Our pets are a part of our family, and every responsible owner wants to ensure that their pets are in the very best of health. The majority of conditions that animals are susceptible to have no obvious symptoms early on. Once they do present themselves, many pets may already be suffering and may then require extensive medical assistance. Your pet may not be able to tell you what is wrong, but our examinations aim to discover the source of any problem or indeed prevent them before they arise.
To help keep your pet in optimum health we recommend full nose to tail wellness examinations at least once per year. If you have recently purchased a pet then we strongly recommend that you book an appointment for their first examination within the first few weeks of ownership. Younger animals are more vulnerable to illness and this will allow us to reassure you of their health and give us a starting point for their medical records.
Your pet’s physical examination will include some or all of the following:
Abdomen and anal sac examination to check for swellings, bloating or any other abnormalities.
Bellybutton check in puppies or kittens to ensure there is no hernia.
Examining the condition of the coat and skin - this can indicate the overall health of the animal.
Checking the genital area for any malformation.
Examination of the heart and lungs, checking for any irregularities such as heart murmurs.
Manipulation of the joints to ensure they are mobile and functioning correctly.
Examination of the ear canals and ear flaps for parasites, infection, growths or tumors.
Weight check, where dietary or exercise recommendations may also be made.
Eye exam. Your veterinarian will check for discharge, redness, and abnormal responses to light. They will also examine the optic nerve in the back of the eye.
Full dental check up including looking for any signs of periodontal disease.
Older pets may require blood tests to check their liver, kidneys and other internal organs.
If your pet requires any routine vaccinations or treatment then they will usually be taken care of at this time, for example, your dog may be tested yearly for heartworms.
Fecal testing may also be required and so you may be asked to provide a stool sample from your pet. Fecal testing is vital to allow your veterinarian to check for internal parasites which live in your pets’ gastrointestinal tract. These parasites can be deadly in pets and cause health problems for humans. Examples include roundworms and hookworms.
As well as a physical examination we will also want to talk to you about your pet’s overall wellbeing. This will include asking about their usual behavior and disposition, their water intake, diet and eating habits, urinating and bowel regularities and activity levels. These will allow us to paint an overall picture of your pets’ health to compliment the physical examination. If this is your first visit to us and we do not detect any underlying health concerns, we can use this information as a basis to represent your pet in a normal state of health. If this is a subsequent visit then we can compare this to their base report and check for any significant changes, which could be early indicators of medical problems.
Microchipping is a permanent form of identification for your pet. Sienna Plantation Animal Hospital implants microchips daily to ensure the safe return of pets to their owners. Microchips can be implanted while your pet is under anesthesia for a procedure, or during a routine appointment. Once the microchip is implanted, you will be provided with information to register your pet in a national database. Microchipping is not a GPS. You must register your information in order for your pet to be returned to you if lost. Also, remember to update your information if you have moved or had a phone number change.
The doctors at Sienna Plantation Animal Hospital want the best for your pet! An important part of keeping your pet healthy is feeding a quality pet food. Below are the pet foods brands we recommend:
Hill’s Science Diet
These pet food companies are recommended by our doctors because of the extensive research and development that goes into making these foods and because these companies have great industry reputations and have been feeding pets for decades. These 3 pet food manufacturers also put a significant investment into ensuring the quality of their foods by using feeding trials and have an Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO) claim. Your dog needs to be fed nutrients, not ingredients. Do not get trapped into thinking that feeding whole protein sources like chicken is the most important thing. In fact, too much protein is bad for your dog! Additionally, do not be scared of words like meals, by‐products, and grain. Meals are just condensed protein sources, by‐products are nutrient-rich organ meats and grains are good for dogs! New studies show that the grain‐free movement in pet foods is causing significant harm to our dogs – including heart disease and changes in the kidneys and liver.
Important points to Remember:
1) Protein needs to be less than 22% in your dog’s diet.
2) Grain is good for dogs!
3) Cats are not small dogs and should be fed canned food exclusively– talk to your veterinarian about recommendations for your cat if you have questions!
Please feel free to discuss your pet’s diet with any of the veterinarians or technicians at SPAH
Our veterinarians at Sienna Plantation Animal Hospital do not believe in “cookie-cutter” medicine. We believe each pet has a different need in regards to regular immunizations. After obtaining a history of your pet and an understanding of your pet’s lifestyle, we will tailor a vaccination plan specifically for your pet. SPAH offers the following immunizations:
Canine Rabies (1 or 3 year)
Canine DHPP (1 or 3 year)
Canine Influenza Bivalent
Feline Rabies (1 or 3 year)
Feline FVRCP (1 or 3 year)