Comprehensive Physical Exam
Perhaps the most important part of any pet’s visit to a veterinarian is the comprehensive physical examination, which is very important because your pet cannot tell us what is bothering them, and they are masters at hiding pain and disease. Your trained veterinarian at Summer Creek Animal Clinic understands what is normal for dogs and cats and is able to detect any abnormalities during this part of your visit. We take great pride in ensuring your pet is thoroughly evaluated during each visit, and we will take the time that you deserve to explain all of our findings in detail and discuss what is needed to improve the quality and quantity of life for your furry friend. Please call today to schedule your pet’s comprehensive physical exam.
Adult Pet Care
During your dog or cat’s adult years, it is crucial to maintain regular veterinary care to ensure the best quality and quantity of life. There is an endless list of conditions and diseases that dogs and cats can acquire at any age. Regular care during their adult years gives us the ability to detect problems early and either cure or significantly slow down the progression of the disease. This means not only a longer life for your beloved pet but also a more comfortable and happy life. For example, simply by ensuring proper nutrition for your pet and maintaining a lean body weight, your pet will feel better day to day and live an average of two years longer. This is the power of good preventive care.
Senior Pet Care
There is no doubt about it. Pets are living longer than they ever have. This is due to improving medical care as well as care from dedicated pet owners like yourself. We pay close attention to mobility and joint comfort, oral health, thyroid disease, kidney disease, and much more for your senior pet. We are proud to offer preventive care plans that focus on the specific needs of your senior pet to keep them as happy and healthy as possible.
We are blessed to live in an age when very effective and safe vaccinations are available for many infectious diseases that your pet may come into contact with throughout their life. Vaccinations are extremely important because they can prevent diseases that could otherwise be deadly. Unfortunately, we still see pets on a regular basis that die from diseases that are completely preventable. It is not just a matter of receiving a vaccine, but it is equally important that the vaccine has been properly handled, the appropriate number of vaccines have been given, and at the correct ages and intervals. We are here to help ensure that your beloved pet receives the protection it needs. We will take the time to discuss your pet’s specific lifestyle, and we will only vaccinate as often as your pet needs to be vaccinated. Please call to schedule an appointment to further discuss your pet’s specific needs.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that both we and our pets can contract. It is transmitted in the urine of mammals and is either ingested (a dog drinking from a puddle in the backyard) or transmitted through a break in the skin or mucous membranes. If contracted, it usually causes severe kidney failure in our dogs but can also severely compromise the liver. The Leptospirosis vaccine provides protection for the four most common serovars (types) of Leptospirosis in our area. It does not provide complete protection, but overall, it does a very good job. As a result, we at Summer Creek Animal Clinic recommend vaccinating all dogs annually against Leptospirosis. This helps protect you and your pet by preventing your pet from contracting the disease and spreading it to you. The only reason why this would not be recommended is a previous history of adverse reaction to the vaccine, which fortunately is much less common than it used to be. Please call the clinic to schedule your vaccination visit.
Canine Influenza Vaccine
The Canine Influenza virus currently has two identified strains in the United States. The H3N8 was the first strain identified followed by the H3N2 strain. Both strains have been identified as the cause of multiple outbreaks throughout the country including Texas. The virus can cause anywhere from mild to severe symptoms. The symptoms are respiratory in nature and can be fatal in some dogs. The disease is transmitted in ways that are similar to how the flu is transmitted in humans. Fortunately, dogs do not go around shaking hands and touching everything like we do, but they do have frequent nose-to-nose contact. There is a Canine Influenza virus vaccine that protects from both the H3N8 and the H3N2 strains. This is considered a lifestyle vaccine, and at Summer Creek Animal Clinic, we recommend it for any dog that has exposure to other dogs either directly or through another dog or human that interacts with other dogs. Some common examples include boarding facilities, grooming facilities, dog parks, self-serve dog-wash stations, etc. Please call the clinic to schedule your vaccination visit.
The rattlesnake vaccine is meant for dogs that are at risk for bites from western diamondback rattlesnakes. It also has some cross-protection from other species with similar venom including Copperhead snakes. The vaccine works by stimulating the dog to produce antibodies against the venom so they can fight the venom if they are bitten. The goal is to help fight, and slow down, the venom. However, the vaccine is never sufficient by itself if a dog is bitten. It is still an emergency, and they must be rushed to your veterinarian or the nearest after hours emergency hospital. They will still need treatment and possibly antivenom depending on the severity of the envenomation. The rattlesnake vaccine still may mean the difference between life and death in dogs that have been bitten by providing time to obtain the appropriate treatment in severe envenomations. It is not recommended for all dogs to receive this vaccine. Only those that are considered to have a higher risk of exposure to such snakes. Please call us to schedule an appointment to see if this vaccine is appropriate for your dog.
Lyme disease is, unfortunately, a common disease in people on both coasts and also in our dogs. Lyme disease is one of the few diseases in Texas that is less prevalent here than elsewhere. However, the tick that transmits Lyme disease is now present in Texas and is most likely here to stay. This means in the near future we are likely to see an increase in the number of Lyme disease in both people and our dogs. The most important thing for your pet right now in Texas is providing very good year-round tick prevention. In higher risk situations, like travel to areas of the country with a higher incidence of disease or high tick exposure here in Texas, then the Lyme vaccine may be warranted for your dog. Please call to schedule an appointment to see if this vaccine is appropriate for your dog.
Fort Worth is a hotbed for bugs and parasites. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites. There are hundreds of heartworm positive cases reported in dogs and cats every month in Tarrant County, and even more cases that go unreported. Heartworm disease leads to chronic health issues relating to the heart, lungs, vessels, and even the kidneys. Heartworm disease can also lead to heart failure and death. Fortunately, it is nearly 100% preventable. Though heartworms prefer dogs over cats, heartworms do develop in the cat, and if the worms mature to adulthood they can NOT be treated and can, unfortunately, lead to sudden death. Adult worms occur less commonly than in the dog, but the damage is still done as the immature stages of the heartworm migrate through the lungs often causing a hypersensitivity reaction and therefore inflammation in the tissues. This is a common cause of chronic coughing and lung disease in cats. Sadly, indoor cats are not impervious to heartworms. A study conducted by North Carolina State University found that 27% of the cats diagnosed with heartworm were inside-only cats. It takes only one mosquito to infect a cat, and because mosquitoes can get indoors, both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk and should receive heartworm preventive medication. Therefore, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Heartworm Society, and Summer Creek Animal Clinic recommend year-round heartworm prevention in both dogs and cats. There are few places where this recommendation is more important than Texas. In order to make this as accessible as possible to all pet owners, Summer Creek Animal Clinic has created Parasite Prevention Plans that provide year-round parasite protection (including heartworms) for a low monthly rate. Click the following links for more information: Parasite Prevention Plan: Cats and Parasite Prevention Plan: Dogs or call us for more details.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Flea and tick infestations are an extremely common problem in Fort Worth. If your pet is allergic to fleas, it can make them even more miserable and cause intense itching and biting. Flea infestations are also a nuisance to get rid of and are incredibly disgusting if you were able to see the magnitude of eggs and adults living and breeding in your carpet, rugs, and other areas they hang out. Just one female flea can lay as many as 2000 eggs in her lifetime! Fleas and ticks can also transmit diseases to your pet AND to you. For all these reasons and more, providing year-round, consistent flea and tick prevention for all your pets is crucial to everyone’s health and well-being. In order to make this as accessible as possible to all pet owners, Summer Creek Animal Clinic has created Parasite Prevention Plans that provide year-round parasite protection (including flea/ticks in dogs and fleas in cats) for a low monthly rate. Click the following links for more information: Parasite Prevention Plan: Cats and Parasite Prevention Plan: Dogs or call us for more details.
Intestinal Parasite Prevention
Gastrointestinal (GI) parasites (“worms” living in the stomach and intestines) in your pet dog or cat are probably more common than you think. In Tarrant County alone there hundreds-to-thousands of cases reported every year depending on the type of parasite. Undoubtedly many more go unreported because not every dog and cat is tested. The parasites can cause disease in your pets including chronic vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, “poor-doing,” and malnutrition. However, most pets with GI parasites do not show any overt symptoms but they are spreading the parasites to other other pets and most importantly, potentially to YOU. Many GI parasites in our pets have the potential of infecting people. With regular deworming of your pets and practicing good hygiene, this risk is greatly decreased. Our Parasite Prevention Plans include GI parasite dewormings. Click the following links for more information: Parasite Prevention Plan: Cats and Parasite Prevention Plan: Dogs or call us for more details.
Parasites are more common in our pets than most people think. See Heartworm Prevention, Flea and Tick Prevention, and Intestinal Parasite Prevention for more details on these common parasites. At Summer Creek Animal Clinic we recommend screening for heartworms, tick-borne diseases, and intestinal parasites at least annually. See below for the tests that we perform. These are included annually in all adult and senior Preventive Care Club plans.
- 4DX (dogs only)
- Heartworm screening (blood test)
- Additional tick-borne disease screening including Lyme, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia (blood test)
- Fecal (stool) parasite screening with the most sensitive techniques (dogs and cats)
- We utilize the centrifugation technique which greatly increases the chance of catching parasite eggs in the fecal
- We use the newest antigen technique that looks specifically for hookworms, roundworms (which potentially could be transmitted to you and your family), and whipworms
- The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends testing puppies for intestinal parasites four times the first year, then biannually thereafter because parasites are so common and many can cause disease in both animals and people.
Preventive Blood and Urine Screen
Many people think that blood and urine tests are only necessary for pets that are sick. However, such tests are often crucial to find out why your pet is sick, and the preventive benefits of regular, annual blood-and-urine screening are tremendous. Our dogs and cats age five-to-seven years for every one of our years. This means that many things can happen in their bodies in a very short period of time. Technology has allowed us to use more advanced screening tests to detect disorders such as kidney and heart disease even earlier. All of this, along with ample research, supports, at a minimum, annual blood and urine screening for all pets to ensure the longest and best quality of life. Most of our Preventive Care Club plans include annual lab testing (except the puppy and kitten plans) that is specific to your pet’s age and needs.
- Chemistry 14, 25, or 27 panel based on the age and species evaluating organ function (blood).
- This includes the SDMA test, the newest technology to catch kidney disease even earlier.
- Complete Blood Count to evaluate red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets (blood).
- Total T4 Thyroid Screen (blood).
- This is a screening test for high thyroid function in cats and low thyroid function in dogs that is very helpful for older pets. It is included annually with the Preventive Care Club: Senior plan for both dogs and cats.
- Additional testing that is not included in this plan may be needed if the Total T4 comes back borderline abnormal.
- Urinalysis with reflex UPC (urine).
- This test is critical for assessing kidney function.
- Our urinalysis screens for lower urinary tract disease including occult urinary tract infections.
- We Include a reflex UPC which is critical to quantify any protein found in the urine to help determine its significance (protein in the urine could indicate kidney disease).
We have a microchip scanner that can determine whether or not your pet has been previously chipped, and we can also safely and painlessly provide a microchip implantation during most visits. Through fear-free techniques, such as distracting with lots of tasty treats and utilizing a gel that numbs the skin, sedation will most likely not be needed. However, microchipping can also be performed while under anesthesia for your pet’s surgical sterilization procedure to ensure a pain-free and stress-free administration. The most important benefit of having your pet microchipped is, if they get lost, they can easily be traced back to you by scanning for the microchip, which is the first thing all shelters and veterinary offices do when a lost pet comes in. See below for the benefits of microchipping your pet at Summer Creek Animal Clinic. As an added bonus for being apart of our Preventive Care Club, you will receive 20% off the cost of microchipping your pet.
- The National Pet Recovery Database is free for life after placement of the microchip, just to ensure that your information is current.
- After the first free year of HomeAgain membership, you can pay annually to continue receiving great benefits such as:
- 24/7 phone support from HomeAgain’s Lost Specialists.
- Rapid lost pet alerts and personalized lost-pet posters on mobile devices.
- 24/7 poison control hotline service ($65 value).
- Found pet travel assistance.
Weight Optimization Counseling
It would not be an exaggeration to answer the question, “What is the single best thing I can do for the long-term health of my pet?” with “Keep them at a healthy lean body weight their entire life.” Of course, there are many other valid answers to that question, but weight optimization may be the best. The recent Purina Lifetime Study demonstrated that dogs fed to achieve a lean body weight lived an average of 1.8 years longer than those that were overweight. It also proved that dogs fed to achieve a leaner body weight showed signs of aging slower including greying of the muzzle, impaired gait, and activity levels. In our day, the obesity epidemic extends beyond just humans; it is also an issue with our pets. In light of that, many people now see an overweight or obese dog and often think that is normal because it is what they are used to seeing. On the flip side, dogs and cats that are at a healthy weight are often thought to be underweight by thegeneral public. At Summer Creek Animal Clinic, we are passionate about helping you get your pet to a healthy weight and keeping them there through our weight optimization counseling. We have new state-of-the-art tools at our disposal and can ensure top-notch nutrition. Please call us to schedule an appointment, and ask us about our prescription diets that can actually help increase the metabolism of your pet through stellar nutrition!
Pet nutrition is a hot topic these days, and we are here to answer any questions you have as well as guide you in making the right choice for your individual pet. You will find endless opinions online and in every pet store, but we promise to give you recommendations based on the most current research and science. There are currently many therapeutic diets that allow us to manage, and sometimes even prevent, a variety of diseases and conditions including obesity, bladder stones, arthritis, gum disease, heart disease, and even environmental skin allergies. When conditions can be managed or prevented through good nutrition, we believe that this is the best place to start, and we are excited to talk to you about this option for your pet. Please call the clinic to schedule an appointment.
Oral Health Counseling
Nearly 85% of dogs and cats have some level of periodontal disease by the age of three. That is a staggering statistic that shows us as a profession and a pet-owning population our need for improvement. Periodontal disease is infection and inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. It progresses over time and causes silent pain. We call it the silent pain because our dogs and cats suffer in silence when it comes to a lot of pain, but most often with oral pain. Except in rare circumstances, they can be in significant pain and will continue to eat normally, and for the most part, act normally. There are usually subtle signs like not playing as much, maybe eating a little slower, maybe just terrible breath and sleeping more, but these signs are critical and may mean that your pet is in a lot of discomfort. We are here to help you work through the best plan for your pet and you to help keep your pet’s mouth, and therefore entire well-being, healthy for a long as possible. This will include figuring out the best things to do at home to try to prevent or at least slow down the buildup of plaque and tartar (the cause of periodontal disease) and determining the frequency of professional dental procedures needed to primarily prevent periodontal disease but also to treat it as needed. Please call to schedule your dental consult appointment to discuss things further. Also, please visit our Dental Prevention Plan page to learn how you can provide the best possible dental care for your pet on a monthly budget.