PUPPY AND KITTEN CARE
Once the technician has collected information about your pet, the veterinarian will perform a complete head to tail physical examination. Your pet’s veterinarian is also your pet’s dentist, psychiatrist, cardiologist, radiologist, anesthesiologist, surgeon, ophthalmologist, and much more. They wear many professional hats! Your pet’s eyes, ears, and mouth will be checked for any abnormalities. In addition, the veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs and palpate your pet’s entire body, feeling for appropriate organ size and looking for any skin growths or masses. During the examination, you will be asked additional questions in order to obtain an overall assessment of your pet’s current health status. Depending on your pet’s particular circumstance, your veterinarian may recommend specific laboratory or diagnostic tests for further evaluation.
Because your pet cannot speak and they age much faster than humans do, it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian at least once a year during the first seven years of life, and every six months as they get older. No pet should be given vaccinations without a recent physical examination. If your pet is suffering from any kind of illness, the vaccine may cause more harm than good, or be ineffective. Following your veterinarian’s recommendations is essential to ensure the health and happiness of your pet for years to come.
When preparing for your pet’s physical exam, please bring the following with you:
- Any medications your pet is currently taking
- Small “walnut” size sample of stool
- Record the type of heartworm and flea/tick prevention your pet takes
- Any questions or concerns you might have
Call today to schedule an appointment for your puppy or kitten first visit.
Vaccinations are designed to stimulate the production of antibodies capable of protecting your pet against specific diseases. The vaccines contain killed or modified live forms of the virus or bacteria and provide protection against infectious diseases, but do NOT cause the disease. Vaccines do NOT treat or cure existing disease either. Some vaccines contain combinations of viruses or bacteria that immunize against several diseases, minimizing the inconvenience to the owner and discomfort for the pet.
Vaccinations are most effective if they are given in a timely series for puppies and kittens. Young pets that are allowed to nurse absorb some antibodies from their mother’s milk, providing them with only a temporary form of immunity. Boosters are necessary to maintain immunity and protection during the critical early growth period.
Vaccinations are not guaranteed to prevent disease because too many variables are involved.
Vaccination benefits far outweigh the relatively small risk of vaccine-related adverse effects. Allergic reactions to vaccinations and local, injection-site irritation are uncommon, but can occur. Your veterinarian can advise you on steps to take if a vaccine-related reaction occurs.
Vaccination frequently is dependent on your pet’s age, lifestyle, and risk of disease exposure. Your veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate vaccination interval based on your pet’s history and individual circumstances. The BEST schedule is the one that is individually designed by your veterinarian after examining your pet.
This procedure consists of injecting a chip the size of a grain of rice (12 mm) beneath the surface of your pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than they would a vaccination. No anesthetic is required.
A microchip is a permanent pet ID. The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the lifetime of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary to transmit a microchip’s unique cat or dog ID code and positively identify the pet. If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip and read its unique dog or cat ID code. This is the number used to identify your pet and retrieve your contact information, which is used to contact you and reunite you with your pet.
Did you know that 75-80% of our pets over the age of three have some form of dental disease? Bad breath is often the only sign you, as the pet owner, may notice. Our pets should not have bad breath. Yes, it certainly is a nuisance; but it’s more than that: it’s an indication that your pet’s teeth may need attention. If you notice bad breath, call us to make an appointment to assess your pet’s oral status.
What can you do? Daily removal of plaque is the key to an effective oral hygiene program. Unless your pet’s teeth are brushed daily, plaque will build up at the gum line. Eventually calculus forms, which further irritates the gums and infection progresses to loosen and destroy the attachment of the adult tooth. In addition to loose teeth, infection under the gum line can spread to the liver, kidneys, heart and other organs.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is beneficial because advanced dental disease is costly and painful. Brushing teeth is usually very easy, and if approached in an up-beat manner, a fun procedure. First, pick a soft-bristled or finger toothbrush. A bristled toothbrush, made specifically for your pet, is best because it is angled to easily reach the back teeth and bristles are soft. You will need enzymatic toothpaste from your veterinarian. Do NOT use human toothpaste because it contains detergents that should not be swallowed.
Approach your pet in a happy and gentle manner. Start slowly, you can use a washcloth to wipe the teeth in the same manner you will be using the brush. Do this twice a day for two weeks. After two weeks, you should be able to introduce the toothbrush with only water on the bristles. Start brushing daily for several days. When your dog accepts this brushing, add the toothpaste. Give most of your attention to the outside surface of the upper teeth.
Besides brushing, what else can you do? Chewing on objects harder than the tooth may lead to dental fractures. We do not recommend cow or horse hooves, ice cubes, rocks or real bones. They commonly cause fractures of the upper premolars. Tug of war games are not recommended, especially in young pets to avoid moving the growing teeth into abnormal locations. Throwing items like Frisbees can also cause trauma to the teeth. Toys which seldom cause harm to teeth include hard rubber balls and toys (like Kongs, Gummabones and Nylabones) and stuffed cloth toys. Any toys which can be chewed or pulled apart (rawhide, greenies, stuffed toys or soft rubber toys) should be allowed only under supervision. Ingesting large pieces of these can cause intestinal upset or blockage.
Dental diets specifically manufactured to help keep your dog’s teeth clean also work very well (i.e. Hill’s t/d diet). Diet and toys alone will not completely control plaque, but they will help.
Remember, the health of your pet starts in the mouth! Brush teeth daily and you will be amazed at the results. If you have any questions or are having trouble brushing your pet’s teeth, ask us – we can help!
Blood pressure monitoring allows veterinarians to detect common diseases earlier in pets. Including but not limited to kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, Cushing’s disease. This is a noninvasive test that is easily completed during a physical exam. Patients undergoing any surgical procedure will receive continuous blood pressure monitoring throughout the entire procedure. This helps the doctors and technicians avoid complications and to keep your pet healthy during the procedure.
Your pet deserves the best and most thorough care. Our highly trained staff uses the latest radiology equipment and techniques to diagnose your pet. X-rays allow us to see what’s below the surface. Digital X-Rays are a non-invasive tool we use to assess your pet’s skeletal health, organs, and body while providing you with images to better understand your pet’s physical condition for better prevention and treatment.
We use ultrasound technology to create images (or sonograms) of your pet’s body for an accurate analysis. Ultrasound provides us with a means of non-invasive evaluation of your pet’s physical condition. From emergencies to organ health, we can see below the surface with our ultrasound equipment to provide quality veterinary care for your pet’s wellbeing.
At Severna Park Veterinary Hospital, we think any surgery warrants an individual care plan for your pet. Every dog or cat, puppy or kitten, deserves quality medicine and compassionate care before, during, and after surgery.
From routine surgical procedures, such as neutering and spaying to more complex procedures we will make every effort to ensure your pet receives the very best care. Our focus is quality care for your pet. Your pet will be monitored from the moment they arrive on surgery day to the time they depart by our compassionate and caring staff. We are only an email, text, or call away if you have any questions before surgery, while your pet is here, or once you go home.
COLD LASER THERAPY
Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that increases blood circulation, stimulates cell regeneration by using light. The laser is programable to treat many different types of problems. Laser Therapy uses light to generate heat and penetrate tissue.
This procedure can be used to help regenerate nerve tissue after surgery. Laser therapy helps treat arthritis, sprains or strains, and chronic injuries. We provide laser treatment with all surgical procedures including dentals. We offer packages for the treatment of more chronic problems like arthritis.
Dr. Jessica Heard has an undergraduate degree in animal science with a specialty in poultry. She spends time when in veterinary school at the University of Georgia Poultry Disease Research Center studying chicken health. Dr. Heard is available to give advice from basic husbandry to treating your sick and injured feathered friends in need.
The staff is incredibly friendly, respectful, and well informed. They were able to squeeze me and my dog in, get lab results, and book her for surgery in just a few days; much faster than other vets I have been to. Their aftercare calls are a very welcome addition.
Cecelia, Google Review
This office was extremely helpful while I was here from out of town. My dog had an emergency and they quickly got him in, treated him, and followed up with me. The staff and vet were both very friendly and professional. Thank you!!
Lily, Google Review