Kelly Veterinary Hospital Blog
If you only visit Kelly Veterinary Hospital when your pet is injured or sick, you’re missing the opportunity to get a complete picture of her health. The preventive care exam allows our veterinarians to detect potential health issues and begin monitoring or treating them right away. By committing to preventive care, you could extend it by months or years. It’s well worth the investment when you consider how much love and joy your pet brings into your life.
Our Recommended Schedule for Preventive Care Exams
If your pet is normally healthy and between the ages of 12 months and seven years, an annual exam is usually sufficient. Pets enter middle-age around age seven and their senior years around age 10, so we recommend bi-annual check-ups for pets in this age group. This is when we most often start seeing issues such arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease. Your puppy or kitten under one year will need to come in several times before his first birthday for routine vaccinations and monitoring.
Required vaccines for dogs include canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, distemper, and rabies. The first shot offers protection for both hepatitis and respiratory disease. Essential vaccines for cats include feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, rabies, and rhinotracheitis. Our veterinarians will also discuss several optional vaccines you may want to consider for your pet depending on her species, age, lifestyle, and general health. Unless you plan to breed your dog or cat, we recommend sterilization as soon as possible. We can complete the spay or neuter procedure as early as six months.
A Typical Preventive Care Exam
If your pet needs a new vaccine or booster, we will provide it at this appointment. This is also a great time to talk to our staff about any behavioral concerns, parasite prevention, exercise, and diet. We will check your pet for parasites and let you know if we discover any. Our comprehensive preventive care exam also consists of the following:
- Intestinal or stomach problems, which might show up as abnormal stools, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Unusual urinary discharge or mammary gland issues in females
- Nasal issues, which might include labored breathing, allergies, asthma, coughing, or sneezing
- Coat and skin for problems with anal sacs, hair loss, pigment changes, or excessive shedding
- Teeth and gums for oral health diseases
- Legs and feet for problems such as torn nails, weakness, limping, or joint pain
- Eyes and ears for signs of normal vision and hearing as well as absence of unusual discharge
- We will check your pet's weight at each visit to establish a baseline and let you know if we have any concerns about being overweight or underweight
Our staff will complete further diagnostic testing if we notice any potential issues during your pet’s exam. This may include a blood or urine test, x-ray, stool sample, or whatever is necessary to diagnose the health condition. We will contact you with the results as soon as possible and discuss a treatment plan at that time as well. If your pet needs medication or other follow-up treatment, you may be able to order what you need from our online store.
If it’s been more than a year since your adult pet’s last preventive care exam or six months since your senior pet had an exam, please contact us at 501-623-5781 to schedule an appointment. We will let you know our preferred schedule for puppies and kittens the first time you bring your new pet to see us.
Acute moist dermatitis, more commonly known as hot spots, occurs due to a bacterial infection on your pet’s skin. Your dog or cat will naturally bite, chew, lick or scratch his skin in response to an irritant. Unfortunately for your pet, this tends to increase rather than decrease his discomfort. Anal gland disease, allergies to fleas or food ingredients, mange, tick bites, and inadequate grooming are the primary causes of hot spots in companion animals.
Hot, humid weather can cause excess skin moisture that in turn causes hot spots to develop. It’s especially important to check your pet’s skin for evidence of hot spots now that the weather is consistently warm.
How to Recognize Hot Spots
If your dog or cat has developed hot spots, she will exhibit at least a few of these symptoms
- Lesion that appears red or raised
- Unexplained swelling
- Constant licking or chewing a certain spot of her skin
- A red or brown color around the hot spot
- Unpleasant smell coming from the affected area
- Pus and oozing
- Displaying obvious signs of discomfort or pain
Preventing and Treating Hot Spots
Keeping your pet’s skin healthy is the easiest way to prevent him from developing hot spots. We recommend using year-round flea and tick protection in addition to grooming his coat regularly. Matted fur traps moisture and can attract fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Occasionally, a pet may have a behavioral issue that causes the biting, scratching, and licking that leads to hot spots. If that’s the case with your pet, speak to our veterinarians to help determine what could be causing the unwanted behavior. They are happy to recommend a specific product to prevent parasites as well.
Treatment at Kelly Veterinary Hospital typically consists of cutting the fur around the hot spot and cleaning it with a mild anesthetic. A prescription for cortisone cream to control itching may be appropriate as well. We encourage you to contact us right away if your pet displays any of the potential signs of hot spots described above. Our telephone number is 501-623-5781.
Your pet is part of the family and you naturally care about her safety. You also want to include her in family activities whenever possible over the carefree days of summer. By keeping the following safety tips in mind, your entire family can have a summer to remember.