Overview of Preventative Care
Vaccinating is one of the most important and convenient methods to protect your pet from an array of potentially deadly diseases such as rabies and distemper; additionally, the rabies vaccine is now required by law in Pennsylvania. Vaccinations must be repeated periodically, usually with the annual wellness exam, to ensure your pet's safety and good health. Vaccinating your pet will introduce antigens into the body that look like the disease-causing organism to your pet's immune system, but won't actually cause the disease. This way, if your pet is ever exposed to the real disease, its body will be prepared to recognize and fight it off, preventing a potentially fatal outcome.
We recommend that your pet receives a wellness examination every year to ensure that they are maintaining good health. This examination can allow us to catch certain illnesses or other problems before they become severe, as many diseases won't display symptoms until after they are already established. Our pets cannot communicate with us verbally, making the wellness examination the best tool that the veterinarian has in ensuring your pet's health and happiness.
Wellness Blood Profiling:
We also recommend that all pets have blood screening done and examined in our laboratory at least once a year. Completing this at the same time as the annual wellness exam is a convenient option. These wellness panels help us develop a baseline for your individual pet, which we can then use to determine their specific reference range for blood values. If we see any change from the baseline, we can start treating your pet for diseases before they start showing symptoms. Unfortunately, 20% of dogs and cats that are 7 years or older, will have a disease present on the routine blood screening, as the physical exam alone cannot always catch internal issues. This is why having both the blood work and the exam is highly recommended. At Skippack Animal Hospital, we have designed adult and senior wellness panels to meet your pet's needs. These include a complete blood count, internal organ function test, urine analysis, fecal examination, 4DX (heartworm and tick test), and full thyroid hormone panel.