Routine Health Care
Our veterinarians are very experienced in performing routine wellness checks. During the examination, our veterinarians will perform a physical examination which involves listening to your pet’s heart and lungs, looking at their eyes, ears, skin and teeth as well palpating (feeling) their abdomen. This exam also involves discussing and addressing any concerns you may have regarding your pet’s weight, behaviour, diet, skin and any lumps or bumps that you may have noticed. We also encourage discussing tick prevention, parasite control and your pet’s vaccination schedule with the veterinarian at that time.
As your pet ages, their way of life will change with them. Older animals are at a greater risk of a variety of age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis and dental disease. A lot of these diseases have a slow onset, which makes them difficult to spot, but also easier to resolve if noticed and treated early. Therefore, it is even more important to bring them into the clinic for regular wellness checks so your veterinarian can examine your pet’s skin for lumps and bumps, teeth condition, heart, lungs, joints, eyes and other organ systems. During the appointment, your veterinarian can also discuss how frequently your pet should get dentals and what blood tests should be performed.
Puppy and Kitten Exams
A new puppy or kitten is an exciting addition to the family! When to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian depends on how old your puppy/kitten is and what vaccinations he or she has received prior to coming into your home. We therefore encourage you to give one of our clinics a call to discuss your puppy/kitten’s vaccination schedule and to make the appointment at that time.
During the first visit, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination and weigh your puppy/kitten. They will discuss vaccinations, microchips, diet, flea and tick prevention, deworming, desexing and, in the case of puppies, Puppy Preschool. Desexing your pet can depend on their breed and this is an important conversation to have with your veterinarian during the examination. WestVETS offers Puppy Preschool at both our clinics and these classes are great for puppy behaviour and socialisation.
We recommend routine desexing of all animals that are not part of a breeding program in order to minimise associated health and behavioural problems. Desexed animals are generally less likely to suffer from diseases and certain illnesses such as mammary cancer and urine infections in females and prostate problems in males. Desexing will commonly reduce behavioural problems such as roaming, aggression and urine marking in males and in females, it can prevent unwanted mating behaviours and false and unwanted pregnancies.
The ideal age for desexing is very dependent on the breed of your pet and therefore it is important to discuss this with your veterinarian.
Desexing is regularly classified as a routine surgery but it should not be taken lightly. Although it is performed routinely in our hospitals, it is a major surgery and requires a very high level of surgical skill and a great deal of care. Our patients are monitored during their surgery, through to recovery and beyond as your pet’s health and recovery from anaesthetic is our top priority.
Aftercare is just as important in the recovery process as the surgery itself. Our veterinarians and nurses will make sure that you are discharged with all the relevant home care information you need to achieve a problem free recovery for your pet post-surgery.
Vaccinations are a very important part of caring for your pet’s general wellbeing as they can prevent or reduce the severity of infectious diseases, which can cause serious health consequences and even death in some pets. Dogs are commonly vaccinated against Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Bordetella (Canine Cough) and cats are commonly vaccinated against Herpes, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Cat AIDS).
We use the latest vaccination protocols set out by the Australian Veterinary Association which recommends young animals receive an initial series of vaccines followed by a combination of triennial and annual boosters once they are adults. Each pet requires a different vaccination program which your veterinarian will outline and schedule for you in your pet’s first wellness check. Vaccinations are one of the most important parts of your annual routine wellness appointment.
It is very important to keep up to date with your pet’s parasite control. Common parasites are heartworms, intestinal worms, fleas and ticks.
Heartworm is carried and transmitted by mosquitos. Once an animal is bitten, the larval stage of the worm is deposited in the tissue of the animal and it then migrates through the body tissue. Adult worms mature in approximately 6 months and are found in the heart and major blood vessels. Animals can be severely affected with major vessels becoming blocked, the presence of chronic infections and also heart failure.
Gastrointestinal worms are transmitted by faecal matter and can cause serious malnutrition, weight loss in spite of increased appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and potentially death.
Fleas and ticks are a common problem in South-East Queensland and therefore we tend to focus on products that have a high efficacy on Paralysis Tick Control. Ticks can be brought to your property by wildlife and it only takes your pet to come into contact with one paralysis tick and in a matter of days your pet could be facing life-threatening tick paralysis.
The good news is that common parasites are easy to prevent with spot on treatments, tablets or injections. It is extremely important to discuss with your veterinarian the best way to control parasites in your pet as each animal has different requirements.
Pet owners should also be aware that many parasites can be zoonotic (potentially transferred from pet to human) making it even more important to ensure your pet is up to date with parasite control to protect your family.