Your dog’s examination starts with a look at the eyes to make sure they are clear with no cataracts or vision changes. Then we will look in the ear canals to check for any wax, ear mites, and signs of an ear infection or other problems. We will examine your dog’s teeth taking note of any tartar, periodontal disease or cavity-type lesions known as resorptive lesions. We will listen to your dog’s heart and lungs to check for any heart murmurs, abnormal rhythms or changes to lung sounds. Your dog’s abdomen will be palpated to check for any pain, masses or enlarged organs. We will check your dog’s skin and coat for any fleas,
signs of skin infection or hair loss, or dry skin. We will also assess your dog’s weight and body condition and feel his or her lymph nodes. We will also request that you bring a fresh stool sample so we can check for intestinal parasites.
One thing we will not do is take your dog’s temperature unless he or she is ill. Recent studies show that dog’s become more stressed at the veterinary office if their temperature is taken. For an otherwise healthy dog, this is undue stress, so we no longer perform a temperature check on healthy dogs and puppies. Though the physical exam takes only a few minutes to perform, it is a very thorough and important part of any preventive care visit with your dog. Please make sure to bring your dog to see us at least once a year to make sure he or she stays as healthy as possible.
Flea infestation? Disturbing videos showing what is really in your floors.
DOG LIFE STAGES
Common Dog Vaccinations
DHLPP—One of the important or “core” vaccines your dog will receive is a DHLPP vaccine. While we often refer to it as a distemper vaccine for short, it is actually protects your dog against 4 different viruses and one bacterial infection. And while one of the viruses is called distemper, this does not have anything to do with your dog’s behavior or temperament as the name suggests. DHLPP protects against:
Distemper virus—a serious virus causing pneumonia-like symptoms and sometimes neurologic changes like tremors or seizures.
Hepatitis or Adenovirus—a viral infection of the liver
Leptospirosis—a bacterial infection spread by water contaminated with urine of wild animals such as skunks, rats, and raccoons. This infection can cause liver and kidney damage and may be fatal.
Parainfluenza—a respiratory virus spread by contact with other infected dogs
Parvovirus—a serious and potentially deadly virus spread by contact with fluids from infected dogs such as diarrhea and vomitus. Parvovirus causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Click here for more information on Parvovirus.
Puppies will receive a series of DHLPP vaccines every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks or older to make sure their immune system responds properly and builds antibodies against the diseases included in the vaccine. Adults who have been previously vaccinated need a booster every 1-3 years depending on the type of vaccine used and their individual risk factors.
Rabies is a fatal virus spread by bite wounds or exposure to saliva from an infected animal contacting open wounds or mucous membranes such as the mouth or eyes. Since rabies is highly dangerous and considered to be 100% fatal, and since it is a human health hazard, all dogs in Pennsylvania who are 12 weeks of age or older MUST be vaccinated by law. The rabies vaccine is considered to be a core vaccine and is typically given at 12 weeks of age, one year later and then every three years thereafter. Click here for more information on Rabies.
York County has a very high incidence of Lyme disease causing symptoms of fever, lameness and, on rare occasions, kidney disease in some infected dogs. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism known as a spirochete and is spread by a bite from an infected deer tick. You can reduce the chance of your dog contracting Lyme disease by having him or her vaccinated. The Lyme vaccine acts to block transmission of the Lyme organism when a tick bites the dog. Dogs will receive a vaccine at 9 weeks of age or older, a booster 2-3 weeks later and a final booster 6 months later. The vaccine should be given once a year after completing the initial series. Combining tick preventatives with vaccination dramatically reduces the spread of Lyme disease in your dog. Common lyme disease myths.
Bordetella is a highly contagious but typically mild respiratory infection more commonly known as kennel cough. Kennel cough is spread from dog to dog by coughing or sneezing and is most common in areas like boarding kennels, doggie daycares and dog parks where large numbers of dogs congregate. Any dog who is entering a boarding kennel or who has exposure to many other dogs is at risk for kennel cough and should be vaccinated. The vaccine is an oral vaccine (squirted in the mouth) given once a year to any dog 8 weeks of age or older. Click here for more information on kennel cough.
Canine Influenza Vaccine
Canine flu is a potentially serious respiratory infection causing coughing, sneezing, fever and sometimes progressing to pneumonia. It is most common in dogs who are exposed to many other dogs such as at dog shows, racing tracks or potentially at dog parks or boarding kennels. Risk factors are similar to those described for bordetella. Click here for more information on Canine Influenza.