Pet Preventive Care: More Than Just Vaccinations

Preventive Pet Care at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital

While vaccinations are one important element in preventive health care for pets, there are many facets to comprehensive pet health care. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital wants to work with pet owners to provide for the full health of their pets.

How often do pets need regular health exams?

Because pets cannot directly communicate their health condition and because they age much faster than humans, most pets should have physical exams twice per year. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital doctors have frequently detected the subtle symptoms or changes in condition that indicate more serious issues during these biannual physical examinations. Early detection and treatment of a disease gives our veterinarians the best chance of restoring pet health.

What kinds of tests does my pet need?

  • Routine pet blood work—Blood work gives our veterinarians a measurement of the health of the pet’s internal organs and systems. With regular blood chemistry testing, we can catch the smallest changes in the pet’s normal balance of enzymes, electrolytes, and other body chemicals. Catching changes early can often help prevent the pet’s system from becoming overly stressed and can make a pet’s response to treatment much more effective.
  • Tick-borne illnesses—The northeastern United States is a hot bed for tick-transmitted diseases, such as Lyme, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Symptoms often do not surface until these organisms are deeply entrenched in the animal’s system. Annual testing is a quick, easy, and effective way to find these diseases before your pet gets sick.
  • Heartworm testing—Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital recommends that all dogs be tested for heartworm once a year and that both dogs and cats remain on once-a-month preventive year round.
  • Intestinal parasites—Many intestinal parasites not only pose a threat to your pet’s health, but also to you and your family. Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and other intestinal parasites can be detected through a simple fecal screening.
  • Urine analysis—Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital also recommends yearly urine analysis in conjunction with blood tests to help reveal the health of the urinary bladder, kidneys, liver, and other internal organs. It is a simple way to screen for diseases such as diabetes.

How do I choose the correct diet for my pet?

There is no one food on the market that is recommended for all life stages of our pets. Nutrition needs change with age and disease. Our veterinarians provide nutritional counseling for all pets according to their species, breed, and age, as well as any health issues. See our pet nutritional counseling page or contact our knowledgeable staff for more information.

Which vaccinations does my pet need?

Every pet needs vaccinations, but there is no one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital’s doctors will tailor the vaccinations to the risk of each individual pet. We assess the pet’s risk versus the benefits of the vaccination, understanding that the decision to vaccinate is ultimately up to the pet owner.

Our goal at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is to see your pet live a long, full, and healthy life.