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Preventive Veterinary Care: Ensuring Health & Wellness for Annapolis MD Area Pets
Dogs and cats are often masters at hiding illness. By the time they start showing symptoms, the disease process may already be advanced. That's why we recommend blood and urine testing for a baseline 'normal' which can then aid us in diagnosing early stages of illness as your pet ages. Diagnosing and treating disease early provides for better outcomes and lower treatment costs.
Comprehensive physical exams—This nose-to-tail examination allows our veterinarians to obtain a baseline measurement of your pet’s health. This will enable us to keep track of any physical or behavioral changes and act on them before they have a chance to evolve into something more serious. We recommend that cats and dogs have a wellness exam once annually unless they are senior pets or they have a chronic condition (such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or arthritis), in which case we suggest they come in semiannually.
Pet vaccinations—Determining which vaccinations your pet should receive requires that we know more about his or her lifestyle. Is your cat an only pet that doesn’t go outside? Does your dog interact frequently with other dogs at the dog park, the groomer, or doggy daycare? Our veterinarians will carefully review your pet’s specific needs and make the appropriate recommendations.
Parasite prevention—It’s extremely important to screen cats and dogs for parasites, not only for their health, but for your health as well. If a pet becomes infected with certain types of parasites, it can lead to diseases that are transmittable to humans. That’s why, at Bay Country Veterinary Hospital, we recommend that dogs and cats have an intestinal parasite screening at least once a year, where a sample of your pet’s stool is sent out to a veterinary laboratory that specializes in this type of testing. We also suggest that pets be preventively dewormed at least annually. The intestinal parasite screening will enable us to identify specific parasites that need to be eradicated, while the preventive deworming will clear the intestinal tract of parasites that may not have been present in the initial sample. Based on risk of exposure in our area, Bay Country Veterinary Hospital recommends all dogs and cats be on monthly flea & tick prevention, year-round. In addition, we recommend that all dogs be on heartworm prevention, year-round.
Dogs should have one additional test performed annually. This four-fold screening tests for heartworm disease, anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, and ehrlichia, the latter two of which are transmitted by ticks. Our in-house veterinary laboratory processes this test, and the results are available at the conclusion of the appointment.
Cat and dog dental care—If our veterinarians observe an accumulation of tarter or plaque on your pet’s teeth, we may suggest therapeutic dental cleaning. Just as with humans, the longer one waits to take care of dental disease, the more invasive and potentially painful it will be. We will work with you to ensure that your pet’s mouth stays healthy.
Spaying and neuter services—Spaying or neutering your pet will provide many health benefits beyond preventing unwanted pregnancies. For females, these include a decrease in the risk of mammary cancer and the prevention of potentially life-threatening uterine infections (pyometra). For males, neutering aids in the prevention of testicular cancer and lessens the risk of prostatic disease.
Some pet owners are concerned that altering their dog or cat will affect the animal’s personality. Rest assured that the majority of pets experience no significant emotional changes after the procedure. To learn more about spaying or neutering your pet, please visit our pet wellness section.
Prescription diets and medications—Sometimes pets require a specialized diet or medication regimen in order to achieve optimal health. Our in-house pharmacy enables us to fulfill your pet’s needs in a timely manner.
If you need a prescription refilled, simply contact us, and, if approved, we will have it ready within 24 hours.
Bay Country now has an online store to offer added convenience to our clients. You can order prescription foods, over the counter supplies, as well as preventives, which will be delivered directly to your door. And, if you sign up for AutoShip, there's no delivery charge for food orders. Click on the link at the top of the page to take a look around!
Microchips—Providing a permanent means of identification could make all the difference should your pet accidentally get loose. How many times have we read about dogs or cats escaping while their owners were on vacation or moving, sometimes even while being cared for by a pet sitter at home? A microchip is a safe and effective means of identifying your pet, and it’s the first thing an animal shelter will look for if no collar is present. Please speak to us about this simple procedure. We are happy to assist you!