What does my adult dog need for good health and to prevent medical problems?
All dogs need yearly vaccines to boost their immune systems against potentially deadly diseases and to protect the public against a rabies outbreak. Rabies is present in the Texas wildlife and there is a potential risk of exposure to your pet. Because of the risk of rabies being spread to the public, it is law that all dogs receive rabies vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends that all pets be dewormed on a regular basis to prevent the spread of parasites to people, especially children and immune compromised individuals. All dogs should receive a yearly “Distemper shot” to protect from diseases they will commonly come in contact with. These include distemper – a potentially fatal neurological disease, parvo – a potentially fatal gastrointestinal disease, leptospira – a potentially fatal kidney and liver disease, corona – a serious gastrointestinal disease, as well as adenovirus and parainfluenza – a serious respiratory disease.
All dogs should be tested for heartworm disease on an annual basis. Just like birth control, nothing is 100% effective. Once the dog has been tested and is negative for this parasite, heartworm preventative should be given year around. Heartworm preventative does not kill adult heartworms. If your dog is heartworm positive, the preventative will do nothing to slow or prevent this disease. Heartworm preventative will also keep your dog free of most intestinal parasites. Topical parasites (fleas, mites and ticks) cause stress, irritation, anemia, tapeworms, skin infections, and potentially fatal tick borne diseases. There are numerous veterinary products that are excellent in preventing heartworm, flea and tick infestations. At Best Vet we carry Heartgard, Advantage and Advantix.
Dental disease can cause problems with food consumption, and is a major source of infection to the heart, kidneys, and bloodstream. Dental cleanings and a proper dental diet (Hills t/d) can reduce or eliminate these conditions. The use of t/d food also reduces bad breath, GI upset and decreases shedding.
Dry skin, excessive shedding, hot spots, allergies, and arthritis can all be relieved through fatty acid supplements. The supplement we recommend (EFAVITE-HP) also provides vitamin and mineral supplementation. This dietary nutraceutical provides the same health benefits as does eating fish and drinking red wine in people.
Swimming, getting water down the ears during baths, allergies, and humidity can all cause ear infections. Ear health can usually be maintained with a good chlorhexi flush. Because of the occasional cuts, abrasions, rashes, and other routine skin irritations your dog will encounter, a quality gentocin spray can help you avoid the veterinarian by taking care of these simple lesions at home.