257 Bath Road, Brunswick, Maine 04011 • 207-729-4164 • petvet@bbvet.com

Professional care
with a personal touch

Professional care
with a personal touch

Professional care
with a personal touch

Professional care
with a personal touch

Professional care
with a personal touch

Wellness and Preventative Care

Keeping your pet healthy

As owners, we are advocates for our pet’s health. We want our 4-legged (sometimes 3) family members to feel well, and enjoy life as part of our family. With advancements in diagnostics, pet nutrition, medical management of diseases and an overall better understanding of annual wellness and preventative care, we are seeing the results in our furry family members living longer, happier and healthier lives!

An annual wellness exam, or bi-annual exam for senior pets, allows our veterinarians to examine your pet and assess their general health and potential risk of illness or disease. Medical treatment plans can then be developed based on your pet’s individual wellness needs, including vaccination schedules, heartworm disease, parasite control, dental health, proper nutrition, flea & tick preventatives or any other items that may have you concerned.

What are we looking for?

When the veterinarian does the physical examination they will start at your pet’s head, and work their way back to the tail.

EYES

Are they clear, without discharge, and free of cataracts or any signs of glaucoma?

EARS

Are the ears clean, waxy, or debris filled? Are there signs of infection, parasites or allergies?

MOUTH

Are there any broken teeth? Is there any tartar build-up or evidence of periodontal disease?

NECK

Are lymph nodes and thyroid gland of normal size?

As they move away from the head, the veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart to ensure that it is beating normally. This allows us to identify any abnormalities such as a heart murmur. We will also listen to the lungs, palpate the abdomen and feel the characteristics of your pet’s internal organs.

Is the veterinarian petting your pet? If so, they are probably evaluating the condition of your pet’s skin and coat. Is it dry, flaky or oily? Is there evidence of flea dirt (flea poop) or any attached ticks? They are also looking for any lumps, bumps (benign or cancerous) or warts that may have developed and need to be addressed.

You may, or may not notice that your veterinarian is also watching the way that your pet moves about and interacts with people in the room. They are evaluating your pet’s gait (the way they walk) for any signs of joint stiffness or mobility distress. They are also looking for any potential neurological concerns such as disc disease. Lastly, your pet’s hind end will be examined to look for any evidence of parasites or anal gland concerns.

Preventative care is a big part of what keeps your pet healthy. Often times, addressing a problem early can decrease the cost and increase the likelihood of success than if the condition is allowed to worsen. While each pet and case is different, there are many standards of care by which we operate and make our recommendations. For additional information on these recommendations check out our library.

Preventative care is a big part of what keeps your pet healthy.

Senior Wellness

Advancements in veterinary medicine have made it so our pets are living longer and healthier lives. However, just like us, their needs change as they begin to grow older. The old adage is basically true: each year of a dog’s or cat’s life roughly equates to seven human years, with some variation due to your pet’s specific breed and weight. In most instances, pets are considered senior when they are 7 years of age or older. This means that their bodies are aging and because pets age at a faster rate, they are more vulnerable to illnesses after the age of seven years.

As with us, each pet ages differently and the best way to determine your pet’s health status is by seeing your veterinarian. While young and healthy pets should see their veterinarian once yearly. We recommend that your senior pet receive a physical examination at least twice a year. Seeing your aging pet every 6 months allows us to monitor their health and helps increase the likelihood of early detection of disease or illness. Some of the health conditions that we would be screening for are the same that our own doctors look for in us, including:

  • Cancer
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Dental Health
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Vision disorders

Early disease detection and treatment can help your veterinarian extend and improve the quality of your pet’s life. We believe strongly in our commitment to helping your pet live a long and healthy life, and with this goal in mind we have created a Senior Wellness Package for pets 7 years and older.

Office Visit & Exam – A comprehensive exam allows the veterinarian to assess the general condition of your pet including weight, body temperature, dental health, skin condition, presence or absence of masses, heart murmurs, gait abnormalities, and neurological deficits.

Blood Chemistry Panel – Allows detection of early kidney, liver, diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases as well as conditions that result in electrolyte imbalances.

Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) – Detects abnormal lows or highs in the red blood and white blood cells. Provides a window into the body’s response to infection, inflammation, and allergies.

Thyroid Screen/T4 – Decreased thyroid function (hypothyroid) is common in older dogs. Over active thyroid conditions (hyperthyroid) are common in older cats; both types of thyroid disorders can result in significant health issues.

Urinalysis – Allows evaluation of the urinary system (kidneys and bladder). Some conditions resulting in protein or glucose loss can be detected and treated if caught early. Bladder infections and other inflammatory diseases, and even cancer, may be found on a standard urinalysis.

Blood Pressure – “A silent disease” – Detection and correction of high blood pressure can prolong kidney function, combat cardiovascular diseases and in some cases, save an animal from sudden blindness.

Intestinal Parasite Screen/Fecal Screen – Detects the presence or absence of certain parasites and their eggs.

Nail Trim – As animals age the normal wearing of nails decreases, requiring more frequent trims.

Talk to us today about our senior wellness package and the things you can do to help keep your senior pet at their healthy best.

Click Here to See How Old Your Cat is.

Click Here to See How Old Your Dog is.