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Preventive Care

Puppy and Kitten Care

The first year of care for your new puppy or kitten is the most important. Like human infants, puppies and kittens require special attention for them to grow and develop well.

Our team of veterinarians and technicians partner with you to create a custom health plan so your new companion receives the vaccinations and examinations required to get the best start in life. We’ll also provide you, the pet owner, with a complimentary wellness package that includes food samples, flea and heartworm preventatives, and information on caring for your pet between visits to the veterinarian.

Your puppy and kittens first year of care will include:

Physical Examinations: Your puppy’s or kitten’s lifetime of wellness starts with its first comprehensive physical exam. Puppies and kittens should have 3-4 exams between the ages of 8-16 weeks. These visits are important because they provide our veterinarians with an opportunity to assess your pet’s overall health and to administer vaccines.
Vaccinations: Due to their developing immune systems, puppies and kittens must receive a series of properly staged vaccines. Because every puppy and kitten is unique, we tailor our vaccination recommendations based on their lifestyle and/or breed and according to the suggested medical guidelines.
Diagnostic Testing: Puppies should be tested for intestinal parasites and kittens tested for intestinal parasites and Feline Leukemia/FIV.

Additional Recommendations: Your veterinarian will also discuss and recommend other services, such as spaying, neutering and microchipping.

Parasite Prevention and Control

Parasites: Parasites can be real pests. Both external (fleas, ticks) and internal (heartworm, hookworm, roundworm) parasites can cause problems for your pet and your family. Prevention is the best approach to eliminating these pests. Please ask a staff member at Dodgeville Veterinary Service for the best way to prevent parasite problems in your pet.

Heartworm Disease: Spread by mosquitoes, heartworm disease is serious disease. Fortunately, preventive medications exist to prevent heartworm disease in your beloved companion. The veterinarians at Dodgeville Veterinary Service recommend administering preventive medication once a month, all year long.

Since it is easier and more convenient to protect your pet from disease and illness the veterinarians at Dodgeville Veterinary Service recommend having your dog tested yearly for heartworm disease.

Dodgeville Veterinary Service carries the best products to prevent heartworm disease in your pets. Topical liquids and oral tablets are available.

Flea/Tick Control: Fleas and ticks carry a number of life threatening diseases which pose a risk to you and your pet. For this reason, we recommend year-round flea and tick control. We carry a topical and a chewable form of flea/tick products that work well in our environment.

Lyme Disease: Wisconsin is one of many parts of the country in which Lyme Disease is a common problem for humans and dogs. The infection is transmitted by the bite and attachment of a tick. Lyme Disease can be contracted year round, as ticks can be active even when temperatures are around freezing. Talk to our veterinarian about our wide variety of tick preventatives.

The Mature Pet Care

Older pets make wonderful companions, and thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever. Your senior pet has medical needs that are very different from puppies and kittens, though. The veterinarians and medical team at Dodgeville Veterinary Service work with you to develop a health care plan that ensures your pet is safe and happy throughout his or her golden years.

Pets age faster than people and are considered to be seniors around age 7. Prevention is the key to keeping older pets healthy. Symptoms of disease or a chronic condition many not be readily apparent. In some cases, conditions that look like the usual signs of old age could be signs of a more serious problem, such as arthritis, periodontal disease, kidney failure or cancer. We recommend all senior pets undergo at least one physical examination each year, though more frequent examinations are encouraged. During an examination, we also perform tests that can detect the signs of heart disease, infection, diabetes and other health problems.

You are an important ally in keeping your senior pet healthy! If your pet is experiencing any changes in behavior, we urge you to bring him or her in for a check-up. We can make sure you and your faithful companion enjoy many more years together.

Top 4 Things That Will Help Your Pet Live Longer

Weight Control: The majority of the nation’s dogs and cats continue to be overweight, and most pet owners aren’t aware of the problem, according to new research from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). The eighth annual National Pet Obesity Prevalence Survey conducted by APOP found 58% of U.S. cats and 53% of dogs were overweight in 2014.

Heartworm Prevention:Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive disease. The earlier it is detected, the better the chances the pet will recover. There are few, if any, early signs of disease when a dog or cat is infected with heartworms, so detecting their presence with a heartworm test administered by a veterinarian is important. The test requires just a small blood sample from your pet, and it works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins. We process heartworm tests right in the clinic so you will get the results quickly. If your pet tests positive, further tests may be ordered.

Dental Care: It’s a fact – pet dental is one of the most important health related topics pet owners need to address. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of periodontal (gum) disease by age three. So if you are not part of the 10% that are already doing something for their pets’ oral health, now is the time. Some encouraging news is that there are new products and techniques that make it easier and more effective than ever to address your pets’ dental care.

Early Detection: Routine blood work helps uncover underlying medical problems that you and your veterinarian may not be aware of, giving valuable insights into the health of your dog and the opportunity to catch illnesses early.

  • According to a study conducted by the Pet Health and Nutrition Center, at Corning, NY, in 2000: If detected early, 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modifications alone over a one-year period.
  • Kidney disease is one of the major causes of illness and death in dogs and cats, but symptoms do not usually appear until 2/3 of kidney function has been lost. If caught early, the animal can live with this condition for many years.
  • Unlike some organs, the liver has the ability to regenerate. If the liver problem is caught early and provided proper treatment, the chance of the pet’s recovery is very good.
  • Advanced urinary tract disease is often accompanied by the formation of crystals or stones in the lower urinary tract. In some cats, especially males, formation of stones can lead to pain and even death. Early detection can control and sometimes even prevent the formation of stones.
  • Early detection of diabetes is extremely important because treatment can be more effective and easier on the animal. Treating diabetes early can also prevent damage to other organs.


Vaccines are an excellent way to protect your pet. While some vaccines prevent common infectious diseases, others protect against dangers present in a pet’s lifestyle. The team at Dodgeville Veterinary Service follows the vaccination protocols put forth by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), thus ensuring your pet receives the best possible veterinary care. Read on for a list of our recommended vaccinations.

Essential Vaccines for your Dog
Distemper Vaccine (DHPP): This combination vaccine protects against four diseases: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus

Rabies: Rabies virus is fatal and all warm-blooded animals (including humans) are susceptible to infection. Most states require rabies vaccinations by law.

Other Vaccines for Dogs
Leptospirosis: Often included as part of the distemper combination vaccine (thus making it DHLPP), this bacterial infection is most prevalent in moist climates where dogs may encounter standing or slow-moving water.

Bordetella (“Canine Cough”): The bordetella bacteria causes an extremely contagious upper respiratory infection. Your veterinarian may recommend this vaccine before your dog attends a doggy daycare program, a boarding facility or a dog show.

Lyme Disease: Carried by ticks, Lyme Disease is extremely prevalent in certain parts of the country. Pets residing in the east and west coast as well as the Great Lakes region are most susceptible to Lyme Disease.

Essential Vaccines for your Cat
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP): Commonly referred to as a distemper vaccine, this combination vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.

Rabies: Rabies virus is fatal and all warm-blooded animals (including humans) are susceptible to infection.

Other Vaccines for Your Cat
Feline Leukemia (Felv): Felv is a viral infection transmitted from one cat to another through close contact. This vaccine is highly recommended for cats that go outdoors or live in multi-cat households, and we consider this an essential vaccine for kittens.
Preventive (Wellness) Examinations

As the old saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The entire veterinary team at Dodgeville Veterinary Service recommends regular wellness examinations for the same reason your personal physician or dentist does: if a health problem or issue can be detected in its early stages, there is a far greater likelihood it can be resolved and treated with less difficulty, less expense and greater success.

During your pet’s wellness examination, our veterinarians perform a complete physical to assess your pet’s overall health and to give you, the pet owner, an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you have. Have you noticed any recent subtle shifts in your pet’s health or behavior? Have you observed any changes in body weight, appetite, water intake, urination and bowel habits, and/or activity level? Changes may be signs of medical problems. Seemingly insignificant lumps and bumps under the skin may be indications of infection or cancer. Ear infections, abscessed teeth and gum disease are common, painful conditions that may not become noticeable until seriously advanced. A comprehensive physical examination helps your veterinarian and you evaluate your pet’s health and make informed decisions about your special companion’s veterinary care.

Good Communication Leads to Good HealthOur commitment begins right when your new companion enters your family. Our goal is to provide you with the finest veterinary care possible so you and your beloved companion can enjoy a long, healthy and happy life together.

Each age and stage of your pet’s life presents different health issues that may require attention and care. Our team of doctors and veterinary staff provide individualized attention and develop a health care plan for your pet that takes into consideration his/her special needs, lifestyle, breed and home life. We also listen to you, the pet owner, and consider your schedule, routine, needs and family life. By understanding the whole picture, we can better tailor your pet’s health care plan to suit his and your lifestyle.

When you bring your pet to Dodgeville Veterinary Service, we work with you to create a lifetime preventive health care plan. This includes a balanced schedule of vaccines (to protect your pet against dangerous, but preventable, diseases), routine dental care (good oral health protects overall systemic health), and microchip identification (should your pet become lost). We also provide internal medicine services, nutritional and behavioral counseling, general and orthopedic surgery, advanced diagnostic testing capabilities and much more.

Our commitment to you and your pet’s health begins with an annual examination specific to your pets needs, and may include the following:

  • Examining your pet’s teeth, throat and oral cavity
  • Checking your pet’s vision and eyes
  • Examining ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and related issues
  • Assessing your pet’s heart and cardiac function
  • Examining the skin
  • Palpating lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Examining the respiratory system
  • Evaluating internal organ function and other systems
  • Monitoring your pet’s blood count and serum chemistry
  • Performing laboratory tests to determine the presence of diseases
  • Assessing changes in your pet’s health since the last wellness visit
  • Fecal check for the presence of intestinal parasites

During each examination, we also listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and keep you up to date on all the information you need to be the best caregiver to your pet. Good communication between you and your pet’s doctor ensures your beloved companion is receiving the optimal care and attention he needs to live a long, healthy life.

Preventive Wellness Plans Click to learn more about A Lifetime of Canine Wellness or A Lifetime of Feline Wellness.

For more information on preventative health care, please visit Partners for Healthy Pets.