886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Preventive Care Exams for Dogs and Cats

2/7/2017
Preventive Care Exams 
 
You wouldn’t go years without going to the doctor for a check-up, yet many pet owners only visit a veterinarian when their dog or cat requires immediate treatment for an illness or injury. Lack of time, money, the stress of transporting a pet, and not understanding the benefits of preventive care are the most common reasons for this. While understandable, routine veterinary care plays an essential role in your pet’s health and longevity. 
 
If you don’t already do so, we encourage you to schedule a preventive care exam at least once a year for your adult pets. Senior pets over age seven should come in bi-annually while puppies and kittens need several appointments during their first year to get started with vaccines. Dr. Palmquist assesses older dogs and cats for issues such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and kidney disease that are more common as pets age. This is just part of a routine preventive care exam at Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic. 
 
A Typical Check-Up for Dogs and Cats
Your pet must receive a series of core vaccinations to comply with local laws. Dogs need distemper, rabies, parvovirus, and adenovirus while cats require calicivirus, rabies, panleukopenia, and rhinotracheitis. In addition to these core vaccines, Dr. Palmquist will speak to you about non-core vaccines that might be appropriate for your pet based on her unique risk factors. For example, many pet owners choose to get a Lyme disease vaccination because the condition is more common here in the Midwest. After giving your pet a vaccine, Dr. Palmquist establishes a schedule for her to get boosters.
 
Parasite control is equally important to vaccinations. Left untreated, some parasites can kill your pet. Heartworm is a prime example of this. Dr. Palmquist will check your pet for parasites and ask what you use for prevention. We offer heartworm and flea and tick medication in our online store if you need a product recommendation. 
 
We encourage you to bring up any concerns you have about your pet’s behavior, diet, activity level, sleeping habits, or health problems at this visit. Dr. Palmquist will provide you with resources and suggestions for resolving the issue that you might not have considered. He will also complete a full-body inspection on your pet. This includes checking his teeth, ears, nose, eyes, skin, legs, paws, reproductive organs, and stomach for abnormalities.
 
Follow-Up Expectations
Dr. Palmquist orders bloodwork, X-rays, or additional tests if he finds any areas of concern during your pet’s exam. He will contact you within a few days after receiving the results of the tests. Some situations only require careful observation while others require your pet to receive additional treatment. Preventive care exams allow him to find health issues that might have gone undetected otherwise.
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Welcome to National Cat Health Month

1/22/2017

National Cat Health Month

It’s a new month and a new year. It’s also National Cat Health Month. As a cat mom or dad, you already do so much to give your fuzzy friend a great quality of life. Despite the unfair reputation cats have as being aloof and self-centered, they are amazing companions who entertain us, snuggle with us, and provide us with unconditional love. Your cat may even try to groom you, which means he really thinks you’re the cat’s meow. In recognition of this month-long awareness event, we would like to offer you the following cat care tips:

• Cats have an inborn need to scratch and aren’t trying to be naughty when they claw up the furniture. You can save your skin, furniture, and sanity by redirecting your cat to several scratching posts placed around the house. If destructive scratching becomes a major problem, resist the urge to declaw your cat. We are happy to recommend alternatives to this major surgery.
• Make sure that your cat has several places throughout the home to hide and sleep. Part of the reason people misunderstand cats as aloof is that they need their privacy and alone time. Hiding spots also come in handy when your cat feels fearful or stressed and prefers to retreat from the situation.
• More than half of American housecats are overweight or obese. Although remaining indoors is better for their health, it also eliminates much of the activity that can help them maintain a stable weight. Be sure to provide an enriching indoor environment for your cat that includes several toys. Cats often like simple, inexpensive toys the best such as a piece of string or pretend mouse. A cat perch satisfies the natural desire to climb and look outdoors.
• Spend several minutes every day interacting with your cat by petting her and talking to her. This helps deepen your bond.
• Check the labels on your cat’s food to ensure that you make a nutritious selection. Avoid foods with artificial fillers since they add no nutritional value. The occasional treat is fine, but your cat should have to earn it. Try hiding the treat close by so she can smell it or place it inside a toy. This provides your cat with exercise and satisfies her hunting instinct.
• Consider getting your cat microchipped, even if he remains indoors. He could slip outside when the door is open and lose his collar and tag, making it unlikely you will ever be reunited.

Bring Your Cat to See Us for Regular Check-Ups
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, more than 50 percent of cats don’t see a veterinarian consistently. The study indicates that three out of four cats see a vet before their first birthday but the visits drop off dramatically after that. Cat owners tend to reserve veterinary visits for injuries or severe illness, possibly due to their pet’s behavior when it’s time for an appointment. 
 
At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we encourage you to bring adult cats in for an annual preventive care exam. Kittens need several visits their first year to get off on the right paw.

 

Photo Credit: Leoba / Free Digital Images

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