Wellness care is the cornerstone for a healthy pet. Because preventative care can help greatly expand the lifespan of your pets, we stress the importance of two physical examinations per year regardless of age or health status. Pets age remarkably faster than humans so diseases and medical conditions can become serious quickly. By doing routine check-ups, we can help prevent, diagnose and treat disease in its earlier stages, likely make treatment more effective and manageable.
Routine check-ups, which can include blood work and other in-house laboratory tests, may help identify subtle problems such as dental disease, weight loss, or internal abnormalities in the early stages and detect medical conditions early when they are more manageable or treatable. Your pet receives a thorough physical exam at every visit scheduled with a doctor. This nose to tail exam includes evaluation of the health of your pet's eyes, ears, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral hygiene, skin, and joints.
These wellness visits with our veterinarians also give you the opportunity to address any other issues including oral health care, proper nutrition, exercise, weight, and behavior changes. Changes in behavior can often be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. We have a certified dog trainer on staff that can also help address behavior changes in your pet.
Vaccinations are the best weapon against many viral and bacterial infections, preventing serious or even deadly diseases. This includes rabies, canine parvovirus, canine and feline distemper, canine leptospirosis, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus infection. It’s important to administer vaccinations while your pets are still puppies or kittens when their young immune systems are still developing, and they need this protection to stay healthy. As your pet ages, our veterinarians will guide you through the vaccination process including a tailored plan specific to your pet's lifestyle to avoid over vaccination. At every vaccine appointment your pet will receive a complementary physical exam prior to vaccination.
Heartworms and Other Parasite Control
Heartworm is a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can affect both dogs and cats. Dogs are a natural host for heartworms which means that the worms can grow into adulthood, mate and produce offspring. If left untreated heartworms can cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs and arteries and even death. Treating heartworm disease is costly and painful. The good news is that we offer multiple options available to help prevent heartworm in our dogs. We recommend yearly testing and offer an easy, in-house test that requires just a small amount of blood. At every appointment for a heartworm test, your pet will receive a full, complementary physical exam. Once our veterinarians determine your dog does not have heartworm, they will tailor an individual prevention plan for your pet.
Our canine heartworm tests also can detect three tick-borne diseases we see in the Chicagoland area including Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis.
Heartworm disease in cats, while transmitted by the same mosquitoes, presents very differently and thus often goes undiagnosed in cats. Instead of affecting the heart, worms are carried into the lungs where they cause an inflammatory reaction. The cat is not a natural host and most worms do not survive to the adult stage; however even immature worms can cause damage to cats’ lungs in the form an illness known as Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease. Symptoms are like those of feline asthma and include coughing and breathing difficulty. Unfortunately, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.
We also recommended checking stool samples on your pets at least once every 12 months and monthly parasite protection that is tailored to each pet and their lifestyle.