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Key Aspects Of Preventative Care
June 1, 2023

Part of being a good pet owner is making sure that your furry best friend is not only happy, but also healthy. Good food, proper grooming, and exercise are all key factors there, but proper veterinary care also plays a critical role. Keeping up with preventative care can make a huge difference to your pet’s health and well-being! A Champions Forest, TX vet goes over some of the basic aspects of this below.

Annual Blood Work

Having those blood panels done every year can make all the difference in the world. Getting your four-legged friend’s blood work done annually allows your vet to have a baseline to refer to, which can make it easier to spot and monitor changes. Those tests may also reveal abnormalities caused by developing medical issues, sometimes long before symptoms develop. That can make a huge difference as far as treatment options and outcomes.

Intestinal Parasite Screening

Keeping Fido and Fluffy up-to-date on flea and tick preventatives can definitely go a long way towards keeping them healthy. However, fleas and ticks aren’t the only parasites that can endanger your furry friend. It doesn’t take much for parasites to take hold: pets can get infested simply by drinking out of—or even walking through—puddles, coming into contact with an infested pet, or eating plants and leaves at the park. Learn more about the importance of microchipping and keeping your pet’s identification updated in our ‘Microchip Basics‘ article.

Heartworm Testing

Heartworms are one of the most deadly parasites that can infest your furry friend. Left untreated, heartworms will take up residence in pets’ hearts, lungs, and arteries, and can interfere with the function of these vital organs, which often proves fatal. This is one area where an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure! Given that, unfortunately, some strains of heartworms are becoming resistant to the preventative products, keeping up with those tests is especially important.

Core Vaccinations

Making sure your furry pal is current on vaccinations is also critical. The rabies vaccine is considered core for both cats and dogs. Fido will also need to be protected from canine parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and canine hepatitis, while Fluffy should be vaccinated against feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia virus, and feline leukemia virus. Your vet may also recommend non-core vaccines, such as bordetella and/or canine leptospirosis vaccine. Ask your vet for more information.

Our Advice on Key Aspects Of Preventative Care in 2024

Why is annual blood work important for pets?

Annual blood work is crucial for pets as it provides a baseline for their health, enabling early detection of abnormalities or changes that may indicate developing medical conditions. This proactive approach allows for timely intervention, potentially before clinical symptoms manifest, offering better treatment options and outcomes. In Texas, where environmental factors can influence pet health, regular blood panels play a crucial role in monitoring and maintaining pet wellness. Visit our clinic to discuss how annual blood work can benefit your furry friend’s long-term health.

What is the significance of heartworm testing for pets?

Heartworm testing for pets is significant because it detects the presence of heartworm disease, a potentially fatal condition caused by parasites that inhabit the heart and lungs. Early detection through testing is crucial, as it allows for prompt treatment, significantly improving the prognosis. In Houston, TX, where heartworm is more prevalent due to the warm climate and high mosquito population, regular testing is essential to safeguard pets’ health. Our clinic emphasizes the importance of routine heartworm testing as part of a comprehensive preventative care plan.

How do fleas and ticks pose a risk to pet health?

Fleas and ticks pose significant health risks to pets by transmitting diseases and causing infestations that lead to skin irritation, allergic reactions, and anemia. Ticks are carriers of serious illnesses like Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, while fleas can transmit parasites like tapeworms. In Bellaire, Houston, TX, the warm climate fosters a year-round threat from these pests, emphasizing the importance of regular preventative measures to protect pets. Our clinic advises on effective strategies to guard against fleas and ticks, maintaining your pet’s health and comfort.

What steps can pet owners take to prevent heartworm infestation in their pets?

Pet owners should administer monthly heartworm preventatives, as recommended by a veterinarian, to guard against heartworm infestation. These medications are crucial where mosquitoes, the carriers of heartworm, thrive in the warm climate. Regular testing for heartworms, even for pets on preventive medication, is advised to catch any breakthrough infections early. Keeping the environment free from standing water can also reduce mosquito populations, further minimizing the risk of heartworm disease. Visit our clinic for personalized advice on heartworm prevention for your pet.

What non-core vaccines may be recommended for pets, and why?

Non-core vaccines recommended for pets depend on their lifestyle and environmental exposure. For dogs, the bordetella vaccine is advised for those frequenting kennels or dog parks, preventing kennel cough. The canine leptospirosis vaccine is recommended in areas with wildlife exposure to safeguard against the leptospirosis bacteria. For cats, the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine is suggested for outdoor cats due to their risk of encountering infected cats. In Meyerland, Houston, TX, our clinic assesses each pet’s specific risks to tailor a vaccination plan, ensuring comprehensive protection against prevalent diseases.

As your Champions Forest, TX pet hospital, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!