Preventative Pet Care

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is most certainly applicable when it comes to the health of your pet. Although routine screening and preventative products may seem costly, they could save your pet from life-threatening, debilitating illness, irritating parasites, and both pet and owner the stress and expense of a hospital stay.

Our Doctors recommend

  • Annual Wellness Visit: Physical Exam, Vaccinations, Fecal Exam, Heartworm Test
  • Year Round Heartworm Prevention & Year Round Flea and Tick Prevention.
Animal Hospital offers Flea and Tick Control services in Lee's Summit

Flea and Tick Control

Our doctors recommend year round flea and tick medication for both indoor and outdoor dogs and cats. Parasites can survive winter and droughts!

Like most pet owners, you probably enjoy spending quality time with your pets both indoors and out. Don't leave them at risk for any unwelcome visits from pesky parasites like fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can be very damaging to the human-animal bond, particularly when flea invasion gets out of control or invest your home. Not only can these unfriendly parasites make your pets extremely uncomfortable by causing itchy allergic reactions and skin infections, they can carry serious bacterial diseases and pose grave health risks to your pets.

Since fleas can survive a cold winter by feeding on any unprotected pets and their eggs can lay dormant for up to 5 months inside homes before hatching and re-infecting pets, preventive measures should be taken year round. By undergoing measures to inhibit these outbreaks, the diseases these parasites transmit to pets and people can also be mitigated or prevented. There are many safe and effective flea and tick control products available, and our veterinary team will help you choose the correct preventive regimen based on your pet’s risk factors and health status. If you have a flea infestation our team will also equip you with the tools and knowledge to eliminate these parasites. Only about 5% of the flea population are the adult fleas on your pet, the rest live in the pets home and environment! Once a year, it is important to discuss with your veterinarian which external pest control products are ideal for your household, based upon the everyday life of your pet.

Intestinal Parasite Prevention

Our Doctors recommend keeping your dog on heartworm and flea and tick prevention medication year round.

The ingredients in most heartworm medication also control most intestinal parasite infections.

The most common variety of tapeworm is transmitted to dogs via fleas. Flea and tick preventatives can help protect your animal from tapeworm infection.

Intestinal parasites such as hookworms and roundworms can be a troublesome concern, especially for very young animals. Most puppies/kittens are born with or infected with worms and dogs/cats remain susceptible to the harmful parasites throughout their lives. Most parasites are transmitted by coming in contact with contaminated feces in the environment. These parasites can be very hardy and survive in the environment for weeks. Other parasites such as tapeworms are acquired via fleas or hunting in outdoor cats. Worms live inside the intestinal tract of your pet and can consume blood from your pet causing anemia, as well as diarrhea, weight loss, and a general failure to thrive. Most worms are not visible in feces, which is why a microscopic fecal analysis is needed to look for the presence of eggs. Internal parasites can not only harm your pet, but many can also be transferred to children and adults, making them sick as well.

Our hospital recommends fecal analysis and deworming on all new puppies and kittens, as well as annual fecal analysis on adult dogs and cats. If your pet does have a parasite problem, our veterinarians can provide you with different medications and treatments to remedy the problem and steer your pet back to good health. Many prescription heartworm preventative products also have deworming medication in combination. Preventative flea and heartworm medication can reduce the possibility of an intestinal parasite infection in your pet. Our primary focus is to provide your pet with the safest and most effective ongoing preventive care.

Learn more about Parasites

Parasite Control information at Lee's Summit Animal Hospital

Heartworm Prevention and Testing

Our Doctors recommend all dogs over 8 weeks old are on yearly heartworm prevention given every 30 days.

Mosquitoes can find warm pockets in the winter months in homes and urban developments, and can survive even in times of drought. Protect your dog by using preventative medication year round.

Annual Heartworm Testing

Missed or late treatment vomited or spit up pills and other mishaps are common. Annual testing gives you assurance your pet has not been infected with heartworms during the year.

If your dog has not been on preventative and you would like to take that step in protecting your pet our veterinarians will need to do a full physical exam and heartworm test to make sure your dog is healthy and heartworm free before starting preventative.

Heartworms disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is passed from dog to dog by mosquitoes. The foot-long worms cause damage to the heart, lungs and arteries. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states and is present here in our community. The best way to prevent heartworms in your dog is to have him on heartworm preventative year round and heartworm tested annually.

Heartworm preventatives work by killing any off the juvenile stages of heartworm that your pet may have been infected with over the last 30 day window. It is important that it is given every 30 days. A missed dose or even a late dose can leave a window where a heartworm can grow into an adult and the preventative medication no longer be effective in killing it. Annual testing is recommended in all dogs. Even vigilant owners who have given their pet their heartworm treatment monthly could have an exposed pet. Some dogs spit out the pill, vomit later outdoors, or rub off topical medicine. It is also critical for the veterinary community to know that the current preventative treatments are continuing to work effectively. Puppies should be started on heartworm prevention when they are 8 weeks old and then should be tested at their first annual wellness exam.

Heartworm Lifecycle

Vaccine Protocol at Lee's Summit Animal Hospital

Vaccinations

At annual wellness exams and new puppy/kitten exams your veterinarian will create a vaccine schedule ideal for the age and lifestyle of your pet. Adhering to the outlines vaccine schedule given by your vet is a vital part of keeping your pets healthy. Puppies and kittens are not fully protected from diseases until they have received their entire vaccine series. Their exposure to unknown animals and locations should be limited.

Many boarding, grooming and training facilities will not accept animals unless they are up to date of vaccines.

Vaccinations are vital to the health and protection of your pet, and serve as a preventive measure to combating viral diseases like Parvovirus, Parainfluenza virus, Distemper, Lyme, Panleukopenia, Feline Leukemia Virus and Rabies. Vaccinations are accompanied by a veterinarian consultation and examination to make certain that your pet's condition is stable enough to receive them.

Vaccinations help to combat diseases by exposing the pet's immune system to inactive or small amount of a particular form of bacteria or virus. Our doctors will help you decide which vaccines are appropriate for your pet's risk factors. Proper and timely administration is paramount to ensure for optimal protection. Vaccinations are particularly important to young animals that have immature, naive immune systems. Vaccinations generally begin at 6-8 weeks of age and are given every three to four weeks until the series is completed at about 16 weeks. It is important to complete the entire series of puppy vaccines within the timeline laid out by your veterinarian. Puppies are not considered fully protected until they have completed this series and are at risk of becoming ill with serious diseases such as parvovirus. Puppies are usually required to have a completed vaccine series in order to participate in puppy classes, doggy day care etc.

Blood Panel Screening

Our in-house laboratory equipment is able to process a small sample of your pet’s blood for a wide variety of diagnostic tests.
Our doctors strongly recommend performing bloodwork on all animals before an anesthetic procedure.

Bloodwork gives doctors a better idea of an animal’s overall health and can show underlying health problems that may not be apparent. Bloodwork ensures that the kidneys and liver, which play a vital role in the removal of anesthetic medications, are functioning properly. Knowing the status of your pet helps our team design the best anesthetic plan customized to your pet’s specific needs.

Bloodwork can be useful in screening older dogs for health issues.
Obtaining bloodwork on older dogs can help identify the beginnings of certain diseases that are chronic and slow to develop. By identifying these conditions earlier we can help to increase the quality and longevity of life for our senior pets.