Pet Health Maintenance Services in Walpole, MA
Vaccines are an essential aspect of any preventative medicine program.
Vaccines have proved to be an invaluable tool in protecting our pets from fatal diseases, but that does not mean some thought shouldn’t be given to how they are administered. Norfolk County Veterinary Service tailors its vaccination protocol to guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the lifestyle of your pet, as well as the diseases he or she is most likely to be exposed to. During your kitten or puppy’s first year of life we also spread out the series of vaccines in order not to put too much strain on his or her developing immune system.
We do this in order to provide the best protection from disease as well as to reduce the possibility of your pet have an adverse reaction to a vaccine.
Finding a Lost Pet
Dogs and cats often will run off for an hour or so to explore the world and then find their way home for food and warmth. However, what would you do if your pet failed to come home? How would someone find you if your pet loses his or her tag, it is unreadable, or you are traveling?
It is unfortunate, but according to statistics on lost pets compiled by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than two percent of cats and 15 to 20 percent of dogs that become lost are returned to their owner.
To help prevent this tragedy from happening to our clients, the Norfolk County Veterinary Service recommends that all pets should receive a lost pet microchip ID. About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is painlessly injected into the skin of your pet, generally between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique identification number that is linked to a database with important information about your pet, which includes your contact information.
A microchip lost pet ID is permanent and all pets brought into an animal hospital or humane shelter are routinely scanned for a microchip and that information is used to quickly reunite them with their owner.
Norfolk County Veterinary Service uses the resQ microchip system. This system comes with a number of valuable benefits for you such as no registration or annual fees; customer service seven days per week, 24 hours per day; and worldwide coverage since resQ's microchips can be read by any International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant scanner in the world.
Care for Your New Puppy or Kitten
Puppies and Kittens are a lot of fun to have in the home, but they require some special attention in order to assure they are a happy and healthy companion for years to come. This means that comprehensive physical exams at key developmental stages are important.
In particular, the first year of your new friend’s life should include an initial wellness exam, screening for damaging parasitic infections such as worms or giardia, an initial dental exam, a vitamin supplement for good nutritional health, and more. For puppies we advise the start of medicines to prevent Heartworm disease and parasite infection. Additionally, at six months of age we recommend spaying or neutering your pet.
Vaccines are also very important. Norfolk County Veterinary Service will talk to you about the vaccines that will help protect your new friend at his or her initial visit. We will also describe our vaccine protocol and how we have designed it to maximize preventing dangerous disease while minimizing the risk of an adverse reaction to a vaccine.
These additional visits also provide you with opportunities to ask all the questions that come to mind regarding your pet’s care and give us a chance to become acquainted with your blossoming cat or dog.
Senior Pet Care
A preventative care regimen for your pet is most important as he or she ages. Pets in their senior years—those about six years in age and older—tend to be more susceptible to a number of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease. With a well-targeted senior care program these diseases can be prevented or discovered at an early stage and treated.
Norfolk County Veterinary Service strives to provide the best possible care to our clients’ pets that are in their senior years and highly recommends regular geriatric exams tailored to your pet’s age, condition and breed. Your senior pet’s geriatric exam is designed to identify age-related health issues before they become difficult and expensive to treat and covers routine eye and ear examination, basic neurologic and cardiovascular evaluations, as well as a weight and nutritional assessment. We will also recommend a geriatric health profile, which includes lab tests such as a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry panel, urinalysis, and thyroid level.
When your veterinarian believes your pet has reached his or her senior years, we will discuss with you how we can help make them the best years of your pet’s life.
A diagnosis of cancer can be frightening. However, most pets respond extremely well to cancer treatments, which include tumor removal surgery and chemotherapy, and go on to lead happy, healthy lives. Additionally, pets do not experience the same side effects from chemotherapy that humans do, and often go on to lead healthy lives long after their cancer is treated.
After a diagnosis is made Norfolk County Veterinary Service will discuss with you the treatment options for your pet as well as your pet’s prognosis in order to develop and appropriate treatment plan. We can provide our oncology patients with surgical excision of the tumor as well as chemotherapy.
One of the key factors contributing to the improved health and longevity of companion animals is our expanded knowledge on the important role that proper nutrition plays in overall health. During your pet’s comprehensive physical examination, we evaluate his or her body condition and give recommendations based on what we see. However, some pets with nutritional issues or chronic conditions such as diabetes require a little bit more intervention, which may include specialized foods, feeding strategies and even prescription diets.
Norfolk County Veterinary Service has trained staff available to help you with your pet’s nutritional challenges. We also have a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products. If your pet requires a prescription diet we do not carry, we can easily order it for you. We can also offer advice and provide information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and other conditions.
Internal & External Parasite Control
As anyone who has dealt with an infestation of fleas in their home can attest, parasites can be difficult and expensive to eradicate. However, external parasites (fleas and ticks) as well as internal parasites (heartworm, roundworm and hookworm) can also present a real health threat not only to your pet, but your family as well.
Many of these parasites are considered to be zoonotic, which means they can affect animals and humans too.
As with all good veterinary medicine, prevention is the key to protecting your home, pet and family. Norfolk County Veterinary Service will work with you to develop a program that best meets the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. We will look at possible exposure points, your pet’s activities and review with you the best ways to control fleas and ticks in your house, yard and on your pet. We will also discuss with you exposure risks for internal parasites, signs and symptoms, and the best means to prevent infection.
Our in-house pharmacy and pet supplies include the most effective heartworm preventatives, flea and tick control products and medicated shampoos in the market. We are pet owners and worry about these issues too, and have experience with the use and effectiveness of these products.
Our in-house lab and infectious disease expertise also means that we can screen your pet for the presence of diseases caused by internal and external parasites as well as effectively treat them. Prevention is a good tool, but it is not perfect. Therefore, it is very reassuring to be backed up by modern testing and treatment capabilities.
If you like to travel with your pet to other countries or states, you may need a national or international health certificate. These certificates document the health of your pet as well as that he or she has been properly vaccinated. If you do not have this form of documentation it is very likely your pet could be quarantined for an extended period of time.
Dr. Emily McCabe is a certified USDA veterinarian and is authorized and well-versed in handling the documentation required for traveling with your pet.
Generally, these certificates are only valid for a certain period of time, must be filled out within a specific timeframe prior to when you travel, and require different forms depending on your destination. We encourage you to contact your airline to find out the specific documentation that is required.
We can also help you understand what you need and advise you on how to safely travel with your pet by air. We also can provide you with valuable recommendations for other travel concerns.
In numerous acute or chronic conditions, medication is required to cure or alleviate symptoms. At Norfolk County Veterinary Service we believe that timely and convenient access to these medications is an important aspect of caring for your pet. For this reason, we maintain a comprehensive pharmacy.
Not only does our pharmacy mean you don’t have to wait for important medicines for your pet, but there is a direct line of communication between the examination room and the pharmacy window. Each medication becomes part of your pet's medical record, which reduces the chance for errors and enhances our ability to monitor its use and the outcome for your pet.
Refills are easy too. Simply give us a call or visit our online pharmacy and we can have them ready for you.