Services

Westbrook Pet Wellness Services

westbrook pet wellness examsThe veterinary team at Stoneledge Animal Hospital believes that prevention is the key to your pet's long term health. Routine wellness exams, vaccinations, regular lab work, deworming and fecal checks, as well as a sensible regimen of medications to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks, will not only keep your pet well but will also minimize the cost of healthcare.

The first priority in our approach is the pet wellness exam. These visits are our chance to get to know your pet, to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in veterinary care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

During your pet's wellness exam, we will:

  • Examine your pet's teeth, throat, and oral cavity
  • Check your pet's vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet's heart
  • Test your pet's reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood, and other systems

Most of the tests we recommend can be done during your dog or cat's regular exam.

Deworming and Fecal Check

Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. We normally associate parasites, such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms, with cats and dogs. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns or any place a pet defecates.

Regular Blood Testing

A complete physical includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and should include a full blood workup. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Additionally, blood work is necessary if your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia.

We also recommend complete blood testing annually for all pets over the age of seven.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. Although they're a bigger problem in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Today, there's no reason for any pet or owner to be bothered by these pests.

Fleas are so common because they are reproductive marvels. A single female flea can lay as many as 30 eggs a day and can live and breed on your pet for up to 100 days. The eggs then fall and land in carpets and upholstery where they can lie dormant for up to 8 months. The best management techniques of flea-proofing your home includes regularly vacuuming of carpets, furniture, floors and areas where your pet sits or sleeps. You should also wash your pet's bedding, toys, and towels weekly.

Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause an intense allergic reaction, resulting in a severely painful skin infection. In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These same ticks can bite people and transmit disease as well. We recommend all dogs be vaccinated against Lyme Disease.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. They are what we use on our own pets.

Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there are no holistic or natural products available which have been shown to be effective in preventing or killing fleas and ticks. Ask Dr. Kaltsas, Dr. Rosol or a staff member at Stoneledge Animal Hospital to recommend the flea and tick prevention product which is best suited for your pet.

Heartworm

Staff

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease of dogs and cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite. After the infected female mosquito bites your pet, the heartworm migrates through the bloodstream and moves to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults within 6-7 months in dogs and 8 months in cats. As many as 30 species of mosquitoes can transmit heartworms.

Until the early 1970s, the occurrence of heartworm disease in the United States was primarily confined to the southeastern part of the country. Today, heartworm disease is found almost everywhere in the continental United States.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Often symptoms are not noticeable until several years after the initial infection. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms. Coughing and difficulty breathing are both common symptoms. As the disease progresses, most dogs develop congestive heart failure. Dogs often collapse in the final stage of the disease. In cats, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma. Some cats may exhibit no signs of the disease, while others may suddenly die.

Because heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually. This test is highly accurate, and we often have the results in less than 10 minutes.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once-a-month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet and your family from these dangerous parasites, please call us today for an appointment.

Internal Veterinary Medicine

Sometimes one of the frustrations of dealing with a sick pet is that you cannot simply ask what is wrong. That is why diagnostic resources are important. When your pet is not well, we need to find out what is happening on the inside. Diagnostic testing and physical examination help us identify the problem so we can develop an effective treatment plan.

Along with advanced training and experience, we make use of the latest equipment to diagnose and treat your sick pet.

We diagnose and treat:

  • Endocrine diseases such as Cushings, Addisons, Hypo and Hyperthyroid
  • Infectious diseases
  • Lyme, liver and kidney diseases
  • Bladder and urinary disease
  • Hematologic disorders
  • Cardiac and pulmonary disease
  • Orthopedic ailments

westbrook kitten carePuppy and Kitten Care

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is always an exciting event for any family. New pets add energy and fun to your home, and are a source of unceasing affection as they bond with you and your family.

However, they also require a little extra attention to ensure they get a healthy start at life. Comprehensive physical exams at developmental stages are important. If you're new to having a pet, a little time- and veterinarian-tested advice on housebreaking and training might be needed as well.

Your very first visit with Dr. Kaltsas or Dr. Rosol is perhaps the most important. These initial visits are when client, doctor and animal first meet and begin to form the relationship that will last for your pet's lifetime. We like to take our time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough pet wellness exam, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.

Your kitten's first visit will include:

  • Diet discussion, including types of food that are best for cats' unique requirements.
  • Litter and litter box discussion
  • Behavior discussion
  • Spaying and neutering discussion
  • Declawing – Should I or shouldn't I?
  • Vaccine protocol. (Additional fees may apply to each vaccine.)
  • Discussion of pet health insurance. Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping for cats going outdoors. Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this? (An additional fee applies for microchip placement.)
  • Fecal exam for worms and other intestinal parasites (An additional fee applies.)
  • Testing for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) (An additional fee applies.)
  • Complete physical exam which includes detection of potential congenital problems.

Your puppy's first visit will include:

  • Diet discussion, including types of food to feed, balancing the diet for clients opting to feed raw or home-prepared diets, and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  • Housetraining discussion
  • Behavior discussion
  • Spaying and neutering advice – Is this best for my dog? What are the consequences of spaying/neutering too early and what should I expect if I don't want to spay or neuter my dog? If I decide to spay/neuter, when is the best time to have this done?
  • Formulation of a minimal, individualized vaccine protocol.
  • Discussion on pet health insurance. Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping. Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam for worms and other intestinal parasites (An additional fee applies.)
  • Complete physical exam which includes detection of potential congenital problems and anything else you may want to discuss. This is your new pet and we're happy to answer any questions.

Senior Pet Care in Westbrook

Taking a moment to learn more about the special needs of your senior pet is the first step toward providing the best care for your companion in its later years. We place a special emphasis on senior care and are proud of the interest we take in geriatric medicine and the care of chronic disease.

Pets that are about six years of age and older begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. This process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care that can provide your pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Preventive care tailored to your pet's age, lifestyle, risk factors and other elements can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and easily treatable stages.

There is also an important role for you to play as your pet's primary caregiver. You can influence your pet's activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. With your veterinarian's help, you can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet's good health, vitality, and increase his or her wellbeing, even as his or her pace slows a bit.

westbrook pet wellnessThe best time to begin your pet's senior care program and recognize the need for a little extra TLC is before age related conditions begin to occur. The staff at Stoneledge recommend regular senior wellness exams, which should include a specialized lab work to detect the early signs of disease processes. Dental care at this point in life also becomes even more important. We recommend routine dental exams and cleanings for all pets, but especially those in their senior years. Diet and weight gain are important issues to monitor. When you bring your pet in for a senior wellness visit, we will evaluate his or her weight and offer recommendations based on what we observe.

Our senior plan includes:

  • Urinary health check
  • Glaucoma check
  • Complete blood count
  • Complete urinalysis
  • Heartworm test
  • Abdominal and chest radiographs
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Full chemistry blood panel
  • Internal parasite test
  • Thyroid test
  • Electrocardiogram as recommended

These tests are not time intensive or difficult to do and can be performed during routine wellness exams.

Avian Exams

Sometimes the hardest part about choosing an avian veterinarian is simply finding one. There aren't many around. Both of our veterinarians have experience treating avian pets.

We have full diagnostic and treatment capacities for our feathered friends.

One of the reasons why treating our feathered friends is different is because a bird's instincts are different from other pets. Birds mask symptoms to avoid showing signs of weakness to predators. Early detection of diseases and problems are difficult to see but are important to recognize. At Stoneledge Animal Hospital, we recommend new bird and annual health examinations. These visits give us the opportunity to examine your bird fully, undertake any minor procedures (nail trimming, microchipping, etc.) and discuss important aspects of husbandry, nutrition, behavior and disease prevention. It also allows us to familiarize ourselves with each individual bird and its owners.

Different types of birds react differently to certain medical procedures. We're knowledgeable about specific treatments that work for your particular species of bird.

If you are a new bird owner, it is likely that you have many questions about what to look for in an avian veterinarian. We are capable of providing clear answers to all your questions.

Despite the very best of care, however, disease and injury do occur, but at Stoneledge Animal Hospital, we are fully equipped and qualified to deal with any such incidents as they arise.

Call us for an appointment with your avian pet today.

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