At Best Care Pet Hospital, we take the role of being your pet’s veterinarian very seriously. Pets don't always show that they may be unwell, but a routine examination could help us find any abnormalities or possible signs of sickness. We highly recommend that your pet come in for a physical examination once every 12 months, or once every 6 months if you have a senior pet, to ensure that they are in prime physical and mental condition.
Through routine visits, we are able to ensure the health of your pet by catching small signs of discomfort or disease that are often tough to spot without proper training. If we spot such signs, we will be able to immediately address the condition and begin necessary treatment. The earlier we catch something, the easier the treatment is for your pet.
For all pets under our care, the minimum they should be brought in for routine examination is once per year. However, it is important for pets that are puppies, kittens, seniors, or pets living with a health condition to come in at least twice a year so we can keep a closer eye on their health, as these groups tend to be the most vulnerable to sickness and disease.
A complete physical examination includes an assessment of the following areas:
In addition to the physical examination, a fecal examination is also highly recommended to help ensure your pet is in good health. A fecal examination can detect intestinal parasites that could be harmful to the health of your pet. Please bring a fresh stool sample to your pet’s routine examinations. If the sample is found to have parasites, we will discuss suitable treatment options with you.
To help ensure that your pet is in the best physical and mental state, please come prepared with general questions you may have. Telling us about your pet’s behaviors can give us insight into possible recommendations for them.
Below are some general questions to consider for your pet:
If you have any questions about your pet that may be better addressed at another facility, we would be happy to give you proper recommendations that we trust.
There are numerous conditions and infections that are detrimental to a pet’s health. Fortunately, Best Care Pet Hospital offers vaccinations as protection against such conditions. By providing core vaccines, as well as non-core vaccines, Best Care can help to ensure that your pet, as well as the rest of the pet community, is safeguarded against infectious conditions.
Best Care knows not all pets are the same, which is why we offer personalized vaccination plans to avoid over-vaccination. Our medical team will work with you to devise a vaccination plan that is customized to your pet’s individual lifestyle. Each pet is recommended to receive the “core vaccinations,” necessary for all pets. In addition, “non-core” vaccines are offered, which are based on your pet’s age, species, lifestyle, and health conditions.
Animal vaccines work similarly to human vaccines. The body is exposed to low levels of a particular disease or condition and then the immune system forms antigens against that disease in preparation for when the body is infected with the real condition.
For questions or concerns about your pet’s vaccine plan, or if you are uncertain about your pet being properly vaccinated, feel free to ask our team at Best Care Pet Hospital. Simply give us a call or stop by during our regular business hours.
Parasites such as ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites pose a serious risk to pets. To avoid such diseases, it is highly recommended that your pet is administered year-round parasite preventives. This is not only for the safety of your pet, but pets everywhere and yourself as well.
In every single case, it is much easier to prevent parasites rather than to treat them. At Best Care, we use a simple, two-step prevention method: continuous preventive medication and annual parasite testing.
Every pet will have a different lifestyle and we will work with you to help choose which preventive medication is most suitable for your pet. Typically, our preventative methods come in the form of a treat or pill, and are easy-to-administer. Depending on the type of parasite being tested for, a parasite test is either in the form of a blood sample or fecal test.
Read below to learn more about common parasites and what you can do to prevent infestation and keep your pet and your family safe:
Fleas bites can lead to a variety of ailments, including dermatitis, allergic reactions, tapeworms, and bacterial infections. Untreated cases may result in death.
Fleas are always around but tend to peak in the warmer months. They are known for being able to multiply quickly and are transmissible from animals to people as well.
Ticks carry dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease, Bartonella, anaplasmosis, tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and ehrlichiosis.
Any time after taking your dog for a walk outdoors, it is always a good idea to groom your pet and check for ticks. Ticks are typically found in wooded areas, grassy terrain and humid climates. They are also transmissible from pets to people.
Mosquitos can cause itchy and uncomfortable bites and can also pass heartworm larvae to pets, which can be life-threatening in some cases if left untreated. Heartworm disease is more commonly found in dogs, but cats can get it too.
Heartworms can cause irreversible damage in vital areas such as the heart, lungs and blood vessels and are highly fatal if left untreated.
Intestinal parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and hookworms. Worms are easily spread through contaminated soil and the stool of other pets. Your dog may simply contract one of these parasites just by going outside. Fortunately, infection is very preventable.
Due to their immune systems, kittens and puppies are the most at risk for contracting an intestinal parasite. Therefore, it is important for pets to undergo parasite prevention at an early age and keep up to date with examinations.
Pets are not the only ones who are susceptible to contracting intestinal parasites - people are at risk, too. Children have the greatest chances of getting an intestinal parasites due to their hygiene and playing outside. Therefore it is important to pick up your pet’s stool promptly, dispose of it properly, and wash your hands any time after you interact with animals.
Every year an estimated 10 million pets are lost or stolen, that is around 1 in every 3 pets! And despite lost pets being found and brought to animal shelters or hospitals, many are never reunited with their owners. To prevent this heartbreak, Best Care Pet Hospital offers microchipping.
Whether your pet spends most of their time indoors or outdoors, Best Care strongly urges all pet owners to be prepared for anything. Microchips provide reliable identification for your pet as well as owner contact information, and greatly increases the chances of being reunited with your lost pet. Pets may receive a microchip at any age, but Best Care recommends pets are microchipped sooner rather than later to ensure peace of mind.
Microchip implementation is a quick procedure and causes no harm to your pet. In addition, your pet does not have to be sedated for the procedure. Upon the insertion of your pet’s microchip, you can complete the registration process by uploading your current contact information to the national database, which may be updated at any time if you ever move or change phone numbers.
Animal hospitals, care workers, and shelters are equipped with a scanner should they find any lost pet. If a pet has a microchip, the scanner can retrieve the owner's contact information.
Our veterinary team also recommends that all pet owners use collars and identification tags for their pets. While these methods may not be as effective as microchipping, they are added resources to help reunite you with your pet should they ever get lost.
Obesity among pets is a serious problem and is currently on the rise. A 2017 clinical survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that an estimated 60% of felines and 56% of canines are overweight or obese.
Considering this problem, our medical team is adamant about ensuring that our patients maintain an ideal body weight to stay healthy. This includes staying active, eating properly, and eating in correct portion sizes.
Consequences of obesity in pets are serious and can include high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, liver disease, chronic inflammation, metabolic and endocrine disorders, respiratory disorders, orthopedic disease, skin disorders, cancer, and diminished life expectancy and lesser quality of life.
Sometimes, weight gain is hard to notice in pets because it doesn't just happen overnight. A few pounds usually do not determine the health of humans, but for small cats and dogs, it has a large impact on their health.
Weight loss for pets is not an easy or fast process, but by consulting with one of our veterinarians we can provide guidance to help your pet achieve ideal body weight.
We are located on the east side of Sioux Falls, right off I-229. You'll find us on E 10th St. right across from Nelson Park.