Healthy pets are happy companions, and the best way to keep your pet healthy is through regular veterinary care and close attention to any signs of illness. If you don’t already have a veterinarian, find one in your area who you and your pet are comfortable with. Of course, we think you won’t find a better partner for your pet’s health than the veterinarians and staff at Brickyard Animal Hospital. Regular visits to your veterinarian can mean fewer health problems for you and your pet. Your veterinarian can give you tips on how to give the best care to your pet and provide information on any new technologies, medicines, or procedures that may benefit your companion.
Required vaccinations for your pet are vital to prevent common infectious diseases. The frequency of immunizations will depend on a variety of factors: animal’s age, vaccination history and life style factors such as travel, day care and boarding. All dogs, cats and ferrets are legally required to be current on vaccination for rabies. An immunization schedule that is species-specific and consistent with your pet’s lifestyle will be recommended. Typically, dogs will be protected against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvo virus, corona virus, kennel cough and rabies. Cat’s immunizations include panleukopenia (distemper), rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, Chlamydia, rabies, and feline leukemia.
While some pets may require special diets to address specific health conditions, most will do well with a high-quality diet manufactured by a stable company with tight quality control standards. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information available regarding pet nutrition. In general, we do not recommend feeding raw-food diets or grain-free foods. Nutrition is one of the most important parts of keeping exotics and “pocket pets” healthy. We are happy to discuss the best food options for your pet as part of regular health care visits.
Spaying and Neutering
Unless showing or breeding your pet was one of the main reasons for buying them, we recommend surgical sterilization (spaying female, neutering male) of all dogs and cats. Millions of unwanted dogs and cats are needlessly destroyed every year. There just aren’t enough good homes for all these pets. By having your dog or cat surgically sterilized, you are helping to prevent overpopulation and the birth of unwanted puppies or kittens. Also, these procedures improve your pet’s health and quality of life. There is no clear consensus on the best age for spaying and neutering. Our veterinarians are happy to discuss your pet and help determine the best age for your situation.
Wellness, or early detection blood work can help identify health problems in pets before they show symptoms. As with humans, the earlier a problem is found the more options we have for treatment. While beneficial at all life stages, regular blood work should be considered at least annually in older pets, those with known health problems or needing long-term medications.
While Utah does not have the level of problems with fleas, ticks and other parasites that many areas face, this does not mean we are parasite free. We recommend year-round monthly internal parasite control for your cats and dogs. This easy step provides effective control of heartworms as well as intestinal parasites that can spread to humans. Flea and tick prevention may be needed depending on a pet’s lifestyle and travel.
Signs of Poor Health
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that you consult your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following signs:
- Abnormal discharges from the nose, eyes, or other body opening
- Loss of appetite, marked weight losses or gains, or excessive water consumption
- Difficult, abnormal, or uncontrolled waste elimination
- Abnormal behavior, sudden viciousness, or lethargy
- Abnormal lumps, limping, or difficulty getting up or lying down
- Excessive head shaking, scratching, and licking or biting any part of the body
- Dandruff, loss of hair, open sores, and a ragged or dull coat.
- Foul breath or excessive tarter deposits on teeth
We provide full range of medical care for sick pets. From allergies and skin disease to internal medicine and endocrine (hormone) imbalances, we are able to offer a full range of diagnostic options and treatment plans. In-house resources including digital x-ray and laboratory allow for quick results when needed. More in-depth diagnostic testing utilizing reference laboratory, is utilized for more complicated cases or when immediate results are not required. By partnering with highly experienced and skilled local veterinarians, advanced diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound can be performed in our hospital. Hospital care, including separate isolation ward for those with contagious diseases, is available. If more intensive treatment for critically ill patience is needed, we will refer to a local specialty hospital with whom we have a close working relationship. We are also able to provide care for most ophthalmology (eye) cases.
While too often overlooked, proper dental care is as important for our pets as it is for people. As part of regular physical exams, dogs, cats and ferrets should receive an oral (mouth) exam. While this gives us some idea of a patient’s dental health, it can not show all forms of dental disease. Proper dental diagnostics and treatment require the patient to be under a general anesthesia. A close examination of the teeth and gums along with full mouth dental x-rays should be performed. We strongly discourage the use of so-called ‘anesthesia free dentals’ as they do not allow for the diagnoses or treatment of any problems below the gum line. Healthy teeth are cleaned and polished, using very similar technics as to what would be performed in human dentistry. Dental care in dogs and cats unfortunately often requires the extraction (pulling) of diseased teeth. Fortunately, most patients do very well and are actually happier and experience less pain after extractions. Home care (brushing, dental treats) is an important part of caring for pets. Our staff is happy to help determine the best home care options for your pet.
Our highly trained staff offers a wide range of surgical procedures. From commonly performed surgeries such as spaying and neutering to removal of masses, G.I. surgery such as treatment for obstructions to orthopedic surgery for fractures or torn ligaments, we can provide a majority of needed surgical procedures. If we believe your pet will benefit from referral to a veterinary surgical specialist, we can help with those arrangements and co-ordinate needed follow-up care.