Dog Health Care

Prevention is the best medicine! It’s true for us, and it’s true for our pets. At Badger Veterinary Hospital, we strongly believe that preventative medicine is the foundation to a long and healthy life for your pet.

Our pets are living longer. Since dogs and cats age more rapidly than people, dramatic changes in health can occur in as little as 3 to 6 months. With regular visits to your veterinarian, small problems can be caught quickly before they become major medical conditions.

Badger Veterinary Hospital offers a comprehensive health care program for your canine companions. We are interested in the overall health and well-being of your pet with a preventative approach including nutrition, exercise, behavior training, and vaccinations.

Annual Wellness Exams for Dogs

We recommend annual wellness visits to provide a thorough physical exam for your dog. These exams will help us catch any dog health problems early before they become more serious. In addition to a comprehensive physical exam, a typical pet wellness visit to Badger Veterinary Hospital includes:

  • A discussion of things you can do to support your dog’s optimal health, such as nutrtion, dental care, and exercise
  • Necessary core vaccinations and non-core vaccines customized for your dog
  • A fecal test to screen for intestinal parasites
  • Heartworm screening and prevention
  • Tick borne disease screening
  • Flea/tick prevention
  • Early Detection Junior or Senior Health Panel recommendations

Vaccinations for Dogs

Our recommended vaccination program enhances and maintains your pet’s present and future health. Core puppy and dog vaccinations protect against diseases that have high rates of infection, are usually severe and life-threatening, and have the potential to be transmitted from animals to people.

Core Vaccines for Dogs:

  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper, Adenovirus (hepatitis), Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza (given in combination with the DA2LPPV vaccination)

Wisconsin State Law requires that all dogs be vaccinated for rabies by the age of 5 months.

Non-core vaccines are recommended for most dogs who may be exposed to the infectious diseases they protect against. We are happy to review which non-core vaccines make the most sense for your dog’s health and make the appropriate recommendations.

Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs:

  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Lyme Disease

Fecal Tests

Canine intestinal parasites, commonly referred to as “worms”, are one of the most common conditions seen in both puppies and adult dogs. Furthermore, some intestinal parasites can be transmitted to humans.

Fecal tests allow your veterinarian to check your pet for intestinal parasites including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia. All pets should be tested for parasites at least annually. More frequent fecals may be necessary for puppies.

Ultimately, the goal is to identify and treat parasitic infections that may compromise your pet’s health and may put your family at risk. Along with monthly, year-round preventatives, routine fecal tests are the best way to ensure that your pet and your household are safe from intestinal parasites.

Heartworm Screening and Prevention

Heartworm is a deadly but easily preventable disease. It is transmitted to dogs from mosquito bites. Treatment of heartworm disease is lengthy, has additional risks, involves painful injections, and is costly. The cost of annual screening and prevention is dramatically less than treatment, and it saves your dog from an often fatal disease.

Heartworm preventative is given year round. If your dog is under 6 months of age, heartworm preventative can be started without a blood test. For dogs older than 6 months, a blood test is required before preventative can be given.

Badger Veterinary Hospital carries two heartworm preventatives in clinic: Interceptor® Plus, a monthly chewable, and ProHeart® 6, an injection that provides 6 months of heartworm protection in one dose. We offer additional options through Badger Veterinary Hospital’s Online Pharmacy. Your veterinarian will help you determine which product is the safest, most convenient, and most effective for your dog.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks are a nuisance and potential threat to your dog’s health and your family. While the seasons will affect the activity of these insects, it is possible to pick up fleas and ticks during most of the year.

If not prevented or treated, fleas and ticks can cause a variety of health issues for dogs, including:

  • Skin irritation and infection
  • Rashes and inflamed skin
  • Scabs and scales
  • Transmission of diseases
  • Stress from constant scratching

We work with you to set up a prevention plan best suited for your needs and lifestyle. There are many flea and tick products on the market, and not all of them are created equal. Our veterinarians can recommend the best flea and tick preventatives for your dog.

Spaying and Neutering Dogs

Spaying or neutering your pet is highly recommended if you do not plan on using your dog for breeding.

All spaying and neutering at Badger Veterinary Hospital is done with a surgical laser which reduces pain, bleeding, and healing time. It is recommended for male dogs be neutered at 5 to 7 months of age. This is the same recommendation for female dogs, with the caveat that it is preferable to perform a spay procedure before the first estrus or heat

Dental Care

A buildup of bacteria in the mouth can lead to dental disease and other health conditions that can affect your dog’s major organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. During your dog’s annual wellness exam, we’ll discuss his dental health and make recommendations for keeping his teeth and gums healthy. Read our detailed pet dental care recommendations.

Canine Nutrition

Just like us humans, your dog’s nutritional needs vary depending on breed, age, and lifestyle. Your dog will need a different formula as a puppy than as an adult dog. Your veterinarian can help you understand your dog’s basic nutrient needs and help you choose a high-quality diet that will support optimal growth and health throughout her lifetime. Read our detailed pet nutrition information.

Early Detection Junior and Senior Health Panels

Studies have shown as many as 23% of seniors dogs that appear healthy upon physical examination have an underlying condition. Once symptoms appear, these conditions may be too difficult or costly to diagnose or treat. Our Early Detection Junior and Senior Health Panels help identify problems and uncover hidden answers so your pet can be diagnosed and properly treated. Most importantly, you are helping give your faithful friend a longer and healthier life.

The Early Detection Junior Health Panel is your first step as a pet owner at being well informed and medically aware of any health changes in your dog or cat. Our Junior Health Panel includes:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) — Tests for anemia, infection, inflammation, and overall healthiness of blood cells.
  • Chemistry Panel — Surveys organ systems to make sure they are working normally. Tests include liver, kidney, pancreas, muscle, and bone.

As dogs move into their senior phase of life (7 years of age and older), they experience changes that are very similar to aging humans. Diseases and conditions commonly known to affect older people also affect our canine companions: kidney, heart, and liver disease; cancer; diabetes; depression; arthritis; thyroid conditions; hormonal problems; neuroses and loss of sensory perception. Understanding these changes and how you can provide for your pet’s needs are essential to quality of life.

Our Senior Health Panel includes:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) — Tests for anemia, infection, inflammation, and overall healthiness of blood cells.
  • Chemistry Panel — Surveys organ systems to make sure they are working normally. Tests include liver, kidney, pancreas, muscle, and bone.
  • Thyroid Function Tests — Tests for functions of the thyroid gland.
  • Urinalysis — Assess the health and function of the urinary system, important for early detection of kidney disease.