A lot can happen in one year! We recommend pets come in for a wellness visit annually or semi-annually depending on their age, lifestyle, and overall health condition. Typically, more frequent visits are recommended for puppies, kittens, and senior pets.
During your pet’s annual physical exam, one of our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive physical assessment from nose-to-tail. If anything abnormal is found, we may recommend additional tests and services to ensure your pet is not suffering from disease or illness. Pets are excellent at hiding symptoms, so timely diagnoses are critical to treatment success and recovery.
There are countless viral and bacterial conditions out there that can make your pet sick. Thankfully, preventive medicine is allowing pets to live longer and healthier lives with vaccines. At Prairie Lane Veterinary Hospital, we provide core vaccines that are recommended for all pets, and non-core vaccines that are determined based on your pet’s lifestyle, risk of exposure, and medical history.
We like to remind clients that vaccines are a key aspect of preventive care. Making sure your pet is properly vaccinated will promote health and also bypass long and painful treatments down the road that could have been prevented. Puppies and kittens are put on vaccine schedules.
In Nebraska, rabies vaccines and tags are required for all pets. To double-check if your pet is current on their rabies vaccine, give our office a call at 402-333-1448.
Flea & Tick
Fleas and ticks are external parasites that latch onto your pet’s skin. This puts your pet at risk for skin irritation and skin allergies. At Prairie Lane Veterinary Hospital, we recommend daily grooming and monthly flea & tick preventives to keep pets protected year-round.
Ticks put a pet at risk for Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Be sure to visually check your pet for ticks after being outdoors, especially in wooded areas, camping areas, and humid climates.
Heartworm disease is a scary diagnosis. Prevention is the best treatment!
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos and cause irreversible damage to the heart and lungs. When a mosquito bites an infected pet, it takes with it the heartworm larvae that may infect other pets, too! It takes up to 6 months to develop adult heartworms, who live for about 5-7 years and produce larvae throughout their lives. It is not possible to detect the disease until adult heartworms are present. If you notice exercise intolerance, lethargy, or a cough in your pet, let us know right away. These signs are a result of on-going damage to the heart and lungs.
Puppies: Beginning at 8 weeks of age, a preventative is given monthly. These doses are dependent upon current weight.
Adults: Any dog over the age of 5 months should be tested prior to using preventatives. Following a negative test, preventatives are given monthly. The test is repeated annually.
Injection: We also offer a 6-month injectable heartworm preventative. This product is available for healthy dogs receiving their first dose between 6 months and 7 years of age. The preventative that we use also works against several intestinal parasites!
Intestinal parasites are found in all areas of the United States, and are transmissible to people. It is in the best interest of your entire family to have an annual fecal test for your pet and keep up with monthly preventives.
Tapeworms are transmitted by eating ﬂeas or rabbits. Rice-like worm segments may be found in the stool or around the anus. Symptoms include an itchy behind or ‘scooting’ behavior.
Roundworms are transmitted from a mother to her litter in the womb or through milk. Eggs are shed in feces so hand washing and general sanitation are important in preventing transmission to other pets or people. Roundworms appear in a pet’s stool or vomit. Symptoms include decreased energy, lack of appetite, and trouble maintaining weight.
Whipworms are transmitted through fecal contaminated soil. It takes the eggs 2-4 weeks to become infective, so fresh feces are not a source of transmission. These eggs may live in soil for years, but rarely affect people. Whipworms hide in a pet’s large intestine, making them virtually undetectable. Symptoms include chronic, intermittent diarrhea.
Hookworms are transmitted by a mother’s milk, small rodents, and contaminated soil. For this reason, it is critically important to clean up pet waste and wear shoes outside. Hookworms are very small, thin worm that fasten to the wall of the small intestine. Common symptoms include anemia and gastrointestinal issues.
Giardia are transmitted through contaminated food and water. These are single-celled organisms that are only visible with a microscope. Symptoms include diarrhea, which may be bloody.
Coccidia are transmitted through contaminated dirt, feces, and small rodents. These are single-celled organisms that are only visible with a microscope. Symptoms include diarrhea, especially in kittens and puppies. Over-the-counter medications are ineffective at eliminating these microscopic parasites, so a visit to the vet is a must.
Microchips are permanent, affordable, and help pet owners find lost pets. For this reason, we recommend all pets be microchipped! Unlike collars and tags, microchips are forever and cannot be removed. Still, the doctors at Prairie Lane Veterinary Hospital recommend using collars, tags, and microchips for your pet’s optimal safety in case of an accident. The Nebraska Humane Society requires all cats to either wear collars or be microchipped.
A microchip is as tiny as a grain of rice and implanted similarly to a routine vaccination beneath the skin between the shoulder blades. The entire process is quick and painless! What makes microchips so valuable is the unique, patented radio communication that provides quick and reliable information to identify an animal.
We use PetLink. If your pet is ever lost and scanned for a microchip, your contact information and your pet’s personal identification information is revealed. This can make a world of difference in reuniting with your furry family member!