The best kind of appointment for your pet is the one that prevents future issues before they happen. That’s why veterinary experts recommend bringing in your pet for regular examinations, even if they appear totally healthy in everyday life.
Because of long-held instincts developed over thousands of years, most animals (including dogs and cats) tend to hide outward signs of pain, injuries, illness, or other issues. This is an unconscious instinct that your pet doesn’t do on purpose, but it can mean that potential issues can be occurring without you even knowing— no matter how attentive and caring you might be as an owner.
At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook, our general recommendation is to bring your pet in for a check-up twice a year— maybe more if they’re very young or old pets, have had previous issues or injuries, or based on other factors.
Remember, a person might have one check-up examination per year or less— but we live for roughly 80 years. Pets lifespans are much shorter than ours. Imagine not visiting a doctor for a physical for 25 years!
During your pet’s exam, your doctor will assess the full physical condition of your pet. This check-up will cover a wide range of things, and those will vary based on your pet’s stage of life, species, breed, and more. For example, growing pets will be checked to make sure they’re growing and developing on track based on their breed. Older pets will receive special attention to their joints, which can develop issues as they grow older. Nutritional counseling becomes a part of these visits.
Your vet at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook will also probably ask you questions about your pet’s at-home life, including exercise, any behavioral concerns, lifestyle or dietary changes recently. Remember— our team isn’t here to judge you as a pet owner. We know that life gets busy and not everyone can take their dog for a long walk every single day. But the more information we have about your pet’s life at home, the better we can understand its overall health and how we can help improve it.
Remember to come to your pet’s examination prepared with any specific questions or concerns you have. Your vet will be more than happy to address any of these concerns, and it can help give our team members an idea of where to place extra focus in their assessment of your pet’s health.
Immunization against common and potentially dangerous pathogens is absolutely essential for pets, especially dogs and cats. Both are extremely susceptible to a variety of infectious diseases and parasites, some of which are potentially communicable to people!
But not to worry— protection against these threats to your pet (and indirectly, to you and your family) are readily available and affordable at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook.
We do not plan to “over-vaccinate” – in fact we have reduced some traditional annual vaccines down to administering every 3 years, and, every pet is an individual and their specific needs may vary.
When you first bring a new pet to us, we’ll put together a customized vaccine schedule based on their history of vaccines, age, species, breed, and other factors. This tailored approach is very important, because no two pets are exactly alike.
While there are some vaccines that are recommended (and sometimes legally required) for all dogs and cats, others may or may not be recommended after an assessment from your vet at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook.
In the state of North Carolina, rabies vaccines are required by state law for all dogs, cats and ferrets.
For dogs, the DA2PP vaccination is recommended to prevent four common and life-threatening issues that can occur in dogs— distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Your dog will almost certainly be exposed to these viruses at some point over the course of their life. The only way to adequately protect them is through scheduled vaccinations.
For cats, the recommended multiple vaccination is the FVRCP. It protects against panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis.
In adulthood, these two immunizations are customarily administered every 3 years.
Other vaccinations that may be recommended by your vet based on specific circumstances may include Bordetella, leptospirosis, lyme disease, canine influenza, or feline leukemia.
Many clients prefer to bundle up the preventative health needs into our TotalWellCare Club packages, where all the necessary services are bundled into a plan with affordable monthly payments. For more Information, follow this link to TWCC details.
Collars, name tags, and contact info are all great— but all can be easily lost or removed in the event that your furry best friend is lost or stolen. The safest, most low-maintenance, and most permanent way to ensure your dog can be identified and returned to you in the event of it being lost is through microchipping.
Microchipping works by simply inserting a tiny, 100% safe microchip just beneath your pet’s skin. This little chip contains all of the vital information about your pet, including all of your contact info. This info is then saved in a national database. These chips can be updated with new info (like a change of address) without them having to be removed.
Putting in a microchip is almost instant and almost completely painless for your pet. It can be done quickly anytime you come in for other vaccines, checkups, or spay/neuter appointments.
Remember— once your pet has been microchipped, you’ll need to register the chip online with the national database. We’ll give you all the info you need to make this happen at the time of your microchipping appointment.
It’s also important to note that while microchips are a great permanent way to register your pet, we still strongly encourage the use of collars and ID tags. A veterinarian practice like TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook or a pet rescue center can scan a microchip, but an average person who comes across your lost pet can’t. A collar and ID will tell people who see your pet that they have a home they would like to be returned to safely.
Weight in pets is a bigger concern today than it has ever been. There are more obese and overweight pets than ever, which can lead to major health issues for dogs and cats of all ages and breeds. Not only does being overweight or obese dramatically reduce pets’ quality of life, but it can also shorten their life and be a major factor in life-threatening conditions. These can include inflammation, kidney failure, liver disease, respiratory disorders, joint issues (accelerating osteoarthritis), and even cancer.
Our pets don’t understand that eating too much and failing to get any physical exercise can kill them. As the people that care for them, it’s our responsibility to keep them safe and healthy.
That said, we understand how easy it is for weight problems in pets to slowly develop over time, so slowly that we don’t notice them at first. By the time weight gain is noticeable, bad habits have already set in and it can be difficult to correct them.
At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook, we want to be your partner in helping your pet get back to its healthy weight. We’ll help assess your pet, its lifestyle, behaviors, and diet, and how you can be your best friend’s best personal trainer. Then we’ll help track progress over time and adjust the plan for long-lasting success. After all, a healthy pet is a happy pet.
Our animal hospital is located just 26 minutes from downtown Charlotte via I-85 N. We are by Gaston Country Club, easily accessible to the pets of Gaston County and the surrounding areas.