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Garfield Heights Pet Wellness Services

Veterinary Wellness

garfield heights pet wellness exam

Your Pet's Lifetime Wellness Plan

The staff at The Family Pet Clinic in Garfield Heights, OH is committed to providing comprehensive and individualized medical care to your pet in order to enhance his or her wellbeing and quality of life. In order to provide your pet with a long and happy life as well as to limit the lifetime cost of care for your pet, our focus is on preventative care. This is why, when you come to The Family Pet Clinic, we work with you to create a lifetime preventative health care plan for your special friend.

The basis of such a plan should be regular wellness examinations that include thorough screenings for a number of common diseases and ailments that could affect your pet's health. As your pet enters his or her senior years, these screenings become even more important, which is why we have developed a customized senior wellness protocol.

Perhaps the most important piece of your pet's care is strong client/doctor communication. It is important that we hear from you about how your pet is doing. Please voice any concerns you have in order that we may continuously adjust and optimize your pet's health care plan. It is also our responsibility to empower you with the information necessary to provide the best and most compassionate home-based care for your pet. We believe that our breadth and depth of medical knowledge is of little use if we do not share it with you.

Your Pet's Wellness Exams: The Standard of Lifetime Care

You go to the doctor regularly, but does your pet? Regular wellness exams are an integral part of your pet's preventative health care plan.

A routine examination provides you and your veterinarian an opportunity to develop a picture of your pet's overall health as well as to spot potential medical issues before they become serious health concerns. It's also an opportunity for you to ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet's health, habits and daily care. We also use this time to inform you about home healthcare for your pet and offer important advice and new information on the care of your particular type and breed of animal.

The veterinarians at The Family Pet Clinic recommend a complete nose-to-tail physical examination at least once a year, though more frequent exams are encouraged.

During your pet's wellness checkup, your veterinarian will:

puppy care in garfield heights
  • Listen to your pet's heart - Early signs of cardiac disease such as heart murmurs and abnormal heart beat patterns known as arrhythmias can be heard through a stethoscope. Discovering these initial indicators of an underlying condition will lead to treatment before it becomes a more serious health threat.
  • Listen to your pet's lungs - Health issues such as infections, obstructive diseases and other problems can be detected by listening to your pet's lungs through a stethoscope. The doctor can also assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet.
  • Check your pet's teeth and oral cavity - Infections and other forms of dental disease can lead to very serious systemic health issues. We also take the time to discuss proper home dental care with you.
  • Evaluate your pet's vision - Ocular conditions--such as glaucoma, corneal ulcers and dry eye--can be prevented or better treated through regular care and screenings.
  • Look into your pet's ears - Ear disease is relatively common in many types of pets. Regular examinations can prevent most forms of ear disease from developing or stop its progression.
  • Palpate the lymph nodes, abdomen and skin - By feeling these areas, we are looking for unusual lumps or swellings. The skin is also evaluated for discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning, which could be signs of more complicated health issues.
  • Palpate joints and muscles - By examining the joints, legs and other areas of the body, we are able to evaluate for swelling, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size that may indicate developing orthopedic issues. In older pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be treated if found early.
  • Laboratory work - A complete physical examination includes a heartworm test and blood tests. A chemistry panel and blood count can screen for the presence of underlying disease processes and create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations.
  • Parasite Testing - Checking your pet for intestinal parasites is an important component of any preventative care plan for your pet and your family. For example, parasites such as hookworms are considered zoonotic, which means they can affect humans too.

Puppy and Kitten Care

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is always something to celebrate. They add energy and fun and are a source of unceasing affection as they bond with you and your family.

However, new pets require a little extra attention to ensure they get a good, healthy start at life. This means that comprehensive physical examinations from one of the veterinarians at The Family Pet Clinic at key developmental stages are essential. Any time that you get a new pet, it's important to schedule an appointment right away so that we may review his/her prior medical records and make timely recommendations for appropriate wellness care.

Your first visits with your new puppy or kitten at The Family Pet Clinic are perhaps the most important. These initial visits are where you, one of our doctors and your pet first meet and begin to form the relationship that lasts throughout the life of your pet. We take plenty of time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.

Some of the issues discussed during your kitten's first visits include:

garfield heights, OH kitten exam
  • Diet - including types of food that are best for cats' unique requirements.
  • Litter and litter box training
  • Behavior
  • Should my cat be allowed to go outdoors?
  • Spaying and neutering recommendations
  • Declawing: Should I or shouldn't I?
  • Vaccine protocol
  • Pet health insurance - Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping - Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam and treatment for worms and other intestinal parasites Testing for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • Fleas (treatment and prevention) and heartworm disease
  • Complete physical examanination, which includes detection of potential congenital problems and anything else you may want to discuss. This is your new kitten and we're happy to answer any questions.

Some of the issues discussed during your puppy's first visits include:

  • Diet - including types of food to feed and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  • Housetraining
  • Behavior
  • Spaying and neutering advice: Is this best for my dog? If I decide to spay/neuter, when is the best time to have this done?
  • Formulation of an individualized vaccine protocol.
  • Pet health insurance. Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Heartworm, fleas, and ticks
  • Microchipping: Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam and treatment for worms and other intestinal parasites
  • Complete physical examination, which includes detection of potential congenital problems and anything else you may want to discuss. This is your new puppy and we're happy to answer any questions.

Exotic Animal Care

We offer optimum wellness care programs for exotic and pocket pets. Since it is often difficult to determine if an exotic pet is ill, we strongly recommend physical examinations twice a year to check for health problems plus annual monitoring to check for nutritional and husbandry-related conditions.

In order to survive attacks from their predators, exotic animals normally conceal their illnesses in the wild. As a result, their medical problems often go unnoticed for long periods of time. By the time you recognize that there is a problem with you exotic pet, the condition is often extremely serious. With bi-annual medical examinations by a veterinarian at The Family Pet Clinic, problems are often diagnosed before they become serious medical conditions.

After acquiring your new exotic pet, a complete wellness appointment is strongly recommended. This exam includes a thorough physical examination, husbandry and nutritional consultation, disease screening and laboratory testing if necessary. Before bringing your pet into your home, you want to make sure that he or she is healthy.

If your exotic pet needs intensive care or hospitalization, you want to be sure that your veterinary hospital is specifically equipped to care for exotic species. The Family Pet Clinic has the technology, training, and know-how necessary to treat your exotic pet.

Ferrets - Our veterinarians are available for ailments of ferrets in the areas of medicine, surgery and husbandry. Dr. Thompson has extensive experience in the area of exotic animal care and a professional interest in the medical and surgical management of adrenal gland disease and insulinomas.

Reptiles - Snakes, iguanas, turtles, and other reptiles are becoming increasingly popular as pets. Certain reptiles can live long, healthy lives as pets, but proper nutrition, care, and husbandry are essential. This means that pet owners need the most accurate and reliable information available to help ensure the health and well-being of their pet. For example, do you know the best things to feed your reptile, and how often? Do you know how much UV light is optimal, and which type? Should you get a heat rock? Do you know how to tell if your reptile is sick? Do you have questions about proper cage cleaning or any other aspects of care and husbandry? The Family Pet Clinic's staff of skilled professionals is well trained in the care and husbandry of reptiles and can give you the information you need to keep your exotic pet looking and feeling great.

Pocket pets, rabbits and others - Rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small mammals have become popular pets as increasing numbers of pet owners come to understand the unique bond that can form with one of these special creatures. But did you know that small mammals need some of the same routine wellness care that dogs and cats need? Do you know if your pet should be spayed or neutered? Do you know if any vaccinations are recommended to help maintain good health? Do you have questions about proper nutrition, cage cleaning, grooming, or any other aspects of care and husbandry? If you have a small furry friend, our staff of skilled professionals has a great deal of information to share with you so that you can keep your "pocket pet" looking and feeling great.

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