Wellness & Preventive Care
The team here at Clarksburg Animal Hospital has been serving animals and owners in the community since 2004. We customize preventative care and treatment options by balancing philosophy, science, personality, alternative options and advanced care so your family’s needs are met. There are many ways that we provide care to support a healthy state and prevent and minimize illness and chronic medical conditions.
Annual or Biannual Wellness Exams
At Clarksburg Animal Hospital, we truly believe that preventive medicine is the way to keep your pet healthy and happy. We recommend a comprehensive Wellness Exam be completed annually to ensure optimal health for your cat and dog. Older pets or those with health conditions will need wellness exams twice a year (biannually) to monitor them more closely for any changes. Each annual Wellness Exam starts with a discussion about any issues your pet might be experiencing and any concerns you may have with them. As it relates to your pet, we address:
- Diet and nutrition management
- Exercise patterns
- Behavioral concerns
- Use of Preventatives (Heartworm, Flea and Tick)
- Risk Factors for Lifestyle that impact the vaccination plan
While we continue to chat with you, we are doing lots of things to evaluate your pet. First we are watching them as they enter the hospital and hang out in the exam room while we speak. There are lots of things we can observe during this time when we haven’t even touched them. We check for lots of things during our 30 minute appointment each year.
- Weight and Body Condition – we actually give a score for how thin or overweight they are to help us track their progress over the years.
- Skin and Coat evaluation – There can be lots of issues here – allergies, lumps & bumps, infections, dry or thin coats.
- Teeth – Most pets will need at least a couple dental cleanings in their life, some more. We keep you on track with when that is needed.
- Muscles and Joints – Muscle gain or loss is a great indicator of overall health plus we watch for signs of arthritis and pain as they age so we can intervene early.
- Heart and Lungs – It’s our chance to listen closely for any changes.
- Abdomen – We can feel around in their belly and check many organs inside.
- Eyes and Ears – We check for infections, aging changes or other signs of problems.
We keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations that fit their needs. Not every pet needs every vaccine that exists. For those who need multiple vaccinations, we often split them up to reduce any risk of vaccine reactions. We discuss any concerns related to the vaccinations and make any adjustments needed each year.
Annual Labwork and Testing
The exact testing we do depends on the species (dog or cat) and their age and lifestyle. All pets should have a fecal check for parasites each year, even indoor cats! Beyond that, we customize what is best for your pet, their current health status, their lifestyle and find options to fit your budget.
- Fecal Exam for parasites for everyone 💩
- Dogs – 4Dx test to check for Heartworm, Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia (all tick born diseases we see in this area).
- Cats who go Outside – Annual FeLV/FIV/HW testing (aka the Feline Triple Test) to make sure they have not been exposed to Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or Heartworm.
- Pets over 6 years old should have regular bloodwork. The exact blood panel depends on what we are concerned about and what medications they may take as well as your budget. We tailor this to the individual.
We help you manage your Heartworm and Flea and Tick Preventatives. There are now many options out there to keep your pets free of parasites (no one wants those around!). We discuss any concerns you have and find a product to meet your pets needs and your family’s needs. We keep our most popular items in house, but have access to every option through our Online Store. That way you get guaranteed products from the manufacturer and we don’t have to force you into the option we happen to have in the hospital. It is a great way to customize care!
Nutrition and Supplements
There are many many different diets available to fit your pet’s needs and tastes and your philosophies. There is no one size fits all approach. Our overall goal is a healthy weight and a happy gastrointestinal tract. We don’t make uniform recommendations on particular brands, but can guide you through the brands we know are more reputable for the type of food you are seeking and help you know what to look for to make a decision. Sometimes a prescription diet is necessary to treat or prevent medical problems and we’ll guide you through that over the years.
We regularly recommend supplements to prevent and manage many medical conditions. There are more and more good options all the time. We feel these can improve overall quality of life and delay or prevent the use of other medications.
Thanks to our Online Store, we can offer many different supplements than the handful we have in house. It allows us the ultimate customization for your pet’s care while utilizing safe and guaranteed products from reputable supplement manufacturers (don’t forget these are not regulated and the market is ripe with fraud!). There are probiotics, joint supplements, skin and coat supplements, cognitive function supplements (for dementia), and supplements for pain that we can recommend.
Most pets have a few unwanted behaviors. Some are minor and won’t interfere with your relationship, but others can be concerning. Smaller issues can become bigger issues over time and be more difficult to manage. Many behavior problems have a basis in underlying physical issues or can drive physical issues to be worse. If something seems odd or frustrating or isn’t going well at home, we want to hear about it. There are many ways we can help and we have lots of resources to find a workable solution for you and your pet.
We’ll start with a good history and physical exam, possibly do some other diagnostics to define any health problems and work out a plan and follow up with you. These appointments take extra time, but are very important to everyone’s health and well-being.
Clarksburg Animal Hospital is proud to provide wellness & preventative care for pets and owners in Clarksburg, Germantown, Boyds, Damascus, Urbana, Ijamsville, Monrovia and the surrounding areas.