Ridgefield Animal Hopsital

919 Percy Brown Road
Thibodaux, LA 70301

(985)446-8824

ridgefieldanimalhospital.com

No Description       Adult Pet Wellness

Keeping your adult pet healthy is an important part of our mission, but it requires participation from you, the owner and caretaker, to help the system we have in place work.  Keeping your pet healthy for the long haul requires diligence in several areas. 

1) The Annual Physical Exam.  Remember, an "annual" exam for your pet is often the equivalent of a 5-7 year interval for yourself !  A thorough physical exam is one of the most important things we do to help you keep your pet healthy and happy.  Often, pets don't show obvious signs of disease until the problem is well advanced.  At the time of your pet's annual vaccines, an exam will be done that can uncover such problems as dental disease, cataracts, ear infections, heart murmurs, abdominal masses, and pain or disease of the joints.  Many times these problems can go unnoticed by the owner, and the pet then presents later as an emergency or ill as these problems progress.  Aiding the veterinarian in uncovering these problems in your pet are parasite checks. As your pet ages, additional bloodwork or imaging my be suggested based on the findings of the physical exam.

2) Keeping vaccines current and parasite preventives at the correct dosages and intervals.  Preventable disease doesn't just stop with vaccines.  Heartworms are a common local killer spread by mosquitos, and fleas and ticks can carry several diseases as well.  Newer guidlines suggest that the core or basic cat and dog vaccines be given every 3 years after the first annual exam/vaccination.  In Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, rabies vaccines is to be given yearly, and the additional recommended vaccines are also yearly.

3) A safe home for our pets, including indoor housing, proper fencing, and being on leash at all times when not confined to the home or yard.  Each year, many pets are killed or severely injured by cars because they are not being kept safely away from streets.  Poisonings, gunshot injuries, and injuries from fights with other animals also occur when pets are allowed to roam "free".  In the home, puppies and kittens can bite electric cords or swallow small objects left on the floor.  Larger pets can also become choked or obstructed when allowed to play with improper sized toys.  Some plants can be dangerous, as well as access to trash cans or medication storage areas.

4) Spaying your female pet is a gift that can not only prevent the addition of more unwanted dogs and cats in our area, but it also save you, the owner, the problems with discharges around the house, costs of raising a litter, and male dogs and cats hanging around your yard.   It has been shown that pets spayed before their first heat have a decreased chance of getting mammary tumors as they get older, and a disease called "pyometra", a bacterial infection of the uterus, is prevented by spaying as well.  Both mammary cancer and pyometras are expensive and sometimes fatal diseases that can be easily prevented by an ovariohysterectomy when your pet is 6 months old.

5) Neutering male dogs also helps prevent unwanted litters.  It is not only the female pet owner's problem.  Older male dogs, like older men, are frequently affected by prostatic disease or testicular cancers, which can be prevented by neutering your dog while he is young.  Both male dogs and cats urine mark their territory, and tend to escape and wander the area making them more prone to being hit by cars, gunshot wounds, poisonings, or being injured in fights with other animals.  In fact, upwards of 90% of the dogs and cats we see presented for these types of injuries are intact males.  Neutering and proper housing/leashing can go a long way to saving the expense and the heartache of serious injury.

Dogs  
DA2P+Parvo every 3 years
Bordetella (kennel cough) annually (every 6 months for show animals)
Rabies annually (state law)
must be performed by a licensed veterinarian
heartworm test and fecal a current (within 2 years) heartworm check is required to refill heartworm medications.  Heartworm prevention is a prescription medications and we must have a "valid client/patient relationship" to dispense these medications.
Cats  
FVRCP every 3 years
FeLV (feline leukemia) annually
Rabies annually (state law)
must be performed by a licensed veterinarian
fecal  to check for worms.  annual heartworm testing in cats is not recommended at this time.