Lone Star Animal Hospital recommends your pet is seen for routine wellness visits a minimum of once yearly to establish a healthy baseline for your pet in our medical records. Senior pets over seven years are recommended to come in twice yearly for an exam. Wellness visits help veterinarians to be sure your pet is healthy and detect any illness or problems early on in your pet’s life. Our wellness visits are comprised of a full physical exam, vaccinations, parasite testing (heartworm and intestinal parasite screenings), and wellness blood work depending on your pet’s age. Based off of this information you and our veterinarian can come up with a wellness plan for your pet based off their age, breed, and health status.
The physical examination performed by our veterinarian covers several aspects of your pet’s health. The details of the exam include the following.
Our veterinarian will observe and inspect:
- Stance and gait (how they walk) and their joints.
- If your pet appears bright, alert, and responsive.
- Body condition- if your pet is at an appropriate body weight. If not we can recommend a diet program to help your pet correct their weight.
- Skin and haircoat- making sure there is no hairloss, oily discharge, growths, or smell to the skin or coat itself.
- Eyes, ears, and nose- looking for redness, discharge from any area, growths on the eyelids, tear staining, swelling of the ears, cloudiness of the eyes, or cataracts.
- Mouth and teeth- looking for tartar, periodontal disease, broken, fractured, or rotten teeth, and growths in or around the mouth. We look at your pet’s gum line to check for dental disease and mucus membrane color to help indicate your pet’s health.
Our veterinarian will assess:
- Heart- listening to make sure your pet has a strong healthy heart beat without evidence of heart arrhythmias, or murmurs. These can indicate heart diseases or age related changes in your pet.
- Lungs- listening to make sure your pet has strong lung sound without evidence of a change in breath sounds that can indicate respiratory diseases or age related changes in your pet.
- Pulse – counting of your pet’s heart rate.
- Respiratory rate- counting of your pet’s breaths.
- Lymph nodes- feeling the lymph nodes, located in the neck and legs to check for swelling or pain.
- Legs- looking for any joint crepitance or arthritis, evidence of lameness, weakness or pain.
- Abdomen- checking internal organs such as the bladder, kidneys, liver, intestines, stomach, and spleen for abnormalities, pain or discomfort noted in your pet’s demeanor. If any abnormalities are noted, we will discuss the possibility of additional testing such as blood work, x-rays or referral ultrasounds for further diagnostics.
Lone Star Animal Hospital recommends routine testing to ensure your pet’s health. Routine testing is performed in our in-house laboratory.
Intestinal Parasite Testing
Lone Star Animal Hospital recommends fecal testing for canine patients every six months and routine deworming for feline patients.
Lone Star Animal Hospital recommends heartworm testing for canine and feline patients annually. For a heartworm preventative prescription, patients must have a current exam with a veterinarian at our hospital and a heartworm test on file from the last year. Patients are also required to have proof of a current heartworm test on file prior to surgery.
Feline Leukemia & Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Testing
Lone Star Animal Hospital recommends feline patients be tested for FeLV and FIV once yearly especially for cats that have an outside lifestyle.
Lone Star Animal Hospital recommends wellness blood work for both feline and canine patients. Blood work is separated into Adult (over 1 year) and Senior (over 7 years old). Adult wellness blood work is comprised of a CBC (complete blood count), and a chemistry 10 (liver and kidney values). Senior blood work is comprised of a CBC (complete blood count), a chemistry 10 (liver and kidney values), and a thyroid test.
How often should my pet be seen for a wellness exam?
Your pet needs to maintain a doctor-patient relationship with our veterinarian by having a wellness check-up once yearly to continue any prescriptions your pet has outstanding with our hospital.
It is often a misconception that one human year equates to seven human years. Dogs do age much faster than us, and some breeds more so than others.
Vaccinations are utilized by Lone Star Animal Hospital to ensure the health of your pet by preventing the most commonly transmitted diseases.
Lone Star Animal Hospital requires proof of a Rabies vaccine to be seen by our veterinarian.
The following are our vaccines available at our clinic.
Rabies: A deadly viral disease. Any pet that is seen at our hospital needs to have a current Rabies vaccine administered at the time of the appointment or have proof of a current Rabies vaccine. An animal’s first Rabies vaccine is given at 12-15 weeks of age and then yearly to every three years thereafter.
DAPP: Stands for distemper, adenovirus, parvo, and parainfluenza. They are deadly viral diseases causing neurologic issues, internal organ failure, severe intestinal and respiratory issues. Given in four rounds at 6,9,12 and 15 weeks of age. Then given yearly to every three years thereafter.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough): Airborne upper respiratory virus. Not just for pets that board or are groomed. Virus is airborne and can be picked up from neighbor’s dogs, dog parks, walking on bike trails, etc. We currently use the oral bordetella vaccine which is a single oral administration, then given yearly thereafter.
Influenza: Upper respiratory virus. No dog has immunity because the virus is a mutated strain of equine influenza. All pets are at risk. Infected pets are non-symptomatic while shedding/spreading the virus. Given in two rounds at 9 and 12 weeks of age then yearly thereafter.
Leptospirosis: Bacteria that can be picked up from coming into contact with contaminated water and the urine of raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and other Texas wildlife. Causes liver and kidney damage. People are also able to contract this fatal disease from wildlife and contaminated pets. Given in two rounds at 9 and 12 weeks of age, then yearly thereafter.
Lyme: Tick borne disease. Causes fever, arthritis, affects joints and causes chronic pain. People can also contact this disease from ticks. Given in two rounds at 12 and 15 weeks, then yearly thereafter.
Rabies: A deadly viral disease. Any pet that is seen at our hospital needs to have a Rabies vaccine administered at the time of the appointment or have proof of a current Rabies vaccine. An animal’s first Rabies vaccine is given at 12-15 weeks of age and then yearly to every three years thereafter.
FVRCP: Stands for feline viral rhinotracheitis, chlamydia, calici, panleukopenia. Viral respiratory diseases that can be fatal. This combo vaccine is given in two rounds at 9 and 12 weeks of age. Then given yearly to every two years thereafter.
Leukemia: Fatal immunosuppressive viral disease. Contracted from affected cats through direct cat to cat contact including birth and fighting. Given in two rounds at 9 and 12 weeks of age. Then given yearly to every two years thereafter.