Wellness and Vaccination Programs

One of the best things you can do for your pet is to keep him or her healthy. And one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do that is by bringing in your pet for regular exams and vaccinations.Dogs and cats (and other pets) age far faster than people, so significant changes in your pet’s health can happen in a short time. Wellness programs allow us to diagnose diseases and conditions early, when they’re easier to treat or manage. Often, we can help prevent diseases entirely, just by ensuring that your pet has received appropriate vaccinations and preventives.We recommend that healthy adult dogs and cats visit us once a year. Puppies, kittens, senior pets, and pets with health issues or illnesses need more frequent checkups. We’ll work with you to create an individualized wellness program, including a vaccination and prevention protocol customized specifically to your pet. Call us today to schedule your pet’s wellness exam.

Puppy Wellness

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Puppy wellness begins with expert veterinary care, provided here in our Franklin, NC practice.

The first SIX months are a critical period in your puppy’s development, and at Noah’s Ark, we can give you the support and tools necessary to help your new pup grow into a well-mannered, healthy dog, including information and advice on nutrition, training, behavior, and socialization.

Schedule your puppy for his or her first exam as soon as possible. Until your puppy has received a series of vaccines, he or she is susceptible to several serious but preventable diseases. We will make sure your new dog is protected against rabies, distemper, and parvovirus, among other diseases. Your puppy will also need to be tested and treated for parasites, which are extremely common in young dogs.

Most puppies have roundworms, which are intestinal parasites that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal signs (although pups can have “worms” without showing any symptoms). It is important for puppies to be treated for roundworms, not only to rid them of the infection but also to prevent you and the rest of your family from becoming infected. Roundworms are a zoonotic parasite, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring that your puppy is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe from these and other parasites.

Here’s a summary of what to expect when you bring your puppy to Noah’s Ark

We recommend you try to leave your new puppy with the litter until they’re 9 weeks old. There are lots of valuable things pups learn in their litter, and from a well-socialized mother – including bite inhibition. However, if for whatever reason you acquire your new pup earlier than 8-9 weeks, we’d still like to see them for routine de-worming, weight, physical exam, and to make sure they’re able to get proper nutrition.

The first SIX MONTHS of your pup’s life are critically important to raising a well socialized dog who likes other dogs, people, and can be handled and examined by a veterinarian. For more information, click here to read our article “Puppy – Socialization and Fear Prevention”.

8-9 weeks – Typically first puppy visit and first vaccine booster against distemper and parvo. At this visit we also do a fecal test to check for the presence of parasites. You’ll also get advice about nutrition, and beginning to house train your new puppy.

12- 13 weeks – Your pup’s second puppy visit is scheduled. We continue the process of protecting your pet against deadly diseases with a vaccine booster; we repeat fecal testing; monitor your pet’s weight; and address any other behavior, training or nutrition issues you may have encountered in the past few weeks.

16- 17 weeks – Your pup’s third puppy visit. We finish the process of protecting your pet with their final vaccine booster for distemper and parvo. Your pet is not fully protected against parvo virus if your pet does not receive a third booster after 16 weeks of age. We’ll repeat the fecal test if your pet has had any positive fecal tests; check your pet’s weight; and address any other behavior, training or nutrition issues you may have encountered in the past few weeks.

20 – 24 weeks – Your puppy’s fourth puppy visit. This visit your puppy will be vaccinated against rabies. If you’re planning on boarding your pet, our vets may also give a bordatella vaccine at this time. After this visit, you will receive your pet’s Pet ID card in the mail. This convenient “credit card” has all your pet’s medical information in one location. It also allows you to access your pet’s records on this website. At this visit we schedule a time to spay or neuter your puppy.

A SPECIAL WORD ABOUT PARVO VIRUS: Parvo is a very common canine disease in our community. This disease is highly contagious, frequently fatal, and it’s spread by contact with an infected dog’s feces. However, it’s a very tough virus to kill, and the virus gets spread far and wide on the feet of infected dogs, and even human’s shoes and clothes. Many, many dogs end up with parvovirus that have never been directly in contact with a sick dog. Parvovirus is a highly preventable disease, but vaccinations need to be properly handled and stored, and administered at the correct age and intervals. We have many clients come to Noah’s Ark with very sick pets that have either “given their own shots”, or believed a former owner who says “he’s had his shots”. Click here to read more about parvovirus in dogs

 

Kitten Wellness

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Kitten wellness begins with expert veterinary care, provided here in our Franklin, NC practice.

The first few months are a critical period in your kitten’s development, and we can give you the support and tools necessary to help him or her grow into a well-mannered, healthy cat, including information and advice on nutrition, litter-box training, and behavior.

Schedule your kitten for his or her first exam as soon as possible. Until your kitten has received a series of vaccines, he or she is susceptible to many serious but preventable diseases. We will make sure your new pet is protected against rabies, panleukopenia (distemper), and feline leukemia virus (FeLV). In addition, your kitten will need to be tested and treated for parasites, which are common in young cats.

Most kittens have roundworms, which are intestinal worms that can cause coughing, weight loss, and a potbellied appearance in cats (although they may not cause any symptoms). It is important for kittens to be treated for roundworms, not only to help rid them of the infection but also to prevent you and the rest of your family from becoming infected. Roundworms are a zoonotic parasite, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring that your kitten is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe.

We recommend your kitten visit us when they are 9, 12, 16, and 19 weeks old for examination and appropriate vaccination. At your last kitten visit, you will receive your pet’s Pet ID card in the mail. This convenient “credit card” has all your pet’s medical information in one location. It also allows you to access your pet’s records on this Website. We’ll also schedule an appointment for you to have your new kitten spayed or neutered. Over-population is a serious problem in Macon County. Even ONE LITTER, perpetuates the vicious cycle. There are not nearly enough homes for all the kittens and puppies born in Macon County each and every year.

To learn more about litter box training, and introducing your kitten to a new home, search this website for the articles “Kitten – Using the Litter Box”, and “Kitten – Introducing to a New Home”. Or, email your question to [email protected]

 

 

Adult Wellness

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Talk with our Franklin, NC veterinarians about keeping your adult dog or cat healthy through wellness visits, disease prevention and other services

Your pet’s annual examination is very important, and helps us detect health problems early, for the best prognosis. During your annual visit, your pet receives a full physical exam, from head to tail- including examination of the eyes, ears, teeth, heart & lungs, an orthopedic exam, an assessment of overall body condition, and parasite screening- for both intestinal parasites, heartworms, and diseases transmitted by ticks. Remember, dogs and cats age more quickly than we do, with one year of their life equaling 4 – 12 years of our life. Dr. Todd will talk to you about your pet’s lifestyle and review their vaccination history. With you he’ll decide what vaccines are appropriate. When you schedule one of our complete wellness packages, recommended vaccinations are offered at a discounted price, just $5 for rabies, and discounts on all other vaccines at the time of exam.

We may also recommend that your pet receive dental care. Taking care of teeth is just as important for your pet’s health as it is for your health.

When your pet is nearing his or her senior years, we will recommend baseline laboratory testing be performed so we’ll know what’s normal for your pet. This will enable us to monitor changes as your pet ages.

When you visit Noah’s Ark for wellness services, the most economical route is to choose one of our packages.

The Basic Package – includes full physical exam by one of our veterinarians; Idexx 4DX test – an advanced screen for heartworm disease, and three diseases transmitted by ticks; microscopic examination for intestinal parasites; and a Pet ID card.

The Comprehensive Package – includes a full physical examination by one of our veterinarians; a microscopic examination for intestinal parasites, and a comprehensive laboratory profile. This panel provides a detailed look at internal organ function. It screens for early signs of disease in any of the major organs. It indicates whether anemia, dehydration, infectious disease or inflammation is present. This panel also provides basic screening for diabetes, lipid abnormalities, thyroid and heartworm disease. This package is a great value, and early laboratory screening helps us establish what’s normal for your pet. This package also comes with a Pet ID card.

 

Senior Citizens

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As your senior dog or cat ages, our Franklin, NC veterinary team can provide special care for happy, comfortable golden years.

As dogs and cats get older, many people assume they need less care. But the exact opposite is true – they need more frequent check ups. See the table below to determine your pet’s comparable “human” age, based on their weight. Because of the conditions that can “pop up” in the senior years, we recommend a head to tail examination at least once a year, just like in your pet’s younger years. But then we also recommend a short progress exam six months later. At this exam, a Noah’s Ark doctor will check you pet’s weight, blood pressure, and monitor any physical changes since the last visit. Remember six months to a senior pet is like 2-4 years passing for us.

Diagnosing diseases and certain conditions early is important throughout a pet’s life, but it becomes even more critical when your dog or cat enters the senior years. The risk of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormone disorders, and kidney and liver problems all increase with age. In addition, dogs and cats often do not show any signs of even serious diseases until they are quite advanced.

“Senior” status varies depending on your pet’s breed and size. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs, and cats generally live longer than dogs. We can help you determine what life stage your pet is in, but the chart below provides a handy general guideline.

Before your dog or cat reaches senior status, we recommend that you bring your pet in for a baseline exam and diagnostic workup. This will give us a record of what’s normal for your pet so we can keep track of any changes. In most cases, we suggest this checkup for when your dog turns 7 years of age or your cat turns 8 years of age. Thereafter, your senior pet will benefit from more frequent veterinary exams. We can treat many symptoms that are commonly attributed to age, including those associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (similar to Alzheimer’s in humans), and incontinence. We can also improve your pet’s quality of life in many ways: by identifying and preventing or reducing pain, recommending an appropriate nutrition and exercise plan, and suggesting environmental modifications to keep your pet comfortable.

We have terrific packages for our senior patients, with deeply discounted laboratory testing. Call our office for full details.

The Senior Citizen Package – includes a full physical examination by one of our veterinarians; a microscopic examination for intestinal parasites, and a comprehensive laboratory profile. This panel provides a detailed look at internal organ function. It screens for early signs of disease in any of the major organs. It indicates whether anemia, dehydration, infectious disease or inflammation is present. This panel also provides basic screening for diabetes, lipid abnormalities, thyroid and heartworm disease. This package also comes with (for a small fee) a Pet ID card- a convenient “credit card” with your pet’s picture, and a summary of their medical information, which is very convenient for travel.