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Health Maintenance Care for each stage of your pet’s life is essential to a full, healthy life.  Our Lifestages Care services include:

Wellness exams and Preventative care:

We recommend a complete physical exam every 6 months. Lots of changes can occur that are not easily detected by your pet’s outward appearance, especially as your pet ages. Preventative health care recommendations are made based on examination findings and your pet’s individual needs and lifestyle. This may include blood, urine or fecal tests, vaccinations, dietary or exercise advice and lifestyle changes.

Puppy Care

Beginning Preventative Care for Puppies

To ensure that your puppy receives complete preventative care to protect against disease, we recommend a series of visits.   During these visits, your puppy will receive all vaccinations needed to maintain good health.  In addition, a veterinarian will thoroughly examine your puppy to identify any potential problems.
Because your puppy’s health and well being will depend on more than just vaccinations, we will sit down and talk with you about caring for your puppy, training and behavior concerns, and answer any questions you might have.

Puppy series visits consist of:
-Comprehensive Physical Exam
-Internal parasite (worm) testing and treatment
-Vaccinations- Rabies, Distemper combination (DHP-P or DHLP-P), Bordetella
-Pet owner counseling regarding pet care, spaying or neutering, housebreaking, behavior problems and socialization.

Vaccinations

It is important to give your pet the appropriate vaccine series for your lifestyle. This means you need to be able to answer the following questions:
-Is the puppy going to be outdoors in situations such as hiking or camping?
-Is the puppy going to have access to standing water, streams, ponds or lakes?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, we will recommend your puppy receive the Leptosporosis vaccine. Leptosporosis is a bacterial disease that can be found in most mammals, including livestock and wildlife, and is passed through the urine into water sources. It is a zoonotic disease, and can be transfered from your puppy to you.

-Are you planning on taking the puppy to training classes?
-Are you planning on boarding your puppy?
-Will your puppy be around a lot of unfamiliar dogs?

If you answered yes, we will recommend the Bordetella or Kennel Cough vaccine to protect your puppy from this highly contagious bacterial respiratory infection.

Parasite Control

Internal and external parasites can be a big problem for both canines and felines. Prevention is the key to having a happy, healthy pet.
-Internal parasites that live in the intestines include most commonly roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. These worms can be transmitted to humans (especially children.) Heartworms are parasites that live in the pet’s circulatory system and heart. They are transmitted by mosquitoes that pass larvae into a healthy pet when they bite.
-External parasites include most commonly fleas and ticks and less commonly mites and lice. Your pet’s lifestyle and exposure to certain environments may increase the potential for infestation with one or more of these parasites.
Please speak with your veterinarian today on how you can best protect you and your pet.

Spaying and Neutering

We recommend altering the majority of pets. Altering around 6 months of age can prevent unwanted pregnancies, troublesome hormone-related behavior that may become difficult to break your pet of, and decrease the risk of hormone related cancers later in life. Please click here for specific information about how Gallatin Vet approaches spaying and neutering.

Pet Insurance

More than 71 million households in the United States have pets, but only 850,000 pet insurance policies are in effect in North America. There are several different pet insurance companies available. Research will help you to select the best policy for your pets.
It is beneficial if you get your pet on insurance while they are young. Most insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions (conditions your pet had before they were enrolled with the insurance company). Also, several of the pet insurance companies will cover basic wellness services such as exams, vaccines, spaying or neutering your pet, and dental cleanings.
For the health of your pet and to get the best use out of your insurance plan it would be advantageous to have your pet get a check up every six months versus the annual exam. This allows your veterinarian to do semiannual comprehensive exams to provide the best preventative care possible and to identify emerging health/medical concerns before they cause illness.

Kitten Care

Beginning Preventative Care for Kittens

To ensure that your kitten receives complete preventative care to protect against disease, we recommend a series of visits.   During these visits, your kitten will receive all vaccinations needed to maintain good health.  In addition, a veterinarian will thoroughly examine your kitten to identify any potential problems.
Because your kitten’s health and well being will depend on more than just vaccinations, we will sit down and talk with you about caring for your kitten, behavior issues, and answer any questions you might have.

Kitten series visits consist of:
-Comprehensive Physical Exam
-Intestinal parasite (worm) testing and treatment
-Vaccinations- Rabies, Upper Respiratory/Distemper combination (RCP), and Feline Leukemia
-Pet owner counseling regarding pet care, spaying or neutering, housebreaking, behavior problems and socialization.

Vaccinations

It is important to give your pet the appropriate vaccine series for your lifestyle. This means you need to be able to answer the following questions:
-Will my cat ever be outside?
-Will my cat come into contact with any other cats?

If you answered yes to either of these questions we will recommend your kitten receive the Feline Leukemia (FelV) vaccine. Feline leukemia is a virus transmitted between cats, and has to potential to be fatal.

We do recommend that even indoor-only kittens receive both the Rabies and the RCP vaccines. Rabies has been found in indoor-only cats when a small mammal such as a bat enters the house. It is transmissible to humans, and is always fatal. RCP protects against three viruses that can be spread between cats through casual contact, such as you petting another cat then coming home to your own cats, or through cat-to-cat contact through screen doors or windows.

Parasite Control

Internal and external parasites can be a big problem for both canines and felines. Prevention is the key to having a happy, healthy pet.
-Internal parasites that live in the intestines include most commonly roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. These worms can be transmitted to humans (especially children.) Heartworms are parasites that live in the pet’s circulatory system and heart. They are transmitted by mosquitoes that pass larvae into a healthy pet when they bite.
-External parasites include most commonly fleas and ticks and less commonly mites and lice. Your pet’s lifestyle and exposure to certain environments may increase the potential for infestation with one or more of these parasites.
Please speak with your veterinarian today on how you can best protect you and your pet.

Spaying and Neutering

We recommend altering the majority of pets. Altering around 6 months of age can prevent unwanted pregnancies, troublesome hormone-related behavior that may become difficult to break your pet of, and decrease the risk of hormone related cancers later in life. Please click here for specific information about how Gallatin Vet approaches spaying and neutering.

Pet Insurance

More than 71 million households in the United States have pets, but only 850,000 pet insurance policies are in effect in North America. There are several different pet insurance companies available. Research will help you to select the best policy for your pets.
It is beneficial if you get your pet on insurance while they are young. Most insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions (conditions your pet had before they were enrolled with the insurance company). Also, several of the pet insurance companies will cover basic wellness services such as exams, vaccines, spaying or neutering your pet, and dental cleanings.
For the health of your pet and to get the best use out of your insurance plan it would be advantageous to have your pet get a check up every six months versus the annual exam. This allows your veterinarian to do semiannual comprehensive exams to provide the best preventative care possible and to identify emerging health/medical concerns before they cause illness.

Older Pet Care

GVH provides our patients and their families an unsurpassed experience in veterinary care through our skilled and compassionate dedicated staff members. As your pet ages, changes in its behavior and physical condition will occur. Many conditions can be controlled or even prevented by early detection and treatment.

Preventative veterinary medicine continues to advance with  education and information about animal health more available to pet owners. Early detection and treatment of age related illness and disease allows your pets to live a longer, happier and healthier lives.
There are multiple tests that we use to evaluate your pet’s wellness. Each one provides a wealth of information concerning the true health of your senior pet.

1. Complete Blood Count or CBC. The CBC tests for anemia (low red blood cell volume), infection, blood parasites, inflammation and overall health of blood cells and bone marrow. It also evaluates the number and type of cells in circulation. White Blood Cells (WBC) help fight infection, inflammation and tumors. Red Blood Cells (RBC) carry oxygen to tissues and organs.

2. Thyroid function tests. These tests are useful in diagnosing malfunctions of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) is common in dogs; whereas hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) is common in middle aged to older cats. We may run one test or a panel depending on each individual pet’s clinical signs, symptoms and needs.

3. Chemistry tests. These tests or panels evaluate the internal organ health and function of your pet. This includes liver (AST, ALT, ALKP, total bilirubin, GGT, Cholesterol and Proteins), kidney (BUN, Creatinine, Phosphorus), pancreas (glucose, lipase, amylase, triglyceride) and electrolytes (Potassium, Sodium and Chloride). Panels can be modified for each individual patient, their possible illness or disease and general health concerns. GVH staff and doctors will explain why each panel is being ordered and what organ system is involved.

4. Urinalysis. This assesses the health of the urinary system. It is important in older animals to help in early detection of kidney disease. We recommend that a urinalysis be done in conjunction with the blood chemistry panel as much more information can be obtained when both are done in conjunction. The urine is tested for several chemistry components (glucose, protein, blood, pH, ketones, bilirubin, and more), as well as cells and sediment (WBC, RBC, bacteria, renal cells, epithelial cells, crystals, etc.) When there are any abnormalities in the urinalysis there is a disease state that coincides with these changes. Such as bladder infection, kidney failure, diabetes, liver failure and crystals can indicate bladder or kidney stones.

5. Parasite Control and exams. Fecal exams indicate the presence of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Giardia, coccidia and tapeworms. GVH believes that internal parasites (intestinal worms) need to be treated and controlled in our pet populations as some parasites are zoonotic. Zoonosis means that an internal parasite from our pets can infect humans, mainly children. We recommend deworming your pet at least twice a year with a broad spectrum dewormer. If they are exposed to the outdoors and wildlife then we recommend deworming every 3-4 months.

6. Heartworm testing is recommended on an annual basis. Heartworm disease is present in Montana and we have a few native dogs test positive every year. Yearly prevention through the spring, summer and fall are recommended. GVH staff members can answer any questions regarding testing, prevention and the heartworm parasite.

7. Blood pressure test. BP measurements can identify hypertension and circulatory disease. These conditions can be treated and monitored in our senior patients. Medications can be used to control hypertension in dogs and cats.

8. Radiographs (x-rays) of the chest and abdomen. Radiographs give us an inside view of the internal organs, their shape and size and any abnormalities that may need to be pursued further with diagnostic testing. Heart and lung disease, liver and kidney disease, stomach and intestinal disease and prostate gland enlargement can all be identified with proper radiographic images.

Gallatin Veterinary Hospital recommends yearly senior screening for our dogs and cats over the age of 6. These screening tests may be recommended more often and streamlined for each pet and their individual needs. Please contact GVH to find out more information about our recommendations for your senior pet.

Nutrition

Nutrition is an integral part of every pet’s life. Each animal’s nutritional needs vary based on several factors: species, breed, age, neuter status, systemic disease, and activity level. At Gallatin Vet we can recommend a diet that meets your pet’s individual needs whether it is a prescription diet or available over the counter. We can schedule nutritional consults with a doctor or a technician (depending on exam status and medical conditions.)

There are several diseases that can be controlled or symptoms greatly reduced by prescription diets.  Kidney, liver, diabetes and heart disease as well as certain allergies may benefit from a prescription diet. Each prescription diet is designed to meet the nutritional needs of the pet without putting extra strain on the damaged areas of the system. At Gallatin Vet, we carry a wide variety of Hill’s Science Diet along with some Purina Veterinary Formulas. Other veterinary diets (such as Royal Canin) may be available for special order, though these may take 10-14 days to arrive.

One major challenge in many pet’s lives is weight control. Obesity in pets can contribute to many of the same problems that humans get: diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and osteoarthritis. We highly recommend keeping your pet lean and active, and can help you achieve that goal. Bring your pet in for a Body Condition Assessment, and we can provide you with the number of calories your pet should be eating each day. We will help you determine the number of calories per cup of your current food to make sure your pet is eating the appropriate amount each day. We can also provide you with several tips and tricks to help your pet lose weight.

No matter what your pet’s needs are, nutrition is a cornerstone to continued health. Let Gallatin Vet Hospital help you- schedule a nutrition consult today!

Microchips

Microchips are a form of permanent identification. They are small chips about the size of a grain of wild rice. This chip is implanted with a needle underneath the skin between the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique code that is transmitted to a display when a pet is scanned at a clinic or shelter. The clinic then calls the microchip company to receive the owner’s contact information. It is always a good idea to microchip your pet, as it is possible for a pet to lose their collar.

Microchips can be implanted at any time, but is often done while the pet is under sedation or anesthesia for something else (commonly a spay or neuter.) It is never too late to microchip your pet.

Gallatin Vet strongly believes in microchipping all pets to help return more lost pets to their owners. Because of this belief, we offer the microchip, implantation, and in conjunction with HomeAgain (our microchip supplier), lifetime registration of the chip for only $55.

TESTIMONIAL

I just wanted to say thank you to Dr. Albrecht and his staff for the amazing care they provided to my Mom's shih-tzu, Ebby!. You've given her a second chance at life!

Coronavirus Action Plan

The emergence of COVID 19 has generated a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety. It’s new, it’s unexpected and that makes it hard to know what to do for many. Gallatin Veterinary Hospital feels lucky to know what to do. We have training in infectious disease.

We have many ways to help address risks. Since we believe in individual care, we ask for your help communicating your needs and concerns. Click HERE for a detailed document.