Pet Wellness Care
The team at Thornhill Pet Hospital cares about your pet’s well-being, and we are skilled and experienced to treat a wide variety of conditions. There are a number of factors to consider when caring for a pet, ranging from comprehensive wellness exams to vaccinations to dental care. Click the headers below to expand each topic and learn more about the wellness services we offer.
One of the most important elements of pet care is the annual comprehensive exam. During these exams, we evaluate your pet from nose to tail, beginning with a weight check and assessment of the skin and coat. We also check the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth (visit our Dentistry page for information about our dental services). Your pet’s legs, joints, lungs, heart, and abdomen will also be evaluated. These exams allow us to determine if there are any health issues so we can treat them as soon as possible.
Vaccinations protect pets from viral and bacterial diseases. Vaccination protocols vary for pets, depending on species, age, and lifestyle and are tailored to your pet’s individual needs. Thornhill Pet Hospital's vaccines recommendations are based on the recommendations of the AAHA-AVMA Preventive HealthCare Guidelines task Force and are detailed below for both dogs and cats:
Canine Core Vaccines:
The DHPP vaccine protects your puppy or dog against several diseases, including:
- Distemper: a life-threatening disease that is hard to treat and extremely contagious
- Hepatitis (infectious): viral disease that is very contagious and causes liver failure and ocular damage
- Para influenza: a disease of the respiratory system
- Parvovirus: a highly contagious and often fatal virus that can remain in the environment for more than a year
- Rabies: an incurable virus that affects the central nervous system. Most cities in the United States require regular rabies vaccination to protect both dogs and people.
Canine Non-Core Vaccines:
- Canine Cough (formerly called kennel cough): spread through coughing. Dogs can be infected just by being close to an infected dog. However, there is an increased risk in boarding facilities, grooming establishments, veterinary clinics, and dog shows. The vaccine is given either every 6 months or every 12 months depending on your dog's lifestyle.
- Leptospirosis: bacterial disease that affects the kidneys and the liver. The Leptospira bacteria is found in puddles of water or wet grass that have been contaminated by infected dogs or wildlife. The bacteria can also be spread by infected sea mammals and can affect dogs that go to our beaches. Leptospirosis is a human health hazard as well because it is transmitted to humans by contact with the urine of an infected dog or other mammal.
- Canine Flu (canine influenza): Although not very common in California, some boarding facilities are requiring this vaccine.
- Lyme Disease: spread by ticks to dogs and people. It is recommended for dogs that visit areas where ticks are found, including the trails and parks in Oakland and surrounding areas.
Dr. Yang recommends FVRCP vaccination for all cats (indoor/outdoor and indoor only). This vaccine protects cats from several viral diseases, including:
- Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus: both cause upper respiratory tract infection
- Feline Panleukopenia: often called feline distemper. This disease is hard to treat and often fatal. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, severe dehydration and fever. This vaccine is an effective way to protect your cat from this disease.
Cats that go outside also need the following vaccines:
- Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine: Feline leukemia is the leading cause of death for cats in North America. Dr. Yang recommends this vaccine for all cats that go outdoors. If your cat has never received this vaccine, a series of two vaccinations are administered 2-4 weeks apart, and then boosted on an annual basis. If your cat has been outside and not vaccinated, a Feline Leukemia and a Feline Immuno suppressive virus test (done in house) is recommended before vaccinations are administered.
- Rabies Vaccine: transmitted by wild animals that have been infected with the virus. Rabies is always fatal. In our practice at this time, we us Purevax Feline Rabies by Merial. This vaccine is not adjuvanated for increased safety.
If your pet is found to be overweight, we can provide nutritional counseling to help them return to a healthy weight. A typical counseling session includes a discussion about food types, the amount of food that should be given on a daily basis, and exercise recommendations. We can also provide information on the ideal weight for your pet’s specific breed and age and give tips for how to determine if your pet is overweight.
Intestinal Parasite Testing and Treatment
Intestinal parasites like roundworms and hookworms can cause a number of health problems for your pet, ranging from vomiting to weakness to intestinal blockage. Some parasites are also zoonotic, which means they can be passed on to humans. Most parasites are visible in the stool of an animal, so it’s important to have your pet screened once a year, both for their health and that of your family. Thornhill Pet Hospital is equipped with a fecal loop to extract samples from most pets we see, so bringing in a fecal sample is typically not necessary. If your pet is found to have parasites, we can treat them accordingly.
Heartworm Testing and Prevention
Heartworm is a disease that affects the hearts, lungs, and blood vessels of an animal. It’s caused by parasitic worms that are spread through mosquito bites. Year-round heartworm prevention is critical to your pet’s health, so we recommend preventives like Heartgard and Tri-heart, which we have available at our hospital. We also offer Trifexis and several other preventives, which are available in-house or for free home delivery for current clients. It’s also important to have your pet screened annually for heartworm.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Fleas are prevalent in shady, moist areas and can cause allergies. Ticks can transmit Erlichia, Lyme disease, and other potentially life-threatening conditions to your pets. To prevent fleas in both dogs and cats, we recommend topical preventives like Activyl from and oral prescription flea medications like Comfortis. To protect dogs from fleas and ticks we recommend oral prescription medications like Bravecto (one dose for 12 weeks of protection) and Activyl Tick Plus if you prefer a topical product. We also recommend treating the premises for fleas to ensure they are all eradicated.
Senior Dog & Cat Wellness
Dogs and cats are considered seniors at about 10 years of age. In addition to the standard wellness exam, nutritional assessment, and parasite screening/prevention, we recommend senior blood panels and a urinalysis to detect any chronic diseases. We also recommend a digital x-ray screening to view your pet internally. If your pet has arthritis, we have steroidal and non-steroidal medication options to treat it, including Rimadyl, Metacam, Dasuquin, and Flexadin.
The city of Oakland requires that all dogs and cats be microchipped prior to being licensed. No larger than a grain of rice, a microchip is a device that serves as a permanent form of identification for pets. It’s implanted just beneath an animal’s shoulder blades and is encoded with the owner’s contact information. Here at Thornhill Pet Hospital, we use the Home Again microchip for our patients.
In-house digital radiography and ultrasonography are two forms of diagnostic imaging technology that allow us to safely examine your pet internally. This enables us to diagnose conditions of the bones, kidneys, liver, bones, and other internal organs. Ultrasounds are performed by a board-certified veterinary radiologist and are available by appointment only.
Pet Surgical Services
We perform a number of soft tissue surgeries, including spay and neuter surgeries, in-house. We also have a board-certified veterinary surgeon available by appointment only to perform orthopedic surgeries in-house. For more complex surgeries, we can refer out or have a surgical specialist perform the surgeries in-house.
Our hospital is equipped with an in-house pet laboratory, where we can administer pre-operative and pre-dental blood panels. We also collaborate with commercial and veterinary school clinical laboratories.
To give your pet the most effective state-of-the-art care, we work closely with area veterinary specialists. Caring for your pet is a collaborative effort between our veterinarian and veterinary specialists so that both parties can have a full understanding of each patient’s clinical condition.