Wellness and Preventative Care

Detailed Exam and Vaccination Protocol for Cats and Dogs

Our Preventive Care

At Dix Hills Animal Hospital, we strongly believe in preventative health care. The environmental dangers surrounding our pets pose many threats to our beloved pet’s health. When you visit us for your puppy’s wellness exam, expect our staff to take the time to discuss with you prevention philosophies and effective home care methods. This will allow you to manage your pet’s general hygiene and go over any concerns that you may have regarding your pet’s health. Our prevention philosophies also include custom vaccination protocols based on your pet’s age, size, breed, and risks. The doctors will work very closely with you to understand the environment of your pet and will then design a custom preventative schedule to best protect your beloved four-legged friend.
As we all know our pets can’t verbalize what might be ailing them. Our concept is Animal Wellness, a methodology that approaches our pets’ physiology from an early detection standpoint. Our hospital offers numerous wellness blood tests and senior packages tailored to various stages in your pet’s life. Dix Hills Animal Hospital believes that diligent health screening can prolong the life of your animal. We understand that veterinary bills can be intimidating or prohibitive in the decision process of how to monitor your pet’s health. With this in mind, we have developed wellness packages to hopefully accommodate your budget. Inexpensive junior blood-work allows us to gain a baseline view of your young pet’s general health and allows our doctors to see any underlying changes, or to compare their physiology as they age. At your pets seventh birthday they are considered to be a senior pet. Our wellness packages range from simple blood tests to increasingly more thorough examinations of organ function, cardiac health, and detect any neurological changes in your pet. Through these packages we can help your pets live comfortably through their senior years with vitality (see senior wellness packages).

Keep Your Pet Healthy

With our new wellness approach, your pet will undoubtedly benefit. Veterinary medicine is becoming more preventative, which follows the way we, as humans, are taking care of ourselves. We want your pets to be healthy and live long healthy lives.
Veterinary medicine is evolving. Over the last decade, there has been a profound shift toward preventative or wellness care for animals. We are moving away from the idea that you only bring your pet to the vet for their vaccinations or when they are sick. Rather, we want you to view Dix Hills Animal Hospital as a place to bring your pet to check their “wellness.” We also want to educate you on preventative care for your cat.

We have designed examination and vaccination protocols that will benefit your cats’ health. These are listed below:

  • We will now be vaccinating every 3 years for feline distemper, rather than every year, after their adult booster
  • We are now using a safer, non-adjuvanted Feline Rabies vaccination. Traditionally, chemicals called adjuvants have been added to Leukemia and Rabies vaccinations to enhance an animal’s immune response. More recently, concern over the potential risks, such as chronic injection site inflammation and allergic reactions—that have been associated with these adjuvants has led to the need for effective vaccines that do not require adjuvants. These new vaccines are far safer. After your cat’s adult Rabies vaccine we recommend boosters every 3 years
  • We recommend Leukemia vaccination only for “at risk” cats—cats who go outdoor, or for people who plan on or tend to “acquire” other cats in their household. We now recommend vaccinating for Leukemia vaccine every other year after the first adult vaccine
  • For cats that go outside, we highly recommend a yearly Feline Leukemia or Feline Aids blood test—we can have that test result while you wait! Additionally, we are now recommending an empirical de-worming for cats who hunt, as they generally acquire intestinal parasites from birds, mice, moles, and more
  • We will now offer twice yearly exams since in one year’s time a cat ages the equivalent of 7 human years. This way we can better monitor your cat for common illnesses and discuss preventative care with you
  • Finally, in addition to the exams, we would like for you to consider a “wellness blood test.” This will help us to determine your cat’s overall health. We will check their major organ systems and red or white blood cells (this is the same set of blood test that you get at your doctor). National lab statistics show that 1 in 5 cats (20%) will have the beginning of a treatable disease process not recognized on a physical exam alone
  • With this new approach, your pet will undoubtedly benefit. Veterinary medicine is becoming more preventative, which follows the way we, as humans, are taking care of ourselves. We want your pets to be healthy and live long healthy lives

Let Us Care for Your Dog

At Dix Hills Animal Hospital, we are moving away from the idea that you only bring your pet to the vet for their vaccinations or when they are sick. Rather, we want you to view Dix Hills Animal Hospital as a place to bring your pet to check their “wellness.” We also want to educate you on preventative care for your dog.
We have designed examination and vaccination protocols that will benefit your dogs’ health. These are listed below:

  • The Distemper or Parvovirus vaccine is now approved to last for 3 years. We will now vaccinate for this every three years after their adult booster
  • We also offer vaccination titers for Parvovirus and Distemper, however, there is still controversy as to whether these titers equate to “protection.” We can discuss this with you
  • Rabies is given every three years (after their adult booster)
  • Leptospirosis, Lyme, and “Kennel Cough” vaccines still need to be given yearly for those “at-risk” dogs (any of our health care team or nurses can discuss this with you)

For small breed dogs, we try to avoid these vaccinations unless there is a high level of exposure. Small and petite dogs can be more sensitive to these vaccinations. If they need these vaccinations, we separate their administration from other vaccinations to minimize reactions and sometimes pre-treat your pet with Benadryl prior to administration.

  • We recommend yearly testing for Lyme or Heartworm or Ehrlichia or Anaplasma (small amount of blood) and intestinal parasites (stool analysis)
  • We highly recommend twice yearly exams since in one year’s time, a dog ages the equivalent of 7 human years. This way we can better monitor your dog for common illnesses and discuss preventative care with you
  • Finally, in addition to the exams, we would like for you to consider a “wellness blood test.” This will help us to determine your dog’s overall health. We will check their major organ systems and red or white blood cells (this is the same set of blood tests that you get at your doctor!). National lab statistics show that 1 in 5 dogs (20%) will have the beginning of a treatable disease process not recognized on a physical exam alone