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Pet Wellness Services in Lancaster

Lacaster, CA Pet ExamsComplete Care for Every Age and Stage

Prevention is the key to your pet's long term health. Drs. Garha, Flynn and the medical staff at Smith Veterinary Hospital in Lancaster, CA recommend your pet receive a complete wellness examination twice a year. Regular examinations are our chance to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in medical care, and discuss any concerns or questions you may have. The regular examination provides us a general picture of your pet's overall health and is invaluable in keeping your pet happy and feeling great.

Your pet's annual wellness exam at our animal hospital in Lancaster includes our commitment to:

  • Examine teeth, throat and oral cavity
  • Check vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet's heart
  • Test your pet's reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood and other systems

Deworming and Fecal Check: Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns or any place a pet defecates.

Regular Blood Work: A complete physical includes a Heartworm test and parasite screening, and should include a blood test. Not only can a chemistry panel and complete blood count (CBC) identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests also help create a baseline should your pet become ill. Blood work is also necessary if a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass or any other procedure that requires anesthesia is recommended.

At home, watch for subtle changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, water intake, urination and bowel habits, general attitude and activity level, as changes that seem minor may be signs of medical problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin may seem harmless, but can be cancerous. Ear infections, abscessed teeth and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become obvious until seriously advanced. Should your pet exhibit any changes or signs of potential illness, please don't wait. Call our office today for an appointment.

Vaccines for Lancaster PetsBalanced Vaccinations

Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease. However, not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Our veterinarians tailor a vaccine protocol specific to your pet based on his or her lifestyle and recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association.

Our veterinarians recommend the following vaccinations:

Core adult dog & puppy: DA2PPL (combined Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis), Rabies

Non-core adult dog: Leptospirosis

Core adult cat & kitten: FVRCP (combined Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia), Rabies

Non-core puppy & kitten: Bordetella, Leukemia (kittens only)

Your pet's vaccine schedule is carefully balanced to provide needed protection while not over-vaccinating. Please contact us for more information about our customized vaccination protocols and why they are best for your pet.

Caring for Your Puppy or Kitten

Your young pet requires extra attention to ensure a healthy start in life. This means comprehensive physical exams from one of the veterinarians at Smith Veterinary Hospital at key developmental stages are essential. Any time you welcome home a new pet, it's important to schedule an appointment right away so we may review their prior medical records and make timely recommendations for appropriate wellness care.

Your first visits with your new puppy or kitten at our animal hospital in Lancaster are perhaps the most important. These initial visits are where you, one of our doctors and your pet first meet and begin to form the relationship that lasts throughout the life of your pet. We take plenty of time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.

Vet for Puppies and KittensSome of the issues discussed during your kitten's first visits include:

  • Diet, including types of food that are best for cats' unique requirements
  • Litter and litter box
  • Behavior
  • Should my cat be allowed to go outdoors?
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Individualized vaccine protocol
  • Pet health insurance. Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping
  • Prevention and treatment of intestinal parasites
  • Prevention and treatment of fleas, ticks and Heartworm disease

Some of the issues discussed during your puppy's first visits include:

  • Diet, including types of food to feed and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  • Housetraining
  • Behavior
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Individualized vaccine protocol
  • Pet health insurance
  • Prevention and treatment of fleas, ticks and Heartworm disease
  • Microchipping
  • Treatment and prevention of internal parasites

We take plenty of time during these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, which includes detection of potential congenital problems, offer health care and training advice, and talk with you about any concerns you may have. This is your new kitten or puppy, and we're happy to answer all your questions.

Staying Healthy Into the Golden Years

Older pets make wonderful companions and thanks to advances in veterinary medicine pets are living longer than ever; however, your senior pet has medical needs that are very different from puppies and kittens. The veterinarians and medical team at Smith Veterinary Hospital work with you to develop a health care plan that ensures your pet is safe and happy throughout his or her golden years.

Pets age faster than people and are considered to be seniors around age 7. Prevention is the key to keeping older pets healthy. Symptoms of disease or a chronic condition many not be readily apparent. In some cases conditions that may look like the usual signs of old age could be signs of a more serious problem, such as arthritis, periodontal disease, kidney failure or cancer. We recommend all senior pets undergo at least one physical examination each year, though more frequent examinations are encouraged. During an examination we also perform a number of tests that can detect the signs of heart disease, infection, diabetes and other health problems.

Parasite Prevention in Southern CAYou are an important ally in keeping your senior pet healthy! If your pet is experiencing any changes in behavior, we urge you to bring him or her in for a check-up. Together we can make sure you and your faithful companion enjoy many more years together.

Flea and Tick Prevention in California

In our warm California climate fleas can be a year-round problem. Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet and you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause an intense allergic reaction, resulting in a severely painful skin infection.

Although ticks are less of a problem in our area, they can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis in certain parts of the country. If you plan to travel to an area where these diseases are a problem, please talk to one of our veterinarians about the precautions you can take to protect your pet.

The good news is flea and tick problems can be avoided by using the Heartgard parasite prevention products available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. They are what we use on our own pets.

Heartworm Disease and Your Lancaster Pet

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It affects dogs and to a lesser extent cats. Until the early 1970s the occurrence of Heartworm disease in the United States was primarily confined to the southeastern part of the country, but today Heartworm disease is found almost everywhere within the continental United States.

Clinical symptoms of Heartworm disease develop slowly. Early symptoms include lack of energy, exercise intolerance, coughing and difficulty breathing. Because Heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious, deadly disease, we recommend your dog be tested annually.

Heartworm disease prevention is a simple, effective process. For dogs, a once-a-month Heartworm preventive can be given as a chewable treat. This same chewable medicine not only prevents Heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once a month. We highly recommend following these steps to prevent Heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites and other types of worms that can infect your cat.

If you would like to have your pet tested for Heartworm disease or would like additional information on how best to protect your pet from this dangerous parasite, please call Smith Veterinary Hospital today for an appointment.

Rabbit Veterinary CareCaring for Your Rabbit

Along with comprehensive care for dogs and cats, our veterinarians and medical team provides Lancaster pet owners with optimum wellness care for rabbits.

Since it is often difficult to determine if your rabbit is ill, we strongly recommend physical examinations twice a year to check for health problems as well as nutritional and husbandry-related conditions. With semi-annual medical examinations by one of our experienced veterinarians at Smith Veterinary Hospital, problems are often diagnosed before they become serious medical conditions.

Should your rabbit require intensive care or hospitalization, you can feel confident the veterinarians and medical team at our animal hospital in Lancaster has the technology, experience and skill needed to properly care for your pet.

If you would like more information about the Los Angeles County veterinary wellness services that Smith Veterinary Hospital offers for your pet or to schedule an appointment at our animal hospital in Lancaster, please call (661) 948-5065.