Veterinary Health Care Services

Veterinary Vaccines for Healthy Pets

Veterinary Vaccines for Healthy PetsWhile Norwich, Connecticut, and surrounding communities do not have exceptionally high rates of infectious diseases in companion animals, rabies and a range of other diseases are present. Additionally, some of these diseases, such as rabies, are zoonotic, which means they can be passed from your pet to you and your family.

Therefore, All Friends Animal Hospital highly recommends that all pets receive vaccines for rabies and other dangerous diseases that are present in our area of the country.

Despite the importance of these vaccines, we also believe that some thought should be given as to how they are administered. Not only do we want to maximize their effectiveness, but we want to minimize the risk of an adverse impact of a vaccine to your pet. Our vaccine protocols are tailored to guidelines established by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. We also update our protocols based on the latest research available from these and other reputable organizations.

For puppies and kittens, we also like to spread out the recommended vaccines through the first year of life. This allows your new pet’s immune system to fully recover from each vaccine challenge.

The core vaccines we recommend for dogs and cats are rabies and distemper. We also generally recommend that dogs receive vaccines for Lyme, kennel cough, and canine influenza. Cats, especially those that go outside, should also receive the feline leukemia vaccine.

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Lost Pet Microchip ID by HomeAgain

All Friends Animal Hospital Microchip Lost Pet ID by HomeAgainDogs and cats often will run off for an hour or so to explore the world and then find their way home for food and warmth. However, what would you do if your pet failed to come home? How would someone find you if your pet loses his or her tag, it is unreadable, or you are traveling?

It is unfortunate, but according to statistics on lost pets compiled by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than two percent of cats and 15 to 20 percent of dogs that become lost are returned to their owner.

To help prevent this tragedy from happening to our clients, the All Friends Animal Hospital recommends that all pets should receive a lost pet microchip ID. About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is painlessly injected into the skin of your pet, generally between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique identification number that is linked to a database with important information about your pet, which includes your contact information.

A lost pet microchipID is permanent. All pets brought into an animal hospital or humane shelter are routinely scanned for a microchip, and that information is used to quickly reunite them with their owner.

All Friends Animal Hospital uses the HomeAgain microchip system. HomeAgain provides a number of very useful services to pet owners such as their National Pet Recovery Database, Lost Pet Specialists, Rapid Lost Pet Alerts, Lost Pet Medical Insurance, Travel Assistance for Found Pets, and more.

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Your Puppy or Kitten's First Year

Your Puppy or Kitten's First YearBringing a puppy or kitten into your life is a very exciting time. They are loving and adorable and bring a new sense of fun and energy to your home. A puppy or kitten also provides an opportunity to teach young children a sense of responsibility and how to care for another living being.

However, they require some special care during their first year of life as well as help learning how to live in your home, which can be a challenge, especially for first time pet owners. For this reason, All Friends Animal Hospital offers comprehensive physical exams at key developmental stages as well as time- and veterinarian-tested advice on housebreaking and training.

We recommend an initial wellness exam, screening for damaging parasitic infections such as worms or giardia, an initial dental exam, and perhaps a vitamin supplement for good nutritional health. At six months of age we recommend spaying or neutering your pet. For our clients with puppies, we also strongly recommend starting medicines to prevent heartworm.

Vaccines are also very important. The Norwich / New London County area of Connecticut has its fair share of rabies and other infectious diseases that can easily be prevented by routine vaccinations. However, All Friends Animal Hospital believes that it is very important to take a balanced approach to vaccinating kittens and puppies. We spread vaccine visits throughout your pet’s first year to ensure his or her immune system adequately responds and recovers from each vaccine challenge.

In all that we do, our puppy and kitten care is designed to give your new pet the best start at life possible as well as to help him or her become a loved and mannered addition to your family.

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Care for Cats and Dogs in Their Senior Years

Care for Cats and Dogs in Their Senior YearsAs our pets age they may slow down a bit, but there is no reason to think that there is little we can do to keep them happy and healthy for a long time to come.

Pets in their senior years—those about six years of age and older—tend to be more susceptible to a number of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, a comprehensive senior care program is important for preventing or discovering these diseases at an early stage when they can be easily treated.

All Friends Animal Hospital recommends a senior care exam every six months and specialized lab work every 12 months. These senior care measures are tailored to your pet’s age, physical condition, breed and lifestyle and are designed to identify age-related health issues before they become difficult and expensive to treat.

Additionally, because senior care is very important to us, All Friends Animal Hospital offers these services at a discounted rate when purchased as a package for your pet.

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Resolving Behavior Issues in Pets

It is not uncommon for the human/animal bond to become a bit frayed due to behavior challenges in our pets. In fact, behavior issues are often cited when people give up a pet.

For example, new puppies and kittens are very cute and fun, but they require housebreaking and training so they integrate well with your family and any other pets you may have. The same is true of adopted adult pets, especially if they have ingrained behavior traits that don’t mesh well with your household.

There are also times where a physical malady can affect behavior. For example, a pet with cystitis or kidney disease may have issues with inappropriate voiding. This is not a behavior issue, but a sign and symptom of an underlying disease that requires medical treatment from your veterinarian.

All Friends Animal Hospital strives to help our clients strengthen the bond they share with their pets and we believe that helping you with behavior issues is an important aspect of our work. All of our staff veterinarians and technicians have knowledge and training in behavioral problems. We have successfully treated cases of generalized anxiety, noise and thunderstorm phobias, separation anxiety, introduction of new pets, house training issues, inappropriate chewing and barking, and more.

If your pet’s behavioral issue is significantly complicated or beyond our area of expertise, we can refer you to a board-certified animal behaviorist.

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Identifying and Treating Nutritional Problems in Dogs and Cats

Identifying and Treating Nutritional Problems in Dogs and CatsPets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before and a big part of that is due to our expanded knowledge of the importance of proper nutrition to overall health.

The doctors of All Friends Animal Hospital fully appreciate the link between nutrition and health. During your pet’s comprehensive physical examination we evaluate each patient’s body condition and review his or her diet and make necessary recommendations or adjustments.

For most pets these recommendations will include information on proper serving size and other feeding strategies to maintain optimal body weight and nutritional health. However, some pets have more serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions such as diabetes or renal issues that require veterinary treatment. This can include more intensive feeding strategies, specialized foods, and prescription diets.

We also carry a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products. If your pet requires a prescription diet we do not carry, we can easily order it for you. We can also offer advice and provide information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and other conditions.

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Holistic Medicine for Your Pet

For thousands of years healers of all stripes, from ancient China to modern medical doctors, have understood that there are numerous factors that contribute to good health and healing. When all of these factors are taken into account—body, mind, spirit, diet and environment—we are able to take a holistic approach to the care of your pet.

Rather than simply treat a condition with medicines or surgery, All Friends Animal Hospital is able to combine a range of complementary holistic practices with traditional methods in order to better treat your pet. These holistic therapies are also very useful at preventing disease as well as sustaining your pet’s overall wellbeing.

In all, holistic approaches to medicine are designed to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. They are also intended to complement traditional treatments by enhancing their effectiveness as well as to reduce their side effects.

Among the holistic approaches offered by All Friends Animal Hospital are neutraceuticals, nutritional supplements, and herbal remedies. Additionally, Dr. Melissa deBlok is certified in Western Herbal Veterinary Medicine and is continuing her training in holistic medicine.

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Our Veterinary Pharmacy

Our Veterinary PharmacyEnsuring our clients have convenient and timely access to competitively priced medications for their pets is an important aspect of our veterinary practice. More than ever before, medications play an important role in helping cure a sick animal, relieve pain after an injury or surgery and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. Without these medications we would see higher mortality/morbidity rates, shorter lifespans, and degraded quality of life in our companion animals.

All Friends Animal Hospital maintains a comprehensive pharmacy within our practice and is able to quickly access any medication that is necessary for the care of your pet. Additionally, because we are the prescribing veterinarians, we are able to ensure there is a direct link between the exam room and our pharmacy. This means your pet will receive the right medication, at the right dose, in the right form as quickly as possible. We will also be able to easily guide you on the medication’s use as well as monitor its effectiveness.

Refills are easy, too. Simply visit our online pharmacy or give us a call and we can either mail them to you or have them ready at your next visit.

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