Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 8 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

Appointment Request

Carlos’ Corner

The Importance of Annual Wellness Exams

 

Hey dog and cat parents, it's Carlos here. Even though my friends might act like they don't like coming to see the fine folks at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic, they're secretly flattered that you care so much about their health that you bring them in for a yearly check-up. You get your pet into the car, and I'll tell them to play it cool once they get here. Sincerely, Carlos

Many pet owners don’t visit the veterinarian unless their dog or cat is sick or injured. However, pets need regular wellness exams just like people do. This gives the veterinarians at Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital the opportunity to detect the symptoms of illness or chronic health conditions as early as possible. Regular wellness exams can even extend your pet’s life. When you consider how much enjoyment your dog or cat brings you, an investment in preventive care is well worth the cost.

How Often Do Companion Animals Require a Check-Up?
Adult pets between one and seven years of age who are normally healthy should come in once a year for a wellness exam. Senior pets benefit from a bi-annual exam since they age at a much faster rate than humans do. This is the time we start looking for such issues as kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, and hip dysplasia. Puppies and kittens require several appointments during their first year to get started on a vaccine schedule. 

The core vaccines for dogs include are rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, and canine adenovirus, which protects against respiratory disease and hepatitis. Cats receive vaccines for rabies, feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and feline calicivirus during their first year. Our veterinarians also discuss several non-core vaccines for your pet during wellness exams. We consider his species, breed, age, and lifestyle before making a specific recommendation. We highly encourage all clients to have their pet spayed or neutered by six months of age.

What to Expect at Your Pet’s Appointment
Your pet may receive a booster for a vaccine or a new vaccine if she’s not up-to-date. This appointment is the ideal time to discuss control of fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other common parasites. We will check for parasites as well as offer a recommendation on how to control them. Next, our veterinarian will complete a head to tail exam of your pet. Some of the specific things we look for include:

  • Urinary issues, including unusual discharges and problems with the mammary glands
  • Skin and coat problems, such as hair loss, anal sacs, shedding, and pigment changes
  • Limping, weakness, torn toenails, or other problems with the legs and feet
  • Discharge, redness, or itching from the eyes or ears
  • Problems with the teeth, mouth, or gums
  • Nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, or other indications of allergies or breathing issues
  • Indications of stomach or intestinal problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, or other abnormal stools
 
If your pet’s veterinarian has concerns after checking all of the above areas, he or she will order blood tests or other diagnostic testing. We will let you know the results and the follow-up plan as soon as possible. Feel free to bring up any questions you have about your pet’s behavior, nutrition, weight, or exercise habits at this exam as well. Please contact us to request a wellness exam if your pet isn’t already on a regular appointment schedule.

Photo Credit: Your Nikon Man/iStock Photo
 
 

 

 

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Safety Considerations for Pets in the Springtime

 

It's that time of year again. After a long winter, my dog and cat friends are anxious to explore the outdoors and all of your spring projects. I would love to see all of you, but not because you have to bring one of my sick or injured friends in for treatment. Here are some tips from my humans on how to keep your pet's springtime curiosity under control.  All the best, Carlos

People and pets alike welcome the return of spring in Minnesota. Like the other three seasons, spring presents unique health and safety hazards for our companion animals. This is true both inside and outside of the home. Before taking in all that this exciting season has to offer, pause to take stock of any potential dangers for your pet and make a plan to prevent them.

Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many households, including those with pets. You don't have to forgo getting your house in tip-top shape, but it's important to keep bleach and other cleaning products out of your pet's reach. Even those that claim natural ingredients contain harmful chemicals for pets. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this list of poisonous household products before starting your spring cleaning this year. 

Lawn and Garden
Products that you use to keep your lawn and garden healthy, such as mulch, fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides can all be toxic for your pet. As with spring cleaning chemicals, be sure to follow the label instructions exactly and keep lawn and garden products out of reach. It's best to keep your pet indoors when you're mowing the lawn or working in your garden. Certain plants are toxic to pets as well. 

Watch for Open Doors and Windows
If you prefer a natural cool breeze to air conditioning, consider investing in screens for your doors and windows if you haven't already. Dogs may bolt for an open door while cats are prone to jumping through open windows. A screen allows you to enjoy the cool breeze while keeping your animals safe in the house.

It's Flea and Tick Season
Unfortunately, more time outdoors means that your pet is at greater risk for flea and tick infestation. These parasites are more than just a nuisance. They can transmit serious health conditions like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Feel free to ask your pet's regular veterinarian for a recommendation on the best flea and tick preventive product for his or her species, breed, age, and lifestyle.

Indoor Improvements
It's also the season for home improvements. Whether you're planning to paint, add a room, or repair a wall, make sure you know where your pet is at all times. Curious dogs and cats might taste paint or get a nail stuck in their paw when you turn your back for a second. For safety's sake, plan to keep your pet in a kennel, with a sitter, or in another room in your house with the door closed.

Lastly, we recommend having a basic pet first aid kit on hand and keeping the telephone numbers of the Pet Poison Helpline and Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic on hand. Those are 1-855-764-7661 and 763-682-2181, respectively.

Photo Credit: vvvita/iStock Photo

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