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The Importance of Yearly Checkups

Although you know that you need to take your puppy or kitten to the vet on a regular basis for vaccinations and other important first-year examinations, you may wonder if it is really necessary for your adult pet to have an annual checkup. Even if your dog or cat seems to be in perfect health, you still need to schedule an annual appointment with the vet so that he or she will stay healthy for years. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we provide annual prevention and wellness care services to the pets of East Nashville, and we would like to tell you more about the importance of yearly checkups for your cat or dog.

Why Do I Need to Bring My Pet into 5 Points Animal Hospital Every Year for a Checkup?

As we get older, the importance of annual physical examinations grows each year because of the need to monitor for medical conditions that commonly develop with aging. According to Pet Health Network, the same is true for your cat and dog. Your pet needs to have a yearly checkup because even if he or she seems healthy, they could be sick without you suspecting anything is wrong. Not only can pets not talk to us to tell us if something is wrong, but animals also tend to hide signs and symptoms of disease from us.

What Can I Expect at my Pet’s Yearly Checkup With 5 Points Animal Hospital?

Your cat or dog is always in good hands with our professional veterinary staff, and we take great care to keep your pet calm and comfortable throughout the visit. We begin by giving your pet a physical examination that includes a check of his fur, skin, eyes, ears, and mouth, as well as a good look at how your pet walks and stands. After listening to his heartbeat with a stethoscope, we will check his abdomen, muscles, and lymph nodes for pain, lumps, or swelling. If your pet is in need of vaccination updates, we can take care of them. We also will take blood for important screenings to test for diseases and other issues like organ malfunction. Our goal at 5 Points Animal Hospital is to make sure your pet is as healthy as possible.

Don’t hesitate to schedule your pet’s annual checkup at 5 Points Animal Hospital. Contact us today to make an appointment with our friendly and caring veterinary staff.

So You Have Adopted a New Dog! Now What?

Your entire family is so excited about the arrival of your newly adopted dog! So, of course you want to make his first day at your home as perfect as possible. To help you get ready for this important homecoming, 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share with you a few tips. We want you to be prepared for this special day. Following these tips, you will feel confident about bringing your new pet home.

Assign responsibilities to your family members.

When you have a new dog in the house, you will have many things to do for your dog. That’s why it helps to give different responsibilities to each member of your family. These responsibilities include feeding and walking your dog, as well as letting the dog out to go to the bathroom.

Get the supplies ready.

Your new dog will need food, water and food bowls, a collar and leash, and some toys. The Humane Society of the United States also recommends getting an identification tag for your pet.

Be ready to house train.

No matter what age your newly adopted dog may be, he or she may not necessarily house trained. Were given information about house training when you adopted your dog? If so, make sure you and your family have read it thoroughly! 5 Points Animal Hospital strongly recommends being consistent when maintaining the routine. You want to be sure you are taking your dog out at the same times every day.

Bring your dog into 5 Points Animal Hospital to be sure he or she is healthy.

Since animal shelters take in all sorts of dogs from many different situations, your dog could possibly contract a virus from another dog who has never been vaccinated. Although animal shelters do as much as possible to prevent viruses from spreading, it can happen. This is why you need to bring your new dog by our office within the first week of adoption. Here at 5 Points, we want to make sure he or she has no health issues. We can get your dog up to date on vaccinations. In addition, if your dog has not been spayed or neutered at the animal shelter, you can make an appointment with us for this important medical procedure.

Remember to be patient with your new pet, as it can take several weeks for him or her to adjust to living at your home. For all of your pet needs, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We are happy to help you with welcoming your new dog to your home!

What Is the Difference Between Core and Non-Core Vaccinations?

Your pet’s vaccinations are a critical part of his/her preventative health care program. Rather than vaccinating every pet, every year, against every disease, we now seek to minimize the number of vaccines given – while at the same time ensuring that each pet is adequately protected against disease. This has led to the concept of assigning pet vaccinations into one of two basic groups: core and non-core. To date, these vaccinations have prevented millions of pets from unnecessary suffering and/or death.

Pet Vaccinations - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

What Are Core Vaccinations?

Core vaccines are recommended for all pets with an unknown vaccination history, as they protect against diseases that infect dogs or cats of all life stages and lifestyles. The diseases involved have high rates of infection, pose a threat to the pet’s life, and/or are a danger to human health; in general, vaccination results in relatively good protection from the disease(s). These core vaccines include:

  • Rabies for cats and dogs—a fatal viral disease that can infect most species of mammals. It is recommended for both pets due to its potential to infect humans and because it is a fatal disease for which there is no cure
  • Dogs: Canine distemper—a highly contagious, potentially fatal viral disease that can affect the respiratory and nervous systems; Leptospirosis—a bacterial disease that is contracted through contact with contaminated urine and can cause liver and kidney failure. Can also be transmitted to people; Canine parvovirus—a highly contagious, potentially fatal gastrointestinal disease; and Adenovirus (hepatitis)—a viral disease that can affect multiple organ systems including the liver and kidneys and can be fatal
  • Cats: Herpesvirus (rhinotracheitis) and calicivirus—AKA respiratory virus vaccine. Highly contagious respiratory diseases spread through secretions and are also air-borne; and Panleukopenia (feline distemper)—a highly contagious viral disease that causes gastrointestinal illness and can be fatal

From puppies and kittens to our geriatric pets, preventive medicine keeps them healthy and prolongs their lives.

What Are Non-Core Vaccinations?

Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines that should be considered in light of the exposure risk of the animal (i.e., based on geographic distribution and the pet’s lifestyle). Several of the diseases involved are often self-limiting or respond readily to treatment. Non-core vaccines include:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica for cats and dogs—AKA tracheobronchitis. A highly contagious respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi
  • Dogs: Canine parainfluenza virus—a highly contagious respiratory virus and is one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis; Canine influenza virus (CIV)—a highly contagious virus known to cause kennel cough; and Leptospira spp—a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. Without treatment, can lead to kidney damage, liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death
  • Cats: Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)—the most common cause of cancer in cats. May cause various blood disorders and may lead to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections; Feline immunodeficiency virus—a complex retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency disease; Virulent feline calicivirus (FCV)—a highly variable virus with many different manifestations, including highly virulent, fairly benign, and all points in between; and Chlamydia felis—primarily causes ocular infections and conjunctivitis

Vaccination with these vaccines is generally less effective in protecting against disease than vaccination with the core vaccines.

Modern vaccines are very safe, but they’re not 100% risk-free. Allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases, and other adverse reactions—though rare—can be caused by vaccines. Wise pet owners look for a veterinarian who will tailor their vaccine protocols to each individual patient’s needs to minimize the risk of vaccination. Wise consumers like individual vaccine protocols because avoiding unnecessary vaccination helps reduce the overall cost of preventive care. Please contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for all your pet health care needs.

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now