Your Pet's Wellness at Every Age and Stage
The veterinary team at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing comprehensive and individualized medical care to your pet in order to enhance his or her well-being and quality of life. We recognize that in order to provide your pet with a long and happy life and limit the lifetime cost of care, our focus must be on preventive care.
The basis of such a plan is regular wellness examinations that include thorough screenings for a number of common diseases and ailments that could affect your pet's health. We also recommend a balanced schedule of vaccines to protect your pet from a range of dangerous, but preventable diseases. Routine dental care is part of the plan as well because good oral health goes a long way toward protecting overall systemic health. Beyond these standard elements of good preventive care, we also offer microchip identification in case your pet should become lost, nutritional and behavioral counseling, internal medicine services, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, advanced diagnostic testing capabilities, and much more.
Perhaps the most important piece of your pet's care is strong client/doctor communication. It is important that we hear from you about how your pet is doing and voice any concerns you may have in order to continuously adjust and optimize your pet's health care plan. It is also our responsibility to empower you with the information necessary to provide the best and most compassionate home-based care for your pet. We believe that our breadth and depth of medical knowledge is of little use if we do not share it with you.
Please take a look at the services offered at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital and why we believe they are important for the care of your pet. Then give us a call at (661) 327-4444 or send us an email to make an appointment or for more information.
Wellness Examinations: The Standard of Lifetime Care
Your pet's wellness examinations at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital are the same as the yearly physical you receive from your doctor. It's a chance for us to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate, and update you on advancements in veterinary care. It's also an opportunity for you to discuss any of your concerns or ask questions.
Your pet's yearly wellness examination at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital includes our commitment to:
• Examine your pet's teeth, throat, and oral cavity
• Check your pet's vision and examine the eyes
• Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction, and other related health issues
• Examine the respiratory system
• Assess your pet's heart and evaluate cardiac function
• Test your pet's reflexes
• Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
• Inspect the skin
• Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
• Test to evaluate the function of internal organs and other systems
• Assess changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, urination, and bowel habits
• Inquire as to your pet's activity level
• Palpate the skin for unusual growth developments
• Monitor your pet's blood count
• Utilize laboratory testing to detect early signs of Lyme or Heartworm disease
• Assess and evaluate general or specific changes in your pet's health since the last wellness visit
• Discuss preventive techniques with you, the pet owner
• Collect and examine fecal samples for signs of parasitic infestation
• Evaluate your pet for repetitive licking or biting in one area
• Assess your pet's hair/fur and check for matting
• Demonstrate to you, the pet owner, how to administer at-home medication
• Engage you, the pet owner, in conversation and answer your questions and concerns
Deworming and Fecal Check
Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. We recommend regular fecal checks and deworming as the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet and your family members.Regular Blood Testing
A complete physical should include blood tests. Not only can a chemistry panel and blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between regular examinations.
At home, watch for subtle changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, water intake, urination, and bowel habits, as well as general attitude and activity level. These changes may be signs of medical problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin may seem harmless but can be cancerous. Ear infections, abscessed teeth, and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become obvious until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical exam is a crucial opportunity to evaluate your pet's health status and to help you make informed decisions about the care of your special companion.
Vaccinating Your Pet
Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease. However, not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Our veterinarians tailor a vaccine protocol that is specific to your pet based on his or her lifestyle and recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association. Vaccine schedules are balanced to provide needed protection while not over-vaccinating your pet. Please contact us for more information about vaccinations and a customized protocol for your pet.
Puppies (starting at 6 – 8 weeks old)
Core: DA2PP (canine distemper, canine adenovirus (hepatitis), canine parvovirus and canine parainfluenza) every three weeks until 16 weeks old or older. A rabies shot is given after 16 weeks old.
Non-Core: Bordetella, Canine Influenza
Kittens (starting at 6 – 8 weeks old)
Core: FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper) given every three weeks until 16 weeks old
Non-Core: FELV (feline leukemia)
Core: DA2PP and rabies every three years
Non-Core: Canine Influenza, Bordetella, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Rattlesnake yearly
Core: FVRCP every three years for indoor cats
Non-Core: FELV (feline leukemia) and rabies yearly
Controlling Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere and no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Today, there's no reason for you or your pet to be bothered by these pests.
Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas transmit tapeworms, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause a painful skin infection.
The good news is that these problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products, including Frontline Gold, Seresto, Bravecto, and Nexgard, that are available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. They are what we use for our own pets.
Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease affecting dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite.
Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Early signs include lack of energy, exercise intolerance, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Because heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog is tested annually.
Heartworm disease prevention is simple and effective. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once a month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat.
Here at Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital, we carry Heartgard. If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet from this dangerous parasite, please call us today for an appointment.