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Pet Wellness

After years of optimizing wellness in our patients, we’ve found that the foundation to a long, happy, and healthy life is the implementation of comprehensive preventative care programs. At Concord Veterinary Hospital, we recommend all dogs and cats under our care visit us at least once a year for a health check up.

A routine visit will include a nose-to-tail physical examination, which is the first step of all of our preventative care programs. In addition to physical examinations, we offer vaccinations, parasite control, microchip insertion, and nutrition and weight management.

We are always here for you and your pet family. If you have any questions at all about your pet’s wellness, do not hesitate to call us or simply stop by during open business hours. We are always happy to serve our clients.

 

Examinations

The first step to long-term wellness in your special pet? A comprehensive nose-to-tail physical examination. Routine visits are a time-proven tool to maximize pets’ overall health because they provide opportunities for our veterinarians to detect potential health concerns in early stages when they are most easily remedied with the least pain to your pet. Because pets age at a much faster rate than humans, this is hugely important to maximizing health and longevity. That’s why it’s a universal recommendation for all pets under our care, regardless of age or health status.

All pets should visit us at least once a year – even seemingly healthy pets. Puppies, kittens, senior pets, and special needs pets benefit from more frequent visits.

A comprehensive physical exam at Concord Animal Hospital includes the following:

  • Record weight
  • Listen to the heart and lungs
  • Assess the oral cavity
  • Check the coat and skin
  • Palpate the abdomen, joints, and lymph nodes

 

All of the aforementioned physical elements of a wellness examination give our medical team a wealth of information of your pet’s overall health. But, there are some things a physical examination alone cannot tell us. That’s why wellness visits also involve a heartworm test and full blood workup. These tests help your veterinarian identify underlying diseases that may go undetected in a physical exam and, for healthy pets, these results create a baseline of health if your pet becomes sick between visits. Additional diagnostic tests and lab work that may be recommended on a case-by-case basis include fecal tests, skin scrapings, urinalysis, and more.

Client education is also an elemental component of routine wellness visits at Concord Veterinary Hospital. Our medical team encourages you to ask any questions you may have, and consider jotting down questions you may have in advance before your visit. Hitting these touch points during your visit will help you to keep your pet as healthy as possible at home between visits.

This will help you to keep your pet as healthy as possible at home between visits.

 

Vaccinations

Modern vaccinations safeguard pets from many diseases that were once life-threatening. At Concord Veterinary Hospital, we provide all core vaccines, which are recommended for all pets, as well as non-core vaccines, which are recommended based on individual lifestyle, risk factors, and current health status. We will work with you to devise an appropriate vaccination program for your pet.

Vaccinations effectively prevent disease by exposing the immune system to a safe and manageable dose of the bacteria or virus. This may sound concerning,  but the dose is so low that clinical signs will not be elicited. Rather, the immune system will be prompted to build antibodies against the particular disease, and after exposure, the immune system will be equipped to ward off the ailment when contacted in the environment.

We understand that over-vaccination is a concern for many pet owners, which is why we create comprehensive vaccine plans for each pet we see. Each plan consists of core vaccines that keep all pets safe and protected, in addition to non-core vaccines that are administered based on your pet’s unique healthcare needs.

Core vaccines are recommended, if not legally required, for all dogs and cats we see.

  • Dogs: Rabies, Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis
  • Cats: Rabies, Distemper, Calcivirus, Viral Rhinotracheitis

Non-core vaccines are dependent on lifestyle, risk of exposure, and health status. These vaccines are recommended on a case-by-case basis.

  • Dogs: Bordetella, Canine Influenza
  • Cats: Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Do not be alarmed if your pet appears more lethargic than normal after receiving vaccinations. This is a natural bodily response, and should subside within 1-2 days with rest. If your pet shows more serious signs, like vomiting, diarrhea, facial swelling, or anaphylaxis, contact us immediately. This is rare, but adverse reactions can occur in some cases.

 

Parasite Control

Pets need protection from fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites – and they count on us to provide this protection. Without proper parasite prevention, pets are exposed to harmful and, in some cases, life-threatening diseases and infections. Parasites are present in nearly every environment, and Tennessee is no exception.

The medical team at Concord Veterinary Hospital follows a two-step parasite prevention process, including annual parasite testing and year-round preventative medication. Preventative medicines come in many types; we can help you determine the best treatment for your pet’s needs and your lifestyle. Year-round prevention is essential to the health of all dogs and cats, especially when parasite populations are at their peak during spring and summer months.

Did you know some parasites that affect dogs and cats can also afflict humans? We recommend yearly parasite testing in combination with a preventative medication in order to best protect your human family and pet family from parasites. Checking your pet for intestinal parasites is critical for your pet’s health, but also for the health of your family. Hookworms and other parasites are considered zoonotic, which means they can be transferred from animals to humans.

 

Common Parasites

Fleas are notorious for causing itchy and painful bites on the skin. Fleas are most prevalent in the spring and summer months, but they are present and pesky year round. Untreated flea infestation can lead to serious concerns like anemia and death, and once fleas enter your home, they are very difficult to eradicate and can harm humans as well. Fortunately, there are various forms of flea prevention, including collars, topical treatments, and oral medicine.

Ticks carry a host of harmful diseases, such as Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis, and are highly prevalent in our area. To keep your pet safe from ticks, administer continuous monthly preventatives, especially during spring and summer months, and check your pet’s skin and coat for ticks after spending time outside.    

Heartworms are contracted through the bite of a mosquito, and invade the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, leading to irreversible organ damage, severe illness, and death. In the beginning stages, symptoms are hard to pinpoint, which makes continuous prevention paramount to the safety of your pet. Dogs are common hosts, but cats can be infected as well.

Intestinal parasites are common in pets, and present the risk for malnourishment and serious illness. Common intestinal parasites include roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, and certain intestinal parasites are transmissible from pets to people. To protect your pet family and human family, continuous prevention is a must.

 

Microchip Insertion

Accidents happen, even with the most careful and attentive pet caretakers. Your friends at Concord Veterinary Hospital hope your pet is always safely by your side but, in the event your pet gets lost, be prepared with complete identification.

Microchips are a foolproof method of permanent identification. Our medical team is trained to painlessly insert the microchip beneath the skin between the shoulder blades. Insertion is quick, and can be performed at the same time as other routine vaccinations or during a procedure, such as spay/neuter procedure.

If your contact information ever changes, like during a move, be sure to update your pet’s microchip. This is a form of identification that will stay with your pet for their entire life, but if your contact information is not up-to-date, your pet will not be able to find their way home should they be found. Hospitals and animal shelters across the country are equipped with special scanners that can read your microchip and reunite you with your pet.

Collars and ID tags add another layer of protection, and are recommended for all pets we see – even indoor pets! Although these methods of identification are not foolproof like a microchip, they are proactive for your pet’s safety and your peace of mind.

At Concord Veterinary Hospital, we use the HomeAgain microchip system. HomeAgain has helped reunite over two million pets with their best friends! Once your pet has been microchipped, make sure to enroll online at www.homeagain.com.

 

Nutrition & Weight Management

Food is fuel and food is medicine. A proper diet that has adequate vitamins and minerals will provide a pet with high energy levels, a healthy body weight, and sleek coat. A proper diet will also help pets living with chronic conditions, like arthritis and diabetes, manage and relieve symptoms. More importantly, feeding your pet a proper diet from the beginning will help to prevent the onset of chronic conditions, like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, and other serious health issues like bladder and kidney stones and obesity.

Reading pet food labels, and knowing what is best for your pet, is not always clear cut. The medical team at Concord Veterinary Hospital will provide personalized dietary and physical activity recommendations specific to your pet’s age, size, health status, and unique health considerations.

Talk to your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet’s body weight. Pet obesity is on the rise, and increases risks for diseases, high blood pressure, dermatological issues, and more.  Overweight and obese pets also experience a lesser quality of life, so let’s keep your pet happy, active, playing, and at a healthy body weight!