Green Hills Veterinary Clinic

Preventative Care for Pets in in Moberly, MO

As pet owners, we want to ensure that our furry friends live long, healthy lives. One of the best ways to do this is through preventative pet care. By taking proactive measures to keep our pets healthy, we can save ourselves and our pets from potential health issues and costly vet bills.

Regular Vet Visits

Green Hills Veterinary Clinic patient

Pets need regular check-ups to maintain their health. It is recommended to take your pet to the vet at least once a year for a wellness exam. During this visit, the vet will perform a physical exam, check for any underlying health issues, and administer any necessary vaccinations. These regular visits can help catch any potential health problems early on and prevent them from becoming more serious.


Pets are susceptible to a variety of diseases that can be prevented through vaccinations. These diseases can be highly contagious and even life-threatening, making it crucial to protect your pet through proper vaccination.

Vaccinations work by introducing a small amount of a disease-causing agent into your pet’s body, which triggers their immune system to produce antibodies to fight off the disease. This way, if your pet is ever exposed to the actual disease, their body will be prepared to fight it off.

Core vs. Non-Core Vaccinations

When it comes to vaccinations for pets, there are two main categories: core and non-core. Core vaccinations are those that are recommended for all pets, regardless of their lifestyle or location. These vaccinations protect against diseases that are widespread and have serious consequences.

On the other hand, non-core vaccinations are those that are recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle, location, and risk of exposure to certain diseases. These vaccinations may not be necessary for all pets, but they can provide additional protection for those at risk.

Core Vaccinations for Dogs

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Adenovirus

Non-Core Vaccinations for Dogs

  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme disease

Core Vaccinations for Cats

  • Rabies
  • Feline herpesvirus
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline panleukopenia

Non-Core Vaccinations for Cats

  • Feline leukemia

Recommended Vaccination Schedule for Pets

The recommended vaccination schedule for pets can vary depending on their age, lifestyle, and location. It’s important to consult with us to determine the best schedule for your pet. However, here is a general guideline for when your pet should receive their vaccinations:

Puppies and Kittens

Puppies and kittens should receive their first round of vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age. They will then need boosters every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. After this, they will need annual boosters to maintain their immunity.

Adult Dogs and Cats

Adult dogs and cats should receive annual boosters for their core vaccinations. Non-core vaccinations may be recommended every 1-3 years, depending on your pet’s risk of exposure.

Senior Pets

As pets age, their immune system may weaken, making them more susceptible to diseases. It’s important to continue their annual boosters to maintain their immunity and protect them from potential illnesses.

Parasite Testing and Prevention

Green Hills Veterinary Clinic pig patient

Parasites are organisms that live on or inside another organism, known as a host. They can cause a variety of health issues for your pet, including weight loss, anemia, and even death. Some parasites can also be transmitted to humans, making it important to not only protect your pet but also your family.

How is Veterinary Parasite Testing Done?

There are a few different methods for testing for parasites in pets. The most common methods include fecal exams, blood tests, and skin scrapings.

Preventing Parasites in Your Pet

While regular parasite testing is important, prevention is key to keeping your pet healthy and parasite-free.

  • Use preventative medications: There are various preventative medications available for different types of parasites. We can recommend the best option for your pet based on their lifestyle and risk factors. These medications can help prevent infestations and keep your pet healthy.
  • Practice good hygiene: Practicing good hygiene is important for both you and your pet. Wash your hands after handling your pet, especially after cleaning up their feces. This will help prevent the spread of any potential parasites.

FIV and FeLV

Green Hills Veterinary Clinic Cat

What is FIV?

FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that affects cats worldwide. It is similar to the human virus HIV, but it cannot be transmitted to humans. FIV attacks the immune system, making cats more susceptible to infections and illnesses.

How is FIV transmitted?

FIV is most commonly transmitted through deep bite wounds from an infected cat. This can occur during fights between outdoor cats or through mating. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens during pregnancy, birth, or through nursing.

FIV cannot be transmitted through casual contact, such as sharing food bowls or grooming. It is also not spread through sneezing, coughing, or other respiratory secretions.

Symptoms of FIV

FIV can have a wide range of symptoms, and some cats may not show any symptoms at all. Some common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Dental disease
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Eye problems
  • Skin infections

If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for testing and treatment.

What is FeLV?

FeLV, or Feline Leukemia Virus, is another virus that affects cats worldwide. It is a retrovirus, meaning it can integrate into the DNA of infected cells and replicate itself. This can lead to a weakened immune system and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

How is FeLV transmitted?

FeLV is most commonly transmitted through saliva, blood, and other bodily fluids. This can occur through mutual grooming, sharing food and water bowls, or through bites from an infected cat. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens during pregnancy, birth, or through nursing.

FeLV can also be transmitted through blood transfusions or sharing needles, but these are less common routes of transmission.

Symptoms of FeLV

FeLV can have a wide range of symptoms, and some cats may not show any symptoms at all. Some common symptoms include:

  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Dental disease
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Eye problems
  • Skin infections
  • Cancer

If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for testing and treatment.

How is FIV and FeLV Testing Done?

FIV and FeLV testing is typically done through a blood test. We will take a small sample of blood from your cat and send it to a laboratory for testing. The results are usually available within a few days.

When Should My Cat Be Tested?

It’s recommended that all cats be tested for FIV and FeLV at least once in their lifetime. This is especially important for outdoor cats or cats that have been in contact with other cats. If your cat is showing symptoms of FIV or FeLV, it’s important to get them tested as soon as possible.

How Can I Prevent FIV and FeLV?

The best way to prevent FIV and FeLV is to keep your cat indoors and away from other cats. If you have multiple cats, make sure they are all tested before introducing them to each other. It’s also important to keep your cat up to date on vaccinations and to have them spayed or neutered.

Proper Nutrition and Exercise

A well-balanced diet is crucial for your pet's overall health and wellness. Make sure to feed your pet high-quality food that is appropriate for their age, breed, and size. Avoid giving them table scraps or human food, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues. Consult with us to determine the best diet for your pet and stick to it.

Pets also need regular exercise to stay healthy. Make sure to provide your pet with opportunities to be physically active, whether it's through daily walks, playtime, or other activities. Regular exercise can help prevent obesity, improve cardiovascular health, and keep your pet mentally stimulated.

Dental Care

Many pet owners overlook the importance of dental care for their pets. However, dental health is crucial for your pet's overall well-being. Make sure to brush your pet's teeth regularly and provide them with dental treats or toys to help keep their teeth clean. It's also important to schedule regular dental cleanings with us to prevent any potential dental issues.


Microchipping is the process of inserting a small, electronic chip under the skin of an animal. The chip, about the size of a grain of rice, contains a unique identification number that can be scanned by a microchip reader. This number is then linked to the owner's contact information in a database, making it easier to reunite lost pets with their owners.

How is it Done?

The microchipping process is quick and relatively painless for the animal. A veterinarian will use a needle to insert the chip under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The procedure is similar to getting a vaccination and does not require anesthesia.

Once the chip is inserted, the animal's body will naturally form a layer of connective tissue around it, keeping it in place. The chip is designed to last for the lifetime of the animal, so there is no need for replacement or maintenance.

Pros of Microchipping

Permanent identification: One of the main benefits of microchipping is that it provides permanent identification for your pet. Unlike collars or tags, which can easily fall off or be removed, a microchip is embedded under the skin and cannot be lost or removed. This ensures that your pet can always be identified, even if they wander far from home.

Quick and painless procedure: As mentioned earlier, the microchipping procedure is quick and relatively painless for the animal. It only takes a few seconds to insert the chip, and most animals do not experience any discomfort. This makes it a great option for pets who may not tolerate wearing collars or tags.

Easy to update information: Another advantage of microchipping is that it is easy to update the owner's contact information in the database. If you move or change your phone number, you can simply contact the microchip company and provide them with the updated information. This ensures that your pet's identification is always up to date.

Increase chances of reuniting with your lost pet: Losing a pet can be a traumatic experience for both the owner and the animal. With a microchip, the chances of being reunited with a lost pet increase significantly. According to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs with microchips were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time, while those without chips were only returned 21.9% of the time. For cats, the return rate was even higher at 38.5% for microchipped cats compared to 1.8% for non-microchipped cats.

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