Some people think of bringing their pet to the veterinarian only after they have gotten sick, but annual wellness visits are just as important to pet health as annual physicals are to people.
When your pet is in for a wellness visit, our veterinarians will have the chance to catch any potential diseases when they are in their earliest stages. And the earlier a disease is caught, the easier (and more affordable) it tends to be to treat; and most importantly, your pet will be spared from additional sickness and pain by early prevention.
One of the methods our veterinarians will employ to detect disease will be a physical examination. During this segment of the visit, the veterinarian will turn their trained eyes towards inspecting the animal’s physical wellbeing. This inspection will include the following activities:
This physical examination can reveal very important information to the doctor. If your pet is a senior, or the veterinarian has any suspicions, diagnostic testing may be recommended to supplement for what cannot be seen visually during a physical examination. A few tests frequently called for include complete blood count, urinalysis, electrolyte testing, and more.
Once a year, we recommend a fecal test. So if your annual wellness exam will be the one time you plan to make a veterinary appointment this year, please try to bring in a fresh stool sample with you. This will help us to ensure your pet is free of intestinal parasites.
We know that as a responsible pet owner, keeping your pet on track to have a long, healthy, and happy life is one of your top priorities. Annual wellness examinations are an important tool for meeting this goal. If your pet is due for their annual visit, please give us a call to schedule at your earliest convenience.
Vaccinations are powerful tools for preventing serious and potentially fatal diseases from affecting your pet. The injection exposes the animal’s immune system to a small, safe, and controlled dose of a virus similar to the one it is meant to protect against. In response, the immune system will produce specific antigens that can fight the disease. In the future, if the pet is ever exposed to the disease again, this will prepare the immune system to properly fight it.
Vaccinations are administered quickly and the pain associated with them is extremely minor. Some vaccines, such as Rabies, are required by law to protect the safety of the public.
The veterinary doctors at Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital spend considerable time researching the best vaccine protocols for dogs and cats in our Rye, New York area. We recommend a series of core vaccines for every patient.
Based on your pet’s lifestyle, the veterinarian may also recommend additional non-core vaccines.
As a client, you have the right to refuse any suggested vaccinations; although, the cost and risk of treating a serious disease far outweighs the cost and risk associated with vaccinations. Bad reactions to vaccinations are extremely rare, but not unheard of. If your pet has diarrhea, extreme fatigue, or stroke-like symptoms after receiving their vaccines, please call us immediately.
Parasites are organisms who attach themselves to a host animal and steal their energy, in the form of nutrients, to survive. The most common parasites that affect cats and dogs include fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal worms.
Parasites are one of the most common health problems that animals face. Preventing and treating parasites is at the forefront of care at almost every veterinary practice for this reason, and regular prevention of and monitoring for parasites is an important habit for any dog or cat owner.
To prevent parasites, Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital recommends the following steps:
Regular veterinary appointments help to monitor if the pet contracts parasites. Some parasites, such as intestinal worms or heartworms, cannot be seen with the naked eye. If your pet has regular veterinary appointments and fecal examinations, we can catch the issue early and treat it quickly.
Year-round preventative medicine makes keeping your pets parasite-free easy. Many topical treatments and oral medications are available that can prevent fleas and ticks. In our office, we carry a wide-variety of these preventatives. For intestinal worms and heartworms, we recommend an oral medication. Both forms of parasite prevention should generally be administered on a monthly basis. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation for your pet’s specific needs.
Regular grooming has many benefits, including parasite prevention and early intervention. Bathing and brushing your pet at home will make their skin and fur a less hospitable environment for parasites and will alert you to any signs of fleas or ticks. Grooming professionals are also trained to look for the signs of parasites, and any reputable groomer will alert you as soon as they detect anything out of the ordinary.
An annual fecal exam will alert us if your pet is carrying any intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, or whipworms, to name a few. Left untreated, intestinal worms can make a pet very ill and in extreme cases be fatal, but in the beginning their symptoms can be minor. A fecal exam can provide clear-cut insight without a shadow of a doubt if your pet has an intestinal worm infestation.
Every year, millions of dogs and cats are brought to animal shelters. Many of these pets used to have loving homes, but they became separated from their families and had no way of getting back to them.
When a pet has a microchip embedded beneath their skin between their shoulder blades, their owners’ contact information is always with them. This technology greatly increases their chances to being reunited with their family if they are ever lost.
We recommend every single family pet to have a microchip. The implantation procedure is no more taxing for the animal than receiving a routine vaccination. The device is the size of a grain of rice and can be inserted into the skin in seconds. The materials it is made of are biologically compatible, and therefore will last forever underneath their skin without causing any harm.
Once the microchip is implanted, it is important to remember to keep the information associated with it up-to-date. Initially, we will help you by providing the correct paperwork for submittal so your information will be added to the secure HomeAgain database. In the future, if your contact information ever changes, such as during a move or if you change phone numbers, please remember to update your contact information through HomeAgain. The microchip can only work as well as the contact information it is associated with.
In addition to the microchip, we also recommend that your dog or cat always wears a collar with tags that also have your contact information. The microchip will be read if the pet is taken to a veterinarian or animal shelter with a special reader, but the average layperson who comes across your lost pet can use the tags to call you immediately.
The advantage of the microchip in comparison to tags, is that a microchip can never be taken off, disposed of, or detached from their body. This is why both forms of ID are recommended.
Nutrition is an important component for optimum pet health. On a day-to-day basis, it is one of the most affecting factors to your pet’s wellbeing and longevity that you are responsible for. Appropriately planned and balanced nutrition can help pets’ fight diseases. Nutritional plans can be used in conjunction with treatment plans to fight diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and more.
Even if your pet does not have a chronic condition, every animal has individual nutritional needs. For example, puppies require different vitamins and minerals, and more calories in comparison to their body size, to help them grow. Senior pets also need specific nutrients for support of healthy joints and vision, and less calories in comparison to their body size as their metabolism slows down.
With so many factors to consider, the best option for most pet owners is simply to ask a veterinarian for advice.
Our nutritional counseling services can provide the following to pet owners:
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight Pet
In the United States, one out of every three pets is overweight or obese. Overweight pets are more likely to contract a chronic disease, their lifespans tend to be shorter, and their quality of life is not as high as a healthy and trim pet. If your pet is overweight or obese, please consult your veterinarian about an appropriate treatment plan.
The following list is a series of tips that can help to maintain a healthy weight for your pet:
Located off of Exit 19 on I-95 (New England Thruway) between Theodore Fremd Ave and Maple Ave.
If you are experiencing an emergency after hours, please call us at (914) 921-2000 and you will be directed to the veterinarian on call.