits are where you, one of our doctors and your pet first meet and begin to form the relationship that lasts throughout the life of your pet. We take plenty of time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.
Your Kitten's First Visit
Some of the issues discussed during your kitten's first visits include:
- Litter & Litter Box
- Indoor vs. Outdoor Options
- Spaying and Neutering
- Vaccine Protocol
- Pet Insurance
- Fecal Exam (with treatment for worms, intestinal parasites)
- Testing for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Fleas (treatment and prevention) & Heartworm Disease
Your Puppy's First Visit
Some of the issues discussed during your puppy's first visits include:
- Diet & Feeding Guidelines
- Spaying & Neutering
- Vaccine Protocol
- Pet Insurance
- Heartworm, Fleas, Ticks
- Fecal Exam (with treatment for worms, intestinal parasites)
Senior Pet Care
Congratulations! By taking the time to learn more about the special needs of your senior aged pet, you have taken the first step toward providing the best care for your friend in his or her golden years. At Brentwood Veterinary Center, we place an emphasis on senior care and are proud of our attention to geriatric medicine and care of chronic disease.
Pets in their senior years—those of about seven years and older—begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. However, this process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care thereby offering your beloved pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Additionally, preventative care tailored to your pet's age, lifestyle, risk factors and other elements can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and easily treatable stages.
There is also an important role for you to play as your pet's primary caregiver. While you cannot control age related decline, you can influence your pet's activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. With help from your veterinarian at Brentwood Veterinary Center, you can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet's good health, vitality, and increase his or her wellbeing, even as his or her pace slows a bit.
However, the best time to begin your pet's senior care program and recognize the need for a little extra TLC is well before age related conditions set in. Our Wilson veterinarians recommend regular senior pet wellness exams, which should include lab tests to detect the early signs of disease processes. Dental care at this point in life becomes especially important. We recommend routine dental exams and cleanings for all pets, but especially those in their senior years. Diet and weight gain are also salient issues to consider. When you bring your pet in for a senior wellness visit, your veterinarian will evaluate his or her weight and offer careful recommendations.