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Preventative Animal Care

Physical Examinations

It is recommended that pets receive a comprehensive examination one a time annually by our Doctors.  We recommend bi-annual examinations for senior patients that are generally classified as seven years of age and older.  Some larger dogs maybe considered senior pets at five years of age.

Comprehensive examinations are necessary to screen for potentially harmful conditions in all systems of the body including the mouth, eyes, ears, heart, organs, joints and many more.  During a comprehensive examination, a doctor may detect broken teeth, tartar build up, retinal changes, tumors, heart murmurs, arrhythmias, enlarged organs, joint arthritis and many more.

Flea, Tick, Mosquito Protection

For more than 10 years we have been recommending Frontline for all flea and tick prevention. Many owners have come to love Frontline and it has served us well. However, we are now recommending Vectra and Vectra3D from Summit VetPharm for all your pet’s flea, tick and mosquito prevention needs. There were several factors influencing our decision to switch to Summit. First, after 10-12 years, it seems as though fleas and ticks have developed some immunity to the active ingredients in Frontline. This is evidenced by flea and tick infestations within three weeks of application when the animal has been medicated consistently.

Additionally, as of January 2009, Frontline will now be sold over the counter at non-veterinary retail stores throughout America. Accordingly, we can no longer control the quality of the product you buy on the shelves. We have already seen many cases of counterfeit Frontline and heard countless horror stories of counterfiet or non-certified/damaged Frontline (produced for distribution in other countries or not stored at proper temperatures) obtained from internet pharmacies. Many products (especially pertaining to internet pharmacies) can come in the correct box and wrapping, yet be filled with a placebo medication which can do nothing at all or in some cases cause severe unfavorable reactions. To learn more about the dangers of  internet pharmacies, please read this article from the FDA. We simply cannot recommend a product which can be bought on the shelf of any Wal-Mart when there is no guarantee that it is legitimate or safe.

This turn of events led us to the latest and greatest in flea, tick and mosquito prevention: Vectra (cat applications) and Vectra3D (dog applications) by Summit VetPharm. Summit uses a proprietary new molecule called Dinotefuron which is proven to kill fleas and ticks for a full 30 days. It also is proven to kill all fleas and ticks on the animal within six hours of application. Additionally, the animal does not have to be bitten for the medicine to begin killing pests. It is enough that the pest land on the animal, which is also less likely because Vectra and Vectra3D are formulated to repel these pests.

The applicator is also cutting edge. It has a long shaft with a ball shaped tip which attaches to the dispensing bottle, making it easier to penetrate all the way through the coat to the base of the animal’s skin. No more parting hair and making a mess all over your animal! Smaller dogs should be applicated on two spots, medium sized dogs should be applicated in three spots and larger dogs should be applicated in 3-4 spots. Summit also conveniently makes four different strengths for dogs, ranging from the tiniest breeds all the way up to 225 pounds, and two strengths for cats.

Through patented anti-diversionary technology, these products can only be purchased through licensed veterinary professionals. This is really the icing on the cake. As a distributor for Summit products, we must sign an anti-diversionary agreement stating that we will only sell these products to clients for the sole purpose of application on their pets. We may not turn around and sell the products to unlicensed vendors or we will no longer be a Summit retailer.

This may seem like a lofty aspiration since some veterinarians have been buying and dispensing Frontline to any secondary retailers who will buy it for years. However, Summit has created the proprietary Bloodhound track and trace system to eliminate diversion. Each package can be traced from manufacture to sale through a special number sequence associated with the barcode. This technology allows us to recommend Vectra and Vectra3D with the utmost confidence!

We are quite excited about the new Summit VetPharm products here at the North Laurel Animal Hospital. With the creation of these two products, we enter an entire new age of flea, tick and mosquito prevention. For more information, please visit the Summit VetPharm website at www.SummitVetPharm.com.

Heartworm Prevention

The North Laurel Animal Hospital is pleased to recommend Tri-Heart, HeartGard and Interceptor for all your pet’s heartworm prevention needs.  We find Tri-Heart and HeartGard to be virtually identical in terms of prevention, however, HeartGard has shown to be more palatable for some animals.  We also choose Interceptor for the prevention of heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and ring worms in cats and dogs.

Dental Cleaning and Tooth Extraction

The North Laurel Animal Hospital is capable of providing extensive dental prophylaxis, dental x-ray and tooth extraction services.  We recommend your pet receive dental prophylaxes annually to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. Additionally, poor dental health can cause a plethora of health conditions including lung disease, heart disease and kidney disease.

We promote Dental Health Month during September and February and during those months, you will receive a 15% discount on your pet's dental prophylaxis.

Hip Dysplasia Screening

Penn Hip

The Penn Hip protocol was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and is designed to detect early hip laxity in dogs through a series of x-rays. The PennHip method is the most accurate way to detect for the early onset of Ostheoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) which is the hallmark of Canine Hip Displaysia (CHD).

PennHip is more than a radiographic procedure. PennHip is also a network of veterinarians and a knowledge database. When a PennHip procedure is performed, the x-rays are sent out to the PennHipp headquarters for analysis and data storage. As this data storage library grows, new answers are found as to the causes, prediction and genetic basis of CHD. Findings are routinely published in scientific journals and distributed to member veterinarians.

As an early detector for CHD, you have many options to care for your pet. If CHD goes undetected, your animals can experience pain, decreased work ability and lower quality of life due to pain and immobility of the hips. When CHD is detected early on, corrective surgery can be performed to fix hip laxity. This will lead to no pain, increased mobility and a higher quality of life for your pet. Additionally, this will save the owner money in the long run because the surgery can cost less than multiple treatments for hip pain and immobility.