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Connecticut Vet Preventative Care

Companion Animal Preventative Care

Our doctors perform a complete examination at least once a year as well as any time a pet is brought in with a problem. Unlike people, animals cannot tell us if anything has changed, making information from the owners and the physical exam even more important in identifying problems. Throughout their lives, animals "age" faster than people, so that the physical changes that may take 4-5 years in a person to become apparent may occur within 1-2 years in a dog or cat. Frequently, even if the client says the animal is doing well, the veterinary staff may notice subtle changes that can easily be overlooked by people who see the animal daily.

We often find low-grade skin and ear problems, developing heart disease, dental disease and evidence of arthritis in routine exams. All of these problems are best addressed early in the course of disease, rather than waiting until the pet's comfort is compromised.  Doing a thorough examination even when there are no obvious problems allows us to determine whether a problem that surfaces later is indeed new, or the progression of an older condition. In addition regular exams allow us to chart the course of disease, and determine whether it is progressive or static.

A normal exam includes the following:

  • Listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal heart rhythms, murmurs or abnormal lung noises
  • Palpating the abdomen to assess the size and shape of the internal organs and check for masses
  • Palpating the lymph nodes: enlarged lymph nodes can indicate infection or some types of cancers
  • Examining the ears with an otoscope to assess the ear drum and identify inflammation and debris
  • Examining the eyes to look at the eyelids, cornea (front), lens (middle), and retina (back of the eye)
  • Examining the oral cavity to assess periodontal disease such as gingivitis and tartar
  • Examining the haircoat for texture, evidence of skin infection, fleas, and/or ticks
  • The joints may all be manipulated to determine the source of lameness or to identify arthritic joints
  • The temperature will be taken rectally.  A rectal exam may be done to assess the anal glands, look for signs of constipation or obtain a sample of feces. 

    Puppy & Kitten Exams:
    You may notice that puppies and kittens get exams every time they come in for shots. This is similar to the way that human infants are examined frequently during their first 2 years of life, in order to make sure that development is progressing normally, and to catch any problems such as infections before they become serious.  We typically start the vaccination series and deworming between 6-8 weeks and the schedule can vary depending on your animal’s specific risk of diseases.

Canine Vaccinations:
DAP- Disptemper, Adeno & Parvo (Viruses) Rabies Virus
Leptospirosis (Bacteria)      
Lyme Disease (Bacteria)
Bordetella/Kennel Cough (Bacteria)
Influenza Virus

Feline Vaccinations:
Rabies Virus
HCP- Herpes, Calici, Panleukopenia (Viruses)
FeLv- Feline Leukemia Virus