*Prevention is the best medicine*
With regular preventive care, we can stop diseases before they begin or discover the first signs of an illness. Why is this so important? The earlier your pet begins a treatment, the more affordable and effective it will be. This is better for both your pet and your pocketbook. Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital offers wellness exams for Nashville area pets to help you avoid expensive or life-threatening conditions throughout your pet’s lifetime.
We know that it can be difficult to get your pet to the vet for their regular care. Our pet clinic offers evening and Saturday hours so that you don’t have to take time off work or stress about making an appointment during rush hour traffic. We want to make sure that owners have access to pet wellness care near Nashville and the middle Tennessee area.
Our goal is to help your pet live the longest, healthiest life possible. That starts with the basics: quality nutrition, adequate exercise, excellent grooming, and yes, regular veterinary check-ups. Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital's comprehensive approach to preventative wellness care includes the following areas of focus:
- Annual or bi-annual complete physical examinations,
- Vaccinations based on age and lifestyle (see list of vaccines recommended below),
- Dental and oral health assessment and treatment,
- Parasite control and prevention for fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworm (see more information below),
- Nutrition and weight management recommendations,
- Exercise and activity assessment,
- Behavioral evaluation and proactive intervention when behavioral issues arise,
- Wellness laboratory testing including regular screening for heartworm, tick borne disease, intestinal parasites and internal organ health.
Senior Pets: At Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital we love our elder pets! We also know that preventative care is even more significant for them and can have a major positive impact on their quality of life and longevity. In addition to annual or bi-annual physical examinations we also recommend regular blood and urine screening to assess for underlying diseases that often develop quietly and insidiously. This allows for earlier intervention to keep your senior pet as happy and healthy as possible.
*We consider the following ages senior:
- Small and medium breed dogs: 7 years old,
- Large and extra large breed dogs: 6 years old,
- Felines: 7 to 8 years old.
What to Expect
When you bring a pet in for a wellness exam, one of our veterinarians will be ready to check them over from nose to tail and from ear to claw. They’ll check for any signs of disease or for conditions that could lead to disease. This often includes a pet being overweight or having excessive plaque on their teeth. The veterinarian will ask questions about your pet’s lifestyle and home environment, offering advice on how to keep them active or what food to give them to keep them feeling their best. The goal is to avoid future health problems related to their lifestyle.
Vaccinating your pet helps to protect them against preventable, life-threatening disease. They also help to protect people from infections that can be passed from your pet to you.
We tailor our vaccination recommendations specifically for your pet, based on their age, overall health and lifestyle. In general, vaccinations start with puppies and kittens when they are 6 to 8 weeks of age and continue until they are four to five months of age to ensure they are fully protected during this vulnerable part of their development.
Which vaccines should my pet receive?
- Rabies – protects against Rabies. This vaccine is legally required in all dogs and cats living in Tennessee.
- DA2PP – protects against the viruses that cause Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza
- Bordetella - protects against the upper respiratory infection known as “Kennel Cough”; recommended for dogs that have regular contact with other dogs in dog parks, daycare, boarding, grooming or in the neighborhood.
- Canine Influenza - protects against two of the viral strains that cause Canine Flu, a severe upper respiratory infection that has affected dogs throughout the Nashville area in recent years. Similar recommendations to Bordetella.
- Leptospirosis - protects against this water borne, wildlife transmitted bacterial infection that is found throughout Tennessee; recommended for dogs having regular outdoor exposure in areas frequented by wildlife. Affects squirrels, opossum, raccoons, etc.
- FVRCP – protects against the viruses that cause Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia.
- Feline Leukemia Virus - protects against this cat virus that is transmitted from cat to cat through close contact, mutual grooming or fighting; recommended for cats that live an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.
Parasite Prevention and Control
Flea, tick, heartworm, and other parasite prevention is a year-round job and necessary for keeping your pet safe and healthy. Many parasites cause serious illness or even death if left untreated. Some pet owners are not even aware when their pet is infected, which is why prevention is so important.
It seems that every creature must derive its sustenance from some other creature -- but you don't want that host to be your pet. Parasites can do severe harm to your beloved companion, possibly even causing death. That 's why Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital makes a point of providing pet parasite prevention in Nashville, TN.
The Need for External and Internal Parasite Prevention
The more you learn about the many threats presented by common parasitic invaders, the more obvious the need for external and internal parasite prevention becomes. Here are some unwelcome guests that your vet in Nashville commonly sees:
- Fleas - Fleas may look tiny, but they can make a huge impact on your pet's health and comfort. These pests are notorious for causing dermatitis, compelling the scratching and biting that leads to skin infection. They also transmit tapeworms, cat scratch disease, haemobartonellosis and plague.
- Ticks - Ticks attach themselves to the skin, creating irritation while also transmitting diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and anaplasmosis.
- Mites - Different types of mites afflict different areas of your pet's body. Ear mites are responsible for ear canal irritation and infection, while sarcoptic and demodectic mange mites cause hair loss and skin problems.
- Heartworms - Heartworms are long, spaghetti-shaped worms that develop from mosquito-introduced larvae. These worms migrate to the heart and lungs, where they cause serious cardiopulmonary damage.
- Ringworms - Actually, "ringworms" aren't worms at all. This fungal disease attacks your pet's hair, skin, and nails. Pets can also carry the fungi without displaying symptoms.
- Hookworms - Hookworms are intestinal parasites that cause digestive problems and blood loss, especially in younger animals.
- Roundworms - Roundworms invade the intestines and steal the nutrients your pet urgently needs. They can also move to the lungs, where they cause respiratory diseases.
- Tapeworms - Tapeworms are segmented worms that grow many feet in length. They inhabit the intestines, living off of incoming nutrients and causing malnutrition. Tapeworm segments, which contain eggs, may appear around your pet's anus, a sure sign of infestation.
Your Veterinarian in Nashville, TN Can Rid Your Pet of Parasites
Trust our skilled veterinary team to help your pet enjoy a life free of parasites. Your veterinarian in Nashville, TN routinely performs de-worming treatments on puppies and kittens to make sure their lives get off to a healthy start. We then continue to provide necessary protection in the form of preventative oral medications, topical treatments and/or flea collars. (Your pet may require more than one type of parasite prevention method.) Some flea and tick medications also protect against heartworms, hookworms, and other internal parasites. Your vet in Nashville can also provide tips for reducing parasite exposure to pets and humans in your home.