3604 Route 378, Bethlehem, PA 18015
nsah@northsauconanimalhospital.com
610‑867‑0800

Wellness Care

Wellness Exams

doctor and a British cat on white background

Wellness exams are essential to the wellbeing of your pet. During a wellness exam, every patient’s weight will be taken and logged before their examination by the veterinarian.

A veterinary nurse or technician will take a brief history of your pet, answer any questions and do a preliminary physical exam including taking a temperature and heart rate of your pet.

They may discuss blood work options, vaccinations, flea and tick control and heartworm prevention or any other information they feel is pertinent to you and your pet.

They may draw any blood work that you decide upon or clip nails if you request it.

Next the veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam which includes a nose to tail check of every body system. After the exam we will talk about our findings and the recommendations for your pet.

Wellness exams happen very frequently with puppies and kittens, (usually every 3 to 4 weeks, starting at 6 weeks of age), until the final vaccinations are performed, at about 16 to 20 weeks of age. Adult animals aging from 8 months to 5 years old are generally seen on an annual, (once a year), basis. Again lifestyle and breed predispositions play a part in needing to examine an adult animal more than once a year. As our pets push past the 5 year old mark they may be entering into the senior group and need wellness evaluations every 6 months or more.


Senior Pet Wellness

Rhodesian Ridgeback PortraitWe have different concerns when it comes to our senior pets. Senior pets can be more prone to diseases, and because of how quickly pets age, diseases can progress quickly as well. The age at which a pet is considered a senior varies between dogs and cats, and even weights and breeds. A cat usually is considered a senior at the age of 8-10, whereas a dog would be considered a senior as early as 6 if they are a giant or large breed dog; a small or medium sized dog would be considered a senior at the age of 7-9.

We recommend a wellness visit twice a year for our senior pets. At these appointments we will be on the lookout for behavioral, physical, and social changes in the pet. Since these changes can occur quickly or gradually, be on the lookout for warnings signs which can include: Your pet no longer greets you at the door, they shy away from family members, they have temperament changes (snaps or growls), they seems lost and confused (can’t find the door), they exhibit excessive panting, excessive thirst or appetite, barking in a situation they never barked in before, shaking or trembling, dull hair coat, changes in skin, excessive weight gain or loss, sleeping more, slow or stiff when getting up, lack of interest in playing or going for walks, vomiting or diarrhea or changes in appetite.

Even if your pet is not exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, we do recommend performing baseline blood work on your pet so that way we can detect any changes or abnormalities in blood values that may indicate an early disease process or problem before the pet becomes clinically ill and appears sick. The benefit of doing these blood tests is to detect any problems early, giving us the best chance to address and treat the problem before the animal becomes ill, which in turn, will give your pet a healthier, longer life with you. We find that many diseases remain silent and only become evident when the disease is more advanced and your pet becomes obviously sick.


Vaccinations

Veterinary surgeon is giving the vaccine to the labrador puppy

We are proud to offer an array of vaccinations which we can tailor to the specific needs of each individual patient. We recognize that each pet has a different lifestyle and that lifestyle determines which vaccines are necessary to protect that specific pet against disease.

Vaccinations protect the patient by creating an immune memory to fight off any exposure in the future.

Dogs and cats alike need vaccinations to protect their body from diseases that they are exposed to in their environment. Most vaccines need a series of booster vaccinations for the pet to be completely protected, followed by re-vaccination every 1 to 3 years. Again, the number and type of vaccinations we recommend for your pet all depends on the lifestyle of you and your pet.

Only the rabies vaccine is required by law since it is a serious public health risk and can be passed by an infected animal to a human through the saliva of the affected animal.

Core Vaccinations or non-lifestyle dependent vaccinations include:
• Rabies; Canine Distemper- Adenovirus- Parvovirus combination  (for dogs)
• Rabies; Feline Respiratory disease combination (for cats)

Additional vaccinations dependent on lifestyle:
• Canine vaccination for Bronchitis diseases called Bordatella
• Canine vaccinations for Influenza H3N8
• Canine vaccination for Lyme disease
• Canine vaccination for Leptospirosis
• Feline vaccination for Leukemia


Parasite Prevention And Control

 

hungry tick, cropA parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host (dog, cat, raccoon, bird, squirrel, deer or human), frequently, at the expense of its host. Parasites include fleas, ticks, mites, lice, intestinal parasites, heartworms and lungworms, and more. Our veterinary team will educate you on how we can diagnose any existing parasites your pet may currently have and how to best prevent these parasites in the future. By following the guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) we can recommend parasite testing and year-round parasite preventative medications to minimize your pet’s and your family’s exposure to these parasites

There was a time when parasites like fleas, ticks, and roundworms were considered mostly a nuisance. Now, however, we know that parasites can cause serious illness and even death in pets. For example, ticks can transmit infections like Lyme disease, and fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella – the bacteria that causes “cat-scratch fever” in humans. Another type of parasite, called a heartworm, is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworms live in your pet’s lungs and heart, causing damage to these organs, and sometimes even death. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, also threaten pets and are even transmissible to humans. You may not always be able to tell if your pet has parasites. Fleas can hide under your pet’s fur, and some ticks are very tiny (only the size of a pinhead), so they are very difficult to find. Intestinal parasites like roundworms can cause diarrhea and other problems, but many infected pets don’t show any signs of illness at all.

Fortunately, we can recommend tests to tell if your pet has parasites. We can also examine your pet for evidence of fleas, ticks, or other parasites. Our expert staff can recommend medications to help control fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Preventing parasites in your pets also helps protect children and other family members, so let’s work together to protect your pets and family.

Veterinary examinations and parasite testing are important ways to protect your pet’s health. Let our knowledgeable staff provide you with a comprehensive parasite control program. We can recommend a schedule for parasite testing, discuss what signs of parasites you can look for at home, review ways to control parasites in and around your home, discuss treatment options if your pet has parasites, and recommend ways to control and prevent parasites in the future.

Parasites are not just a nuisance. They can carry serious diseases that affect your pet’s overall health and longevity. Let us help you protect your pet. Call today to find out how!


Microchipping

Identifying cat with microchip device

We never want one of our beloved pets to become lost, but it does happen. While collars and tags can become lost or be forgotten, there is another option. A microchip provides a form of permanent and non-removable form of identification.

A microchip is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades, very much like a vaccination is given. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique code that can be read by a scanner which will identify your pet and increase the chances of them being reunited with you should they become lost.

These scanners are in most veterinary clinics, animal control offices, and shelters – the places a lost pet is most likely to find themselves. The microchip number can even be looked up online at the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

Micro chipping also allows you to apply for a lifetime license through your county of residence. We have applications on hand and can assist you with that process.


Health Certificates

 

If you are traveling with your pet, you may need a health certificate. We can provide information and health certificates for both domestic and international travel. Please contact us as early as possible prior to your trip, so that we can make sure your pet’s required testing and vaccinations are completed at the appropriate times.