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STEP-BY-STEP
SENIOR WELLNESS CARE

Necessary Veterinary Procedures and Preventative Medications for

Canines 8 Years & Older

General, veterinarian led senior wellness care, vaccinations, and preventative medications are very important for older dogs. Vaccination boosters protect against many viral and bacterial infections that are highly contagious and thrive in our area. We will provide vaccination education and also discuss your dog's vaccination needs.  We partner with our clients to customize a care plan that meets the specific needs of senior pets to ensure health and wellness as your pet ages.  Prescription preventative medications for fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal worm protection are needed to prevent disease and infestation.

YOUR SENIOR DOG SHOULD BE SCHEDULED FOR THE FOLLOWING EACH YEAR:

IT IS NOW TIME TO SWITCH YOUR DOG TO A SENIOR FOOD.
Carter Vet Clinic Douglas GA Canine Senior Care

SENIOR BLOODWORK

Wellness testing is a simple and effective way of monitoring your older dog's health.  Early detection and correction of medical problems help to ensure that your pet will be healthy and active for as long as possible.  It is generally recommended to begin annual bloodwork testing at 8 years old to establish a baseline moving forward.  Testing frequency may be changed to every 6 months based on your pets overall condition as your pet continues to age.  You may combine senior bloodwork with your annual vaccination visit or the mid-year checkup or at any time convenient for you throughout the year.

What Tests are Performed in Senior Bloodwork?

ANNUAL VACCINATION VISIT
&
HEARTWORM DISEASE TESTING

 This very important annual visit is needed each year of your pet's life.

Adult dogs require booster vaccinations annually to maintain resistance to highly contagious, life threatening diseases. At this visit, we will vaccinate using high-quality, veterinary medical grade vaccinations for Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Leptospira canicloa, Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, Leptospira grippotyphosa, Leptospira pomona, Bordetella (Kennel Cough), and Rabies. Did you know that all owned dogs are required by Georgia Law to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian using approved vaccines in accordance with the national Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control?  This is why our annual wellness visit is so important. We will issue a rabies certificate for your records and also assign a rabies tag to be worn on your pet's collar.  In addition to vaccinations, we will also perform a blood heartworm test to determine if your pet is suffering from the presence of heartworm disease.  If your pet tests negative for heartworm disease, we will provide 12 month prescription for the heartworm preventative of your choice.  Your pet needs to remain on heartworm preventative for life.  If your pet tests positive for heartworm disease, we will discuss treatment options and more so you can make the best decision for your pet moving forward.  We maintain a fully stocked, in-house pharmacy as well as an online pharmacy with great pricing and rebates on both prescription heartworm medications and prescription flea and tick products.  Please ask for more information regarding your medication options at your vaccination visit.  We will also perform fecal testing at this visit to ensure no gastrointestinal parasites are present.  Additionally, as part of our Nose-to-Tail Wellness exam, we will provide nutritional counseling and recommendations for your senior dog.

What can I expect at the Annual Vaccination and Heartworm Testing Visit?

Why do I need to switch to a Senior Food?

Aging dogs are not as active as adults in their prime.  Senior foods provide higher levels of protein than adult dog food to help maintain lean muscle mass.  Senior foods also have lower fat contents per serving to help maintain a healthy weight as weight gain is common in less active, older dogs. Higher levels of omega fatty acids and glucosamine are also added to senior diets to help support mobility and joint health.  Please speak with Dr. Carter about high quality senior diet suggestions for your dog.

Will you help Me Remember When My Pet is Due?

Of course we will.  Veterinary health is our priority.  We will send out vaccination reminders via text, email, or standard mail, depending on your preferences.  Carter Veterinary Clinic also has an APP available in the App Store for you to easily keep up with your pet's due dates for future visits as well as medical records, and more.  Speak with our staff for additional details at your next visit.

VETERINARIAN
NOSE-TO-TAIL EXAMINATION WHILE ALSO ADDRESSING ANY HEALTH ISSUES. DOGS BEGIN SENIOR FOOD AT 8 YEARS OLD

VACCINATIONS ADMINISTERED:
DA2L4PP
RABIES
BORDETELLA
&
12 MONTH
Rx FLEA/TICK PREVENTATIVE RENEWAL

HEARTWORM BLOOD TEST
&

12 MONTH
Rx HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE
IF THE HEARTWORM
TEST IS NEGATIVE

FECAL TEST FOR INTESTINAL WORMS AND OTHER INTESTINAL PARASITES

Rx DEWORMER OR OTHER TREATMENT IF POSITIVE

DENTAL EVALUATION AND SCHEDULING FOR ANNUAL ROUTINE TEETH CLEANING

What are the DA2L4PP, Bordetella, and Rabies Vaccinations?

  • DISTEMPER: This disease is a paramyxovirus, which is similar to human measles.  It can cause fever, poor appetite, pneumonia, and can continue on to cause neurologic symptoms that can become permanent and cause death. It is transmitted mainly through saliva but can be potentially transmitted through any secretion. Only supportive care can be provided through your veterinarian.

  • ADENOVIRUS TYPE 2: Infectious canine hepatitis is caused by an adenovirus.  It primarily causes liver failure but can also affect the eyes and kidneys.  The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, changes in the cornea of the eye, and even death.  It is transmitted by bodily fluids, especially nasal discharge and urine.  Only supportive care can be provided through your veterinarian.

  • PARAINFLUENZA: Dog flu is similar to the human flu and has similar symptoms.  Dogs with the flu may sneeze, cough, have a runny nose, a low appetite, and a high fever.  Life threatening pneumonia may develop.

  • PARVOVIRUS: Parvo is a dangerous disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract of puppies.  The virus is usually transmitted through infected feces, but anything can be contaminated, even the dirt from the bottom of your shoe.  It is a stubborn, highly contagious virus that can live on surfaces for months and up to a year outdoors.  We are able to provide hospitalization services and medical treatments as well as IV fluid administration and supportive care to combat dehydration as the virus runs its course.  Parvo is often a fatal disease unless immediate action is taken at the first outward sign of illness and symptoms.

  • LEPTOSPIRA CANICLOA & LEPTOSPIRA ICTEROHAEMORRHAGIAE, LEPTOSPIRA GRIPPOTYPHOSA & LEPTOSPIRA POMONA: This disease can be transmitted to humans and a small amount of other animals.  It is an infection of bacterial spirochetes.  Dogs acquire this when subspecies of the Leptospira interrogates penetrate the skin and spread through the body by way of the bloodstream.  If untreated, the disease can be fatal. 

  • BORDETELLA BRONCHISEPTICA (KENNEL COUGH): This highly contagious disease causes inflammation of your dog's upper respiratory system.  This inflammation leads to coughing and illness and can expose your dog to secondary infections. It is usually spread in areas where large numbers of dogs are confined or congregate, as in boarding kennels, dog parks, and other such places.  Kennel cough is generally not fatal in puppies, however, the disease can lead to fatal bronchopneumonia in puppies and chronic bronchitis in senior or immunocompromised dogs.

  • RABIES: This is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected animal. Less commonly, rabies can be transmitted when saliva from a rabid animal comes into contact with an open cut on the skin or the eyes, nose, or mouth of a person or animal. Once the outward signs of the disease appear, rabies is nearly always fatal.  There is no treatment and 59,000 human lives are lost annually due to this disease that can be prevented through timely vaccination.

What are Heartworms and Why Does My Dog Need Testing?

PRESCRIPTION HEARTWORM
PREVENTATIVE MEDICATION

LIFELONG PREVENTION BEGINS AT 12 WEEKS OLD 

All it takes is ONE infected bite

Carter Veterinary Clinic has an in-house, fully stocked pharmacy with our favorite, dependable heartworm preventatives available for immediate purchase.  Heartworm medications are by prescription only and are not sold over-the-counter.  Speak with us today about your pet's specific needs and get started on preventing your pup from this deadly disease today.  

If your puppy is over 6 months old and hasn't been started on Rx heartworm medication, please contact us to schedule testing and examination so preventative treatments can begin.

Heartworms are a preventable, but serious and potentially fatal disease that can only be transmitted by mosquitos. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, young heart worms called microfilariae enter into that mosquito's system.  Within two weeks, the microfilariae develop into infective larvae inside the mosquito which can be transmitted to another animal when the mosquito takes it's next blood meal.

HOW DO HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVES WORK?

Heartworm preventative medications kill immature heartworm larvae and prevent them from reaching adulthood. If owners routinely skip doses or choose not to place their pet on Rx heartworm preventative medications, immature heart worms will reach adulthood.  Puppies begin preventative medications at 12 weeks of age and prior to any present heartworm larvae reaching adulthood.  

 

RX PREVENTATIVE MEDICATIONS
KILL IMMATURE HEARTWORM LARVAE.  
THEY DO NOT KILL
ESTABLISHED ADULT HEARTWORMS.  
AN ADULT HEARTWORM'S LIFESPAN IS 5-7 YEARS

Once your pet has an established, adult heartworm infection, the only way to treat this disease is through costly heartworm treatment, which slowly kills off adult heartworms.  Adult heartworms can reach lengths of 14 inches and damage the blood vessels, and reduce the heart's pumping ability, resulting in severe lung and heart disease, which can be fatal.  Catching this disease early is extremely important in preserving the life of your pet.

PRESCRIPTION FLEA CONTROL

AVAILABLE FOR PUPPIES OVER 8 WEEKS OLD

Prescription flea control available at Carter Vet Clinic Douglas GA

SPEAK WITH US TODAY ABOUT PRESCRIPTION FLEA CONTROL OPTIONS FOR YOUR PET

 Dr. Carter can assist you with finding the best, long-lasting, veterinary prescription flea control for your puppy that meets your individual needs.  Choosing the right product can be done with confidence and doesn't have to be a stressful experience with the right guidance.  Always administer flea prevention to your pets year-round to fully protect them from parasites.  Even if your pet doesn't spend a significant amount of time outdoors, they are still at risk for acquiring fleas.  Humans can also unknowingly carry fleas inside the house either on their clothing or shoes.  It's easy for fleas to attack and feed on your pet as well as yourself.

Veterinary clinical quality flea control medications are only available by prescription from a veterinarian and are not available for over-the-counter sales without a prescription.  They protect dogs by killing any fleas that latch onto their skin.  Once on your pet, these blood-thirsty, disease transmitting parasites feed on your pet's blood and can cause anemia.  In severe cases, flea anemia can require blood transfusions and can be fatal.  Fleas are also the host for tapeworms.  If your pet eats a flea infected with tapeworms, your pet can then acquire tapeworms.  These intestinal parasites cause itchiness around the anus, weight loss, decreased appetite, failure for growth in younger pets, diarrhea, fatigue, and more.

SENIOR PETS NEED

ANNUAL DENTAL CLEANINGS

Black Dog
Senior pets need routine Dental Care at Carter Vet Clinic Douglas GA

Annual Canine Dental Care

Did you know that adult dogs need routine dental care just like their people?  The most common dental issue in dogs is periodontal disease, which is a term used to describe infection and associated inflammation of the periodontium, which are the tissues surrounding the teeth.  

Periodontal diseases begin with gingivitis, and if left untreated, the infection often spreads deeper into the tooth socket, destroying the bone and causing lots of pain.  

How common is periodontal disease, you might ask?  It has been estimated that more than two-thirds of dogs over three years of age suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, making it THE most common disease affecting canine companions.

At your annual vaccination visit as well as your mid-year health examination, Dr, Carter will take a look at your pet's teeth and mouth.  Canine seniors require annual dental cleanings to maintain oral health and wellness

PLEASE CONSIDER PET INSURANCE

FOR YOUR SENIOR DOG

Pumpkin Pet Insurance at Carter Vet Clinic

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED
PET INSURANCE?

How does this sound?

  • 90% cash back on all covered vet bills

  • Super-extensive accident and illness coverage

  • Best-in-Show service & pet-obsessed care team

  • Insurance designed by Veterinarians for Veterinary patients for the ultimate in coverage when they are sick, when they are hurt, and when they are healthy.

SIGN UP AND MAKE VETERINARY CARE MORE AFFORDABLE TODAY!

MID-YEAR HEALTH & WELLNESS VISIT 

 This important visit should be made 6 MONTHS after your pet's annual vaccination and heartworm disease testing visit.  If you didn't receive annual bloodwork at your annual vaccination visit, now is a great time to schedule this necessary procedure for senior dogs.

How Can Mid-Year Health & Wellness Visits Benefit Your Pet?

Dogs age quickly and have much faster metabolisms that we do. They are also masters at concealing symptoms of injury and illness, which makes it difficult for you to know when something is wrong. Scheduling the Mid-Year Health and Wellness Visit allows Dr. Carter and his team to catch unusual changes that are not noticeable to pet owners and investigate further to see if there is an issue that needs medical attention.  Without early detection, underlying health conditions can progress and become harder and more expensive to treat.  We will also weigh your pet and confirm your current flea and heartworm preventative medications are the accurate dosage for the next 6 months until the next annual vaccination and heartworm testing visit.  Additionally, we will perform a fecal test to ensure no gastroentestinal parasite issues.  Heartworm medications do deworm pets for general intestinal worms.  However, there are certain resistant strains of hookworms and roundworms emerging that we are on high alert for that require a different medication than the intestinal dewormers found in heartworm medications.  If your pet did not receive annual bloodwork testing at the annual health and wellness vaccination visit, now is a great time to have this necessary procedure for your senior dog.

SPAY OR NEUTER

SPAYING & NEUTERING

THE RECOMMENDED AGE IS 6 MONTHS OLD

FOR NON-BREEDING MALES AND FEMALES. 

 

THIS SURGERY CAN BE PERFORMED AT ANY AGE GREATER THAN 6 MONTHS

Spaying and neutering has benefits beyond unwanted reproduction.  In females, if spayed before the first heat cycle, the occurrence of future breast cancer cases is reduced by 90%.  In males, you completely reduce concerns of testicular cancer, testicular torsion, and the unwanted behavioral concerns that plague 

in-tact males, such as constant urinating to mark territory, roaming, and aggression.  It has been proven by numerous studies that spayed or neutered pets live longer, healthier lives.  That's a WIN for everyone!

PLEASE MAKE YOUR SPAY OR NEUTER SURGERY APPOINTMENT

3-4 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

DUE TO THE NUMBER OF BOOKINGS ALREADY ON OUR SURGERY SCHEDULE

Surgical Scissors
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