Wellness Exams & Preventative Care

Wellness exams are recommended annually for both cats & dogs!

In preparation for this exam, please bring a fecal sample for potential parasitic testing. Also check your supply of flea/tick & heartworm preventatives & existing medications for potential refill needs.

Before the exam, please let us know if you have questions or concerns so we can make a well informed evaluation of your pet.

  • Check body weight and temperature.
  • Look at the eyes, ears, and nose.
  • Check the lymph nodes.
  • Look in the mouth to assess the health of the teeth and gums.
  • Evaluate the heart and lungs.
  • Feeling the abdomen to check the internal organs including the kidneys and liver
  • Evaluate the muscles, spine and joints.
  • Testing for heartworm and tick-borne illnesses


After the exam we carefully document our findings and provide recommendations for any problems we uncover.

* See the below Vaccine section for important information about the Rabies vaccine requirement in PA

Junior and Senior Wellness Screening Tests not only allow us to identify conditions before any signs are present, they also provide information on what is “normal” for your pet. This allows doctors to quickly evaluate changes to your pet’s biology and determine an appropriate action plan going forward. See below for the test components for your pet’s life-stage and ask your veterinarian for details during your next annual exam.

Junior and Senior Wellness Testing

Vaccines & Vaccine Titers

Rabies is considered a core vaccine, as is Distemper. Other vaccines are not required; however our veterinarians consult with each pet owner to determine what/if any other vaccinations make sense for their pets’ lifestyle. Each owner has different goals for their pets and we work with each individual to create a vaccination plan that keeps your animal safe from diseases.

Our hospital vaccinates with the Nobivac Rabies vaccine by Merck Animal Health.  Any Merck  Nobivac vaccine purchased is matched with a Nobivac vaccine for dogs in Rabies endemic areas. Clinics that use this vaccine are part of the program by supporting Merck’s ability to donate rabies vaccines to areas in need.

Some pet owners choose on occasion to take advantage of “vaccine titers”. These titers are blood tests that look at the level of antibodies that a pet has to a certain vaccine (Distemper is the most frequently tested titer). If the titer shows persistent antibodies, the tested vaccine can be waived for 1 additional year.

By using vaccine titers we can limit the frequency/number of vaccinations that a pet receives throughout its lifetime. Speak with your vet if you are interested in knowing more.

Note: A current Rabies vaccination is required by law in Pennsylvania; this applies to housecats as well as to dogs. Our hospital carries both 1 and 3 years Rabies vaccines for cats; speak with your veterinarian about the best option for your cat – even if your cat receives the 3 year vaccine, we strongly urge clients to bring their cat in annually for an examination. During this yearly exam we can catch even subtle changes to your cat’s health and hopefully prevent an asymptomatic cat from developing a condition that would be difficult to manage if we only see that pet once every 3 years.

Preventative Care

There are many things you can do for your pet’s preventative care and it’s important that you do them all. Keeping your pet healthy overall will greatly increase the length of their life, catch diseases early enough to treat them and prevent future illnesses or decrease the severity of them, and cost you less in the long run. Veterinary bills can be expensive. Maintaining proper care of your pet and bringing them in for the recommended visits will mean lower vet costs in general because we can detect and treat many diseases and illnesses before drastic measures must be taken.

You can help in preventing future unnecessary veterinary visits by:

 

  • Scheduling the recommended annual Wellness Exam
  • Keeping up-to-date with immunizations, especially the Rabies Vaccine, which is required by PA law
  • Administering the suggested (and prescribed) medications
  • Administering flea & tick preventatives monthly, year round
  • Administering heartworm preventatives monthly, year round
  • Feeding your pet a healthy and nutritious diet to maintain a healthy weight
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth and fur daily
  • Taking your pet on walks and giving them enough exercise
  • Regularly getting your pet groomed (how often depends on the individual animal)
  • Take advantage of a Wellness Screening Test; Junior & Senior profiles are available.