Annually Awesome

Going to the vet doesn't have to be a hair-raising experience!

Summer is fast approaching, and with a little more daylight, and much better weather, this is a perfect time of the year to bring your dog or cat in to see us for an annual exam (especially if it has been awhile since your pet has seen a vet). Even if your pet’s health is stellar, annual exams are recommended for a myriad of reasons, including:

1) Prevention and early detection are the most cost effective ways to maintain your pet’s health (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”)

2) Some vaccines must be administered annually, such as bordetella (kennel cough), and lepto, among others. Also, dogs and cats need boosters one year after their last set of puppy or kitten vaccines, and rescued animals need boosters one year after their initial vaccines (usually around one year after adoption, your adoption paperwork should state when they are next due for all vaccines).

3) Pets age much more rapidly than humans, and may experience dramatic shifts in health between exams that should be monitored by a veterinarian.

4) In order for us to legally refill prescriptions, your pet must have been seen by a veterinarian within the last year. This helps us ensure that your pet is on the proper medication at the appropriate dose for their current state of health. Some medications such as antibiotics and steroids may require more frequent check-ups.

5) Yearly screenings (heartworm tests, fecal exams, and other bloodwork) can help diagnose conditions of varied magnitude before your pet has any symptoms. Recently, Dr. Johnson recommended an abdominal ultrasound for a senior boxer during a routine physical. The ultrasound revealed a cancerous mass on the dog’s spleen, and she was able to undergo a life-saving splenectomy the following week.

The above handful of reasons to never become a stranger to Encina are only scratching surface as to why annual exams have become de rigueur in veterinary medicine. Why do we really want you to come in? Because it is our job to enhance the lives of your pets by being guardians of their health. We also enjoy cultivating the relationships that we have with you, our clients. I cannot tell you how many times a conversation with a pet parent about their “baby” has buoyed the spirits of my coworkers or myself. We enjoy bringing you the best veterinary care possible, and the environment at Encina definitely lends itself to providing you just that. Every doctor that gives your pet a once over has the ability to confer immediately with our specialists should they feel they need input on a case. For example, if Dr. Jurewicz (one of our general practice doctors) hears a murmur while listening to your puppy’s heart, she can have Dr. Wang (our Internal Medicine resident) take a listen in the treatment room to confirm her finding, for no additional fee. Conversely, if Dr. Christofferson (another of our general practice doctors) notices that your cat has balance issues, she can easily consult with Dr. Adamo (our neurologist) to see if he notices the same deficits in coordination. In addition to our unique collectivist approach to medicine, our doctors are backed by the latest and greatest surgical and diagnostic tools, such as a digital x-ray machine, ultrasound machines, endoscopy/laparoscopy equipment, and a CT scanner.

We hope to see you around these parts soon! We have appointments available from 8a to 8p Monday-Friday, and from 8a to 12n on Saturdays. Please call (925)937-5000 to set up an annual exam for your pet today. You can e-mail with questions 24 hours a day.