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.
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. It is a four-fold screening that tests for heartworm disease and three tick-borne diseases —Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis. Our in-house veterinary laboratory processes this test, and the results are available at the conclusion of the appointment.