Pet Wellness Clinic: Regular Visits, Vaccinations & Owner Education

Shore Drive/Great Neck VA Area: Pet Wellness

Wellness exams at Great Neck Veterinary Clinic serve two important purposes: first, they help us gain a comprehensive understanding of your pet’s health; and second, they give us better chances of identifying diseases or other health problems in their early stages. Progressive and deadly diseases are just one of the reasons why we recommend two wellness exams a year. If left unchecked, many of these diseases can quickly become more difficult—and more expensive—to treat.

Your pet’s protection from lethal and contagious diseases has evolved from “vaccinate for everything every year” to an intricate system that has continued to develop as research is conducted and while technology advances. Guidelines keep shifting to individualize the standards of how we care for our pets.

Great Neck Veterinary Clinic customizes every pet’s vaccination program in accordance to his or her needs. Aspects like age, exposure, environment, current health, breed, lifestyle, and travel habits are all taken into consideration. Our vets selectively choose which vaccinations to administer on an as-needed basis and do so as infrequently as safely possible. We regularly update our protocols by using information supplied by noted specialty boards. We continue to rely on organizations such as the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), and the American Association of Feline Practitioners to help us better care for your pets.

Why visit twice a year?

Semi-annual exams allow us more time and opportunities to keep you informed of the most recent protocols and medical advances in animal medicine. Furthermore, visiting us twice a year means we can make adjustments to your pet’s health plan according to the results of each exam.

  • Dogs and cats mature at an accelerated rate compared to the human aging process. For every one of our calendar years, they age seven!
  • Adolescents grow even more rapidly, launching a 1-year old dog into his or her teen years and a 1-year old cat into his or her mid-20s. So a six-month visit for a dog is like seeing your physician every 3.5 years.
  • Regular veterinary care is important in every stage of an animal’s life.
  • With every visit, you will learn more about dental care, nutrition, behavior, parasite control, and disease prevention.

What to Expect During Each Visit

During each exam, we will ask questions to help us with a disease assessment and lifestyle indicators. Using the information you provide us, we will create a vaccine protocol unique to your animal.

Each annual visit will consist of:

  • Hands-on physical examination by the veterinarian
  • Vaccines personalized for your pet
  • Heartworm test and tick-borne illness tests
  • Fecal parasite evaluation test

Each semi-annual visit consists of:

  • Hands-on physical examination by the veterinarian
  • Fecal parasite evaluation test
  • Bordetella vaccine, if necessary
  • Depending on the age of your pet, junior or senior blood work
  • Other lab tests based on your pet’s needs

Why We Recommend Blood Work

Studies indicate that 10% of pets are living with some underlying disease or abnormality that is unknowingly being left untreated. These pets appear normal when a physical exam is conducted but without blood tests, other illnesses will go undetected.  Decreasing the time that passes between visits and consistently conducting blood work will give us a better opportunity for early problem detection and intervention

The following are diseases and disorders that require blood tests for detection:

  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Thyroid, liver, and kidney disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Neoplasia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac disease

Depending on the current health and needs of your pet, we may request to perform the following tests for wellness:

  • Junior wellness profile—These tests will be performed at the semi-annual visit for pets ages 1–7. They will be checking for comprehensive liver and kidney values plus pancreatic functionality, red and white blood cell counts and clotting factors, and many other key indicators.
  • Senior wellness profile—Pets ages 8 and over need more extensive testing at their semi-annual visits. When your senior pet is tested, we will conduct a urinalysis and thyroid evaluation screen. We may also include a cardiac proBNP, which aids in identifying cardiac disease, in addition to many other key indicators in our senior wellness panel.
  • Pre-surgical blood work—Performed any time your pet undergoes a surgical procedure; checks for basic liver and kidney functions as well as hydration.

Veterinary Nutrition & Proper Diet for Optimal Wellness

Like humans, pets need proper nutrition too! Great Neck Veterinary Clinic believes nutrition is an important component of your pet’s wellness plan. Like everything else, we base our nutritional recommendations on your pet’s age, weight, activity levels, and any current medical conditions. Pay close attention to your pet’s eating and drinking habits and weight fluctuations, because those could be critical to the early detection of diseases or disorders. We encourage you to report any drastic changes to your veterinarian right away.

Great Neck Veterinary Clinic has both prescription and non-prescription diets in stock, and if we do not carry the special diet your pet needs, we will order it for you. Examples of the canine and feline diets and supplements we carry include:

  • Royal Canine Prescription diets
  • Hills Prescription diets
  • Purina Prescription diets
  • Dental Clinic chews and diets
  • Joint supplements
  • Probiotics
  • Skin, hair, and coat supplements

When you bring your pet in for his or her exam, our staff and veterinarians will evaluate the current diet and supply you with further guidance on the many different aspects of nutrition:

  • Life stage diets—From a 6-week-old puppy exploring his new home to a Siamese cat in her golden years, your pets have different nutritional needs for every stage of their lives. Nutrition is an important factor in the long and healthy life of your pet.
  • Nutritional counseling and education—After evaluating your pet’s current diet, we’ll be happy to counsel you in the best ways to balance it to meet your pet’s needs. Did you know? You can prevent your pet from contracting certain diseases by feeding a balanced diet!
  • Special-needs diets—Certain types of diets can assist in the maintenance of your pet’s current diseases or affliction, including urinary tract disease, joint disease, gastrointestinal disease, dental disease, liver disease, sensitive stomach, and allergies.
  • Weight management—Every pet needs to maintain a different weights in order to live longer, healthier lives. Our vets want to teach you how to manage your pet’s correct weight while also providing the nutrients he or she needs.