The foundation of your pet’s wellness visit is a nose-to-tail physical examination. A physical exam alone can reveal much about your pet’s health, and can help your veterinarian decide if your pet needs any further tests. During your pet’s exam, your veterinarian will evaluate their weight, skin, coat, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, listen to the heart and lungs for abnormalities, and feel the muscles, joints, lymph nodes, and abdomen for signs of concern.
We recommend that pets receive at least one wellness examination a year. If your animal companion has a health condition, is a senior, or is still growing, more frequent wellness exams may be warranted. For all pets, we also recommend at least one fecal exam yearly to ensure that they are free of harmful, pesky parasites.
If you think that your pet may be overdue or coming due for their annual wellness exam, please call (405) 275-0990 to schedule an appointment today. Together, we can achieve the happiest and healthiest life possible for your pet.
As part of a complete wellness examination, your veterinarian will often recommend wellness screening tests, including urinalysis, complete blood count, and thyroid hormone testing. For older pets, we recommend more comprehensive, more frequent testing, because the risk for many diseases rises with age.
Vaccinations can effectively prevent a number of potentially fatal diseases. Your pet’s vaccine protocol will include our recommended core vaccines, and perhaps some non-core vaccines based on their age, lifestyle, and risk of exposure. Our veterinary team will help you decide which vaccines are best for your pet based on our years of experience.
Core vaccines are recommended for every pet, regardless of lifestyle. Some of these vaccines, like the rabies vaccine, are even mandatory by law.
Non-core Vaccines, on the other hand, are advised based on your pets risk factors. For example, certain vaccines are recommended for pets who spend a lot of time outside or board at kennels often.
All dogs and cats are at risk for parasites, including external parasites like fleas and ticks as well as internal parasites like heartworms and hookworms. Parasites can spread dangerous diseases and inflict damage to your pet’s internal organs. Luckily, your pet’s risk of parasite infection can be practically eliminated by taking year-round monthly preventives. Your veterinarian will help you choose the best form of preventive medicine for your pet, which can range from chews, topicals, collars, and injections.
Here is some additional information about parasites, which are prevalent in the Oklahoma area:
Fleas can inflict serious damage to your pet’s health, your home, and your family. Much like a six-legged vampire, they survive by feeding off of their victim’s blood, and leave painful or itchy bites. Severe infestations can cause anemia or even death if left untreated. Be mindful in the warmer months, when they are most prevalent, to have your pet on a preventative and keep them well-groomed.
Ticks are another pesky insect which bite their hosts and subsist off of their blood. Unlike fleas who bite multiple times, ticks just bite once and continue to burrow into the same spot on their hosts skin until they are hidden. Ticks can spread a variety of terrible diseases such as Lyme disease, tick paralysis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more. Prevent ticks by keeping your pet on a preventative, and inspecting their skin and coat closely after spending time outdoors.
Heartworms are easy to prevent, but difficult to treat, and devastating if contracted. They travel via mosquitos to spread to new hosts. If left untreated, irreversible organ damage and eventual death will result.
Intestinal Worms such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms usually spread through ingestion. They will make your pet feel nauseous and sick, and can also progress to a potentially fatal level of infestation. Some intestinal worms are zoonotic, which means they can be transferred from animals to people. If you suspect your pet has intestinal worms, make sure to clean up after them and frequently wash your hands. We recommend an annual fecal test and preventative medicine to ward off intestinal parasites.
Every year, thousands of lost pets are brought to animal shelters or veterinary offices. Upon arrival, the first thing that the pet care professionals will do is check to see if the animal has a microchip containing their owner’s contact information. Would your pet be able to get home safely?
Many pet owners have tags for their pets to wear on a collar, but this method is not foolproof. Too often, pets slip their collars when frightened and running away, or escape at a time they are not wearing their tags, such as after a bath.
A microchip is the only form of protection that will be with your pet 24/7, because it is inserted underneath the skin, typically between the shoulder blades. The insertion process only takes a few moments, and does not hurt the patient any more than a routine vaccination. Some pets do not even notice being implanted with the microchip!
After your pet has a microchip, we will help you to fill out forms to send in so your contact information is associated with the chip in a national database. If your pet ever becomes lost, a veterinarian or animal shelter employee will use a special scanner to read the information. You will be contacted, and your pet will be able to end their adventure with a happy reunion.
Of course, once your pet is microchipped, we encourage you to continue your routine of having them wear their tags. The more forms of identification your pet has, the better their chances of being brought home!
Maintaining a healthy weight is a vital component of your pet’s total wellness. When dogs and cats become overweight, they are at a greater risk of developing weight-related diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis. Their life expectancy is notably shorter, and it is hard for them to run and play as their heart desires. Approximately one out of three pets in America are obese or overweight, so this is a prevalent concern. But you do not have to face it alone! At Shawnee Animal Hospital, we can help by offering professional advice, special clinically proven metabolic foods, and healthy diet plans to help your pet get trim.
Your veterinarian will help you pick an appropriate diet and portion sizes for your pet. If we have a concern about your pet’s weight, we will work with you to make diet and exercise changes. We recommend that you avoid feeding your pet table scraps or human food. Even for pet’s that are not overweight, human food is not good for their teeth and digestive systems. Their bodies are not equipped to break it down and use it effectively, which can result in upset stomachs and food toxicities.
If your pet is on a special diet plan, do not feed them anything that is not on the plan! Even other types of pet treats. You, as their caretaker, have control over their nutritional intake, so help them feel their best them by supporting a healthy weight.
Nutrition can also be a vital tool for combatting a collection of different ailments such as thyroid disorders, cancers, diabetes, allergies, and more. If your pet has any chronic conditions, feel encouraged to ask your veterinarian about how diet can affect their symptoms.
Located off of Oklahoma 3W on the corner of N Kickapoo St and W Independence St.
Shawnee Animal Hospital is available for emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for both small and large animals.