It is important for your pet to receive routine checkups just like it is for you. It allows us to make sure that your pet is healthy and also allows us to catch any health problems before they become serious. You should bring your dog or cat in for a checkup at least once a year, and once every 6 months for older pets.
During the visit we will check your pets' vitals, make sure all vaccinations are up to date, and perform any necessary blood work. Blood work can help to diagnose heartworm, Lyme disease, viral infections, and other diseases that can be treated more easily when detected early. The best way to combat many diseases is actually to stop them before they happen. There are many vaccines and medications available to prevent them. We will make sure your pet is taking the necessary medications to keep them safe.
Heartworm medication is vital to the long-term health of your dog. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. An annual heartworm test is needed to have this medication prescribed. It comes in several different monthly doses (1 pill a month, every month is needed) Treatment for heartworms is a costly measure and not pleasant for your dog.
Flea and Ticks: this medication can be given in various forms, from pills to topical applications and new technology collars. These products vary in their effectiveness, so please check with your veterinary professional for the best products to use in our area.
Deworming is also a key method to keep your pets (and your family) from getting sick. If your pet does become infected by a parasite it is possible for them to spread it to others they come into contact with.
Why Do You Want Your Pet to Have a Physical Exam?
Physical exams are just as important for your pet as they are for you and me. They are probably even more important because your dog or cat can't tell you when they need to go to the doctor! There may be signs from your pet that they are sick, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or change in demeanor, among others. If you notice these symptoms you should schedule an appointment with your vet. Even if your pet seems to be perfectly healthy, you should bring them in for a physical exam at least once a year, and more often if they are older. Your pet's exam will be very similar to a physical you would have, including checking the following:
Ears: The ears are checked for infections and also for parasites.
Eyes: The eyes are checked for cataracts, retinal disease, signs of glaucoma, and other abnormalities. These can all results in blindness, so it is important to check for them regularly.
Mouth: Gum disease, dental problems, tooth loss, all affect dogs and cats. They could be signs of larger problems. Performing a full mouth examination allows us to diagnose any problems and take care of them before they become serious.
Internal Organs: The internal organs are examined to check that they are functioning properly. The abdominal area is checked for any growths or tumors. A stethoscope is used to make sure the lungs are functioning properly and also used to check the heart rate.
Skin and Coat: This is checked to make sure that there are no fleas, ticks or other parasites that have made your pet their home, as well as looking for other abnormalities.
If any potential problems are uncovered, further tests and examination may be necessary to rule out a disease, or properly diagnose it so that it can be treated.
All cats should be vaccinated to prevent against harmful and potentially life-threatening diseases. The types of vaccines your cat should be given will vary based on the life style of your cat. If your cat lives in the house and does not come into contact with other cats, only the basic vaccines are necessary. If your cat spends time outside and around other cats, the proper precautions should be taken with the necessary vaccinations.
Rabies is a disease nearly everyone has heard of. It is contracted when an animal is bitten by another animal that has been infected. The disease is carried in the saliva. Rabies vaccinations are required for cats. Even if you have an indoor cat, they should be vaccinated in case they get out, or by chance an animal were to get into your house. Rabies is always fatal and is transmissible to people, so this vaccine is a must.
The more common name for this virus is “distemper”. It is a highly contagious airborne disease. Symptoms include fever, seizures, loss of appetite, and possibly death. Kittens are born with a natural immunity for the first few weeks of their lives. Vaccinations should start at around 8 weeks old, with a series of about 2-3 boosters about 3 weeks apart. Your adult cat should also receive a booster every 1-3 years depending on the type of vaccine.
Caused by the herpes virus, Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory infection that is highly contagious. The infection could prove to be fatal in young kittens, so the vaccination is highly recommended.
Calicivirus is a virus that causes an upper respiratory infection. It is very contagious through contact with infected cats. Symptoms include fever, gum disease, mouth ulcers, sneezing, among others. More advanced forms of the virus are more severe and can cause fatality. Cats do not need to exhibit symptoms in order to transmit the disease to other cats. The contagious nature of this disease makes it important for your cat to receive a vaccination.
Feline Leukemia Virus
This is another virus that is spread through direct contact with an infected cat. For this reason the vaccine is highly recommended for outdoor cats, or cats that are frequently in contact with other cats.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis
This is a disease that has no cure and is fatal in most instances. The vaccine for this disease is not very effective, so we do not recommend this vaccination.
This disease is much more prevalent in cats that live in a multiple cat environment. The most obvious symptom is usually conjunctivitis, and the disease is carried in the eye discharge of infected cats.
This is a viral disease that is easily spread through direct contact and contact with bodily fluids or contaminated food and water. Puppies are the most susceptible to the disease and also have the highest mortality rate from severe cases or long-term complications from the disease if they survive. Vaccinations are effective, so it is important to have your puppy vaccinated.
Adenovirus Type 2
These lead to the infection commonly known as “kennel cough” in dogs. It is very contagious, and is characterized by a hacking cough and a foamy white discharge. This vaccine is required in dogs who board, attend day care, go to groomers, or dog parks.
This disease brings on symptoms of fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and depression and it could lead to chronic kidney or liver disease.
This disease is more commonly referred to as “parvo” and is one of the leading causes of viral infections and death in dogs. It is highly contagious and transmitted by direct or indirect contact with contaminated feces. The vaccination is highly recommended and is given in a series of shots starting when the puppy is about 8 weeks old.
Coronavirus is very similar to the intestinal form of parvovirus in its symptoms. It results in vomiting and diarrhea, mostly affecting puppies. The difference is that coronavirus, while still dangerous to your dog, is usually not fatal.
Lyme disease is transmitted from ticks. Only dogs who travel to areas with Lyme Disease need this vaccine.
Oral health is an important factor in your pet's overall well-being. We perform routine check-ups on your pet's teeth and gums, and we also recommend full cleanings as needed. This allows us to closely examine your pet's mouth, check for lesions or abnormalities, remove tartar and plaque, and polish their teeth.
To perform the dental cleaning your pet will be put under anesthesia to allow the doctor to perform a full examination and cleaning. We make sure that your pet is comfortable and perfectly safe during the entire process. The doctor examines the mouth, gums, tongue, cheeks, and teeth. Dental X-rays are performed as needed. When problems are discovered, they can usually be handled during the treatment. After examining the mouth and treating problems a full cleaning of the teeth is done, including polishing and fluoride treatment.
After the anesthesia wears off your pet is usually back to their normal self within minutes. Call us today to schedule a dental exam for your pet.
Our in-house veterinary laboratory features diagnostic testing for the following:
- Bloodwork: CBC, blood chemistry panel, electrolytes, blood glucose levels
- Urinalysis and Sediment examination
- Cytology of skin & ear samples
- Fecal testing for intestinal parasites
- Occult Heartworm, Lyme, Erhlichia testing, FELV/FIV testing
- Parvo tests
- Pancreatitis Tests
We can perform x-rays on your pet if needed and can have the results in minutes.
We offer spay and neuter services as well as many other surgeries to our clients. Our doctors will discuss any surgical needs for your pet during an annual exam or consultation.
Excited for your big vacation but don't know who is going to care for your dog or cat while you're gone? No need to worry, we are happy to watch your pet while you are away. We offer quality boarding services and take good care of your pet.
We love to have fun, but we do have a few rules. We require that your pet is up to date on their vaccinations for the safety of all the animals here. Call us if you have any questions about the required vaccinations. You will need to drop off and pick up your pet during regular business hours.
We look forward to spending time with your pet!
We are happy to see emergency cases during our open hours, and for the best care for our patients we refer after hour emergencies to Saint Frances Veterinary Specialist at 625 Dekalb Industrial Way, 404-924-2000. They have a full staff on premises to help in times of crisis whenever we are not available. There are other emergency clinics in the area, and we recommend you keep the phone numbers of one handy in case of need. Depending on where you live the Dekalb-Gwinnett Animal Emergency Clinic, 770 491-0661 is also available for after hours care.
There are many different types of food available for your pet, and each has its own benefits. You should ask your vet which particular food is best for your pet. The food your pet eats depends on their age, size, and breed as well as other factors. If your pet has a health condition such as kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, stomach ailments, or obesity there are prescription diets available to help them combat their ailment. Your vet has extensive knowledge on this subject and can prescribe the best food for your pet. Our doctors use the following brands: Hills, Royal Canin, and Purina Prescription Diets for your pet.
Every pet owner's worst nightmare is having their pet run away. Microchips can help to alleviate some of that worry. If you do have the misfortune of losing your cat or dog, a microchip can help to return them to you quickly. The microchip is placed under the skin behind the shoulder of your pet. It is relatively painless and poses no long term side effects. Each microchip has its own barcode that links to your pet's information. If a lost pet is found, they can be scanned and their owner's address and contact information retrieved. Collars can fall off and "Lost Dog" flyers can be ineffective, but this advance in technology helps reunite more lost pets with their owner than ever before.