Wellness care is important at every age. That’s why our clinical team recommends all pets visit us once or twice a year for comprehensive wellness checks. Whether you have a new puppy or a senior cat, our doctors have the clinical know-how and available resources to support your pet at every age.
Our entire hospital team has experienced the unconditional love, loyalty, and companionship a pet offers. That’s why we’re committed to keeping your pet a healthy member of your family through each stage of life with lifelong, age-appropriate wellness care. This approach will maximize your pet’s complete wellness and slow the effects of aging, allowing your pet to be by your side for many years to come.
Routine preventative care supports a lifetime of wellness. It’s the simplest way to safeguard your pet’s health! Because your pet can’t communicate what hurts, and symptoms are not always outwardly present, preventative services like wellness exams, vaccines, parasite control, microchip insertion, and more, are fundamental and recommended for all of our patients at Pound Ridge Veterinary Center.
You can rely on our experience and modern veterinary medicine to prevent disease in your pet and support wellness in your entire pet family.
- Wellness Exams
- Dental Care
- Parasite Control
- Nutritional Counseling
- Behavioral Counseling
Pets are family. But, they age at a very different rate than us. When you consider every year for your dog or cat is equivalent to about seven human years, regular wellness exams make a lot of sense. Our clinical team recommends wellness exams once or twice a year. More frequent visits may be recommended if your pet is a new puppy or kitten or senior pet.
Routine wellness visits allow us to assess your pet’s general health and track health trends. These periodic check-ups also give us an opportunity to identify problems early and correct or control developing health issues.
To help you prepare for your pet’s wellness visit, here’s what you can expect:
- A nose-to-tail physical exam: We will thoroughly check your pet’s eyes, ears, nose, teeth and gums, skin, coat, and abdomen; carefully listen to the heart and lungs; and check weight and overall body condition.
- Vaccinations: Required and lifestyle-dependent vaccinations are based on your pet’s species, age, and lifestyle.
- Bloodwork: We recommend bloodwork be performed annually for dogs and cats, especially pets older than seven years. These tests provide a normal baseline of health in your pet and help us to detect changes in organ function early on when they are most treatable by medication or adjustments to diet and lifestyle.
- Heartworm testing: Heartworm disease is caused by a serious mosquito-borne parasite that causes irreversible organ damage. Testing is recommended annually, and with a negative test, monthly preventative medications can effectively prevent infection.
- Tick-borne disease screening: Along with heartworm testing, we check dogs for exposure to several diseases common in our area, including Lyme disease (Borellia), ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. Timely treatment can be addressed by medication or adjustments to diet and lifestyle.
- Fecal examination: This test is performed annually to detect intestinal parasites.
- Parasite control: We prescribe regular parasite control medications to prevent both intestinal parasites and heartworms from contributing to animal and human health problems.
Preventative care helps keeps pets healthy, but they can still get sick now and again. Fortunately, modern veterinary medicine allows pets to recover sooner. If your pet is showing even the slightest signs of illness, schedule a visit so we can help them get better.
First, our doctors will perform a comprehensive physical exam checking for any outward signs of concern. Additional diagnostic testing may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis to be made. Once we understand what’s ailing your pet, we can begin an effective treatment plan.
One of the reasons pets are living so much longer today is due to the efficacy of vaccinations that protect against a wide range of common diseases. Some vaccines are required, while others are lifestyle-dependent. We’ll review your pet’s health and lifestyle with you, and work together to cater a specific vaccination plan to meet your pet’s needs. Timely reminders will also be provided, so your pet is protected with no lapses.
- Canine: Distemper (DA2P), Parvovirus (CPV), Rabies*
- Feline: FVRCP, Rabies*
- Canine: Lyme, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Canine Influenza
- Feline: FeLV
*Rabies is required by New York State law.
Parasite Testing & Control
Parasite prevention is an important facet of responsible pet ownership. With year-round preventatives and annual parasite testing, we can keep pets safe from fleas and ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites, and the life-threatening conditions they transmit.
Keep in mind, some intestinal parasites are transmissible from pets to people. That means proper parasite control for your pet keeps your entire family protected, too.
Fleas & Ticks
- External parasites that irritate the skin
- Cause skin allergies like dermatitis
- Fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella
- In serious cases, fleas can cause anemia and death
- Ticks cause skin allergies like dermatitis
- Ticks carry Lyme disease, tapeworms, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Prevalent in wooded areas and warmer climates
- Present in virtually all areas of the United States
- Puppies & kittens have the highest infection rate
- Transmissible to humans
- Transmitted by mosquitos
- Cause irreversible damage to the heart, lungs & blood vessels
- Minimal to no signs of infection until advanced stages
- Fatal if left untreated
- Advanced symptoms of infection include labored breathing, coughing, lethargy, fainting and weight loss
If your pet is ever lost, microchips increase the likelihood of a happy reunion. That’s why we recommend all pets be microchipped—even indoor pets! Accidents happen.
Microchipping your pet is virtually painless and similar to a routine vaccination. A microchip the size of a grain of rice will be inserted beneath the skin and between the shoulder blades, and will provide a lifetime of unique identification that can never fall off or be removed. Be sure to update your pet’s microchip identification if you ever move or change your phone number.
Nutritional Counseling & Weight Management
As a pet owner, you have complete control over what your pet eats. A nutritious diet and regular physical activity will help keep your pet fit, healthy, and happy. We know young pets need proper nutrition to grow up strong and healthy, and older pets often benefit from diets that are targeted to individual health concerns. Nutritional counseling benefits many health conditions such as food allergies, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and thyroid disorders.
Our nutritional services include:
- Everyday health and wellness diet advice
- Nutritional advice for pets with allergies, information about food trials, and diet choices
- Guidelines on quantities, food types, and schedules to prevent obesity
- Proper nutrition for good husbandry for small mammals
- Custom-tailored nutritional plans for pets with chronic illness
Pet obesity is a growing concern, but it’s never too early or too late to feed your pet properly. Overweight pets have shortened life expectancies and experience a diminished quality of life. Today, around 35% of dogs and cats are overweight, which poses serious health consequences. Other risks of pet obesity include diabetes, arthritis, joint pain, mobility issues, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin issues.
Tips for Getting Your Pet Trim
- Choose a clinically proven pet food to achieve a healthy weight. We’ll recommend the best food for your pet to achieve an ideal weight based on size, breed, and sex.
- Track weight loss success in your pet. Track weight loss by weighing your pet regularly, taking pictures and videos to record progress, and visiting the vet to make dietary adjustments.
- Follow the recommended daily feeding guide. Use a measuring cup to portion food and avoid free feeding.
- Provide a healthy activity level. Make sure your pet gets a healthy amount of physical activity with a regular schedule of outdoor activities. For cats, commit to 15 minutes of playtime a day. Indoor cats need planned exercise and the best form is object play, which engages their hunter instinct.
- Try food puzzles. This dietary tool slows down eating and provides a stimulating environment.
We understand that correcting undesirable behaviors in a pet can be frustrating, and we never want the frustration of naughty behaviors to come between the special bond you share with your pet.
We’re here to help. The first step is to ensure there is not an underlying health issue. It’s important to remember that our pets can’t tell us what hurts, so acting out is often a way to communicate that something isn’t right. Consider these examples:
- A cat that is urinating outside of the litterbox may have bladder stones or urinary tract infection
- A dog that is destructive when you’re away from home may have separation anxiety
If a health issue is ruled out after performing a physical exam and diagnostics, we will work with you to alter your pet’s behavior using behavior modification techniques such as positive reinforcement, rewards, and training.
Puppy & Kitten Care
Welcoming a new puppy or kitten into your family is an exciting time. As a new pet owner, one of the first things you should do is schedule an initial wellness visit with us. Since puppies and kittens do not have fully developed immune systems, it’s important for us to perform an exam, administer necessary vaccinations, and perform various tests to rule out disease, illness, and the presence of parasites.
We’re here to set your new pet up for a lifetime of health and happiness. At your pet’s first visit, you can expect to discuss the importance of routine preventative care, required and lifestyle dependent vaccinations, parasite control, spay/neuter procedure, microchip insertion, proper nutrition, and coat care. Finally, we’ll help you plan for training and socialization, which is crucial in making your new pet a wonderful companion and member of your family.
Spay/Neuter procedure is recommended for all dogs and cats we see to:
- Prevent unwanted litters
- Prevent medical risks associated with giving birth
- Reduce your pet’s risk of certain cancers and diseases
- Prevent pet overpopulation
Pets are family, but they reach their golden years much sooner than us (as young as seven years of age!) The good news is, with more frequent veterinary visits, special attention, and TLC, pets are living longer and healthier lives.
Semi-annual wellness exams are recommended for senior pets. This allows our clinical team to watch your senior pet more closely for signs of disease, since age-related disorders can sneak up in a fairly short period of time. We also suggest more frequent blood work, x-rays, and urinalysis to assess the function of major bodily organs and systems. Many diseases can be treated, managed, and even cured if identified early on. Common age-related conditions we check for include: arthritis, dental disease, diabetes, thyroid issues, progressive organ dysfunction, and cancer, among others.
Keeping your senior pet comfortable at home goes a long way. As your pet’s health and mobility begins to decline, we encourage you to adapt your home and routine to accommodate your pet’s new limitations. It’s not uncommon for older animals to also experience cognitive changes similar to humans. Do your best to be patient, accepting, and compassionate with your senior pet.
Here are some suggestions to keep your senior pet comfortable at home:
- Maintain proper nutrition to prevent weight gain and preserve muscle
- Continue to play with your pet, but opt for gentler, shorter play sessions
- Provide nonslip surfaces such as mats or carpeting for your older pets, especially large dogs.
- Consider providing steps to sleeping surfaces
- Keep pathways clear of obstructions throughout your home
- Switch to a low sided litter box for cats
- Groom your cat more frequently, especially in hard-to-reach spots.
Just like dogs and cats, small mammals need routine veterinary care to stay healthy. Even the most well-meaning pet owner has trouble spotting sickness in small mammals like hamsters and guinea pigs. Many illnesses result unintentionally from inadequate husbandry, often due to inappropriate diet. During your pet’s wellness visit, we teach you how to best care for your unique pet. Proper care significantly reduces the risk of illness and increases longevity.
We routinely see a wide assortment of small mammals, including hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, mice, rabbits, and rats.
Services provided for small mammals include:
- Preventive care
- Husbandry advice
- Diagnosis and treatment in the case of disease or injury
- Surgery (including spay and neuter)