Pet Wellness Services

Your Pet's Wellness Exam

<? echo $title; ?>Prevention is the key to your pet's long-term health. For that reason, the veterinarians and the medical staff at Lassiter Animal Hospital in Marietta, Ga. recommend that your pet receives a complete wellness examination once a year. Regular examinations are an important opportuntity to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in medical care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. This preventive approach also allows us to detect potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns and expensive to treat.

During your pet's annual wellness exam we:

  • Examine teeth, throat, and oral cavity
  • Check vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction, and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet's heart
  • Test your pet's reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood, and other systems

Deworming and Fecal Check: Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns or any place a pet defecates.

Regular Blood Work: A complete physical includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and should include a blood tests. Not only can a chemistry panel and complete blood count (CBC) identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill. Additionally, blood work is necessary if a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia is recommended.

At home, watch for subtle changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, water intake, urination, and bowel habits, as well as general attitude and activity level. These changes may be signs of medical problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin may seem harmless, but can be cancerous. Ear infections, abscessed teeth, and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become obvious until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical exam is the best tool to evaluate your dog's, cat's or other pet's health status and to help you make informed decisions about the care of your special companion.

Senior Pet Care<? echo $title; ?>

Regular wellness exams are especially important for senior companions, which are pets 7 years of age and older. At Lassiter Animal Hospital, our special emphasis on geriatric medicine and the care of chronic disease means that your senior pet will receive the best care while he or she enjoys the golden years.

As with humans, pets in their senior years begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. However, this process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care, thereby offering your beloved pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Additionally, preventive care tailored to your pet's age, lifestyle, breed, and other factors can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and easily treatable stages.

There is also an important role for you to play as your pet's primary caregiver. While you cannot control age related decline, you can influence your pet's activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. With help from your veterinarian at Lassiter Animal Hospital, you can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet's good health, vitality, and increase his or her well-being, even as his or her pace slows a bit.

The best time to begin your pet's senior care program and recognize the need for a little extra TLC is well before age related conditions begin to set in. The veterinarians at Lassiter Animal Hospital recommend regular senior wellness exams, which should include lab tests to detect the early signs of disease. Dental care at this point in life becomes even more important as well. We recommend routine dental exams and cleanings for all pets, but especially those in their senior years. Diet and weight gain are also important issues to keep in mind. When you bring your pet in for a senior wellness visit, your veterinarian will evaluate his or her weight and offer recommendations based on what we find.

Puppy and Kitten Care<? echo $title; ?>

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is always something to celebrate. They add energy and fun and are a source of constant affection as they bond with you and your family.

However, new pets require a little extra attention to ensure they get a good, healthy start at life. This means that comprehensive physical exams from one of the veterinarians at Lassiter Animal Hospital at key developmental stages are essential. Any time that you get a new pet, it's important to schedule an appointment right away so that we may review their prior medical records and make timely recommendations for appropriate wellness care.

Your first visits with your new puppy or kitten at Lassiter Animal Hospital are perhaps the most important. These initial visits are where you, one of our doctors, and your pet first meet and begin to form the relationship that lasts throughout the life of your pet.

Some of the issues discussed during your kitten's first visits include:

  • Diet, including types of food that are best for your cat's unique requirements
  • Litter and litter box
  • Behavior
  • Should my cat be allowed to go outdoors?
  • Spaying and neutering recommendations
  • Declawing: Should I or shouldn't I?
  • Vaccine protocol
  • Pet health insurance: Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping: Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam and treatment for worms and other intestinal parasites
  • Testing for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • Treatment and prevention of fleas, ticks. and heartworm disease

Some of the issues discussed during your puppy's first visits include:

  • Diet, including types of food to feed and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  • Housetraining
  • Behavior
  • Spaying and neutering: Is this best for my dog? If I decide to spay/neuter, when is the best time to have this done?
  • Formulation of an individualized vaccine protocol.
  • Pet health insurance: Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Treatment and prevention of fleas, ticks, and heartworm disease
  • Microchipping: Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam and treatment for worms and other intestinal parasites

We take plenty of time during these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, which includes detection of potential congenital problems, offer health care and training advice, and talk with you about any concerns you may have. This is your new kitten or puppy and we're happy to answer all of your questions.

Vaccines For Your Pet<? echo $title; ?>

Due to the many recent discoveries and innovations in veterinary medicine, your pet can be protected against most major infectious diseases. Today, many immunizations and preventive treatments are available that did not exist a decade ago.

Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease. However, not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Our veterinarians tailor a vaccine protocol that is specific to your pet based on his or her lifestyle and recommendations from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Vaccine schedules are balanced to provide needed protection while not over-vaccinating your pet. Please contact us for more information about vaccinations.

Core Vaccines for Dogs and Puppies

Core vaccines for dogs are Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus (hepatitis), Canine Parvovirus, Canine Parainfluenza, and Leptospirosis, which are combined into one injection called DHLPP. Canine Coronavirus and Bordetella (commonly known as kennel cough) vaccines are also part of our core vaccinations. Rabies is also a core vaccine for dogs and is a requirement for all dogs living in the state of Georgia. Core vaccines for puppies are Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus, Canine Parvovirus, and Canine Parainfluenza, which are combined into one injection called DHPP; Canine Coronavirus; and Bordetella.

Core Vaccines for Cats and Kittens

Core vaccines for cats include Panleukopenia Virus, Feline Calicivirus, and Rhinotracheitis, also known as Herpes Virus, which are combined into one injection called FVRCP, and Bordetella. Rabies vaccine is also a core vaccine for cats and a booster injection must be given each year. Core kitten vaccines are FVRCP, and Bordetella.

Non-Core Vaccines for Cats

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a contagious disease that spreads primarily through intimate nose-to-nose contact with infected saliva. This very often occurs during cat fights, grooming, and mating. Contaminated urine, blood, and feces are also sources of infection.

Though FeLV is not a core vaccine, it is highly recommended for cats at risk of exposure to this dangerous disease. Your veterinarian at Lassiter Animal Hospital will recommend FeLV vaccination if your cat is at risk. To provide your cat with proper immunity, FeLV vaccine needs to be given twice during the first year and once-a-year afterwards. The FeLV vaccine and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) vaccine are both non-core kitten vaccines.

Flea and Tick Prevention<? echo $title; ?>

Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks can carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. In our area, fleas are most prevalent during the warm weather; however, if left untreated, they can be a nuisance year-round. While ticks are not a serious problem in the Southeast, they are in other parts of the country, especially where they carry blood-borne infections like Lyme disease. If you travel with your pet to an area where ticks are abundant, please talk to one of our veterinarians about all the precautions to take for your pet's protection — and yours.

The good news is that flea and tick problems can be largely avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our hospital. We have selected prescription-strength products due to their proven efficacy and they are available at our in-house pharmacy.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It affects dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats. In the U.S., heartworm disease is most common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries, but it has been reported in dogs in all 50 states.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms, as are coughing and difficulty breathing. Because heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple and effective. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventive can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once a month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat. If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet from this dangerous parasite, please call Lassiter Animal Hospital today for an appointment.

Trims for Birds and Rabbits

Our veterinarians trim bird wings and nails as well as rabbit teeth.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the wellness services we offer, please email or call us at (770) 998-5100.

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