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sarahPreventative Health Care

At Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek, our focus is to partner with you to ensure that your pet has the best preventative health care possible. While vaccines are an integral part of your pet’s preventative health care plan, we recommend that you take other important steps to keep your pet healthy.  The rest of your pet’s plan should include annual or semi-annual examinations, proper nutrition, obedience and behavioral training and preventative care testing.  These things, along with the vaccinations that we recommend will help to keep your pet happy and healthy for many years.

We strongly believe that preventative medicine is the ultimate best course of action for keeping your pet healthy, and keeping your pet’s healthcare costs manageable.  Experts recommend including your pet’s preventative healthcare expenses in your family’s budgeted expenses.  Of course, unexpected emergencies and medical expenses can emerge, even among the healthiest of pets.  Pet health insurance has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and we would like to give you the tools to determine whether a health insurance policy is right for you and your pet.  Click here for some helpful information regarding your pet’s healthcare costs and pet health insurance. 


Vaccinations & Annual Risk Assessment

This is the first thing that many pet-owners think of when they acquire a new pet.  What vaccines do they need?  We cannot determine the safest and most effective vaccination plan for your pet unless we know what his or her lifestyle is.  We will ask you several questions that will help us determine which vaccinations we will be recommending and which ones we will not.  Any time a pet is vaccinated, there are risks.  Therefore, we insist on giving your pet only those vaccines which will be beneficial, excluding any that are unnecessary.  This will reduce the risk of vaccine related problems.  For more information on vaccination recommendations of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) click here.

Breed Considerations

Many purebred dogs have health care concerns that are specific to their breed.  We will make recommendations for preventative testing and examinations based partially on your pet’s breed.  For example, some breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers and Shihtzus can be prone to chronic dry eye and other eye problems.  Early testing and preventative steps can be taken to reduce the chances of serious eye problems as these pets age.  To find information on your pet’s potential breed-related problems, visit the CIDD – Dog Breeds List online.

Routine Spay and Neuter Surgery

At Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek, we feel strongly that spaying and neutering is essential in overcoming the enormous problem of pet overpopulation.  Early spaying and neutering is also essential to the overall good health of your pet.  Females who are not spayed at an early age are at a higher risk of developing pyometra (a serious uterine infection) and mammary cancer than spayed females.  Males who are left un-neutered are more likely to exhibit aggression and other behavior problems, and they are at a higher risk of developing testicular cancer than neutered males. Click here to read more about having your pet’s routine surgery performed at Jefferson Animal Hospitals.


About Declawing

Your kitten can be declawed as early as 9 - 12 weeks of age, and it should weigh at least 3 pounds. Many people opt to wait until their kitten is at least 16 weeks of age, when this surgery can be easily combined with the spay or neuter procedure, saving money as well as saving the pet from two separate anesthetic procedures. Kittens declawed at this early age “bounce back” very quickly from the operation. It is best if they have had at least one deworming, and one Feline Distemper vaccination, and we also perform blood tests for anemia and infection prior to any surgical procedure.  Jefferson Animal Hospital has the ability to perform your kittens declaw using our surgical laser. This procedure reduces bleeding and pain by cauterizing blood vessels and nerve endings as the incisions are made. Kittens have fewer complications and less pain during recovery. Ask our staff if you have questions.

Dental Care

Dental care is a critical part of your pet’s overall health care.  Dental disease is a very common problem for dogs and for cats, and it can cause serious illness such as kidney problems, diabetes and heart problems.  We will teach you how to manage this critical part of your pet’s healthcare easily and efficiently.  To find out more about our dental care visit our Dental Services page.

Senior Care

Any pet over the age of seven (7) is considered a senior pet.  Just as with humans, animals need more preventative care as they reach this age.  It is critical to do preventative care testing in order to find problems at an early and treatable stage.  For all pets over the age of seven (7), we recommend semi-annual examinations as well as annual blood tests, Glaucoma testing, dental evaluations and other preventative health care tests.  We also recommend changing your pet’s diet to a senior care diet around this age.  These diets are lower in fat, salt and include other benefits for a senior pet’s health.  Senior pets can also benefit from vitamins and supplements that can increase joint health and promote overall increased health.  Our veterinary staff can recommend the supplements that are right for your pet.

As in humans, your pet’s lifestyle can affect how his or her body ages.  Do you want to know your pet’s real age?  Visit for your dog’s real age or for your cat’s real age. 

Puppies and Kittens

When you acquire a new puppy or kitten, it is extremely important that their initial vaccine series is started early, and completed according to the veterinarian’s recommendations.  We insist on Doctor and Veterinary Nurse Examinations during these critical months to ensure that your pet’s development is right on track. We will also be checking up on behavioral issues, housebreaking, and any other concerns or problems you may have.  The physical examination is really the most important aspect of these visits.  There can be rapid changes in a young animal’s health status.  Finding problems early and treating them as soon as possible can help your pet lead a longer, healthier life.

Free Puppy and Kitten Exams at Jefferson Animal Hospitals

Have you recently acquired a new puppy or kitten?  Your “new addition” may qualify for a free first time health examination with us.

How does my pet qualify for the free examination?

To qualify, you must have owned your puppy or kitten for two weeks or less. He or she will also need to be healthy for this visit. Litters do not qualify, and your pet must be under 6 months of age. As a community service, we will give a complimentary examination to any pet adopted from a shelter, regardless of age, within 7 days of the adoption.

Why does my new pet need an examination?

The physical examination is the most important part of your pet’s preventative health care. During this examination, the veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart, look in your pet’s eyes and ears and talk to you extensively about the behaviors of your new friend. At the time of this examination, we will discuss with you the risk factors that will influence specific vaccinations and preventative health care tests that we recommend for your pet. We will also answer any questions you may have about your new pet. During this visit, the vast amount of information we provide can be overwhelming. For this reason, we will provide complimentary written materials for you to keep and peruse at your leisure.

How much will this really cost me?

While our medical examination is free, there is a $14.00 fee to create your pet’s medical record. By law, we have to keep your pet’s medical records on file for three years. If you return with your pet for a second set of vaccinations, the $14.00 fee will be refunded to you at the time of that visit. We may also recommend vaccinations and preventative care testing for your new pet. The fees for these services will vary, and they are not included in the free health examination.

Do I need an appointment, or can I just walk in?

These free puppy and kitten examinations are done Monday through Friday by appointment only. If you would like an appointment, please call and we will be more than happy to schedule one for you.

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