Common diseases among Senior DOGS:
Routine Wellness Services
At Heartland Animal Hospital, our doctors and staff take your pet's health very seriously. With our deep love of animals, we are dedicated to providing your cherished companion the compassionate care all pets deserve.
We are honored you chose our animal hospital in Ashland and appreciate the opportunity to provide exceptional care to your beloved pet. Preventative care is one of the best ways to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life. This starts with regular wellness check-ups and examinations. Bringing your pet to see your veterinarian at least once a year allows Heartland Animal Hospital’s doctors to assess and evaluate your pet's overall health and detect any signs or symptoms of disease or medical conditions before they progress.
What Is A Wellness Examination?
A veterinary wellness examination is simply a regularly scheduled medical examination of your pet – a checkup. The focus of a wellness visit is to observe, evaluate and maintain your pet's optimal health by ensuring his/her physical and systemic body condition remains healthy.
How Often Should My Dog/Cat Have A Wellness Examination?
This depends on several factors. While our veterinarians recommend annual visits for healthy pets, there are cases where the frequency of visits increases to semi-annually. Aging pets or those with medical concerns, we would like to see them more often. Also, multiple wellness exams with vaccinations are scheduled for new puppies and kittens.
Drs. Cuddihee and St. Clair are best qualified to recommend how often your pet should have a wellness examination based on its breed, health status, and lifestyle. During your pet's wellness examination, we will ask you questions about your pet's:
We will then make recommendations for preventative measures or dental care based on your pet's history, symptoms and physical examination. Your pet's circumstances will be taken into consideration and we'll discuss appropriate life-stage or lifestyle recommendations with you.
An Ounce Of Prevention
Pets can't tell us how they feel. It is for this reason that preventative medicine is the most effective way to safeguard against illness and injury. Without regular pet wellness exams and preventative care, disease could affect your pet before you are aware of it. Not all diseases are detectable with the naked eye, however, so additional tests are useful in determining health issues that are not easily observed. If a disease or condition can be detected before your pet shows symptoms, steps can often be taken to manage or correct the problem before the situation worsens.
Early detection and treatment are often less costly than waiting until a disease or problem becomes advanced enough to affect your pet's quality of life.
Wellness examinations and testing are particularly important for your older pet, where there is an increased chance that underlying disease may be present.
What Can I Do To Prepare My Pet For A Wellness Examination?
We want your pet's wellness exam to be as convenient as possible. When you schedule your pet's appointment at Heartland Animal Hospital, our receptionist will tell you what, if anything, to bring with you when you visit us. A fecal or urine sample is often encouraged.
The best way to prepare is to come with questions and concerns you have regarding your four-legged friend. Have you recently noticed any behavioral changes? Has he/she been eating and drinking normally? We are here to address all your concerns about your special companion, so don't hesitate to bring up any questions you may have.
Starting Your New Puppy Or Kitten Off On The Right Paw
The first year of care for your new puppy or kitten is the most important. Like human infants, puppies and kittens require special attention to grow and develop well. Our team of veterinarians and technicians partner with you to create a custom health plan so your new companion receives the vaccinations and examinations required to get the best start in life.
Your puppy or kitten's first year of care will include physical examinations between the ages of eight to 16 weeks; a series of properly staged vaccines; potential testing for heartworm or feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus; and recommendations for spaying/neutering and micro-chipping. We will also discuss pet food/feeding recommendations and any other concerns you may have as a new pet parent.
The Golden Years
Older pets make wonderful companions, and thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever. However, your senior pet has medical needs that are very different from puppies and kittens. The veterinarians and medical team at Heartland Animal Hospital will work with you to develop a health care plan that ensures your pet is safe and happy throughout his or her golden years.
If your senior pet is experiencing any changes in behavior or mobility, we urge you to bring him or her in for a check-up. You are your pet's greatest health ally.
Common diseases among Senior DOGS:
Common diseases among Senior CATS:
Behavioral and neurological diseases
Routine Pet Vaccinations
The veterinarians and staff at Heartland Animal Hospital are strong advocates of preventative care. To offer your pet optimal care and a long, healthy life, we believe it is important to identify problems before they become serious medical issues. Vaccines are the best way to protect your pet against serious diseases and bacteria.
Remember, if your pet has no proof of having been appropriately vaccinated for Rabies, we are required by Missouri law to administer a Rabies vaccine.
Spay & Neuter Surgery
At Heartland Animal Hospital, we do our best to help keep the number of stray and unwanted pets in Missouri low. To that end, we highly encourage you to have your pet spayed/neutered. There are many advantages to spaying or neutering your pet:
Combined, these benefits result in fewer unplanned pet pregnancies and pets that are often much more manageable and enjoyable - and thus, less likely to end up in shelters due to undesirable behaviors. This routine surgery has a quick recovery time. Give us a call today for more information about our surgical services.
Parasite Prevention & Control
Parasites can be real pests! A complete parasite prevention plan is part of the Wellness Visit. Both external (fleas, ticks) and internal (heartworm, hookworm, roundworm) parasites can cause problems for both your pet and your family. Prevention is the best approach to eliminating these pests. Please ask a staff member for the best way to prevent parasite problems in your pet.
Spread by mosquitoes, heartworm disease is a serious disease and concern in our area. Fortunately, preventive medications exist to prevent heartworm disease in your beloved companion. The veterinarians at Heartland Animal Hospital recommend administering a preventive medication once a month, or using the ProHeart injection every 6 months, all year long.
When Should I Test My Pet for Heartworm?
Detecting heartworm can be difficult, as symptoms are not always immediately apparent.
If your pet is experiencing these symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment. The timing and frequency of heartworm tests depend on several factors including:
Prevention Is The Best Medicine
Heartworm disease prevention is simple and effective. For dogs, a monthly heartworm preventive can be given as a chewable treat. This same chewable medicine not only prevents heartworm disease 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.
Heartland Animal Hospital carries the best products to prevent heartworm disease in your pets. Topical liquids, oral tablets (chewable and non-chewable), and an injection that last 6 months (ProHeart) are available.
We moved to Ashland late in 2000 and began using Heartland Animal Hospital in the spring of 2001. Dr. Cuddihee and her staff took the records of our pets from previous veterinarian’s office and used those to start providing treatment to our pets and building their own records. Fifteen years later, we are still sold on the services our pets receive. Dr. Cuddihee and her staff have celebrated our new pets with us and have been caring and empathetic when we’ve had to say goodbye to some very old friends. While it is difficult to talk about euthanasia of very special animal family members, it is important to me to say that the staff at Heartland have kept some of our pets happy and healthy longer than the breed books say they should live. They have been kind, respectful and caring of both of both the pet and us when the time has come to humanely euthanize the animal. Our dogs look forward to going to the vet’s office in Ashland (and know where the treats are). Our cats are tolerant of trips to the vet and rarely get their claws out (a four star review from a cat, believe me). Finally, I would like to make two points. Dr. Cuddihee will give you every option and scenario for treatment available (and the cost associated with it) but she allows you to make the decision of how to proceed. Second, I recently discovered the price of specialized dog food is less at her office than it is at the farm store in Columbia. So if you want great care and service, and reasonably priced pet products, go to Heartland.
Brooke Dawson, “Blackie”, “Critter”, “Etta”, “Smokey”, “Beau”, & “Gabe”