Preventative Care

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s a lot less expensive!”

At Levittown Animal Hospital, we strongly believe in the power of preventative care. Routine physical examinations, timely and only necessary vaccinations, adequate exercise and nutrition are just a few steps that can add years to your best friend’s life. In our opinion, preventative care is the most effective cure!

Rather than treating pre-existing conditions, we strive to prevent them. Pets are unable to communicate aches and pains, allowing disease progression to happen rather quickly with minimal symptoms. Focusing on health maintenance and preservation allows your pet to live a longer, happier, and healthier life—something we all want for our loved ones.

Wellness Exams

Just like a physician recommends regular wellness exams to his patients, veterinarians recommend regular wellness exams to their patients – your pets. It is advantageous to recognize a potential health concern during early stages to increase the likelihood of treatment success, while minimizing expense and difficulty. The act of curing an existing condition can be financially burdensome, however, prevention methods are much more affordable! We will recommend a wellness plan based on several factors such as your pet’s breed, age, lifestyle, and overall health.

Wellness exams typically include:

  • A complete nose-to-tail physical exam – This helps us evaluate major bodily systems and create a health profile
  • Discuss your pet’s behavior, diet, exercise habits, and regular activity
  • Recommend vaccinations and necessary diagnostics
  • Note changes in health and indications of illness such as weight gain or loss, which helps us address health concerns before they progress
  • Address any questions of concerns you may have

Vaccinations

With over 50 million pets residing in the United States, your companion is bound to come in contact with an infectious condition. We evaluate your pet’s lifestyle and unique risk factors to only administer the most relevant vaccines. We strive to reduce over-vaccination, which is why our veterinarians use personalized, up-to-date vaccine protocols and, whenever possible, administer multi-year vaccines.

At Levittown Animal Hospital, we vaccinate our patients using recombinant DNA vaccines, which are the safest and most effective vaccines available for pets today.

Microchip

Microchipping is essentially painless and provides lifelong protection and identification for your pet. The procedure is similar to a routine vaccination and is injected between the shoulder blades. Unlike a collar, a microchip can never fall off, be lost, altered, or intentionally removed.

Nutritional Counseling (& Obesity)

An estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese.

More food does not mean more love! It may be difficult to deny your dog or cat human food – however, it is important to remember that your pet’s nutritional needs differ from your own! Factors such as age, health condition, gender, weight, and breed effect overall recommended nutrition, whether that is a specialized diet or simply a balanced diet.

If your pet is experiencing nutritional challenges such as liver disease, renal failure, bladder and kidney stones, food allergies, or obesity, we are able to offer you advice and solutions.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you know how many calories your pet should consume each day?
  • Does your pet need to gain or lose weight?
  • Does your pet have kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or other chronic conditions?
  • Do you know how to read and interpret food labels?

Fleas, Ticks & Heartworms

wellness-2We now know that parasites – fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal worms – are more than a nuisance and can actually threaten your pet with grave illness and even death. Protect your pet and prevent parasite infestation before it happens by routinely testing for parasites and using safe and effective preventative medications.

Fleas and Ticks

We can discuss the best treatment options based on your environmental situation and review ways to control fleas in your home, yard and on your pet.

  • Fleas and ticks are external parasites that irritate the skin.
  • Fleas cause skin allergies that are common in cats and dogs.
  • Ticks latch on to the skin and feed on blood.
  • Ticks can transmit many diseases, including Lyme disease
  • Fleas can transmit many diseases, including tapeworms and Bartonella
  • Once-a-month products are available to prevent fleas and ticks.
  • It is important to visually examine your pet for signs of fleas during daily grooming and check for ticks after being in a risky area, such as a wooded camping site.

Intestinal Parasites

Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, fecal testing is recommended annually or semi-annually. Dogs and cats are commonly infected with internal parasites that can also be passed to humans. Not only does this pose a threat to your pet, but also the general public. Parasites are present in virtually all areas of the U.S. This results in a fairly high infection rate in puppies and kittens. Roundworms are a significant cause of blindness in children.

Heartworm

Heartworms are harmful but also preventable! We recommend annual testing as well as once-a-month preventives which are accessible through our online pharmacy.

  • Adult heartworms reside in the right side of the heart.
  • Heartworms are 6-14 inches long and hundreds may be present in one dog!
  • Heartworms impair blood circulation, which results in damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.
  • Significant damage may occur prior to outward symptoms.
  • Advanced symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, tiring easily, low energy, loss of weight, fainting, and death.
  • Mosquitos spread heartworms!
  • We recommend heartworm prevention for cats as well, since they can also be affected – in fact, 5% of heartworm-positive cases are indoor-only cats.
  • Heartworms are found in the United States and Canada.

Geriatric Care

Our senior pets benefit from specialized care designed to promote health and longevity! We encourage geriatric patients to visit us semi-annually so we can more closely monitor changes in health such as weight loss, cardio-pulmonary health, dental disease, cataracts, glaucoma, arthritis, and cancer. Routine visits will keep your companion happy and healthy by treating and preventing conditions before they occur.

Canine Geriatric Care Information

  • One human year is equivalent to 5-7 dog years! Potentially consequential health changes can occur in as little as 3-6 months.
  • Most canines are considered a senior at age 7. Larger breeds are considered a senior at 5 years old.
  • Dental disease is common among senior canines. Inflamed gums and teeth can be incredibly painful and cause infection, tooth loss, bad breath, kidney and heart disease.
  • Special health care such as blood tests, urinalysis, fecal exams, radiographs and ultrasounds are recommended, just as they are in human seniors.
  • Nutritional needs change with age. Older canines often consume less calories and engage in less physical activity. Protein malnutrition may be associated with 50-70% of all kidney and liver disorders. Obesity is a detrimental health concern that can lead to other conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Behavior changes are common and expected. Your senior pet may appear disoriented, sleep more, interact less, and forget their housetraining. Senile behaviors can be addressed using recent therapies.

Feline Geriatric Information

  • Cats are typically considered seniors by age 8.
  • One human year is equivalent to 5-7 cat years! Potentially consequential health changes can occur in as little as 3-6 months.
  • Dental disease is common among senior felines. Inflamed gums and teeth can be incredibly painful and cause infection, tooth loss, bad breath, kidney and heart disease.
  • Special health care such as blood tests, urinalysis, fecal exams, radiographs and ultrasounds are recommended, just as they are in human seniors.
  • Nutritional needs change with age. Older felines often consume less calories and engage in less physical activity. Protein malnutrition may be associated with 50-70% of all kidney and liver disorders. Obesity is a detrimental health concern that can lead to other conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Behavior changes are common and expected. Your senior pet may appear disoriented, sleep more, interact less, and forget their housetraining. Senile behaviors can be addressed using recent therapies.

Behavior Services

Health concerns can begin with or be influenced by behavioral problems. Healthy pets may also need behavioral training to prevent disruption at home and with family life. We are trained and experienced in understanding pet’s behavior, preventing behavioral problems, and resolving various unwanted behaviors. We are happy to provide you with training tips and recommendations to help with the behavioral modification process.