Call it the annual exam, the wellness exam, the health checkup, whatever. It means that once a year we want to poke you, prod you, feel you, look at you, and listen to you. We want to evaluate your diet, your skin, your heart, your abdomen, and, well, everything. We want some blood, some urine and some feces for laboratory evaluation. All this takes about 30 minutes, and costs about $80. A perk to bringing your dog in every year, is that as long as your dog is current on their annual exam anytime you have a problem with your dog that you would like us to examine the $63 exam fee is waived. That means that you can bring your dog in to see us every day for the next year and the only thing you will be charged for are medications or extensive diagnostics.
The annual canine exam includes some or all of the following:
Studies from the American Heartworm Society show a significant number of dogs contract heartworms because a) your persons forget or b) you only pretend to swallow the tablet. We will test for heartworms so we won't embarrass your person or insult you. This test requires a drop of blood, and costs about $30, but is included in the annual exam for no extra charge.
You received several of these shots when you were young, but if you are a big dog now, these vaccines should protect you for at least three years. These vaccines cost about $18, but they are included in the annual exam for no extra charge.
Rabies vaccine regulations are a bit complicated.
Essentially the regulations require you to be vaccinated a couple of times as a puppy, and repeated when you are one year of age. We use only a vaccine that carries a three year license, so your vaccine should protect you for three years, probably even longer. This is good news for your person and your person's kids.
The complications arise from the variance of the law from town to town, and from county to county. In fact, most town ordinances require the vaccine to be given EVERY SINGLE YEAR OR EVERY THREE YEARS, regardless of your protection status.
This means that if you are overdue by even one day, you will be considered legally NOT vaccinated. In the unlikely event you are accused of biting a person, even if it was an accident, or even if the person richly deserved to be bitten, you will be at the mercy and whim of the Rabies Control Officer in that town or county. The Rabies Control Officer will decide, based on your legal vaccine records, if you will be quarantined or if you will be summarily euthanized, and your brain submitted for rabies testing.
This is serious life-and-death business. Please admonish your person to pay attention, and don't be late. The consequences can be fatal for you.
Bronchicine Cough Vaccine
It isn't fair. But if your persons ever put you in jail while they go partying out on vacations, or if you spend time in a dog park, dog show, grooming parlor, or any other place where you are in contact with others, you need to be protected against Infectious Bronchitis. The Kennel Cough vaccine is given twice yearly and costs about $20. This vaccine is part of the annual exam and is included there at no additional charge.
Snake Venom Vaccine
The Crotalus Atrox vaccine is designed to help protect you in the event of envenomization by a rattlesnake, copperhead, or perhaps water moccacin. The vaccination is like having three vials of antivenen on board when you get bitten. Since the antidote costs about $800 per vial, this $20 ounce of prevention is worth $2,000 pound of cure. The vaccine is included in the annual exam at no extra charge.
The Proheart Injection is heartworm prevention your person has to remember two times a year instead of twelve times. And since it is an injection, you can't refuse it like you can the pill, and you can't pretend to swallow it before spitting it out. We all know the importance of heartworm prevention in Northeast Texas.
This medication is given in the unfortunate event your person neglected to give your heartworm prevention. The tablets eradicate the bacteria Wolbachia which is essential for heartworm survival. It is given daily one month on, two months off, one month on, two months off, etc. Your person doesn't necessarily need to bring you, just drop by and pick up the pills.
At Mt. Pleasant Animal Clinic we insist all of our patients have a microchip. If your pet already has one we will record the information in our electronic record system. If your pet does not have one, they will get one. The microchip is about $35.00 but the fee is included in the annual exam.
Idexx Laboratory Profile
This takes just a little blood, but gives us a pretty good look at your kidneys, liver, pancreas, adrenals, and other of your innards. The test costs about $60, but it is included in the annual exam at no additional charge.