How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?

Columbia Animal Hospital recommends that your healthy pet have at least one visit to our clinic each year. This will allow our staff to properly boost vaccinations, identify any health issues your pet may be experiencing without obvious signs and to monitor their aging process. Senior animals may require blood work to screen for weight-related health problems or the presence of certain cancers.

Why does my pet need a dental procedure?

Dental cleanings are important if your pet has a large amount of tartar, has loose/decaying teeth, or did not lose all of the baby teeth. Tartar has bacteria associated with it that can cause dental infection, infection on the heart valves, and kidney disease.

At what age should I have my pet spayed or neutered?

Columbia Animal Hospital recommends not having your pet sterilized any earlier than six months of age. This allows your pet to mature with their reproductive organs and corresponding hormones allowing for a normal aging process. This is also a major surgery, requiring adequate healing and young pets may not be able to withstand this procedure without complications.

What are heartworms and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?

Heartworms are parasites that are passed from one infected animal to another by a mosquito. Both dogs and cats can contract heartworms. There are several forms of preventative heartworm medications available at Columbia Animal Hospital. Please ask our team about these products.

How often should my puppy receive vaccinations?

Puppies and kittens require several booster vaccinations three weeks apart to protect from viruses common to our area. Missing a vaccination can lead to severe illness which can lead to death. Puppies and Kittens receive some immunity from their mothers milk, but this immunity will only protect for a short period of time. We recommend vaccinating puppies and kittens at six, nine, twelve, and fifteen weeks. Annual vaccines are recommend one year after the final puppy/kitten booster. These are the national vaccine guidelines set by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).