Health Care for Dogs
Dogs, dogs, dogs. We love them. Austin is a great place to have a dog and we are Austin’s dog vets. The doctors and staff of our hospital dedicate their professional lives to the health care of your dog. The hospital has a very nice boarding facility and a professional groomer. We are the guardians of your pet’s health as it travels on the long and wonderful journey from puppy to old age. We help you navigate the many twists and turns along the way.
The best thing we can do for a new pet is an examination. For puppies, this means checking for congenital defects, testing for intestinal parasites, and devoting enough time to answer all of your questions.
Your doctor will recommend the appropriate vaccinations for your dog and decide on a schedule to booster these vaccinations. Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Leptosporosis are all nasty diseases for dogs and vaccination is recommended. Rabies is 100% fatal to your dog and to you. Puppies should receive the full complement of boosters and be vaccinated again at the 1 year anniversary date of the first Rabies vaccine. If the dog is likely to be in a kennel, goes to the park, goes to shows or trials, or any place where dogs mix, they need to be vaccinated and receive regular boosters for Bordatella (kennel cough). Heartworm prevention and flea prevention is a must.
Products such at Heartguard, Advantage Multi, and Frontline we have all used on our own dogs and recommend them with confidence. We recommend all pets have a Microchip identification chip implanted. Microchips are inexpensive, simple to implant, and can prevent the loss of a beloved pet. When your dog is a puppy, this is a great time to enroll in a pet insurance plan. For about $25 to $35 a month, you can have insurance for your dog that will pay for unexpected medical expenses and literally save your pet’s life. The veterinarian will also discuss dental care, spay and neuter, housebreaking, obedience training, and make recommendations regarding observed behaviors.
We recommend that all dogs get a complete physical examination every 6 months. The doctor listens to the heart and lungs; palpates the abdomen; looks in the eyes, ears, and mouth; examines the teeth and gums; looks at the skin and hair coat; makes an assessment of the dog’s weight; and checks for lumps and bumps. These visits include a fecal examination for intestinal parasites, a heartworm test, and are a great time to stock up on heartworm and flea and tick preventatives.
The decision to vaccinate in an adult dog is based on assessment of the risk of the pet being exposed. Since vaccinations themselves are inexpensive, cost is usually not the issue. There are times when the decision is made to not vaccinate as a doctor choice, a client choice, or a medical necessity.
Dogs that are older than a few years of age are more likely to have one of the following:
- Lumps and bumps
- Dental problems
- Arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, lumbosacral spondylosis, hip dysplasia
- Chronic ear problems
- Chronic skin disease
- Glandular diseases – hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, diabetes
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Cognitive issues
- Blindness and Deafness
- Poor grooming Habits
Our pets age much faster than we do. In fact, a calendar year represents several years for your dog. In other words, your dog will actually be several years older by this time next year. It is easy to understand that something can come up or go wrong within 2 to three years. This is what we are saying when we recommend examination every 6 months. In addition, there are several very helpful tests we can use to be sure your dog lives as long as possible, and is as happy and active as possible. These tests include a complete blood count, a complete biochemical profile, a complete urinalysis, an electrocardiogram, blood pressure measurement, x-rays, and ultrasound examination. We want to make it as easy as possible to afford the kind of testing your dog really needs. We have put together the more useful screening tests and discounted the fee. Take advantage of these inexpensive General Health Profiles since they tell us a great deal more about the behind the scenes health of your dog. We have had many patients where we found something wrong and were able take simple measures to prevent or reduce the severity of the problem. We believe it would be terrific if we could do that for your dog.