Annual Examination

We recommend that your pet have a physical examination annually. More often if your pet has a medical condition or is considered geriatric (a senior pet).  Thorough check-ups and preventive care can help alleviate serious health problems.

Annual Examination:

Just like in human medicine, prevention is the key for good health.  Many problems can be detected in pets during a thorough examination before they cause general symptoms.  The information gathered at each exam becomes part of your pet’s medical history and can be critical if an emergency or sudden illness arises.

Disease prevention is always less costly than dealing with the treatment of a disease once your pet has developed it.  In addition, early diagnosis of a disease process can give your pet to a longer, healthier life.  Sometimes something as simple as a diet change can make all the difference in your pet’s well being.

As part of an annual exam, we check for the following:

  • check for significant weight loss or gain
  • assess the condition of your pet’s legs, joints, spine
  • assess hair and coat
  • palpate the abdomen for abnormal masses or pain
  • listen to the chest for irregular heartbeat, abnormal lung sounds and heart murmurs
  • examine the eyes for cataracts, glaucoma or inflammation
  • examine the ears for infection, inflammation, or presence of ear mites
  • evaluate nose and nasal passages for signs of upper respiratory disease
  • check teeth and mouth for periodontal disease
  • palpate lymph nodes to check for inflammation or tumors

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In addition, for dogs we recommend annual bloodwork testing for heartworms and fecal testing for internal parasites

The Importance of Vaccines:Vaccine

When it comes to your pet’s health, an important step is to have them properly vaccinated. Many of the most dangerous and infectious diseases we know of can be easily prevented with safe and effective vaccines. Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to produce antibodies to a particular microorganism such as a virus or bacteria. Your pet’s immune system is then primed, or prepared to react to a future infection with that microorganism. This reaction will either prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote a rapid recovery.

At Maple Small Animal Clinic, during your pet’s physical examination your veterinarian will discuss your pet’s health history and lifestyle with you to determine the best vaccine protocol for your particular pet.

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Recommended Vaccine Schedules

Puppies and kittens, like human babies, receive some immunity while still in their mother’s womb, and others with first milk or “colistrum”. Unlike in humans, however, that immunity fades in the puppy or kitten very quickly, during the first few weeks of life; therefore, our veterinarians recommend the following boosters be given at these intervals:

Puppies:Age                     Vaccine

6-8 Weeks:        DHPP

9-11 Weeks:       DHPP

12-14 Weeks:     DHLPP, Bordetella

15-18 Weeks:     DHLPP, Bordetella, Rabies (1 Year)

Then, Annually:   DHLPP, Bordetella, Rabies*

Note:  The DHPP is a combination vaccine for Distemper,

Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza. The DHLPP

includes the previously mentioned plus Leptospirosis.

Kittens: Age                Vaccine

6-8 Weeks:      FVRCP

9-11 Weeks:    FVRCP

12-14 Weeks:  FVRCP, Leukemia

15-18 Weeks:  FVRCP, Leukemia, Rabies (1 Year)

Then, Annually: FVRCP, Rabies* and Leukemia

Note:  The FVRCP is a combination vaccine for Feline Viral

Rhinotracheitis, Calici, and Panleukopenia.

Adult Dogs:

Annually: DHLPP, Bordetella, Rabies*

We recommend a booster of the DHLPP and Bordetella if age or vaccine history is unknown at time of initial vaccination.

Adult Cats:

Annually, FVRCP, Rabies, Leukemia (depending upon lifestyle and risk)

We recommend a booster of the FVRCP and Leukemia vaccine if age or vaccine history is unknown at time of intial vaccination.

*In Orleans Parish, rabies vaccine can be every three years after the first annual vaccine