As a general rule, pet owners should bring their pet in for an examination once each year that includes a complete veterinary check-up, vaccination updates, and a blood test before getting heartworm treatment for dogs. Even in areas where heartworm is not a serious issue, trips out of town, boarding situations, and other experiences can expose your pet to this life-threatening condition. Flea and tick prevention are essential, and not just in the summer months. Make sure to speak with your vet at the animal hospital in Dartmouth about preventive medicine, including canine dental care and vaccinations.
Dental Care for Dogs
Most people will tell you that their dog has bad breath. While it is common, if your dog’s breath is uncommonly bad or suddenly worse, it could be a sign of dental issues or infection. Canine dental care is performed professionally at the veterinarian’s office, but it should also be carried out at home, in the way of daily teeth brushing and good dental health habits. Plaque can affect your pet’s teeth and gums in the same way that it affects people. A professional cleaning at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth can help to prevent bad breath and maintain healthy teeth and gums. Ask your vet for at-home canine dental care tips for better brushing. Some pets are prone to getting periodontal disease, which is an infection that lies between the tooth and the gum. This type of illness can be painful and will eventually result in tooth loss if nothing is done to stop it.
Other health issues that can be indicated by bad breath include:
- foul smelling breath – liver or intestinal diseases
- sweet, fruity-smelling breath – diabetes
- ammonia or urine-smelling breath – kidney disease
If your pet has a change in bad breath that is also accompanied by other signs of illness, such as weight loss, depression, excessive drinking, change in appetite, vomiting, or excessive urination, New Bedford pet owners should contact their veterinarian right away.
Parasites & Pests
While cats and other domesticated pets can all be affected by fleas, ticks, and other insect infestations, dogs seem to be extremely predisposed to these conditions, perhaps due to their outdoor activities and habits. Especially during the warm seasons, regular check-ups at home for fleas and ticks should be commonplace. Not only is this for the benefit of your dog, but for the health and safety of your human family as well. Fleas and ticks carry serious diseases that can be transferred to humans, so it is important to stay on top of daily checks and do everything else in your power to prevent parasites and pests from attacking your dog.
Heartworm treatment for dogs is also critical. The parasite itself lives inside the dog’s heart and is passed from dog to dog by mosquito bites. If left untreated, heartworm can be fatal, so it is important to get your pet on heartworm medication, following a check-up and heartworm blood test at your veterinarian. A blood test is required to prevent serious issues associated with a heartworm infection. Once your pet is cleared, a once-a-month preventive pill can be given. While this is important for New Bedford pet owners, it is even more important if you take your dog on vacations out of the area to regions where heartworm treatment for dogs is even more serious.
Spay & Neuter
Apart from the obvious benefit of reducing the stray dog population in the area, there are plenty of good reasons to get your female dog spayed and your male dog neutered. Surgery should occur by six months of age as part of an overall approach to veterinary care at the local animal hospital in Dartmouth. The risk of breast cancer is reduced significantly in females if they are spayed before six months of age, which can be a common and fatal disease for senior female dogs. The benefits for males are numerous as well, including prevention of testicular and prostate diseases, some types of hernias, aggression, and a drive to get out of the yard, which could lead to car accidents, fights with other dogs, and death.
Get Vaccinations in Dartmouth, MA
New Bedford pet owners can bring their dogs into Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth for a variety of preventive healthcare services. Canine dental care, heartworm treatment for dogs, spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and well check-up services can help your dog to have a long and healthy life. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment for a veterinary check-up or to learn more about all of the animal services that we provide to clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.