Veterinarians:
Dr. Wendi Waid
Dr. Becky Stanton
Dr. Donald Consla
Conneaut Lake Veterinary Hospital
14405 Conneaut Lake Road
Meadville, PA 16335
Phone: 814.382.5446

Wellness

The doctors here at Conneaut Lake Veterinary Hospital recommend an annual visit for all dogs and cats 6 weeks to 6 years of age. At these visits, the doctor will recommend vaccines as well as provide other services to keep your pet healthy. For our senior or geriatric patients, an examination every 6 months is recommended because they can be prone to serious health problems such as kidney and heart disease. 2006_0110CLVET30138.jpg

what is a wellness exam?

A wellness exam is a physical examination in which one of our veterinarians will thoroughly examine your cat or dog. First,  our veterinarian will ask you of any health problems you may be concerned about.  They will discuss diet and appetite. In addition, they will ask you about your pets bowel movements and urination. They will examine your pet’s eyes to check for any signs of disease or aging changes. Furthermore, they will look into your pet’s ears to differentiate between normal wax (if any) and infection. They will verify that there are no fleas or ticks on your pet, along with watching for other skin problems. Likewise, they gently message to confirm that there are no new masses as well as checking for any tenderness that could signify a problem in the body. Next our veterinarian will auscultate the heart and lungs.  Next they will check for any signs of dehydration and will confirm they have normal neurological function. Also, the mouth will be examined for any tartar, gingivitis, or underlying dental disease that could pose as a health risk. Finally, your pet’s body condition will be scored to determine if your pet is at a healthy weight. Any concerns they have about your pet’s health will be discussed with you in detail.

Vaccinations

There are many vaccines available. Some vaccinations are recommended for all dogs and cats, while other vaccines are based on your pet’s lifestyle. Below is a list of the vaccinations and an explanation of the disease it protects against. Likewise, it will list the frequency of the boosters for the vaccine.

Dogs

Canine vaccinations given at Conneaut Lake Veterinary Hospital follow the AAHA guidelines. All dogs in this area should be vaccinated against the following:

  • Lepto or LeptospirosisOpen or Close
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      • Shed through the urine, contact with fresh urine from infected carrier animals (raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels and rats)
      • Infection occurs when dogs drink or wade through contaminated water.
      • Signs: Fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or lethargy. Noticing the signs early is KEY!
      • Puppies and young dogs are most commonly affected
      • Bi-annual or annual vaccinations are given based on exposure. Vaccinations start at 12 weeks and are boostered every 3  weeks until they are 16 weeks of age.
  • ParvovirusOpen or Close
      • Highly contagious and severe virus attacking the gastrointestinal tract and immune system
      • Virus is shed through fecal material and can survive in its environment for months up to years.
      • Signs: severe depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, profuse (and sometimes bloody) diarrhea, abdominal distention (pot belly appearance)
  • HepatitsOpen or Close
      • Virus spread by urine, feces, and other secretions from infected animals.
      • Primarily effects liver function
      • Signs: lethargy, anorexia, fever, bloody diarrhea, painful movement, clouding of cornea (blue eye)
  • DistemperOpen or Close
      • Virus affecting the nervous system. Nearly ALL dogs will be exposed to this virus in their lifetime. Convulsions may occur in final stages.
      • Signs: fever, anorexia, listlessness, dry cough, water discharge from eyes becoming thick yellow, diarrhea. Later stage signs include: head shaking, chewing movements, seizures, confusion- showing brain involvement.
  • RabiesOpen or Close
      • Fatal viral disease of all mammals.
      • Infected wildlife and unvaccinated animals are the source, spread through saliva.
      • In Pennsylvania, all dogs and non feral cats greater than 3 months of age are required to be vaccinated.
      • Signs: foaming out the mouth, seizures,abnormal behavior, circling,aggressive behavior, lethargy, and death
      • Vaccination frequency: 1st vaccine given as early as 12 weeks, then boostered 1 year later. Some rabies vaccinations are labeled as annually, others as every 3 years.

Our duramune max vaccine provides protection against Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus and lepto. This vaccine in puppies is administered starting at 6-8 weeks with boosters every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age.

Vaccines based on the lifetstyle of your dog include:

  • LymeOpen or Close
      • Bacterial disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted by ticks.
      • Threat of lyme disease found in 48 states- increase exposure to ticks, increases the threat of lyme disease.
      • Can be difficult to diagnose because of long incubation period and the vague symptoms
      • Signs: lameness, anorexia, depression, inflammation leading to vital organ dysfunction, fever, stiffness, joint pain/swelling.
      • Vaccination frequency: Series of 2 vaccinations (2-3 weeks apart) starting as early as 12 weeks, then booster annually
  • Kennel Cough a.k.a infectious Tracheobronchitis, parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2, Bordetella bronchisepticaOpen or Close
      • Several types of bacteria and viruses known to cause infection and inflammation of the large airways of the lungs.
      • Dogs exposed to high traffic situations (aka day care, groomers, boarding facilities, bark parks) are at risk
      • Signs: harsh, dry, hacking cough, lethargy, decreased appetite. Can progress to pneumonia in some pets
      • Vaccination frequency: depending on your veterinarian, a series of 1-2 vaccinations (booster 3-4 weeks apart) to build immunity, then either bi-annually or annually depending on exposure.
  • Canine InfluenzaOpen or Close
      • Quickly spreading disease caused by a “flu” virus, causing respiratory infection.
      • Spreads through direct contact between dogs (licking, nosing, etc), through the air (sneezing, coughing) and contaminated surfaces (shared toy, bed etc).
      • Signs: lasting cough, low-grade fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, loss of appetite.
      • Vaccination frequency: initial vaccination requires 2 doses (3-4 weeks apart) then annual vaccination.
Cats

Our hospital follows the AAFP guidelines for vaccination of our feline patients. Vaccines for all cats include:

  • RabiesOpen or Close
      • Fatal viral disease of all mammals.
      • Infected wildlife and unvaccinated animals are the source, spread through saliva.
      • In Pennsylvania, all dogs and non-feral cats greater than 3 months of age are required to be vaccinated.
      • Signs: foaming out the mouth, seizures, abnormal behavior, circling, aggressive behavior, lethargy, and death
      • Vaccination frequency: 1st vaccine given as early as 12 weeks, then boostered 1 year later. Some rabies vaccinations are labeled as annually, others as every 3 years
  • PanleukopeniaOpen or Close
      • Sometimes known as feline distemper, this is a widespread, often fatal disease.
      • Most cats will be exposed to panleukopenia in their lifetime
      • Signs: fever, depression, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Calcivirus or FCVOpen or Close
      • Virus that affects the upper respiratory system. Cats infected can be lifelong carriers with clinical signs.
      • Signs: moderate fever, ulcers, blisters on the tongue.
  • Feline Herpes Virus FHVOpen or Close
      • Most common upper respiratory virus in cats. Can cause lifelong infection
      • Signs: moderate fever, appetite loss, sneezing, tearing, discharge from eyes and nose, mouth breathing, coughing.
  • ChlamydiaOpen or Close
      • Relatively mild upper respiratory infection affecting the mucous in the membranes of the eyes.
      • Signs: tearing, occasional sneezing, nasal discharge.

Cats are vaccinated for Panleukopenia, Calcivirus, Feline Herpes virus, and Chlamydia using our combination vaccine which is administered as early as 6 weeks and given every 3-4 weeks until 16-20 weeks of age.

Vaccinations Based on Lifestyle of Cats:

  • Feline Immunodeficiency virus FIVOpen or Close
      • FIV causes immune suppression in cats. Cat can maintain health for several years before its immune system becomes too weak to fight off other diseases.
      • There is no cure
      • If vaccinated, cat may test + for FIV due to antibodies
      • Signs: chronic susceptibility to infections, immune system suppression
      • Frequency of vaccination: Kittens 8 weeks or older should receive a series of 3 vaccinations (3-4 weeks apart) then annual depending on lifestyle.
      • NOTE: with this vaccine, pet must be microchipped!
  • Feline Leukemia virus FeLVOpen or Close
      • Viral disease that attacks the immune system and leaves it susceptible to other infections.
      • Transmission is usually through contact with other cats.
      • Signs: Immune system suppression, chronic infections, death within 3 years of infection.
      • Vaccination frequency: Highly recommended for all kittens. Series of 2 vaccinations (3-4 weeks apart) as early as 8 weeks, then an annual boosters (especially if exposure is high).

Call us and schedule an appointment to talk to one of our veterinarians at (814)382-5446. Together you will perform a risk assessment to determine which vaccinations are right for your pet. Likewise, look to our medical care team to help find additional ways to reduce disease risk for your pet.

Screenings performed During Exam

Although the annual physical and vaccinations are the primary reason for a wellness exam. There are other screenings that are of utmost importance as well. At your wellness exam we will discuss other screening tests for your dog or cat such as:

  • 4dx screeningOpen or Close
    This test is performed on your dog to screen for heartworm as well as 3 of the most common tick-borne disease: lyme, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. To perform this screening, a small blood sample of 3 drops that is used for a rapid test, done in house for immediate results.  This test is performed yearly. One of our veterinarians will recommend this test prior to starting or refilling any heartworm prevention. A rare, but fatal reaction can occur if you were to give a heartworm prevention dose to a pet and they have heartworm disease, thus 4dx screening annually is important for your dog's health. 
  • Feline Lvk/FIV testingOpen or Close
    This is test is performed on your cat to screen for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. We recommend this test for new kittens/cats with unclear medical history. Similarly, this test is recommended for those that frequently have contact with other cats outside. Testing for feline leukemia and FIV is especially important for those felines that will be introduced into a family with other cats. Only a small blood sample (3 drops) is necessary for the rapid test done in house. 
  • Fecal FlotationOpen or Close
      • The fecal sample that your veterinarian will recommend that you bring with you will be tested for intestinal parasite eggs (ova) that can be seen under a microscope.  This test is performed in-house, so you will have results the same day.
      • With new puppies, it will be recommended to bring in at least 2 samples. With the lifecycle of the ova, or egg, it is possible that they will not be seen on your puppy’s first visit, but by the second visit, the ova will be present.
      •  This is important for not only your puppy’s health but also yours. Some parasites are zoonotic, meaning it is transmittable to people. Some zoonotic parasites include: roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. As a result, fecal checks are an important part of your wellness.
Other Benefits of a Wellness PHYSICAL
  • New Puppy or Kitten InformationOpen or Close
    Adding a new member of the family is exciting! Most owners have many questions, especially first time pet owners, or those that have not had a pet recently.  The medical care team at Conneaut Lake Veterinary Hospital is thrilled to help owners with new pets by providing them with all the answers to their questions! The veterinary team will provide you with a puppy/kitten kit to provide you with all the newest information.
  • Behavioral CounselingOpen or Close
    The veterinarians at Conneaut Lake Veterinary Hospital strive for their clients to have a long and happy relationship with their pets. Thus, they will provide counsel for any behavior issues a pet may have. Our veterinarian will first rule out any medical conditions that could stimulate the behavior. If no medical issues are present, options to control the behavior will discussed. For example, they will provide information for trainers, and if necessary, behavioral modification medication.
  • Breed Specific Medical ConditionsOpen or Close
    As with any breed, there are conditions that may not be common. Consequently, the veterinarian will discuss any breed related medical conditions and advise the tests necessary to rule out any conditions for your pet.
Preventatives

The doctors here at Conneaut Lake Veterinary hospital recommend a monthly flea preventative and heartworm preventative as a regular part of your pet’s wellness.

  • Canine Flea & Heartworm PreventativeOpen or Close
    • Advantix II: A topical that provides effective protection against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, biting lice and flies by repelling and/or killing them often before they can have a blood meal. It is gentle enough for puppies as young as 7 weeks and for dogs of any weight.  Additionally, K-9 advantix is waterproof! If you have a pet that occasionally swims, then this product will still be effective for as long as 30 days.  We recommend that this product be applied monthly all year round
    • Iverhart Plus: A monthly chewable tablet that prevents the infestation of Heartworm as well as parasitic worms including roundworms, hookworm, and whipworm. Although heartworms are not visible, they are still dangerous. Growing up to 12 inches in length, they can clog the arteries that are feeding the lungs, causing a life-threatening response.  With heartworm infection present in all 50 states and incidences on the rise, it is important to give this monthly preventative year round.
  • Feline Flea and Heartworm PreventativeOpen or Close
    Advantage multi: a topical preventative that provides protection against fleas and heartworm as well as ear mites and intestinal parasites (roundworm and hookworm). Heartworm disease is transmitted via mosquitoes whose larvae migrate through the body tissues until it makes its way to the bloodstream. Eventually these larvae mature into adult heartworms in the lungs and heart.  Unfortunately, there are no approved products for the treatment of feline heartworm, making monthly prevention a crucial part of your cat's health.