Complete Preventative Care for Your Hillsborough County Pet

Wellness Care for PetsAs pet owners ourselves, the veterinarians and staff of Animal Medical Center truly understand that sharing your home with a pet is an immensely rewarding and satisfying experience. Our Valrico veterinary clinic also believes that the relationship you have developed with your pet is unique and important to you. This is why we provide the latest technological and medical protocols available and constantly strive to nurture the bond you share with your pet through compassionate, lifelong veterinary care.

The basis of our promise to you and the foundation of your pet's health is the thorough practice of preventative care. We recommend yearly pet wellness check-ups, proper dental care here and at home, appropriate cat/dog vaccinations, microchip identification in case your pet becomes lost and regular screenings for diseases that commonly afflict pets in their senior years.

We also strongly believe that client education and communication are vital aspects of good veterinary care. Our promise to you and the work of caring for your pet does not begin and end at our doors. It is continuous and requires empowering you with the information you need to provide the best and most compassionate care for your beloved pet.

However, despite the most aggressive preventative treatment, our pets may yet experience a periodic illness or injury. The skill, experience and extensive education of the Valrico veterinarians at Animal Medical Center allow us to effectively manage complex medical and surgical challenges beyond those typically handled in general veterinary practices. This means fewer referrals to expensive specialists and this allows our clients to receive care for their pets from people they know, in a comfortable and familiar setting.

In all, we strive to provide the highest level of service to you and care to your pet in a warm, safe and inviting atmosphere. Please take a look at the veterinary services our Hillsborough County animal hospital offers and please feel free to give us a call at (813) 654-6222 or email us to ask a question or make an appointment.

Care for Every Age and Stage

The staff at Animal Medical Center is committed to providing you and your pet the finest veterinary care possible. We're a welcoming, skilled and affordable partner in the care of your beloved companions.

The veterinary team at Animal Medical Center believes that prevention contributes to your pet's long term health and minimizes the lifetime cost of care. We strongly recommend routine wellness exams, vaccinations, regular lab work, deworming and fecal checks, as well as medications to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks to keep your pet in optimum health.

Despite the very best preventive care, a beloved pet may develop an illness or be injured. Our internal medicine and surgical expertise, as well as our advanced diagnostic capabilities and veterinary laboratory, ensure your pet receives a quick and accurate diagnosis. We take time to explain our diagnosis to you and provide you with various options for your pet's treatment.

Please take a look at the services we offer to learn why we believe they are important to the care and wellbeing of your pet. Then give us a call to set up an appointment today!

Wellness Care12 Body System Preventative Care Examinations

Preventative care examinations are the same for your pet as the yearly physical you receive from your doctor. It's a chance for us to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in veterinary care, and is also an opportunity for you to discuss any of your concerns or ask questions.

Our comprehensive examination covers the following 12 body systems: circulatory •  dental •  digestive •  ears •  eyes •  genito-urinary •  integumentary (skin)  •  lymphatic •  mucous membranes (gums) • musculo-skeletal •  neural system •  respiratory

At Animal Medical Center, we take the time necessary to get to know your pet and you. Preventative care examinations are an opportunity for us to listen to you and your concerns, answer your questions, and thoroughly examine your cherished friend.

Therefore, your pet's yearly examination at Animal Medical Center includes our commitment to:

  • Examine your pet's teeth, throat, and oral cavity
  • Check your pet's vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet's heart and evaluate cardiac function
  • Test your pet's reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin for unusual growth developments or signs of allergies
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs and other systems
  • Assess changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, urination and bowel habits
  • Utilize laboratory testing to detect early signs of Lyme or Heartworm disease'
  • Assess and evaluate general or specific changes in your pet's health since the last wellness visit
  • Discuss preventive techniques with you, the pet owner
  • Collect and examine fecal samples for signs of parasitic infestation
  • Evaluate your pet for repetitive licking or biting in one area
  • Assess your pet's hair/fur and check for matting
  • Demonstrate to you, the pet owner, how to administer at-home medication

Deworming and Fecal Check

Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. We recommend regular fecal checks and deworming as the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites to your pet and your family members.

Regular Blood Testing

A complete physical should include a blood tests. Not only can a chemistry panel and blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between regular examinations.

At home, watch for subtle changes in your pet's body weight, appetite, water intake, urination and bowel habits, as well as general attitude and activity level. These changes may be signs of medical problems. Lumps and bumps under the skin may seem harmless, but can be cancerous. Ear infections, abscessed teeth and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become obvious until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical exam is the tool to evaluate your dog's, cat's or other pet's health status and to help you make informed decisions about the care of your special companion.

Internal Medicine

Sometimes one of the frustrations of dealing with a sick pet is that you cannot simply ask him/her what is wrong. Therefore, Animal Medical Center has invested in the latest advanced diagnostic technology. When your pet is not well, we need to find out what is wrong. After performing a thorough examination, a series of diagnostic tests is often necessary in order to identify the medical condition.

All the veterinarians at Animal Medical Center are knowledgeable and have a large amount of expertise in diagnosing and treating complex internal medicine cases such as kidney, heart, respiratory, immune-mediated and endocrine diseases.

VaccinesVaccines

Due to the many recent discoveries and innovations in veterinary medicine, your pet can be protected against most major infectious diseases. Today, many immunizations and preventative treatments are available that did not exist a decade ago.

Vaccines are useful in preventing canine distemper, parvovirus, bordetella, rabies, Lyme disease and other diseases in your dog and feline leukemia, panleukopenia, rabies and feline immunodeficiency virus in cats. Our staff at Animal Medical Center can assist you in deciding which preventative measures are necessary for your pet.

Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your pet healthy and free from disease. However, not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Our veterinarians tailor a vaccine protocol that is specific to your pet based on his or her lifestyle and recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association.

Vaccine schedules are balanced to provide needed protection while not over-vaccinating your pet. Please contact us for more information about vaccinations.

Core Vaccines for Dogs and Cats

Core vaccines for dogs include Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus (hepatitis), Canine Parvovirus and Canine Parainfluenza. Combined into one injection, the vaccine is called DHPP. When Leptospirosis is added, it is called DHPPL. Bordetella is also a core vaccine for adult dogs as is Rabies. Rabies is a requirement for all dogs living in the state of Florida.

Core vaccines for cats include Panleukopenia Virus, Feline Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis, also known as Herpes Virus. The vaccines are combined into one injection, called FVRCP. FVR is Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, which causes respiratory infections; C is for Calicivirus, another upper respiratory infection and P is for Panleukopenia, also known as Feline Distemper. Rabies vaccine is also a core vaccine for cats and a booster injection must be given each year.

Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs

Non-core vaccines for dogs include Lyme and Canine influenza.

Bordetella (B. bronchiseptica) is a bacteria commonly associated with respiratory infections in dogs. It is one of the more common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis - also known as kennel cough. This vaccine is strongly recommended if your dog attends day care, visits dog parks, boarding kennels or any other location where he / she comes into nose-to-nose contact with other dogs.

Bordetella is highly contagious, easily transmitted through the air or direct contact, and fairly resistant to destruction in the environment.

Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria (Leptospira interrogans) found in soil, water, and the urine of infected animals. It affects dogs but can also infect other animals, including humans. If not diagnosed and treated early, Leptospirosis can be deadly.

L. interrogans can survive in water and is frequently found in swamps, streams, lakes, and standing water. The bacteria also lives in moist soil and outbreaks occur often after flooding. Your veterinarian will recommend Leptospirosis vaccination if your dog is at risk.

KittensPuppy and Kitten Care

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home is always something to celebrate. They add energy and fun and are a source of unceasing affection as they bond with you and your family.

However, new pets require a little extra attention to ensure they get a good, healthy start at life. This means that comprehensive physical exams from one of the veterinarians at Animal Medical Center at key developmental stages are essential. Any time that you get a new pet, it's important to schedule an appointment right away so that we may review their prior medical records and make timely recommendations for appropriate wellness care.

Your first visits with your new puppy or kitten at Animal Medical Center are perhaps the most important. These initial visits are where you, one of our doctors and your pet first meet and begin to form the relationship that lasts throughout the life of your pet. We take plenty of time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.

Some of the issues discussed during your kitten's first visits include:

  • Diet - including types of food that are best for cats' unique requirements.
  • Litter and litter box use
  • Behavior
  • Should my cat be allowed to go outdoors?
  • Spaying and neutering recommendations
  • Declawing - Should I or shouldn't I?
  • Vaccine protocol
  • Pet health insurance - Should I invest in it? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping - Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam and treatment for worms and other intestinal parasites
  • Testing for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • Fleas (treatment and prevention) and heartworm disease
  • Complete physical exam which includes detection of potential congenital problems and anything else you may want to discuss.

Puppy careSome of the issues discussed during your puppy's first visits include:

  • Diet - including types of food to feed and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  • Housetraining
  • Behavior
  • Spaying and neutering advice - Is this best for my dog? If I decide to spay/neuter, when is the best time to have this done?
  • Formulation of an individualized vaccine protocol.
  • Pet health insurance- Should I invest in it? What should I look for in a company?
  • Heartworm, fleas and ticks
  • Microchipping - Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?
  • Fecal exam and treatment for worms and other intestinal parasites
  • Complete physical exam which includes detection of potential congenital problems and anything else you may want to discuss.

We take plenty of time during these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough examination, which includes detection of potential congenital problems, offer health care and training advice, and talk with you about any concerns you may have. This is your new kitten or puppy and we're happy to answer all of your questions.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere and no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance; they carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Ticks of course are the main carriers of Lyme disease.

In our climate, fleas are a nuisance year round. Ticks tend to thrive in wooded areas or in high grass. It's often difficult to keep your pets away from tick infested areas, so if they do go exploring, check them when they come inside.

Flea and tick problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective.

HeartwormHeartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease affecting dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms, as are coughing and difficulty breathing. Because heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple and effective. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once-a-month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet from this dangerous parasite, please call Animal Medical Center today for an appointment.

For additional information on products, parasites, parasite control, and how they can affect you and your family, please ask Dr. Antuñano or visit: