Welcome to Western Shore Veterinary Hospital! We are ecstatic that you have decided to make us your pet’s veterinarian. We look forward to caring for your cat or dog for the rest of their lives. We’ve included information on pet insurance, vaccination schedules for your cat or dog, and basic cleanliness and grooming.
Bringing a new pet into your home is an exciting time, and the vets at Western Shore Veterinary Hospital are eager to help you give them the best possible start. It is critical to establish a pattern of regular exams as soon as possible after your new pet joins your family, since this allows us to get to know your pet both medically and socially.
Early Examinations are Beneficial To Your Pet
A new puppy or kitten should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as you’re able to schedule. We’ll give your new pet a full examination and go over the immunizations and parasite treatments they have already undergone. We’ll be able to provide you the best advice on a vaccine schedule tailored to your pet.
During your new pet’s initial examination, we will discuss and develop a schedule to cover:
- Vaccinations based on your pet’s lifestyle and exposure risks
- Spay or neuter
- Diet and nutrition
- Tooth brushing and dental care
- House and litter box training
- Obedience class recommendations
- Behavioral problems and concerns
Early visits with your pet will help them become less nervous during future exams as we touch their paws, ears, and around their mouth. This early exposure makes future dental exams and nail trims more comfortable for everyone. From a young age, having frequent, good encounters with our staff members improves your pet’s future interactions with your family and other people. We urge you to bring your new pet in for a treat, a weight check, and a few love scratches on a weekly basis.
The Importance of Good Nutrition
Obesity in puppies and kittens is a problem that can be avoided with proper nutrition. It is critical to instill excellent food and activity habits in your pet when they are still young. Giving your pet table scraps or human food is not a good idea. We’ll teach you and your family how to feed your pet properly and help you figure out how much they need to eat as they grow.
Deciding When To Spay Or Neuter
Spaying and neutering is an effective approach to reduce the number of unwanted pets while also preventing undesired pet pregnancies. Spaying and neutering your pets also has a number of health benefits.
- Your dog’s chances of mammary cancer and uterine infections are reduced if she is spayed before her first heat cycle.
- Neutering your dog reduces the risk of prostate and testicular cancer in your dog.
- Sterilization of your cat or dog raises the chances of a longer, healthier life for your pet.
- Spaying or neutering your dog can extend their life by 1–3 years, while cats can live 3–5 years longer on average.
If your dog is a male, we recommend waiting to neuter until he is 10–12 months old; if she is a female, the spay should be done when she is 6 months old. At the age of six months, both male and female cats can have this procedure. We recommend speaking with one of our veterinarians about the best and safest time to arrange this operation for your pet.
The veterinarians and team at Western Shore Veterinary Hospital will continue to work with you as your pet matures into a healthy adult and, eventually, a loyal senior companion. We look forward to assisting you in ensuring that your pet has a long and happy life.
We have a soft spot in our hearts for senior pets, and we know you do as well. Pets are living longer because to advances in veterinary medicine, which means we are seeing more animals with age-related issues than ever before. These can include the following:
- Failure of one or more organs
- Dental problems
At Western Shore Veterinary Hospital, we will do everything we can to ensure that your senior pet is as comfortable as possible as they mature, and we will recommend the right screening tests along the way to detect any potential illness or disease.
Older Cats and Dogs benefit from Senior Pet Care
Senior status is not reached by all pets at the same age. Large dogs may be considered a senior sooner than small dogs. As our pets age, we must examine them differently and more frequently. Senior status may come sooner for certain pets and later for others, depending on the breed and lifestyle. Senior pets should have more frequent wellness checkups and their exams will focus on different areas. During a senior visit, we will give your pet a thorough checkup including checking their weight and blood pressure. Since you know your pet better than anyone else, we’ll inquire about any changes in behavior or appetite that could suggest a more serious condition.
What To Expect From Senior Pet Wellness Exams
Senior pets may require additional attention as they age, and their health examinations should be scheduled more frequently and entail more complete testing. As needed, we will recommend screening tests to assist us in providing the best care for your pet. We urge that you bring the following items to your senior wellness exam:
- Fecal Sample: Samples can be placed in any clean container or baggie, or picked up at the clinic in a pre-paid fecal collection container. Within 24 hours of the appointment, a stool sample should be taken. A tablespoon-size sample is sufficient for our lab.
- Urine Sample: The clinic has urine collection kits available. The sample should be obtained and stored in the refrigerator within 4–6 hours of the visit.
Bring a list of all medications your pet is currently taken. This applies to both over-the-counter and prescription drugs (including heartworm and flea preventives)
It’s always a good idea to bring a list of any questions or concerns you have about your pet’s health.
Older Pets Should Continue To Be Active
There’s no reason for your dog or cat to slow down just because they are older. We can prescribe a variety of different drugs and dietary supplements to assist improve your elderly pet’s quality of life. For example, pain relievers or dietary supplements for persistent arthritis can help your pet feel better by reducing discomfort and inflammation.
A change in food, as well as adjustments in the type and amount of exercise they engage in, may help your pet stay in better shape, be more mobile, and be much happier.