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  • How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?

    At Meadow Brook Animal Clinic, 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.

    It is very important to schedule yearly exams for your pet so that your veterinarian can monitor your pet’s overall health. Each year your pet can age as much as a human does in seven years. This means that if your pet has not been to the veterinarian in the past year, it is the equivalent of a human not having a check-up in seven years. 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 much more frequent basis.

    Bloodwork is a wonderful way to identify disease processes early and prevent the progression of chronic disease. We recommend annual bloodwork to provide a baseline for our veterinarians to identify trends and specific areas to focus on in an effort to prolong the duration and quality of life of our patients. Whether your pet is a youngster or a senior, regular blood work can help detect some diseases early. It is always easier to catch a potential problem early on to avoid complications and expensive treatments.

  • At what age should I have my pet spayed or neutered?

    There are several factors that play into this decision. Before recommending a spay or neuter surgery, Dr. Cox would discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having the surgery at various ages. Spaying or neutering age depends on breed (larger breeds wait longer) and recommendations for each specific animal. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also a pre-anesthetic blood screen is recommended prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery.

  • What are heartworms, and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?

    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 Birmingham, Alabama and can infect both our canine companions AND our feline friends. Heartworms are transmitted from infected mosquitoes as juvenile worms known as microfilaria. Unless your pet is on a heartworm preventative, these immature worms can grow into adults which can cause serious damage to the animal’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. Dr. Cox at Meadow Brook Animal Clinic will determine which preventative is right for your pet, based on their needs and lifestyle.