Here at Clayton & Churchtown Veterinary Associates, we provide both traditional and integrative medicine for the care of your pets. We offer services for pets of all ages including but not limited to annual examinations, vaccines, and surgical procedures.
Annual Wellness Exams
One of the most important things any pet parent can do is bring their cat or dog to the vet at least once per year for an annual exam. At the annual exam, your pet will receive a full physical exam by the veterinarian. This exam will include checking your pet’s eyes, ears, and teeth. The doctor will also assess their skin and coat health, their musculoskeletal system, and listen to their heart and lungs.
At your pet’s exam, we will also keep you updated on what tests or vaccinations for which your pet may be due. Recommended tests may include a fecal exam, heartworm and tickborne disease testing, FeLV/FIV testing, urine testing, and bloodwork to establish a baseline of what is normal for your cat or dog.
It is always important to remember that our furry friends cannot tell us if something is wrong. Annual Wellness Exams are one of the best ways to catch any new or developing problems before they become medical emergencies. Cats are especially good at hiding their discomfort, so yes, that indoor-only housecat needs a yearly exam too!
While we recommend vaccinating pets at risk for disease, we also believe in using vaccines responsibly. Our doctors will work with you to determine which vaccines are important for your pet and when those vaccines should be given. We are also happy to work with pet parents who wish to follow alternative vaccination schedules or have questions or concerns about any vaccines.
If you prefer not to vaccinate your pet, an annual blood antibody test called a titer can be run to determine if and when your pet might need vaccination. A low titer indicates your pet is not protected and will need a vaccination, while a normal titer indicates that your pet is protected, and no vaccination is needed.
Rabies vaccination is a different case and vaccination schedules are based upon state law.
We believe in making sure that our patients are healthy inside and out. In order to check things on the inside, the doctor may recommend a variety of tests. These tests include heartworm and tickborne disease testing, FeLV/FIV testing, fecal testing, and routine bloodwork.
Fecal Exam. This routine test is recommended at least once per year. It will check your pet for various intestinal parasites. An important thing to remember is that these parasites are often never seen with the naked eye, so you may not be aware they are there. Many parasites can be transmitted to people, so make sure to clean up after your pets routinely!
Heartworm & Tick-Borne Disease Test. This test will check for Heartworm disease as well as three of the most common tick-borne diseases: Lyme, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia. This test should be done yearly.
Dogs should be administered Heartworm Preventative based on lifestyle, and yes, testing still needs to occur to ensure our preventatives are working properly. An added benefit of most Heartworm Preventatives is that they help prevent intestinal parasites as well.
Tick-borne diseases are important to check for routinely because these diseases can cause many issues in dogs including, but not limited to, joint pain and kidney damage. There are many options out there for prevention, so be sure to talk with the technicians and doctors about their recommendations.
FeLV/FIV Test. This is a test to check our feline friends for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. These viruses affect the immune system, meaning that cats who have either of these viruses can become very ill. FeLV typically affects kittens and can be devastating since most of those affected have a life expectancy of under 3 years. FIV positive felines can live long, fulfilling lives, though they are more prone to sickness than a negative-tested feline. It is important to remember that every cat should be tested yearly, even if their exposure is minimal. These viruses are transmitted primarily through bite wounds but can also be transferred from a mother to her kittens.
Urinalysis. This test can check many things regarding bladder and kidney health. A urine sample checks to see if there are any issues with your pet’s ability to concentrate urine and checks for any signs of protein loss which can be associated with early kidney damage. This sample can also tell us if there is any evidence of infections, pH imbalance, glucose issues, or crystals.
Crystal formation happens due to pH imbalance and diet. It is very important to monitor for crystals as they can form stones in the bladder which are very painful and can cause urinary blockages, making it impossible for your pet to urinate.* When stones are suspected, the doctor will recommend an x-ray. If stones are present, they will require surgery to remove.
*If your pet is trying to urinate and is producing minimal to no urine, you must bring them to a veterinarian immediately. This is a medical emergency! When they cannot urinate, this can result in severe kidney damage, a ruptured bladder, and even death. If during normal office hours, please call us at 856-881-740 right away! If after hours, find an emergency 24-hour hospital near you.
Routine Bloodwork. This is highly important testing that includes a Complete Blood cell Count (CBC), chemistry values, glucose, and thyroid values. A CBC will give the doctor valuable information on what your dog or cat’s Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells are doing which can help to detect signs of many diseases, such as infection or anemia. Chemistry values will determine how your pet’s organs are functioning, ensuring that their kidneys, liver, pancreas, and more are working in tip-top condition. Glucose monitoring will check for signs of diabetes and thyroid testing will help to check for signs of an over- or under-active thyroid gland. These tests are the first line of defense in keeping your pets healthy and happy
Dental Evaluations During your pet’s physical exam, the doctor will assess the health of your pet’s teeth and gums. This is graded on a scale of 1-5; 1 being very mild disease typically starting at the gum line, while 5 means that your pet has very damaged teeth and gums. It is important to note that they cannot tell you when they have a toothache, so keeping up with dental care at home is a great way to prevent tooth decay. If the doctor recommends your pet have a deep cleaning, an estimate will be provided outlining the estimated cost of the procedure. Click here for more in-depth information on Dental Care.
In addition to our wellness care we also offer several other holistic and routine services,
including but not limited to:
- Sick Pet Visit
- Chronic Condition / Medication Management
- Spay & Neuter Surgery
- MLS Laser
- Acupuncture / Chiropractic