HEALTH CARE AT HUNTINGTON ANIMAL HOSPITAL
Our cats and dogs are important members of our family. At Huntington Animal Hospital, we treat them as such! Kitten and puppy examinations, annual health exams, senior wellness exams, routine vaccinations, and parasite prevention, are important to assess and maintain the long term health of our animal family.
At Huntington Animal Hospital we acknowledge that each and every one of our cats and dogs are unique. Therefore, we believe it is very important to learn about the specific needs of each patient in order to individualize the care we provide. We strongly recommend that all animals receive an annual exam with one of our veterinarians. This exam is vital to determining the physical health of your pet. During this time necessary vaccinations can be administered and recommendations on parasite prevention, nutrition, dental health and weight management can be made. Most importantly it gives you the opportunity to pick our brains!
Continuing education and current science helps us better understand health and disease. This knowledge allows us to be more effective in meeting the needs of our patients to keep them healthy and comfortable. We believe it is important to keep our education current in veterinary therapies, diagnostics and surgical techniques. We believe it is equally important to be competent in alternative therapies such as acupuncture, rehabilitation and nutritional therapies. The combination of conventional medicine with complementary and alternative therapies to treat your animal as a whole is referred to as integrative veterinary medicine. Our integrative approach to caring for your animal will provide a complete treatment plan to prevent disease and promote health and healing.
KITTEN & PUPPY CARE
Puppies and Kittens will require a series of examinations, vaccinations and deworming in the first 4 months of life. At Huntington Animal Hospital we are examining your puppy or kitten to ensure they are growing properly, receiving proper nutrition, and to make sure they have not inherited common diseases or genetic abnormalities. During these exams we are also happy to discuss behaviour, house training, crate training, methods to deter chewing and any other concerns you may have.
We commonly recommend vaccinating puppies and kittens at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Your puppy or kitten has been born with maternal antibodies to protect them from fatal disease, however as they grow these antibodies decline, which is why they require a booster vaccine.
Puppies and kittens should not interact with unvaccinated dogs or cats, sick animals or populated areas where other cats and dogs gather (parks, off leash parks, pet stores, etc) until they have received their complete series of vaccines.
At Huntington Animal Hospital we recommend feeding your puppy or kitten an appropriate good quality commercial diet formulated for growing animals. An all stages diet is not recommended as they commonly do not contain sufficient levels of protein, calories and minerals required for growth.
It is our recommendation that puppies and kittens be spayed or neutered at or around 6 months of age.
If your cat or dog is 7 years old or older, he/she is entering their senior years. To find out how old your cat or dog is in human years click here! Many health problems common to senior pets do not cause symptoms until they become seriously ill. At Huntington Animal Hospital we recommend senior care testing to help identify problems early enough to institute preventive healthcare plans. Senior care testing is recommended in any cat or dog who is displaying one or more of the following symptoms: weight loss or gain, increased thirst or urination, lethargy, vomiting/diarrhea, poor hair coat, coughing, seizures, unusual behaviour, or overall decline in condition.
At Huntignton Animal Hospital we take pride in caring for our senior pets and do our best to ensure an exceptional quality of life for as long as possible. Our veterinarians are certified in veterinary acupuncture and rehabilitation in order to provide integrative veterinary care to each and every one of our patients.
Huntington Animal Hospital is trained and equipped to perform the following tests on your senior pet:
A physical exam is the most important part of the senior care program. We thoroughly examine your pet for abnormalities, dental health, skin and fur coat quality, hydration, muscle quality and evidence of pain.
Serum chemistry tests measure levels of various substances in your pets blood. These substances help evaluate organ function and help diagnose diseases such as diabetes, and liver and kidney disease.
A complete blood count (CBC) provides a detailed look at the cells in the blood, for example red and white blood cells. Changes can diagnose anemia or infection.
A urinalysis provides information on kidney function, urinary bladder health and checks for urinary tract infections.
A thyroid screen helps diagnose thyroid disease. Older animals are prone to under and overactive thyroid function.
Glaucoma testing measures the pressures in each eye quickly and painlessly using a tonometer. Undetected glaucoma can lead to irreversible blindness or chronic pain.
Blood pressure measurement is important to identify hypertension. High blood pressure can cause kidney problems, heart disease, blindness, and other complications.
Radiographs (X-rays) are performed to assess size and position of internal organs. Changes in the size and/or position of an organ can suggest disease and can be used to monitor the progression of certain diseases.
FeLV/FIV testing is recommended for some senior cats. This tests for the feline leukaemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses, which can suppress a cat's immune system and lead to secondary infections, anemia, and cancer.
At Huntington Animal Hospital we strongly recommend routine vaccinations or titre testing for a variety of fatal diseases. Proper vaccination to maintain protective titres to fatal diseases is an essential part of preventive care at Huntington Animal Hospital. Your animal's vaccine schedule will be determined based on health status and lifestyle.
Routine vaccinations for dogs include: Rabies, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Adeno-2 virus, Leptospirosis and Bordetella bronchiseptica (Kennel Cough).
Routine vaccinations for cats include: Rabies, Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, Panleukopenia and Feline Leukemia virus.
Click HERE to download Huntington Animal Hospital's Parasite Prevention FAQs.
LYME DISEASE & TICKS
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is spread through the bite of certain types of ticks. Infected tick populations are growing in Canada and are common in southern & eastern Ontario. Ticks are most active in the spring and fall.
In dogs, Lyme disease can cause lameness, pain, swollen joints, fever, swollen lymph nodes and in severe cases kidney failure and death. Lyme disease is diagnosed with a blood test and easily treated with antibiotics.
The best method of prevention is avoiding tick infested areas and removing any identified ticks as soon as possible. Early removal will reduce the chance of the tick transmitting the bacteria. Highly effective veterinary products are available. They have been designed to kill ticks before they can transmit the bacteria.
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Heartworm is a blood parasite transmitted by infected mosquitoes. From the blood, the worms travel to the heart and blood vessels that supply the lungs. Here they grow and reproduce. The presence of these worms causes damage to the heart, lungs and liver. In severe cases they can cause death.
Heartworm is present in Ontario and common in the southern United States. If you have adopted a dog or travel with your own dog, it is important to have it tested for heart worm disease.
Heartworm is diagnosed with a blood test. Treatment is available however, it is costly and does pose potential health complications.
Heartworm prevention for all dogs is highly recommended. Preventive medications have been formulated to kill the immature heart worms and stop the cycle of disease.
Common intestinal parasites include giardia, coccidia, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms. All of these parasites are shed in the saliva and feces of infected animals, therefore are common in the environment.
Routine microscopic fecal analysis of your pet's feces is recommended in order to identify if your animal is infected with intestinal parasites.
To prevent against parasite infection, routine (monthly) deworming, discouraging your pet from eating fees and picking up fecal material in your yard is strongly recommended.
Please be advised that many intestinal parasites can be transmitted to you and your family.
Fleas are a common external parasite in cats and dogs. They commonly cause skin irritations, fur loss and can cause allergic reactions. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to our pets.
Fleas are commonly found outdoors and can live for months indoors. Fleas are easily transmitted between animals, especially those in close contact.
Fleas can be most easily identified by looking for black flecks on your animal's skin. These flecks look like pepper flecks and represent flea fecal droppings.
All animals infested or exposed to fleas should be treated with a safe, effective veterinary product. Over the counter treatments have been shown to be ineffective and can be dangerous to your pet.