Q: How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?
A: At Davis Veterinary Hospital, we believe that the best way to prolong the relationship you share with your pet is to identify disease processes early and prevent the progression of chronic illness, before it becomes a problem. To keep tabs on your pet’s overall health, it is important to maintain annual exams and bloodwork. We recommend an examination by your veterinarian every 12 months for healthy pets under the age of 7, and every 6 months for healthy senior patients. Those pets with chronic disease or mobility issues may require examination on a more frequent basis. We also recommend annual blood work profiles to provide a continuous record for our veterinarian to identify trends and specific areas to focus on in an effort to prolong the duration and quality of life of our patients.
Q: Why does my pet need a dental procedure?
A: Periodontal disease (disease of the structures around the tooth-the gums, bone, and connective tissue) is one of the most common problems that we deal with on a daily basis at Davis Veterinary Hospital. Periodontal infections, tooth fractures, and oral masses can be sources of serious discomfort for your pet. Additionally, untreated periodontal infections can cause damage to major organs of the body including the heart, liver, and kidneys. Proper veterinary dental care can help prevent your pet from developing painful dental conditions, and can extend their life expectancy as well.
Q: What are heartworms, and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?
A: Heartworms are a serious, year-round parasitic threat to your pet’s health. After an infection occurs, treatment is not only very expensive, but can also be life threatening.
Heartworms are extremely common in the warm, humid environment in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and can infect both our canine and feline companions. Heartworms are spread when a mosquito bites an infected animal and then transfers the juvenile worms when it bites a healthy animal. Unless your pet is taking a heartworm preventative, these immature worms can grow into adults that can cause serious damage to your pet’s blood vessels, lungs and heart, and may even cause death.
There are several options available for prevention of this potentially life threatening disease. A monthly preventative can keep your dog or cat healthy and is much less expensive than having to treat adult heartworms. Our veterinarians at Davis Animal Hospital will determine which preventative is right for your pet, based on needs and lifestyle.