Animal Wellness Care Services
Regular wellness checks for your pet are critical to preventing serious illness.
Routine exams for your pet are the best way to prevent many health problems and detect serious or chronic health issues in early stages when treatment can be most effective. We compare these wellness checks to annual physicals for people.
How often does my pet need a wellness check?
As in humans, the frequency of wellness exams changes with age. Like people, pets need to visit their veterinarian more when they are babies and when they are elderly. If you have a kitten or puppy, we will examine them several times in their first year of life as we give them core vaccinations, deworming medications and spay or neuter them. Because your pet is young and growing, we’ll talk about their nutritional needs, behavioral training and an exercise regimen.
From two until eight years of age, we recommend an annual wellness exam. As your pet becomes a senior (eight or older) we like to examine them twice a year so that we can catch any age-related health problems, like joint pain or urinary tract issues, or other serious health problems as early as possible. Early diagnoses generally lead to better health outcomes for your pet.
What can I expect at my animal's wellness exam?
You are a big part of your animal’s wellness exam. Our veterinarians will ask about your pet’s diet and exercise, their behavior, and their bathroom habits. They will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs, examine eyes and ears, check their teeth and gums, palpate (feel) their abdomen, legs, neck and head and check its fur and skin for fleas or ticks. We will also obtain a fecal sample (if not brought in by owner) and administer needed vaccinations. Depending on what they observe, our veterinarians may make recommendations about additional tests, needed medications, changes in diet and exercise, treatment for dental issues and skin and fur problems.
Make sure your pet's nutritional needs are being met in each different stage of life.
Proper nutrition is paramount to your pet’s good health. The many brands of food on store shelves make it difficult to determine what your pet should be eating, which is why our veterinarians will consult with you about your pet’s nutritional needs when you visit our clinic. Our veterinarians stay abreast of developments in nutrition by reading veterinary journals and research and attending conferences.
Our vets will talk not only about which feeds are optimal for your pet, but also how much food your pet should be fed. Pets need different types and portions of food at different stages of life.
Nutritional needs change throughout a pet’s life
Kittens and puppies require different nutrients than elderly cats and dogs, for example. A pet’s activity level must also be taken into consideration. A working dog, like a Border Collie on a farm, will need a different diet than a toy poodle who lives indoors. Pet foods are also formulated for animals that have health problems, like cancer, kidney and heart disease or even allergies. The right food means stronger bones, better muscles, healthier, shinier fur, fewer skin problems and better digestion.
Nutrition greatly affects your pet's life
One of the most common health issues we see in pets – obesity – is directly tied to nutrition or underlying health issues. As with people, overweight pets face a multitude of health problems, including diabetes, joint and mobility problems, heart issues and strokes.
We offer lines of prescription-only pet foods that are formulated to meet the specific needs of your furry loved one.
Dental Care Services
Dental health in pets is like dental health in humans; it affects the whole body.
Imagine how your mouth and teeth would feel if you couldn’t use a toothbrush. That’s the predicament faced by our pets, and it is why we do a thorough dental screening each time your pet visits our clinic and talk to you about preventive dental care.
Among the signs that your pet has a tooth problem are difficulty eating, dropping food, drooling, bleeding gums, bad breath and tooth discoloration.
Dental problems can lead to more serious infections
Not only do teeth and gum problems cause pain, they can also lead to serious health problems, as infections in the gum and mouth enter the bloodstream and spread to other major organs like the heart and kidneys.
By the time your pet is three, they typically will show signs of periodontal disease. There are ways to avoid problems, such as brushing your pet’s teeth regularly using a toothpaste specially formulated for animals (human toothpaste will do more damage than good) and a soft brush (we recommend a brush designed for pets). Some chew toys and treats also can help to naturally prevent the build-up of tartar and plaque.
Even with good care, your pet may need to have their teeth cleaned by our veterinarians. During these cleanings, animals are placed under general anesthesia, which allows us to do a thorough job of scaling and polishing teeth as well as examining the mouth for other problems, such as broken, chipped or missing teeth, abscesses and even cancerous spots or lesions. It is a safe procedure and we monitor your pet’s heart rate and rhythm, temperature, respiration rate and oxygen saturation throughout the procedure.
Internal Medicine Services
Our veterinarians are general practitioners who focus on the nonsurgical diseases in pets.
Our veterinarians at Richmond Road Veterinary Clinic are general practitioners who have a special interest in internal medicine, the specialty branch of veterinary medicine focused on nonsurgical diseases in animals. Internal medicine involves the complex inner workings of all of your pet’s organs and the various systems, such as respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive, reproductive and endocrine. Through the practice of internal medicine, we emphasize noninvasive diagnostic measures and treatment.
Symptoms that signal need for internal medicine examinations
The symptoms that signal need for internal medicine care are loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, chronic vomiting and diarrhea, abnormal blood tests, unexplained bleeding, fainting, collapse or seizure, respiratory problems, kidney and urinary tract issues including incontinence or inability to urinate, joint pain and ongoing infections.
Depending on your pet’s health issue, our veterinarians will conduct an examination and discuss with you the course of action as far as which diagnostic tests they would like to perform to make a diagnosis. This might include routine blood work, X-rays, ultrasound and other diagnostic tests.
Common diseases our clinic treats
The most common internal medicine issues our veterinarians treat are cancer, obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease. If your pet’s health issue requires a specialist, we have connections with veterinary professionals in the area and region who specialize in a range of disorders. They have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practice veterinarian does not have.
Drastically improve the odds of finding a lost pet by having them microchipped.
About 30 percent of pets get lost during their lifetime, and the vast majority don’t find their way back home, which is why we recommend that all our clients have their pets microchipped.
Statistics show that microchips improve the odds of being reunited with a lost pet. For example, more than half of dogs that are microchipped and are taken to an animal shelter are returned to their owner, far more than those without microchips. Almost 40 percent of microchipped cats are returned to their owner, compared to 2 percent of cats that aren’t microchipped.
What happens when my pet is microchipped?
Microchipping is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive. A tiny bio glass capsule, about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted beneath your pet’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades, using a small needle. No numbing is required, and the procedure is no more painful for your pet than having a vaccination.
What kind of data is stored on my pet's microchip?
The chip stores an ID number that is linked to the pet owner’s contact information, which is on file with a national database. Home Again is the database we use. When a scanner is waved over the chip, the ID number is retrieved, and the database can be searched for the owner’s information. Most veterinary clinics have these scanners, and many, like ours, have universal scanners, which read all models of microchips.
Can I update the data on the microchip?
If you have adopted an animal from a shelter, odds are it has been microchipped, and we are happy to check for that. But regardless of who microchipped your pet, you must make sure that your contact information is linked to the chip’s ID number. We can help you complete forms required to have this information stored in the Home Again database. One of the few pitfalls of microchipping is pet owners who forget to register with the national databases or don’t update their contact information when they move. Even if you microchip your pets, we recommend that they wear collars with vaccination tags and a tag that includes your name and number. Many lost pets are first found by neighbors; a collar with ID makes it easy for them to return your pet to you.
Parasite Prevention Services
Pet parasites are a common yet treatable issue that most pets will face at some point.
Most pets will suffer from parasites at some point during their lifetime. They could be infected with fleas, ear mites, scabies, heartworms, roundworms or ticks or with parasites that you might be less familiar with such as whipworm, coccidia or giardia. Parasites can cause a range of problems, from itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, to life-threatening illnesses.
Safe, effective medications prevent parasites
Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time treating animals for the health issues and diseases these minuscule and often microscopic pests pass along. Now, we have safe, effective medications that prevent pets from having to suffer from the maladies parasites bring.
In Kentucky, we see all forms of parasites, which is why we recommend year-round flea, tick, heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention for all dogs and cats. These medications are easy for pet owners to administer to their pets, typically on a monthly basis.
If you have a puppy or a kitten, we will also recommend that you follow a deworming program for the early months of life. Young animals, especially those that were strays or have been adopted from a shelter, are prone to intestinal parasites. When you give your pets medications to prevent parasites, not only are you protecting their health and avoiding future trips to our clinic for more serious health issues, you are also safeguarding your family. Many parasites can spread from pets to their owners, causing health problems for them as well.
What can I expect during my pet's appointment?
When your pet comes to Richmond Road Veterinary Clinic, we will examine them for physical signs of parasites. We’ll look for evidence of fleas and ticks and examine your pet’s ears to check for ear mites. A stool sample will be obtained (if not provided) to test for intestinal parasites, and we’ll also ask if your pet has suffered any of the common symptoms of parasites, such as itching, dull coat, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss or lethargy.