Choosing Big Creek Animal Hospital means choosing a partner in your pet’s health. Your journey with our service will be tailored, open, and supported by a dedicated team passionate about your furry, scaly, or feathery loved ones. We’re eager to greet both you and your pets!
What to Expect
Early on, it’s ideal to bring puppies and kittens in for their debut check-up. For dogs and cats under six years old, an annual wellness check is advised. Senior pets, aged 7 years or more, benefit from check-ups twice a year, affectionately termed as “senior pets.” These visits enable our veterinary experts to tailor the perfect wellness regimen for your furry friend in collaboration with your veterinarian.
During a wellness exam, your veterinarian typically checks for a range of potential issues to ensure the overall health of your pet. These can include:
- Physical Examination: Checking your pet’s overall body condition, weight, skin, coat, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth for any abnormalities.
- Vaccination Status: Ensuring vaccinations are up-to-date to prevent various diseases.
- Parasites: Checking for fleas, ticks, mites, and internal parasites such as worms through fecal tests.
- Heart and Lungs: Listening to your pet’s heart and lungs for any irregularities or signs of heartworm disease.
- Musculoskeletal System: Assessing joints, muscles, and bones for any signs of injury or arthritis.
- Dental Health: Examining your pet’s teeth and gums for dental issues like plaque buildup, gum disease, or tooth decay.
- Nutritional Assessment: Discussing your pet’s diet and ensuring it meets their nutritional needs.
- Behavioral Assessment: Discussing any behavioral concerns or changes in behavior.
- Blood Tests: Depending on the age and health history of your pet, your veterinarian might recommend blood tests to check organ function, detect infections, or identify underlying health issues.
- Senior Pet Health: For older pets, additional checks for conditions common in aging pets like kidney disease, diabetes, or cancer.
- End-of-Life Care: Saying goodbye to a cherished companion is one of the most difficult moments in a pet owner’s journey. At Big Creek Animal Hospital, we understand the profound bond you share with your furry family members and the importance of ensuring their comfort and dignity in their final moments.
Regular wellness exams are crucial to catch any health problems early and ensure your pet’s well-being. It’s also an opportunity for you as a pet owner to discuss any concerns you might have about your pet’s health or behavior with your veterinarian.
Vaccinations are integral to maintaining your pet’s health, shielding them from various contagious and life-threatening diseases. During your visit, your veterinarian will assess your pet’s specific disease exposure risks, tailoring a vaccination protocol according to their lifestyle.
Annual and Bi-Annual Exams
Annual wellness exams serve as a cornerstone for maintaining your pet’s health, allowing Big Creek Animal Hospital to comprehensively track their well-being across different life stages. Establishing a baseline of health through these regular check-ups is incredibly beneficial and allows our talented veterinarians and veterinary support staff to detect any deviations or concerns early on.
For pets with chronic conditions or those entering their senior years, transitioning to semi-annual wellness exams is a proactive step. As pets age, their health needs often change, and more frequent check-ups become vital. Semi-annual visits provide a closer monitoring system, allowing us to promptly address age-related issues, manage chronic conditions, and adapt care plans accordingly.
These more frequent check-ups offer numerous advantages:
- Early Detection: Regular monitoring helps catch any health changes or issues before they become severe, improving treatment outcomes.
- Tailored Care: Adjusting wellness plans as pets age ensures their specific needs are met, whether it’s managing arthritis, addressing dental concerns, or adjusting dietary requirements.
- Quality of Life: Proactive care can enhance a pet’s quality of life as they age, ensuring they remain comfortable and happy.
- Client Education: These visits offer opportunities for pet owners to learn more about age-related changes in their pets and receive guidance on proper care and management.
These appointments help us keep up with your pet through all stages of their lives and allow us to create a baseline of health for them. Pets with chronic conditions or those that have hit senior status may need to start scheduling semi-annual wellness exams.
Dog & Cat Vaccinations
Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Pet vaccinations are a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.
Which vaccines should your pet have?
“Core” vaccines are those recommended – and possibly mandated by law – for most pets. Core vaccines include:
- Rabies (dogs and cats)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, Bordetella and canine influenza shots are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines.
It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a disease. Your Big Creek Animal Hospital veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle.
We provide senior pet wellness, too.
Senior pets are important to us, and of course to our clients. We provide full senior pet physical exams and go over what to expect as our four-legged friends begin the aging process. There are several ways our veterinarians support our seniors, below are just a few:
- Comprehensive Senior Physical Exams
- Tailored Health Plans
- Diagnostic Screening
- Pain Management and Comfort
- Educating Pet Owners
- Emotional Support
By offering comprehensive senior pet wellness exams and guidance on managing the aging process, we hope to demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that senior pets receive the attention and care necessary to maintain their health, comfort, and happiness as they age.
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What Our Clients Are Saying
I have been taking my animals to Big Creek for at least 10-12 years! My daughter was a vet tech there for a few of those! They have a caring and professional staff from the people at the front desk, the techs, and the docs. It is a tough job, I know as I have a cat who is very stressed when he has to go in and he becomes nasty aggressive and they are able to do what they need to do for him and even handle his behavior with humor! Can’t beat that! I would highly recommend this clinic!
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