Wellness and preventative care are the keys to keeping your dog healthy—that includes exams, vaccinations, blood testing and parasite prevention. At Dominion Valley Animal Hospital, we’ll work with you to provide a customized care plan based on your pet’s age, lifestyle and breed.
Congratulations on the new addition to the family! For many pet lovers, there is nothing more exciting and fun than getting a new puppy. We’ll be your partner in making sure your puppy gets started off on the right paw, because the first few months of a young dog’s life are critical to their development, future health and well-being.
You should schedule your puppy to see the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt for the following services:
- Comprehensive Physical Exams – monitoring your puppy’s growth, looking for signs of any future health issues
- Vaccinations – Puppies are not fully immune from many life-threatening diseases, so vaccinations are vital, and rabies is required by law.
- Intestinal Parasite Screening – It’s very common for puppies to have worms, and they can make your new friend very sick and weak. Fecal testing for intestinal parasites is a must for puppies.
- Spay/Neuter – Our veterinarian will discuss the benefits of altering your pet and if you opt for this procedure, when it should be done.
- Microchip – One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to make sure he or she is microchipped. Unlike collars, microchips stay with your pet for life and will make it much more likely your dog will be returned to you if lost.
- Heartworm, Flea, & Tick Preventative – Fleas and ticks are not only unpleasant, they carry disease and can be very detrimental to a young dog’s health. Heartworm is potentially deadly, and treatment is expensive and difficult for most dogs.
- Behavior & Nutrition Counseling – While it may be true that puppies don’t come with instructions, counseling with our veterinarians about feeding, housebreaking, socialization and basic training will set your pup up for success as a family member.
We recommend annual wellness exams and blood testing for all adult dogs up to seven years of age. Your dog’s wellness exam at Dominion Valley Animal Hospital is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you have about your dog’s health with one of our veterinary professionals. We encourage discussions about nutrition, allergies, dental care, mobility issues, risk of infections, and any lifestyle or behavior changes.
Our vaccination protocols are based on American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, but also customized to the individual needs of your dog based on health and lifestyle. We do offer vaccine titers in lieu of vaccination at mid or older age and homeopathic vaccine detox.
Our canine friends unfortunately age much faster than we do, which means disease and illness progress much faster as well. For this reason, Dominion Valley Animal Hospital recommends that dogs over age seven have wellness exams and senior blood chemistry panels twice per year.
The goals for senior pet exams are to detect, prevent or delay the diseases and conditions that are common in older animals such as osteoarthritis, hormone disorders, organ failure, cancers, and disease of the kidney, heart, and liver. For this reason, we may also advise X-rays, ultrasounds, urinalysis and blood pressure monitoring for your older pet.
Our veterinarians can also suggest specially formulated food for your older dog, whose changing nutritional needs will benefit from an adjusted diet.
If you have senior dog, we recommend that you call us for an exam if you observe any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Significant decrease or increase in appetite
- Failure to eat for more than two days
- Noticeable decrease in vision
- Increasing inactivity or time spent sleeping
- Excessive panting
- Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching in a localized area
- Seizures or convulsing
If you have questions about caring for your canine companion at any life stage, or to set up an appointment, call us at (703) 753-4444.