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Wellness and Preventative Care

At New Canaan Veterinary Hospital our doctors believe in the importance of wellness and preventative care for your pet. We offer examinations, vaccinations and lab testing to ensure your furry family member is always in best health. We also can provide you with the most effective preventative medications and supplements.

Vaccinations:

It is just as important not to over vaccinate as it is to vaccinate our pets. We have carefully selected vaccines which address the most serious threats to the health of your pets within our local and regional area.

  • Rabies is the only vaccine required by law, and it's deadly consequences are well known. At our practice, we offer vaccinations so that both adult dogs and adult cats need only receive this vaccination every three years.
  • The Distemper combo vaccination (distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza virus in dogs and feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, parainfluenza in cats) protects against diseases that are relatively unknown today, chiefly as a consequence of the efficacy of the vaccine. While they still pose a threat to our canine and feline populations, it is the accepted standard of care to give this vaccine every three years as well.
  • The Lyme vaccine is a core vaccine for dogs as well, since lyme disease is endemic in our area. It is our opinion that lyme desease is best prevented with a combination of the vaccination and effective tick control. Contrary to anecdotal beliefs, the lyme vaccine does NOT cause lyme disease, is safe, and is thought to be 80 to 90% efficacious.
  • Leptospirosis is also an endemic disease carried by wildlife in our area, and depending upon your pet's habits, this may or may not be recommended.
  • Bordetella and Canine Influenza are both respiratory diseases, the former causing upper respiratory inflammation and infection, and the latter causing similar symptoms that can lead to severe pneumonia. Again, depending upon your pets habits and enviroment, these may or may not also be recommended.
  • The only other vaccine to consider for our feline pets is the Leukemia vaccine. This is only important for cats who come in direct contact with other, non-housemate cats, and as more and more of our feline pets are exclusively indoors, this vaccine is recommended only for cats at risk.

Flea/Tick/Heartworm Prevention:

Now more than ever, flea, tick and heartworm prevention has become easier to give and more affordable. While there are many products on the market, very few actually protect our pets as effectively as claimed, either as a consequence of use in real life situations or as a function of imperfect owner compliance. At New Canaan Veterinary Hospital, we have chosen just a few of those products which, given in combination, prevent parasitic infestation as completely as possible while maximizing owner compliance and ease of use. Not only do these products prevent infestations of parasites, but they also are the most effective means of preventing the serious infections the parasites can pass to you and your pets.

Diagnostic Blood Testing:

The 4DX heartworm, lyme, ehrichia and anaplasma test is an invaluable tool to screen your pet for the most common causes of chronic infectious disease in our local pet population. Most of us are familiar with heartworm disease and, thanks to the preventatives available, the incidence of this disease is relatively low in our region. However, most of our heartworm cases are from pets who are adopted from the southeastern United States. This means that our local pets are most assuredly at risk from their neighborhood dog. As such, yearly screening for this preventable cause of heart failure is still strongly recommended. Most of us are also familiar with lyme disease, and the 4 DX test also screens for exposure to this. Ehrlichia and Anaplasma are also tick borne diseases that can have serious health consequences for our pets, and so detecting exposure to these diseases is also essential. Moreover, the screening for tick borne disease in an excellent measure of the efficacy of our preventatives and the adequacy of their use among our pet owners.

Routine Complete Blood Counts and Serum Chemisty Profiles "Annual Blood Work":

Routine blood work has become the standard of care in our profession. While it cannot rule out every type of subclinical disease that may be affecting our pets, it can alert us to problems with major organ function as well as hematology disorders before they become life threatening. Admittedly, changes can happen within the time between yearly testing, but the wealth of information we can gain for a relatively low cost can give us a much more complete picture of your pet's health.

Stool Checks for Intestinal Parasitism:

The heartworm preventatives we recommend also provide a monthly deworming for all the major intestinal parasites our pets can acquire from their environment. Because these parasites can not only cause a myriad of physical problems, but also have a serious zoonotic potential, double checking efficacy and compliance with annual testing is also the standard of care.

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New Canaan Veterinary Hospital