Epsom Pet Wellness Services

epsom pet wellnessWellness Exam For Your Pet

A wellness exam is a chance for us to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in veterinary care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. The wellness exam that we perform on your pet is similar to the yearly physical you receive from your doctor.

During your pet's regular wellness exam in Epsom Dr. Reeve will:

Regular Blood Testing

A complete physical includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and should include a full blood workup. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Additionally, blood work is necessary if Dr. Reeve recommends a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia. These tests can be done during your dog's or cat's regular wellness exam.

We also recommend comprehensive blood work annually for all pets over the age of eight.

Deworming and Fecal Check

Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. Importantly, if brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. For example, we normally associate parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms with cats and dogs, but people can also be infected with the same parasites. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which contaminate yards or any place a pet defecates.

epsom nh pet wellnessFleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. Although they're a bigger problem in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available to prevent them from biting your pet. Today, there's no reason for any pet or owner to be bothered by these pests.

Fleas are reproductive marvels. A single female flea can lay up to 30 eggs a day and can live and breed on your pet for up to 100 days. The eggs then fall and land in carpets and upholstery where they can lie dormant for up to eight months. The best management techniques of flea-proofing your home includes regularly vacuuming carpets, furniture, floors and areas where your pet sits or sleeps. You should also wash your pet's bedding, toys, and towels weekly.

Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause an intense allergic reaction, resulting in a severely painful skin infection. In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease and (although much rarer in New Hampshire) Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These same ticks can bite people and transmit disease as well. Due to the prevalence of ticks in our area, we recommend all dogs be vaccinated against Lyme disease.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our clinic. When used properly, these products are very safe and effective and are what we use on our own pets.

Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there are no holistic or natural products available that have been shown to be effective in preventing or killing fleas and ticks. Ask Dr. Reeve or a staff member at Suncook River Veterinary Clinic to recommend the flea and tick prevention product which is best suited for your pet.

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease of dogs and cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite. After the infected female mosquito bites your pet, the heartworm migrates through the bloodstream and moves to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults within 6-7 months in dogs and eight months in cats. As many as 30 species of mosquitoes can transmit heartworms.

Until the early 1970s, the occurrence of heartworm disease in the United States was primarily confined to the southeastern part of the country. Today, heartworm disease is found almost everywhere in the continental United States and is particularly abundant in the northeast.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Often symptoms are not noticeable until several years after the initial infection. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms. Coughing and difficulty breathing are both common symptoms. As the disease progresses, most dogs develop congestive heart failure. Dogs often collapse in the final stage of the disease. In cats, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma. Some cats may exhibit no signs of the disease, while others may suddenly die.

Since heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually. This test is highly accurate, and we often have the results in less than 10 minutes.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once a month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat. If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet and your family from these dangerous parasites, please call us at Suncook River Veterinary Clinic.

epsom kitten examPuppy and Kitten Care

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is always an exciting event. New pets add energy and fun to your family and are a source of unceasing affection.

They also require a little extra attention to ensure they get a healthy start at life. Comprehensive physical exams at developmental stages are important.

Your very first visit at Suncook River Veterinary Clinic is perhaps the most important. These initial visits are when you, Dr. Reeve and your animal companion first meet and begin to form the relationship that will last for your pet's lifetime. We like to take our time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough pet wellness exam, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.

Your kitten's first visit with Dr. Reeve will include (additional fees may apply to some tests and procedures):

Your puppy's first visit will include:

This is your new pet and we're happy to answer any questions.

epsom senior pet careAdult Pet Healthcare

After about 14 months of age, your pet is considered to be an adult. While they may still act like kittens or puppies, they just don't need to see us as frequently. At the first adult canine visit, we recommend a combined test for heartworm/Lyme/Ehrlichia/Anaplasma. We recommend annual visits for updating vaccinations that may be due, but, more importantly, to evaluate your companion's health as time goes on. We evaluate dental health, cardiac health, and discuss all important issues. We can make recommendations if behavioral problems are developing and we can diagnose health problems early so they can be managed quickly.

The average dog is considered to be an adult until about seven years of age. This can vary, however. Some large to giant breeds become seniors a bit earlier than average. Some small breed dogs and cats become seniors a bit later. Because of that, we prefer to tailor your pet's medical care to you and your pet.

As your pet approaches senior age, blood testing and possibly radiographs are recommended. These tests provide a baseline that is useful to us as your pet ages.

Senior Wellness

Thanks to the many advances in veterinary medicine, pet life spans have increased beyond our wildest expectations. However, with a longer lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict our senior pets. As your loved ones begin to reach their senior years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases they can face, including weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart, and liver disease; tumors and cancers; and hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance.

Many veterinarians consider an animal to be in their senior stage of life at the age of seven. Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. The life span of each individual animal is different, and Dr. Reeve will be able to help you determine your furry friend's stage of life. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered a senior at 10-11 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as five. Please ask any member of the staff at Suncook River Veterinary Clinic for more information about when your pets will be entering their senior years.

We do recommend that your pet be seen bi-annually for their senior wellness examinations. In our wellness program, we use preemptive diagnostic testing to identify and treat illnesses that can be effectively managed if discovered early. If a problem or abnormality is identified in your pet during their senior wellness exam, Dr. Reeve may recommend additional testing be performed, such as radiographs and/or ultrasound. These tests and procedures also provide important initial data that helps us maintain your pet's health throughout their lifetime.

pet wellness in epsomOur senior plan includes:

These tests are not time intensive or difficult to do and can be performed during routine wellness exams.

Please use the form below or call Suncook River Veterinary Clinic at 603-736-3388 to set up a consultation for your senior pet.

Glaucoma

Your pet can develop glaucoma too. This is a condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases to a point where the optic nerve is damaged, causing loss of vision and eventual blindness. Glaucoma is relatively common in animals and can develop as your pet ages – this is known as chronic glaucoma – or as the result of an injury or illness – which is known as acute glaucoma.

In many cases glaucoma can progress quite rapidly, especially when it is the result of injury or underlying illness. This is an emergency situation. Symptoms for Glaucoma include:

We recommend checking your pet regularly for this condition. A routine glaucoma exam is not only an effective screening measure for chronic and acute glaucoma but can also help set a baseline measurement for your pet. Setting a baseline measurement is important because normal intraocular pressure (IOP) can vary between species, breeds and even individual pets.

We use an instrument called a tonometer to measure the fluid pressure inside your pet's eyes. It is a noninvasive procedure and should not cause your pet any pain or discomfort. We apply a mild anesthetic eye-drop to ensure your pet is comfortable during the exam.

The examination is very quick to perform and once done, we will explain your pet's measurement, what it tells us about the health of your pet's eyes, and provide any treatment options if necessary.