Preventative Care in Duffield, VA

When we first become pet owners, our animals becoming sick is probably the further thing from our minds. Unhappily, pets are just as likely to be affected by illness as we are and there are many viruses and diseases that can threaten their health. Fortunately, like us, our animals can be protected from many of them, including some of the most serious. The way in which we can do this is by ensuring that our pets get the right preventative care.


Preventative pet care is extremely valuable, not least because our pets are extremely adept at masking any signs of illness. This means that we often fail to realize they are unwell until the problem that they are suffering from has progressed and is having a substantial impact on their health. Preventative pet care enables the health and wellbeing of your pet to be closely monitored, giving your vet the opportunity to spot any developing health problems early, before they have a chance to cause your pet harm. Your vet can also provide medications and treatments that can prevent your pet from ever experiencing some of the diseases that pose the biggest threat to his health.


Here at 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital, our comprehensive preventative care program that can be tailored to suit the needs of your anima, making sure that he gets the care he needs to live a long, healthy and happy life. Here are the key elements of our popular preventative care program for pets.


Wellness checks


Wellness checks are by far the most effective way to prevent health problems in your pet. Annual visits are most often recommended, although if your pet has already been diagnosed with a health problem, we may suggest that the frequency of these appointments is increased. This will enable us to monitor your pet a little more closely so that we can act quickly if we believe there are any changes that are a cause for concern.


These wellness checks usually include the following evaluations…

- Physical assessment, including eyes, ears, mouth, paws and more

- Weight measurement

- Temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate

- Blood tests including a full blood count, blood chemistry profile and heartworm testing (dogs)

- Urinalysis

- Fecal testing

- Dental check-up


The results of these tests will be recorded and used for comparison against past and future results. Should we have any concerns, you will be contacted immediately.


Vaccination program


Vaccinations form an essential part of any preventative pet care program and have saved the lives of millions of pets and people around the world. They work by safely imitating the virus or disease which they are designed to protect your pet from, tricking his body into producing antibodies to fight it. His body then remembers how to do this should he ever come into contact with the real disease and will start to fight it before any symptoms appear. Some pets manage to avoid the illness entirely, while others will experience a much milder and safer version.


Vaccinations are normally divided into two groups. Core vaccinations are those which are given to all animals of that species regardless of their risk factors for the disease. Non-core vaccinations are the ones that we will recommend based on your pet’s individual circumstances and his unique risk of developing the disease. Vaccines are only effective for a pre-determined period of time, and further doses will normally be needed. Our expert team will create your pet a bespoke vaccination schedule to keep him fully protected at all times.


Monthly preventative medications


Not all diseases can be prevented by using vaccinations. This includes those spread by ticks, fleas, and worms. These parasites thrive on your pet’s blood, and as well as putting him at risk of blood loss/anemia, can also have other significant effects on his health and wellbeing. Preventatives are usually administered monthly, either as a chewable tablet, collar or spot-on topical treatment. There are also six-monthly and twelve-monthly injectable preventatives for heartworms. Again, it is crucial that these medications are given on time every month or as otherwise stated, otherwise, your pet will be vulnerable to being infected. With so many preventatives to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming. Fortunately, our team is on hand to help you find the most appropriate preventative for your pet.




If you would like more information on preventative pet care, or if you are ready to schedule a visit to our Duffield veterinary hospital, contact us today on (276) 431-4838.




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Dr. Cortney Jessee