While our pets will always live shorter lives than us due to their accelerated aging, it is always possible to extend and improve the quality of their life with the right care. Veazie Veterinary Clinic recommends annual wellness exams for dogs and cats so our veterinarians can detect developing disease processes early or provide the necessary services to help prevent or treat health problems. Our protocols for pet wellness are intended to prevent disease whenever possible and give every dog and cat the chance to live a maximum number of years.
It’s also important to start your pet as early as possible on a wellness regimen, which generally includes a physical examination, parasite screenings, vaccinations, and nutritional recommendations. We also recommend that puppies and kittens should see their veterinarian soon after adoption and begin their initial series of boosters as early as six to eight weeks old.
Pet Wellness Programs for Puppies/Kittens and Seniors
Key Aspects of Dog/Cat Exams in Bangor, ME
At Veazie Veterinary Clinic, pet wellness exams generally encompass the following:
The Comprehensive Examination
This is the first important step in evaluating your pet’s health. We will check your pet from nose to tail, which includes examining their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and vitals (heart, lungs, temperature). Your vet will also examine your pet’s skin and coat, their joints, and overall body condition.
The Feline Wellness branch is an area of Veazie Veterinary Clinic headed by Dr. Michael McCaw. Dr. McCaw and his support staff provide specialty care exclusively for your cats and kittens. Veazie Veterinary Clinic is now a Cat Friendly Vet!
We value our feline patients and recognize that they have different needs than their canine counterparts. The feline wellness portion of our website extends beyond solely cat-focused medicine. Here, you will find everything you ever need to know about health, wellness, nutrition and behavior for your feline friend.
The Feline Experience
Veazie Vet treats cats differently. We realize that the stress of the vet visit starts at home when the carrier comes out and can continue for hours or sometimes days after getting home. We want to change this.
Along with the information we have posted on how to make the carrier a more pleasant experience, our receptionists will offer to seat you in a cat friendly, quiet and sunny area. Our exam rooms are outfitted with calming pheromones and our technicians are trained in cat friendly holding techniques. We can even take payments in the rooms so that you can get back to your car without having to stop at reception again.
We are certified as a Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Dr. McCaw is our lead cat advocate and continues to educate our staff and update our facilities with the latest in medicine, behavior and nutrition for cats. He is a member of the AAFP and a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady” in a guy suit.
Changes taking place throughout the practice include staff training, as well as waiting room, feline ward and exam room improvements, so that they meet cats’ needs for quiet areas with vertical space and perches, as well as improved handling and interaction in cat friendly exams. We continue to update and research the best surgical, anesthetic & pain management methods and an increased variety of feline diagnostics and life stage dependent care.
There are many infectious diseases that we can help prevent. Excellent vaccines are available for the Rabies virus, both major feline upper respiratory viruses and the Feline Leukemia virus. We can also prevent and protect against many parasites including fleas, intestinal worms, heartworms, and ear mites.
Annual Exam: More Than Just Updating Shots
Both indoor and outdoor cats should come in once a year for a wellness visit. During this visit the doctor will perform a full physical exam and administer necessary vaccines. We also recommend bringing a stool sample to test for internal parasites (most important for indoor/outdoor cats). Routinely evaluating your cats’ overall health, discussing their environment, and addressing any concerns help us promote a long, comfortable, healthy and happy life.
The physical exam is a critical part of determining overall health. Taking vitals, palpating the abdomen and lymph nodes as well as auscultating (listening to) the heart and lungs on a regular basis will aid us in early detection of disease in apparently healthy individuals. Remember, cats can be very stoic animals and may not show signs of illness until a disease process is advanced.
Canine wellness means regular well pet visits in order to check your dog’s overall health, including a physical exam and routine blood screening as necessary.
Well pet visits for your dog are a chance to ensure a healthy, active and happy year ahead. We will conduct a thorough physical examination to evaluate mobility, cardiovascular health, respiratory health and overall wellness. We will also discuss your dog’s lifestyle.
Do they stay at home, get boarded, or go to the groomer? Although all dogs are required by the state of Maine to have a rabies vaccine, other vaccines may not be appropriate for every dog. Questions about your pet’s environment and travels are important in deciding what vaccines and preventative care measures are right for your dog.
Well pet visits are also a good time to discuss any behavior concerns you have or questions about diet and nutrition.
We may recommend routine bloodwork for your dog or cat based on their age, medical history, and lifestyle. Bloodwork is critical for finding and diagnosing certain health problems that may not be found from a physical exam alone. We also use bloodwork to evaluate your pet’s organ function before they go into surgery, and to screen for potential illness before any physical signs occur. Illnesses we check for include:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Heartworm disease
- Thyroid disease
- Lyme disease
Additionally, we recommend blood panels for pets that are seniors (approximately age 7 and up), and pets that are at a heightened risk for disease. If your pet takes daily medication, they may also need to be screened regularly to monitor their condition and organ function.
Early Detection of Disease
Veazie Vet offers various early detection tests, including blood analysis and urinalysis, to check for potential disease trends associated with the internal organs. If we can catch disease early in its development, we can treat it much more successfully.
Client Education and Consultation
Educating you, the pet owner, is just as important as making sure your pet is staying healthy. You are your pet’s primary caregiver, and we want you to feel confident about making critical decisions about their treatment. Together, we can help your pet live their healthiest, happiest life. Please reach out to us any time you have questions!