Comprehensive physical exams

A thorough physical exam by a doctor can help detect things that our pets cannot tell us. Due to evolution, animals do not readily display signs of illness or weakness. In the wild, ill and weak animals are often abandoned by their pack/flock/herd and attacked by predators. Survival instincts can make a pet look OK even when it is ill.  Internal problems such as organ enlargement, abdominal masses, and heart rhythm changes can be detected on a physical exam. Moorpark Vet recommends physical exams every 6 months, which for a pet is equivalent to 3.5 years of a human's life. More frequent exams may be advised if your pet has an illness to best manage your pet's condition.

Customized vaccines to fit your pet's lifestyle

Vaccines help provide protection for your pet from serious illnesses. Vaccines will be recommended for your pet based on its lifestyle and exposure to the various diseases.

Puppy and kitten wellness packages

Vaccinations should start shortly after weaning, usually at 8 weeks of age. The type and frequency of vaccinations depends on your pet's risk of picking up certain diseases. We will discuss your pet's particular needs with you during a consultation. These packages include all of the initial exams, vaccines, and de-wormings needed for the newest member of your family.

Monthly parasite preventatives

Fleas can be a year-round problem in our area due to our year-round good weather. These little pests can cause anemia, skin infections, tapeworms, and many other problems for your pet. Once fleas are noticed on your pet, for every 1 flea you find there are 100 more in the various life stages in your home. The way to prevent this from happening to you and your pet is to use a veterinarian-recommended monthly prevention. Ticks carry dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease. If your pet has a lifestyle where it is exposed to ticks, it is crucial to your pet's health to protect it against ticks. Heartworm is spread by mosquito bites and is especially dangerous because it often kills with little or no warning. Fortunately, heartworm infestation is completely preventable by giving a preventative medication once a month. It is important to test all pets annually for heartworm with a blood test. Heartworm disease is in our area. Every year we see one or two infected pets. Saving them requires extensive and expensive treatment. Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms are common and can harm your pet. The microscopic eggs of these worms can be found in the soil in the yard or at the park. The good news is that some of the monthly heartworm preventatives can also help protect your pet against these intestinal parasites.

Nutrition recommendations

We are what we eat. The same motto applies to your pet and its health. We want to help you provide the best nutrition for your pet. There is no single best brand of food that will work for every pet, but some are definitely higher quality than others. The large selection at the stores makes it very difficult to know how to choose a food. If your pet has an illness that can be helped by specialized nutrition, then we may prescribe a prescription diet. A lot of science goes into these specialized foods that can help prolong your pet's life. Many human foods can cause pancreatitis (a serious inflammation of the pancreas) in dogs. Other foods such as avocado, chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins are fatal to both dogs and cats. We advise against feeding raw foods as they may contain harmful bacteria that can make you and your pet sick. Diet plays a critical role in an animal's health, and we are here to help you provide the best for your pet.

Routine laboratory screening

Why does my pet need an annual blood and/or urine test? Approximately 19% of American dogs and cats age seven and above have problems that are undetectable by physical examination alone. Problems may include liver, heart, kidney, blood pressure or a combination of these. Early detection and treatment of a problem can help your pet live a longer and happier life. The doctor will make recommendations for your pet based on its age and breed.

Routine fecal screening

Why does my pet need a fecal exam if its stools are normal? Pets can have normal and regular bowel movements but can still test positive for dangerous intestinal parasites. What does a fecal exam check for? The sample is sent to the lab and screened for intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, coccidia and giardia. Parasites like giardia are microscopic but are very contagious and can actually be transmitted to people. Moorpark Vet recommends fecal exams for your pet twice a year to help ensure it is staying healthy and not carrying something that could be transmitted to its human family members.

Behavioral counseling

Pets can be an important part of our family, but at times some of the things they do can affect that bond. We are here to offer help and advice on how to remedy your pet's behavioral woes. A dog destroying items in the house, or a cat scratching the furniture or urinating outside the litter box are just a few of the situations where we can help. It is important for the doctor to perform an exam and sometimes do some tests to help determine if the problem is medical or behavioral.

Microchipping, licenses, and health certificates

Microchips can help your lost pet find its way home. The universal product that we use is the AKC microchip. The chip is injected into the scruff of your pet between the shoulder blades. This injection is no more uncomfortable than any other injection or vaccine. As an option, we offer microchipping at the time your pet is under anesthesia. After the purchase of your pet's microchip, a one time registration fee is required. You can do this by mail or online. Licensing your pet with the county is important and can also help the county know where your pet lives if it is lost. Another benefit is that licensed cats and dogs are held much longer at animal shelters (10 days) than unlicensed animals, which must be held for only four days before being made available for adoption or destroyed. Unfortunately, many owners of unlicensed pets return from a vacation to find that their animal ran away from a caretaker and was either adopted or destroyed at a local animal shelter. In the City of Moorpark, pet owners are required to license both their dogs AND cats with Ventura County Animal Regulation. The receptionists at Moorpark Vet are able to help you license your pet. You will need to bring a check for payment and make sure that your pet is vaccinated against rabies. Health certificates are often required by airlines when taking your pet on an airplane trip. Your pet will be examined by a doctor and if it is considered safe to travel, a special set of forms will be filled out and signed. It is important to check with your airline for specific travel  requirements. Please bring the destination address to your pet's appointment for completion of the forms.