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Wellness & Vaccinations

Managing your pet’s ongoing good health is about much more than just scheduling a vet appointment when he or she becomes sick or injured. To the contrary, it’s about making a commitment to regular care throughout his or her lifetime. It’s about being proactive and taking the appropriate measures to prevent and detect disease in its earliest stages. By investing in the wellness care of our animal family members, we will be rewarded with many happy, healthy years down the road.

The wellness services available at Ingersoll Animal Hospital have been specifically designed to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy, year after year. From annual physical exams to customized vaccinations to routine health screenings and ongoing health maintenance, we’re here to support your companion from birth through the senior years, and every moment and milestone along the way.

Why is wellness care so important?

Regular wellness exams allow us to evaluate your pet’s general health on an ongoing basis. When we understand what is “normal” for your pet, we are better able to measure and monitor any changes that may occur over the years. We are also able to take certain preventative measures that will help to keep your loved one safe from many of the dangers he or she will encounter throughout his or her lifetime.

We will examine your pet and establish a comprehensive preventative care program which includes customized vaccinations and a plan for parasite prevention and control. Regular preventative care exams also help us to detect many health problems so that we can address them before they have a chance to develop into more serious and costly problems for you and your pet. Preventing disease and detecting it early can add years to your loved one’s life and improve the quality of those years tenfold.

How often does my pet need a preventative care exam?

The age of your pet plays an important role in determining the wellness plan that will be the best fit. We also take into consideration your pet’s size, breed, behavior, and lifestyle when making recommendations for the most comprehensive wellness and preventative care possible. Our goal is to work together to help ensure a long healthy life for your dog or cat, and that includes developing a customized wellness care plan that is tailored specifically to your pet.

Every year that passes for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a preventative care exam at least once a year (more often for puppies and kittens or pets that have entered their senior years). Your pet’s health can change dramatically in just a short amount of time, so it’s important that he or she does not miss even one exam!

What does a wellness exam involve?

Before the vet begins a wellness check on your pet, you will be asked about any health issues or concerns you may have. Preventative care exams and discussions will be tailored to the life stage and lifestyle of your dog and cat, so it’s important that we get a clear picture of what your pet’s life is like at home. We may have you complete a wellness questionnaire to help us gather this information. If your pet is a senior (aged 8 years or older), we have a more detailed senior health questionnaire.

At the beginning of each wellness exam, one of our experienced veterinary technicians or assistants will take your pet’s vital signs, similar to when you go in for a physical exam. This will include taking your pet’s temperature, pulse or heart rate, respiration (breathing) rate and body weight.

Monitoring weight is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health since changes in weight may be an indication of a potential health concern. Weight gain can also be a significant problem as it not only increases stress on the joints but also increases the risk of certain medical conditions, some of which can be quite serious. If necessary, we’ll work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan to help your pet achieve and maintain a healthier weight.

Once we’ve measured your pet’s vital signs, we will delve into a more thorough physical exam through which we will evaluate your pet’s health – nose to tail. The vet will check your companion’s ears, eyes, mouth and skin. The heart, lungs and reproductive organs will also be analyzed to ensure that no abnormalities are present and everything is working just as it should be. If necessary, we may recommend additional routine diagnostic testing to help us further evaluate your pet’s overall health.


Vaccinations are one of the most important preventative measures we can take to keep our animal friends happy and healthy. After a thorough physical examination, we will develop a customized vaccination plan that is designed to address the unique needs and risk factors of your pet. Core vaccinations that are routinely given to all of canine patients include immunizations against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP vaccinations), Rabies and Bordetella. Other vaccinations that we will discuss, if necessary, depending on lifestyle and risk factors, are those that protect against Leptospirosis and Lyme Disease.

Our feline core vaccinations include Feline Panleukopenia (distemper), Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus (FVRCP), and Rabies. We will also discuss lifestyle, risk factors and appropriate vaccinations to protect against the life threatening disease Feline Leukemia.

The frequently with which you should have your pet vaccinated against certain diseases depends on many factors, including his or her age and lifestyle. Our goal is to keep your loved one safe and healthy without overmedicating. That’s why customizing our approach is so important. We will be happy to discuss what is right for your cat or dog and work with you to develop a plan we can all feel comfortable with.

Puppy and Kitten Wellness Exams

It is extremely important that your new puppy or kitten receives a comprehensive wellness exam soon after bringing them into your home. This exam is very important because we want to make sure that your new addition is healthy. It is also important to protect the health of any other pets already living in your home when you bring in a new addition. Our veterinarians will conduct a thorough exam and check for any health problems including heart murmurs, eye problems and bite or teeth alignment that may affect your puppy or kitten’s overall health and life expectancy.

Because it’s best to start building a strong immune system early on, we recommend puppies and kittens come in for their first wellness exam by the time they’ve reached 6–8 weeks of age. During this visit, we’ll discuss your young pet’s lifestyle, and the kinds of activities you’ll be doing together so that we can design a customized vaccination and parasite prevention program that is tailored specifically to the needs of your new pet. We will also discuss house training, feeding schedules, behavior training, spaying/neutering, dental care, and anything else we feel is important in keeping your new furry friend happy and healthy.

Adult Preventative Care Exams (1 to 7 years of age)

Keep your adult pet healthy for life by making a commitment to annual preventative care exams and updating his or her vaccinations with routine visits. This is the best way to help maintain a strong immune defense that will continue to protect them through adulthood.

It is important to do routine wellness testing, including parasite screening, on a regular basis so that if any problems are present, they can be addressed right away. Annual blood wellness testing is also important because it helps us establish your pet’s normal values so we can identify and address many developing diseases early. The blood testing we do is tailored to the age of your pet, as well as the breed and health status. Annual dental exams and dental care are also part of a good wellness routine.

Senior and Geriatric Wellness Exams (8 years and older)

We consider dogs and cats that are 8 years or above to be in a special category for wellness care. Depending on the health status and specific needs of your pet, we will schedule wellness examinations once or twice a year for our seniors. Conducting routine senior lab work and other diagnostic testing is a way to keep a detailed record of your aging pet’s internal health. These diagnostics may include blood work, urinalysis, x-rays, blood pressure and hormone testing. The more we stay on top of your senior pet’s overall health, the better the chances of many more happy, healthy years of companionship.

Dental care is important in all stages of life, but it is given special emphasis in our senior or geriatric pets due to the increased likelihood of dental disease, including infected and loose teeth in older dogs and cats.

A routine wellness examination is an extremely important part of helping maintain a healthy and happy pet. These regular examinations will help your dog or cat live a longer and healthier life. Please contact us if you have any questions on wellness or preventative plans for your dog or cat.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to bring your loved one in for care. Give them the gift of a lifetime of good health with our wellness care services.