Preventative Care

Wellness Exams

Did you know dogs and cats age five to ten years for every one human year?

Regular wellness visits are preventative and keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come! Based on age and existing conditions, exams should be scheduled annually or semi-annually to provide the most optimal care. During a wellness exam, your pet will receive a complete nose-to-tail physical exam which assesses major bodily systems and physical conditions such as weight, skin, coat, dental health, eyes, ears, joints, abdominal region, lumps, pulmonary health, abnormalities, and much more.

What to expect:

  • A comprehensive nose-to-tail physical exam
  • Recommended vaccinations and necessary diagnostics
  • Assess changes in health and indications of illness such as weight gain or loss
  • Discuss your pet’s behavior, diet, exercise habits, and regular activity level
  • Answer any and all of your questions!


Vaccines are a win-win for you and your pet. At some point, your companion will inevitably come in contact with an infectious condition based on factors such as lifestyle, age, health status, and risk of exposure. Vaccinations provide protection against preventable life-threatening diseases and premature death—while saving yourself money from costly treatments!


Microchipping provides a lifetime of identification if you and your pet are ever separated. With your contact information embedded in the microchip, you and your pet can be reunited! While collars and ID tags are helpful and encouraged, they are not foolproof. These forms of identification commonly fall off, get lost, or removed. For the protection of your pet, we recommend using both forms of identification.

The process is inexpensive and fast! The microchip is implanted between the shoulder blades, much like a routine vaccination. This procedure is so simple it is often performed at the same time as vaccinations or another procedure.

Parasite Prevention

How do I protect my pet from parasite infestation?

  • Routine testing
  • Preventative medication
  • Control parasites in and around your home
  • Know the signs/symptoms
  • Discuss treatment options

Fleas and Ticks are external parasites that irritate the skin and commonly cause skin allergies. Fleas can transmit tapeworms and Bartonella. Ticks latch onto the skin and feed on blood which can transmit Lyme disease. It is important to visually examine your pet for signs of fleas during daily grooming and signs of ticks after being in risky areas such as woods, camping sites, and warmer, humid climates. Once-a-month preventable products are recommended.

Intestinal Parasites are present in virtually all areas of the United States. This results in a fairly high infection rate in puppies and kittens, but cats and dogs are also commonly infected. Intestinal parasites can also be transmitted to humans. To protect your entire family, we recommend annual fecal testing and once-a-month preventatives.

Heartworms reside in the heart, lungs, and bloodstream and impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. While significant damage may occur prior to outward symptoms, advanced symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, tiring easily, low energy, loss of weight, and fainting. Mosquitos carry and transmit heartworms, making mosquito infested areas extremely high-risk. We recommend annual testing as well as once-a-month preventives.

Nutritional Counseling

Avoid sharing human food with your pet to protect against allergies, accidental poisoning, and obesity. Keep in mind that your pet’s nutritional needs are unlike your own. Factors such as age, health condition, gender, weight, and breed effect overall recommended nutrition. Based on these factors, we may recommend a specialized diet or simply a balanced diet. Please note, a sudden change in your pet’s eating habits or unexpected weight gain or loss may indicate a serious, underlying concern.

If your companion suffers from nutritional challenges such as liver disease, renal failure, bladder and kidney stones, food allergies, or obesity—we can offer professional advice and solutions.

We offer Hill’s Prescription Diet and Royal Canin foods. If you prefer other prescription brands, these products can be specially ordered from our online pharmacy.

Puppy & Kitten

First of all—congratulations! It is important to begin your four-legged family member’s life with health and happiness in mind. Puppies and kittens require examinations, vaccinations, and diagnostics specialized for early and critical years of life. We will also discuss services such as spay-neuter and microchipping to benefit your new loved one.

Physical Examinations
Between 8-16 weeks of age, we recommend that your puppy or kitten have 3-4 physical exams. These exams provide a base line of health and allows your veterinarian to assess overall wellness and administer necessary vaccinations.

Puppies and kittens have immature immune systems, making them more susceptible to illness and disease. Vaccinations are administered in a properly staged series. Each puppy and kitten is different, therefore our recommendations are tailored to lifestyle and breed.

At 6 months of age, puppies should be tested for Heartworm. During a kitten’s first visit, we recommend Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS testing if not previously done.

Senior Pets

Did you know that canines are considered seniors at age 7 and felines at age 8?

Senior pets require specialized care to promote health and a long and active life. The immune system weakens with age, making seniors more vulnerable to parasites, disease, and illness. To protect your senior pet, we strongly encourage semi-annual visits so we can more closely monitor changes in health such as weight loss, lung and dental disease, cataracts, glaucoma, arthritis, and cancer. More frequent visits during older years allows your veterinarians to treat and prevent conditions before they occur.

Behavioral change is also common. You may begin to notice new behaviors such as increased vocalization, confusion, disorientation, irritability, less responses, house soiling, less grooming, repetitive activity, frequent wandering, and an altered sleep schedule. We understand how challenging these new behaviors can be and we want to help! Age- related behaviors do not warrant giving up on your pet! At the same time, we are here for support during difficult times that may require hospice or euthanasia services. Your veterinarian can discuss options based on your individual situation.

Exotic Care

Lakewood Animal Hospital is trained to care for companions beyond canines and felines. We are also highly experienced in exotic species including small mammals such as ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and rats, as well as reptiles.