Q: Why do you recommend pre-surgery bloodwork?

A: When you place your pet in our hands, you trust us to provide the best possible medical care. That is why we may recommend these tests when your pet is having a medical problem or is scheduled for anesthesia.

Regardless of age, physical examination and medical history of your pet, we recommend diagnostic testing to identify health problems and begin treatment as early as possible. These test are especially helpful when your pet just isn't feeling right and symptoms are hard to define.

If your pet is going to be placed under anesthesia, we strongly recommend pre-anesthetic testing. Anesthesia is extremely safe for healthy pets. However, if your pet is not healthy , complications can occur both during and after the anesthetic procedure. We can minimize potential risk when we know the health status of your pet before administering anesthesia.

Q: My old pet seems healthy, why should I put it on a wellness exam program?

A: Your pet seems to be happy and robust. The truth is, the gradual onset of disease in seemingly healthy pets will often go unnoticed. Once symptoms do appear, the condition may be difficult and costly to treat and diagnose. This is why a Wellness Exam is so important to your pet's quality of life. Diagnostic testing is the most sensitive and accurate method of early detection of subclinical health problems.

A Wellness Exam includes laboratory tests your veterinarian can use to diagnose blood disorders, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, infection, cancer, thyroid disease and other hormonal problems. Many of these conditions can be prevented, controlled, or completely reversed if diagnosed early.

A Wellness Exam also gives your veterinarian a benchmark from which to measure future test results should your pet become ill.

A Wellness Exam is just one element of a complete wellness program that promotes pet health. Regular dental care, vaccinations or vaccine titers, control of parasites, proper nutrition, regular exercise and an appropriate environment also add vitality and years to your pet's life.

Q: What is zoonosis?

A: Zoonosis refers to a parasite or disease, like rabies, that can be passed from animals to humans. Members of your family can unknowingly pick up zoonotic parasites at the park, on a sidewalk, or even in their own backyard. Children are especially vulnerable to zoonotic parasites, mostly because children play outside and sometimes have a tendency to put object in their mouths.

The most common zoonotic parasites are roundworms and hookworms. In fact, in U.S. alone, nearly 20% of children contract roundworms from their pets each year.

Q: What can I do to protect my pet and my family from Zoonosis?

A: The good news is that most zoonotic infection can be prevented or treated. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends continuous, year-round protection for your dog as the best way to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Here are some other easy ways to help protect your family from the risk of zoonosis:
  • Have your veterinarian check your pet's health at least once a year, including a fecal sample analysis,
  • Treat your adult dog monthly with a broad-spectrum dewormer, and have your puppy dewormed by a veterinarian at an early age (as young as 4 weeks old).
  • Make unprotected sandboxes off-limits. Cover sandboxes when not in use.
  • Instruct children to wash their hands often, especially after playing with pets, after playing outdoors, and before eating.
  • Promptly collect and hygienically dispose of any animal feces in your environment.
  • The risk of zoonosis should not scare anyone away from the unique and rewarding experience of owning a pet. It is, however, a reminder of our responsibilities toward our pet and toward our families and community.