The most effective treatment for the health and well-being of your pet is prevention. At ZimmVet, our wellness program is aimed at preventing illness in animal companions whenever possible by detecting early warning signs and recommending effective treatment plans. There are many internal changes that can take place in your pet on an annual basis. When monitored regularly, your veterinarian has more information with which to make short-term and long-term veterinary health recommendations to maintain your pet’s good health.
Our wellness exams are in-depth pet health checks performed by our veterinarian and certified veterinary technicians that include a comprehensive physical exam, internal parasite testing, heartworm and flea control, vaccination program, spaying and neutering, dental review, weight evaluation, and specialized blood tests for all life stages. We recommend that you bring a fresh stool sample (no more than 8 hours old) to your wellness exam to test for internal parasites. Please make sure it is in a clean container.
Dogs and cats younger than 7 years old should have a wellness exam at least once a year. If your pet is experiencing environmental or lifestyle changes, we might recommend you bring him or her in for a wellness exam every 6 months. You can discuss what type of wellness program best meets your furry friend’s needs with our veterinarian at your next visit.
For animals older than 7 years of age, we recommend they be examined twice a year. It is also especially important for seniors that blood work be performed annually to look for any signs of metabolic disease, and kidney or liver problems. Conditions such as these, which are common in older pets, can be treated more effectively if detected early.
Pet Vaccinations for Disease Prevention
For adult dogs and cats, ZimmVet carries and recommends extended protocol vaccinations that are designed to provide immunity for up to 3 years. As part of your pet’s annual and semi-annual exam, our veterinary staff will review past vaccination history to see if your animal is eligible for these boosters. It is important that you discuss any changes in environment or lifestyle that may impact the vaccines your pet needs.
The following are core vaccinations that all pets should receive:
- Canine or feline distemper combination
These vaccinations may be recommended based on your dog or cat’s risk factors:
- Feline leukemia (cats)
- Leptospirosis (dogs)
- Lyme (dogs)
- Bordetella (kennel cough) (dogs)
- Influenza (dogs)
For more information on dog and cat vaccinations, read the WebMD Pet Health article Pet Vaccines: Schedules for Dogs and Cats.
Parasite Prevention: Fleas, Ticks, Heartworms, and Intestinal Organisms
Ticks and Fleas
Fleas are one of the most common parasites that your cat or dog can contract. Fleas feed on the blood of their hosts. The blood intake of a female flea can be equivalent to more than 15 times its body weight. Adult fleas can survive on your pet for up to 140 days. Thousands of eggs are laid by female fleas and dropped wherever the host animal goes. The warm temperature and humidity in homes provides a favorable microclimate for multiple flea life cycles, often resulting in full-fledged infestations before adult fleas are even noticed. Because of this, year-round flea prevention is highly recommended.
Ticks are not only a blood-sucking nuisance and irritant for your dog or cat, but also they can carry a variety of deadly diseases. Over the last two decades, Minnesota has seen a dramatic increase in the number of tick-borne disease cases, including Lyme disease.
Our prices on flea and tick preventive products are very competitive and backed by the manufacturer’s 100% guarantee. If you are not happy with the product, it can be returned for a full refund. Our knowledgeable staff has been trained to answer questions about these products. In addition, if your pet happens to experience one of the rare side effects, we will be happy to submit the claim to the manufacturer. As an added bonus, we often have free dose specials and mail-in rebates, which help reduce the cost of protecting your pet.
There are many types of internal parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, heartworms, whipworms, giardia, and coccidia. Left untreated, intestinal worms can cause diarrhea, anemia, poor growth, and even death. Of particular concern is heartworm disease, which is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the heart and lungs of dogs, cats, and other species of mammals.
Once infected, treatment is available for heartworm disease, however, it is costly and not without risk. In order to kill all the adult worms in the infected animal, a powerful medicine is given that can cause harmful side effects. Depending on the severity of the infection, complications can arise as the worms die. Read more about Heartworm Basics from the Heartworm Society.
At ZimmVet, we routinely test for the presence of internal parasites. Some types of intestinal parasites can also be transmitted to humans. To minimize pet infection and possible transmission to people (especially young children), we recommend all pets be treated year round with products such as Interceptor (dogs) or Revolution Plus (cats) given monthly (every 30 days). We also encourage proper hygiene habits when cleaning up after your pet.
We offer very competitive pricing, as well as manufacturers’ 100% guarantees on our heartworm preventive products. If you are not happy with the product, even after use, it can be returned for a full refund. If your dog or cat finds a particular product distasteful, we can prescribe a different product. Our knowledgeable staff has been trained to answer questions about these products. In addition, if your pet happens to experience one of the rare side effects, we will be happy to submit the claim to the manufacturer. Ask us about any current free dose specials or mail-in rebates, which help bring the cost of protecting your pet even lower.