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Westborough, MA 01581
Pediatric Canine Health & Wellness Plan
Congratulations on adopting your new puppy and welcome to the Healthy Paws Family!
At Healthy Paws, we have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Puppies with a primary goal in mind- to keep your puppy healthy through this important phase of rapid growth and build a solid foundation for maintaining optimal health throughout your puppy’s life.
What are the basic components of the Canine Pediatric Health Plan?
Immunization puppy booster series
Internal and external parasite control- intestinal, heartworm, fleas, ticks & mites
Laboratory screening tests / preoperative blood screening
Spay / neuter / microchip discussions
Behavior consultation / house breaking & basic training
Management of congenital disease (problems some puppies are born with)
Exercise- play recommendations
Dental care- starting the discussion of home care
Why Do Puppies Need Vaccines?
There are many very serious and highly contagious diseases that your puppy can contract if not properly protected. Fortunately, safe and effective vaccines have been developed for most of these diseases. Similar to human babies, puppies require a series of vaccines (boosters) given during the first 4 months of life-when maternal antibody protection is wearing off and the puppy’s own immune system is maturing. By following recommended vaccination protocols, you are giving your dog a solid core immunity that will protect them from infectious diseases throughout their lifetime.
Vaccines are typically given in conjunction with the pediatric wellness exams at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. Depending on the size of your pup and the number of vaccines to be given, your doctor may recommend splitting the vaccines over two sessions.
At Healthy Paws, your doctor will discuss which non-core vaccines are appropriate for your dog and your lifestyle in order to develop a vaccine strategy for each individual patient.
Adult Canine Health & Wellness Plan
At Healthy Paws, your dog’s health is our main focus. We have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Adult Dogs using the most updated clinical information and recommendations of specialists as well as tailoring our program to address problems seen in our geographic location such as Lyme disease and Leptosporosis. Our goal is to give you more healthy years with your canine companion!
What are the basic components of the Adult Canine Health Plan?
years 1 to 8-10 yrs - Annual Examination Appointment
Complete physical examination
4DX® snap test- screens for heartworm disease and 3 tick borne diseases- Lyme, Anaplasma, & Ehrlichia
Fecal parasite screen- check a stool sample for microscopic eggs of intestinal worms
Urine protein screen- for early detection of kidney disease which is especially important for dogs who have previously tested positive for Lyme disease, Anaplasma, or Ehrlichia on the 4DX® snap test
Appropriate vaccinations or checking vaccine titer levels
Tick/Flea control- Canine Bravecto® (or other appropriate product)
Heartworm prevention- year round – Tri-Heart Plus®, Sentinel®, Proheart6®
At 4 years - Baseline blood work- CBC, Chemistry screen, & thyroid level – similar to your physician running baseline blood work on you when you turn 35. In future years, as your pet’s chances of developing problems increases, we have a baseline to refer back to. If your dog stays healthy with no problems, then the next “screening blood work” would be at 8 years of age.
At 8 years - large breed dogs (over 50 pounds) become “Senior Canine Citizens” and transition to our senior wellness program.
At 10 years - small and medium breed dogs (<50 pounds) become “Senior Canine Citizens”.
Dental care is very important for dogs. Dogs can have cavities and broken teeth just like people.
We recommend brushing your dog’s teeth daily with a pet safe toothpaste like C.E.T brand.
Every year at your dog’s annual exam we will perform a visual exam of the mouth and teeth.
If we feel there are problems that may need a more thorough dental assessment and treatment plan (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment COHAT) we will discuss the need for dental cleaning and x-rays under anesthesia.
Senior Canine Health & Wellness Plan
At Healthy Paws, we have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Senior Dogs with a primary goal in mind- giving your dog the best quality of life for as long as possible. At 8 years, large breed dogs (over 50 pounds) become “Senior Canine Citizens” and transition to our senior wellness program. At 10 years, small and medium breed dogs (<50 pounds) become seniors.
The basic components of the Senior Canine Health Plan:
Semi-Annual Physical Exams
Senior Laboratory Screening (blood & urine sample)
4DX® screen (blood sample)
Fecal parasite screen (stool sample)
Appropriate vaccinations or vaccination titer testing
Heartworm prevention- year round
Core vaccines: DHPP (Distemper-Hepatits-Parvo-Parainfluenza) & Rabies
Non-Core Vaccines: Lyme & Leptosporosis
Lifestyle Vaccines: Bordetella (kennel cough) & Canine Influenza
Flea and Tick Preventative
Senior Wellness Blood Work
CBC (Blood Count)
Thyroid Level Urinalysis
Oral Exam to evaluate:
1. Caries (Cavities)
2. Fractured Teeth
3. Periodontal Disease
*For more information about vaccines speak with a technician or see our Adult Wellness Program
Senior Wellness Blood work and Urinalysis
Once your pet is a senior pet we recommend annual blood work and a urinalysis to monitor for changes that might give us early warning of treatable disease—after all, 1 dog year is equal to 7 human years and a lot can happen in 7 years! Early diagnosis and treatment will extend and improve your pet’s quality of life and allow you to enjoy your relationship with your pet well into their senior years. Why would you wait? Ask us for more information- we are happy to discuss all the benefits of annual lab screening for senior pets or see pamphlet for more detailed information
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - Blood test to evaluate the number and type of red, white, and clotting cells. Abnormal values can be associated with bacterial or viral infection, anemias, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers.
Chemistry Profile (Chemistry) - Blood tests to evaluate the function of many internal organs. Abnormalities can indicate systemic disorders including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities.
Thyroid Level (T4) - Blood test to measure the amount of circulating thyroid hormone. Deficiency is common in dogs resulting in lethargy, weight gain, and dermatological problems. Increased levels are common in senior cats resulting in weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, and heart problems.
Urinalysis (U/A) - Urine samples provide valuable information about kidney function as well as screening for infections, tumors, or bladder stones.
Common Problems that Senior Canines Face
There are many health problems associated with old age, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s eating and drinking habits, attitude, and activity level. Even subtle changes can be associated with an underlying health issue, so it’s important to report any abnormal activity to your veterinarian.
Indications of Disease in Senior Pets:
Change in Appetite - A change in your dog’s appetite (an increase or decrease) can be the result of several different problems. If your dog is suffering from dental problems, they will most likely eat less and start to lose weight, simply because it hurts to eat. Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney, liver and thyroid diseases can also affect your pet’s appetite. Simple blood tests can screen for these diseases if they are suspected to be the cause of your dog’s change in appetite.
Weight Loss - Any gradual or sudden loss of weight can be caused by any number of ailments. Some of the most common causes of sudden weight loss in older dogs includes neoplasia (cancer), kidney, liver, and heart disease.
Frequent Drinking and Urination - Increased drinking and urination are also symptoms of common metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease. Increased drinking can also occur as the result of a bladder infection or fever. Blood and/or urine tests can screen for these diseases.
Lumps and Bumps - It is common to find new lumps and bumps on your senior canine. Always let your vet know if you’ve found any new lumps or bumps on your pet so that the doctor can determine whether she wants to do further testing to determine exactly what the lump is.
Arthritis - If you notice that your dog is slowing down or having trouble getting up or laying down, he may be suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is very common in senior pets. When arthritis is suspected, x-rays are usually recommended in order to assess the severity and to rule out other problems, such as tumors. Tick diseases can make your pet’s arthritis worse. Obesity also makes arthritis worse, so it’s important to monitor your senior’s diet and keep them at a healthy weight. There are different options for treating arthritis, which depend on your dog’s age and the severity of the disease.
Heart Disease - Heart disease is another common problem that older pets face. If you notice that your pet gets winded easily, heart disease may be the cause. As part of your dog’s semi-annual exam, the vet will listen to your dog’s heart and check for heart murmurs. Medication can be prescribed to help your dog deal with its heart condition.