Wellness and Preventative Medicine
A regular physical examination is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Our veterinarians recommend a complete physical examination for your pet at least once a year, though more frequent exams are even better. During a physical examiniation, among other procedures, our veterinarian listens to your pet's heart and lungs, evaluates your pet's vision, looks for any unusual lumps or swellings and checks your pet's teeth and oral cavity. Routine examinations give us an opportunity to develop a picture of your pet's overall health. Examinations are also essential in detecting problems before they become serious and expensive issues.
We vaccinate your pet based on American Animal Hospital Association recommendations, our assessment and each individual pet's lifestyle. Vaccines are a very important part of preventative care and are tailored to the pet's needs. Core vaccinations (rabies, DHPP, FVRCP) are given every three years after the initial first-year booster.
We also provide vaccine titer testing to determine your pet's immunological status against common viral and bacterial pathogens.
What is a titer?
The term "titer" refers to the strength or concentration of a substance in a solution. When testing vaccine titers in a pet, Dr. Forsythe takes a blood sample to test for the presence or strength of your cat or dog's immunological response to a disease. If the blood demonstrates satisfactory levels of antibody molecules, your pet is considered sufficiently immune to the disease at that time, or possessing good "immunological memory", and not in the need of further vaccination against the disease.
At Altimira Veterinary Hospital, we can use these blood titer results to make vaccine and titer recommendations for the future. A high titer level does not guarantee protection, but is highly suggestive.
Titers make it possible to avoid repeating vaccines more frequently than is necessary for your dog or cat's protection. Any vaccine can cause an adverse reaction, either acute (e.g. vomiting, anaphylactic shock) or chronic (e.g. immune-mediated disease). For many pets, it is ideal to limit the frequency of vaccines when possible.
Our cat vaccine titer includes not only Panleukopenia (feline Distemper) but also Calici virus and Rhinotracheitis, which makes this a comprehensive and valuable titer set. The dog vaccine titer test includes Distemper as well as the Parvo virus.
Each year, millions of pets go missing and many are never found. A microchip can help ensure your pet can be found more quickly should he or she go missing. A microchip is a tiny electronic device, about the size and shape of a grain of rice. It is implanted beneath a pet's skin between the shoulder blades and stays there for the pet's entire life. This procedure is as easy and as painless as a vaccination.
Each microchip has a unique number. This number, along with information about the owner and pet, are added to a national pet registry. Most veterinarians and animal shelters have electronic scanners for detecting and reading these implanted microchips. If a lost pet is found, and the microchip is scanned, the registry is called and the owner is contacted.