At All Creatures Animal Care Center, we offer wellness care with a focus on preventative medicine for pets. We believe that the best way to reduce the development of serious illnesses in our pets and to minimize related health care costs is to provide regular wellness checkups and preventative care.
The key to keeping your companion healthy and happy is making sure that your pet has a comprehensive physical examination every year that includes internal parasite testing and appropriate blood tests for all life stages. We assess each of our patients individually, based on factors such as species, breed, age, and physical environment, and will offer recommendations for prevention, nutrition, and further diagnostic work-ups.
Our doctors and staff at All Creatures Animal Care Center are committed to providing personal attention to the unique concerns of each individual pet owner. We will develop wellness programs for the specific needs of your pet regarding necessary vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and the best method to control fleas and ticks in your house, your yard, and on your pet. We will provide guidance for your pet’s nutritional needs for each life stage as well as dietary requirements for growth, weight maintenance, and performance. We can spay or neuter your pet at the appropriate age, not just to prevent unwanted litters, but to lessen the development of cancer in both genders of dogs and cats.
The time and effort invested in our wellness programs has rewards for both pets and owners alike. Whether your pet is a puppy or a kitten, young adult, or senior, come see us at All Creatures Animal Care Center for your pet health care needs. We would love to get to know you and your pets and start them on a journey of healthy and happy living.
New Puppy and Kitten Corner
Happiness is a warm puppy or a soft, fuzzy kitten. There is nothing cuter than frisky, playful fur babies who snuggle up in your lap, lick you with a sandpaper tongue or smell like puppy breath. As with all babies though, they don’t come equipped with a set of instructions so that you’re clear on what you should and shouldn’t do for your new, wiggly bundle of energy.
We have listed a few topics below that may be helpful for you as you welcome a new puppy or kitten into your family.
Vaccines are a crucial part of our young animal preventative care program. Because their immune systems are not fully developed, young puppies are susceptible to common diseases and viruses. Until your puppy is completely vaccinated (about 20 weeks of age), it is best to limit exposure to other dogs and places where dogs frequent such as parks, pet stores, and playgrounds. At All Creatures Animal Care Center, we typically start vaccinations around 6 weeks of age.
Puppy Heartworm Prevention
Heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention is one of the most important things that pet parents can do for their pets. Heartworms are spread to healthy animals by mosquitoes who have bitten infected animals. Left untreated, heartworms can eventually lead to heart failure and respiratory distress. The American Heartworm Society recommends that all pets, whether they live indoors or outside, receive year round prevention.
Once a dog is infected, the treatment for heartworms is expensive, and for some pets, it can be dangerous. Taking preventive measures against heartworm infection is a much better and more cost effective option than treating heartworm disease.
For canine pet owners there are several options available for preventatives. Some oral preventatives can be given monthly; these prevent heartworms and prevent or treat most intestinal parasites. There are also injections that we can administer in our office twice a year; this treatment prevents heartworms and prevents/treats most intestinal parasites.
Kitten Heartworm Prevention
Heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention is one of the most important things that pet parents can do for their pets. Heartworm larvae are passed to healthy animals by mosquitoes that have bitten infected animals. Like dogs, cats contract heartworms as well. Studies show that 25% of heartworm positive cats are indoor cats. This means that all cats should be on heartworm prevention. Cats also contract heartworm associated respiratory disease from immature worms that migrate in their body.
Additionally, the medication used to treat heartworm infection in dogs cannot be used for cats. Therefore, the only way to protect your kitten/cat from heartworms is to consistently provide a heartworm preventative. For cats, there are different options of treatment. There is a topical preventative, given monthly, that prevents heartworms and also prevents/treats intestinal parasites. Another topical preventative, given monthly, prevents heartworms and prevents/treats fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites, and ear mites.
Another key factor in starting your puppy or kitten on the road to a happy and healthy life is to make sure that he or she is free of intestinal parasites. It is very important that puppies and kittens have multiple intestinal parasite screenings during their juvenile checkups to ensure that they are parasite free. The diagnosis of intestinal parasites is confirmed by finding parasite eggs in the stool. Just like other living things, parasites do not constantly make eggs, therefore, one negative test does not guarantee that your pet is parasite free. It is essential that pets have two negative stool samples spaced at least three weeks apart.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Flea and tick prevention is just as important to your health as it is to your pet’s. Fleas can lead to anemia and blood-borne infections in our pets, but they can also lead to bacterial infections in people. Ticks can cause several types of bacterial infections in our pets and in people as well.
In Madison, Mississippi, it does not get cold enough during the winter months to kill off flea and tick populations. That’s why year round prevention is a critical part of controlling flea and tick infestations in our homes and yards.
There are oral and topical treatments that can be administered once a month to kill and prevent fleas and ticks. Some will prevent and treat ear mites, prevent heartworms and most intestinal parasites, as well as kill fleas and ticks.
The surgery to “fix” a female dog or cat is called an ovariohysterectomy (OHE) or spay. We recommend spaying female puppies and kittens around 6 months of age, before your pet goes through her first heat cycle. This helps decrease the risk of mammary cancer in the future and reduces the overpopulation of puppies and kittens in our local area.
The surgery to “fix” a male dog or cat is called an orchiectomy or neuter. At All Creatures Animal Care Center, we generally recommend neutering male puppies and kittens around 6 months of age, although this recommendation may change based on the size and breed of your puppy.
The knowledgeable doctors at All Creatures Animal Care Center recommend that puppies and kittens stay on a commercial puppy/kitten diet for at least one full year, or maybe longer or shorter, depending on the specific breed. It is our belief that your puppy/kitten should be on a complete and balanced diet that includes grains unless your pet has a documented allergy to grains. Grain free diets can lead to heart disease in dogs.
Potty Training for Puppies
The discussion we have most often with new puppy parents is about potty training. At All Creatures Animal Care Center, we suggest kennel based potty training. We advise our pet parents to get a kennel that is the appropriate size, just big enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. If it is larger than this, then the puppy will not effectively learn not to potty in his or her environment. When you are not home, or when you are sleeping, your pet should be in the kennel. When you are at home, take your puppy outside as often as every 30 minutes. Be consistent; take your pet out on a leash, go to the same spot outside every time, and stand there until your pet goes potty. Once your puppy has pottied, make sure you offer lots of praise and a small amount of food to reinforce the good behavior.