Preventive Care Examinations: Dogs and Cats

Did you know that even small changes in your pet’s behavior, appetite, or activity level might be a sign of illness or injury? Getting to know your pet when he or she is happy and healthy makes it easier for us to tell when there might be a problem—and to intervene before that problem becomes serious.

At Stone Ridge we recommend annual preventive care exams for young, healthy dogs and cats, and twice-yearly exams for senior pets and those with chronic illnesses. Your pet’s preventive care visit will include:

  • A comprehensive physical exam
  • Vaccinations based on your pet’s unique needs
  • Blood work (yearly or twice-yearly for older patients and on a monitoring basis for pets with conditions such as arthritis, thyroid disease, kidney disease, heart disease and seizures)
  • Heartworm testing (blood test), intestinal parasite testing (stool sample) and discussion and implementation of parasite prevention
  • Discussion of any concerns you may have

Preventive Care for Ferrets, Guinea Pigs, Hedgehogs and Other Small Mammals

Because animals living in the wild must hide any weaknesses to protect themselves from predators, illness and injury in small mammals can be especially difficult to detect.

For this reason, Stone Ridge recommends annual preventive care exams for ferrets, guinea pigs, hedgehogs and other small mammals.

Puppy and Kitten Care

Puppies and kittens require special care to ensure that they grow into happy and healthy adults—and they don’t come with an owner’s manual! It’s for this reason that your Stone Ridge vets will work with you to provide all the information you need during that critical first year of your puppy or kitten’s life—from nutrition and vaccinations, to spaying/neutering, parasite treatment and prevention, and training (house, crate, litter box and behavior).

Puppy and Kitten Vaccines

The antibodies puppies and kittens receive from their mothers while nursing provide temporary protection (passive immunity), but the active immunity that ensures that your puppy or kitten will build an appropriate immune response occurs with age when your pet is vaccinated or exposed to bacteria or viruses. Vaccines begin after weaning, and the final set of puppy/kitten vaccines is usually given at age 14-16 weeks of age, with additional vaccines given based on your pet’s lifestyle.

Needed and recommended vaccines include:

For puppies: Bordetella (kennel cough), distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza (DA2PP), leptospirosis (Lepto) and rabies. Also recommended are the canine influenza and canine Lyme disease vaccines.

For kittens: Feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia (FVRCP), Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and rabies.

Vaccinations: Dogs and Cats

In Florida, contagious diseases such as leptospirosis, canine influenza, parvovirus and rabies can seriously endanger your pet’s health. Vaccinations are, by far, the best way to protect your pet from these diseases.

Just like all forms of care provided at Stone Ridge, vaccinations are given on an individual basis, according to your pet’s specific and unique circumstances and needs, including age, breed, species and geographic location.

Essential (“Core”) Vaccines for your Dog

  • Rabies
  • Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza (DA2PP)
  • Leptospirosis (Lepto)
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)

Other Important (“Non-Core”) Vaccines for Dog (Based on Lifestyle)

  • Canine influenza
  • Lyme disease

Essential (“Core”) Vaccines for your Cat

  • Rabies
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia (FVRCP)
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV, for kittens and 1-year-olds)

Other Important (“Non-Core”) Vaccines for Cats

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV, for outdoor cats)

Parasite Prevention: Heartworm, Fleas, and Ticks

Here in Florida, every season is flea, tick, and mosquito season. In addition to making your pet feel miserable, fleas and ticks can pose potentially serious threats to your pet’s health, and a single mosquito bite can infect a pet with heartworm, a potentially fatal disease. As if that weren’t enough, Florida is also home to a number of intestinal parasites, including coccidia, and hookworms which can make a pet ill with only limited exposure. All cats and dogs residing in Florida should be on regular parasite prevention.

In addition to physical examination, Stone Ridge employs the following tests to aid in detection of parasites and the diseases they cause:

  • Fecal parasite detection performed with a stool sample brought to the Clinic
  • Heartworm testing for dogs that also detects the presence of Lyme, ehrlichia and anaplasmosis (tick-borne diseases)

Parasite-borne diseases are much easier to prevent than they are to treat; therefore, Stone Ridge offers a range of topical and oral flea and tick preventive products, as well as heartworm preventive products that also contain deworming agents for intestinal parasites. These products include Revolution Plus, Simparica Trio, Proheart 12, Credelio, and Interceptor Plus.” We also offer a variety of deworming products for the treatment of intestinal parasitism.

Senior Pet Care

At Stone Ridge we recommend comprehensive examinations every 6 months for older pets, as well as senior blood work performed annually or, if recommended, more often. For senior pets with health issues, lab work may be recommended every 3 to 6 months. Dental cleanings are recommended as needed, which may be yearly or every 3 to 6 months.