Wellness care is a positive approach to dog and cat health that considers everything from vaccines to your family’s lifestyle. Our basic wellness protocol is tailored to each individual animal but, in most pets, wellness care includes the following:
As a year in a pet’s life is equal to 6 or 7 human years, wellness means a more consistent approach to prevention than a simple annual check-up. For all pets, we recommend wellness exams every 6 months, comparable to a doctor visit every 3 years for you.
This timetable is important to detect developing problems early when they are most treatable and to spread out the basic veterinary care, dental exams and cleanings, blood work, diagnostic testing, and vaccines over the course of a year — less trauma to pets and to your pocketbook.
All canines receive an annual DHPP vaccine (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, and parvovirus), bronchitis vaccine, heartworm test, and fecal test. The fecal test is sent out to a lab and checked for Giardia, in addition to all other intestinal parasites.
Palmetto Animal Hospital recommends yearly blood work, and when owners have this blood work completed, they receive a free heartworm test. All dogs receive reminders for examinations every 6 months, and senior dogs receive exams and blood work every 6 months for disease prevention and early detection of age-related diseases. See our Senior Pet Care page for more information about caring for your mature pet. If you have a new puppy, visit our Puppies and Kittens page for a great start.
Dogs weighing 30 lbs. or more will also receive a leptospirosis vaccine with the DHPP. Rabies vaccines are required by law and are given in 3-year shots after the initial 1-year rabies vaccine.
All felines that are strictly indoors, with no exposure to outdoor cats, are given annual FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia) and fecal checks that go to the lab. Rabies vaccines are required by law and are given in 3-year shots after the initial 1-year rabies vaccine.
Blood work is needed every year, and with the completion of feline blood work, your cat receives a free CITE test for FeLV/FIV (feline leukemia and feline AIDS). A CITE test is a blood screening performed in our lab to determine if your pet has feline AIDS or feline leukemia. Your pet will receive two of these tests: one at 6 weeks and one at 6 months (conformation test). You may have the conformation test done at the time of a neuter or spay. Because the initial test may not be positive due to latency of the virus, we require the conformation test as a “recheck” to be positive that your pet is not infected.
Felines that are outdoors, or exposed outdoor pets, will receive annual FVRCP, fecal test, FeLV (feline leukemia), and FIV (feline AIDS) vaccines. Rabies is the same as above and so is the recommendation for blood work. We do recommend CITE testing every 2 years.
All cats receive reminders for exams every 6 months due to their rapid aging process. Visit our Puppies and Kittens page if you have a new kitten and our Senior Pet Care page for more information about caring for your mature pet.
Alongside a physical examination, our veterinarians will discuss appropriate parasite prevention for your cat or dog. It's extremely important that pets receive year-round protection against heartworms, intestinal parasites, ticks, and fleas, for the benefit of their long-term health and for protection against serious diseases.
We will help keep your pet safe from parasites by recommending regular testing, including labwork and fecal tests, and the appropriate medication (topical, oral, or injectable). Your pet may need multiple products to be fully protected against all types of parasites, but don't worry - our medical team will walk you through each and every one to ensure it's right for your pet's species, age, and behaviors.