Keep Morris County Pets Healthy With Pet Wellness Care
Community Animal Hospital is committed to the highest quality preventive care for your companion animals, supporting healthier pets that live happily with their families for a long, long time.
The Wellness Exam
A typical routine appointment with one of our veterinarians will include a physical exam, a fecal exam, blood work, and urine testing, if appropriate. You may expect a discussion about your pet’s behavior, diet, and healthy weight management, as well as the development of a subsequent plan to address these issues for the period of time until the next wellness visit.
Our veterinarians and staff also will review the following regimes for your pet and assess past success: heartworm prevention, internal parasite prevention, and flea and tick control. Vaccinations to prevent common diseases are administered at these visits, according to the individual pet’s needs and to satisfy regional licensing requirements.
Your Pet’s Needs
Young pets require a number of visits in the first year to ensure maximum protection from life-threatening diseases. Adult pets need at least one wellness visit per year, depending upon overall condition, vigor, and lifestyle. At least one wellness visit annually is the minimum recommendation for any pet in our care.
As pets get older, we recommend at least two wellness visits per year. This, along with our screening blood work, can improve the chances of identifying common and age-related diseases early—this advanced diagnostic process allows us to treat developing concerns before your pet becomes ill.
Visit these pages of our website containing specific information about your pets:
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. It is caused by a blood-borne parasite transmitted by a mosquito. Adult heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected dogs. During the lifespan of the female heartworm, it produces millions of offspring (microfilaria). The microfilaria live in the small vessels of the bloodstream. A mosquito can bite an infected dog and transmit heartworms to another dog.
Adult heartworms cause disease by interfering with heart valve action, clogging the heart and major blood vessels. By clogging these vessels’ blood supply, blood is reduced to other major organs, leading to malfunction of the organs. Microfilaria, as they travel through the circulatory system, can damage all organs of the body.
Fortunately, there is an easy blood test to check your dog for heartworm disease and, when negative, start him or her on an easy preventive to avoid transmission of this potentially fatal disease.
Heartworm preventive should be started by 10 weeks of age. It is recommended that heartworm preventive be continued year round and a heartworm test should be completed once yearly. Yearly testing is mandatory because no medication is 100% effective, especially where mosquito exposure is high.
The first heartworm test will be run at the same time that the annual vaccines are due (one year after puppy vaccines are finished). If preventive is not used for three months or more, a heartworm test must be run prior to dispensing any preventive. If a dog manages to eject the monthly pill, any heartworm organisms the dog received within the last 30 days will remain in its body tissues.
Your veterinarian will discuss preventive options for your dog with you at the time of your visit and first heartworm laboratory test.