Preparing Your Peoria Area Pet for a Veterinary Visit

Preparing Your Peoria Area Pet for a Veterinary Visit

Visits to medical offices or hospitals can be an overwhelming experience regardless of your species.  The amount of information provided can enter into our minds, only to be replaced by the next important conversation.  What diagnostics should be run?  What medication are we on?  What is the dosing?  Should dosing be changed?  How is our diet affecting us?  When is the next appointment?  When can we expect to see a change in the issues affecting us?

Even in a routine checkup there are questions we should be prepared for and information to consider.  As a means to reduce confusion and prepare you for the hefty amount of questions and information thrown your way, here are some topics that will be discussed with you during your furry friend’s visit to our vet![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Rabies, Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvovirus/Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Canine Influenza, and Lyme are all vaccinations we provide at all three of our locations.  The question is, which of these vaccinations fits the lifestyle your pet leads?  If your pet stays with us for boarding or grooming services or surgical procedures, we require all of these vaccines with the exception of Lyme.

Here is a breakdown of each vaccine and why it can be an important part of your pet’s yearly visit:

Rabies: *CORE VACCINE* (REQUIRED FOR BOARDING/GROOMING/HOSPITAL STAY)- Rabies is 100% fatal to dogs with no treatment available.  This vaccination is required by the state of Illinois.  A county tag will also likely be required for registration.  We have Peoria County tags at all 3 of our locations.

Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvovirus/Parainfluenza: *CORE VACCINE* (REQUIRED FOR BOARDING/GROOMING/HOSPITAL STAY)- Our three year vaccine protects your pet from a myriad of potentially fatal diseases and problems that can result in brain damage, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, liver damage, and more.

Leptospirosis: *CORE VACCINE* (REQUIRED FOR BOARDING/GROOMING/HOSPITAL STAY)- Initially included in our Distemper Booster, this vaccination expires after one year instead of three.  It protects against spirochete infection picked up from rodents or standing water that can cause problems in a canine’s liver and kidneys potentially resulting in death. This disease is transmissible to humans, and young children are particularly susceptible to contracting it from an infected pet.

Bordetella: non core vaccine (REQUIRED FOR BOARDING/GROOMING/HOSPITAL STAY)-  The bordetella vaccine is meant to help protect your dog from kennel cough. We recommend this vaccination for all canines, especially those that are boarded, groomed, or are around dogs for any reason.  The upper respiratory issues caused by kennel cough are much less expensive to protect against than treat and can be very infectious particularly in high volume canine areas.

Canine Influenza: non core vaccine (REQUIRED FOR BOARDING/GROOMING/HOSPITAL STAY)- While this vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing your dog from getting influenza, it does significantly lessen the symptoms associated with the infection.  Breakouts of canine influenza over the recent years have been noted in Chicago as well as Bloomington.  Currently there are two strains of canine influenza that exist: H3N8 and H3N2.  Our veterinarians recommend vaccination for both strains.

Lyme: non core vaccine- The Lyme vaccine is recommended for pets that live in wooded areas that see a larger than normal exposure to ticks which increases their chance of contracting tick borne diseases such as Lyme Disease.

The examination is another important part of your pet’s visit.  Each pet that walks through our doors will be examined, even during a routine yearly appointment.  We track your pet’s weight, heart rate, respiratory rate, and obtain a temperature early on in each appointment.  Then one of our six doctors will assess your pet’s eyes, ears, mouth, glands, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, skin, urinary, and reproductive areas to ensure that everything appears normal.

It cannot be stressed enough how important these examinations are for catching problems that can be seen and/or felt by the doctor.  Catching little problems before they become big problems can make all the difference in your pet’s life.

Contrary to pup-ular belief, diagnostic tests are not just important when your pet is sick.  Dogs and cats can be hardy critters, and unless you have miraculously taught your pet how to express exactly how they are feeling in the English language, you could be missing something.  These tests also help us catch problems before they cause further issues in our furry family members.

Here are some tests we will likely recommend at your visit:

Medical Panel:  This is a full blood panel that helps us catch problems or see trends in your pet’s health that they may not be exhibiting outwardly, but are important nonetheless. We can catch liver, kidney, and so many other issues that either are, or could be harmful to your dog or cat.  We recommend yearly bloodwork for all pets with a special emphasis on those ages seven and older.

Heartworm Test: This test will tell us if your pet is positive for heartworm disease which is transmitted through infected mosquitos.  Living in a high density mosquito area along the Illinois River puts our pets at higher risk for this life threatening disease.  This blood test is required annually I order to purchase monthly heartworm preventative medications.

Radiographs: If a picture says a thousand words, then a digital radiograph can say a million.  These images are not only for seeing broken bones. Our doctors can also identify fluid in the lungs, foreign bodies in the intestines, the size and shape of different organs and more.

Parasite Examination:  *REQUIRED FOR BOARDING* We aren’t full of poop, we promise.  Testing your pet’s stools for intestinal parasites can save your pet from a host of gastrointestinal problems.  Our boarding guests are required to be tested at least once yearly and, if positive, be treated with an oral de-wormer to avoid transmission to other pets in the facility.

Another overwhelming aspect of pet health can be choosing which preventative to use for your pet.  Some preventatives are topical (liquid applied to skin between front shoulder blades) while some are chewable.  Some preventatives only protect against fleas, some fleas/ticks, some heartworm, and finally some fleas/tick/heartworm.

Whether it be through our online store or in-clinic, we can all but guarantee that we have some of the best pricing you will find on preventative products.  We offer a free heartworm test for purchasing 12 months of heartworm prevention for your pet, and several more specials on select products.

Again you can be sure that we can work with you and your furry friend to choose the prevention that fits your lifestyle and pocketbook.

The Other Treatments

There are a few more other items to consider prior to your pet’s appointment.


Nail Trims

Being the advocate for your pet’s health is of utmost importance as they cannot be their own!  While we would love to run every recommended diagnostic and vaccinate your pet against every possible threat, we understand that it may not be feasible financially.  Every budget is different, and we will work alongside you to find a place where you are comfortable with the care your pet is receiving with respect to your personal budget.