North Paws Pet Wellness Services

Pet Wellness Services at North Paws Veterinary ClinicMaple Grove, MN Pet Wellness Care

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. At North Paws Veterinary Clinic in Maple Grove, MN, Dr. Coral Riggs recommends regular wellness examinations for the same reason your personal physician or dentist does: if your pet's 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, Dr. Riggs will perform a complete physical to assess your pet's overall health and give you, the pet owner, an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may 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 Health

Our 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 pet can focus on long walks, wagging tails, and a healthy and happy life together.

Each age and stage of your pet's life presents different health issues that 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 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.

About Our Pet Wellness Exams

Our commitment to you and your pet's health begins with an annual examination, which includes:

  • Checking your pet's vision and eyes
  • Performing laboratory tests to determine the presence of specific diseases
  • Examining ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
  • Assessing your pet's heart and cardiac function
  • Assessing changes in your pet's health
    since the last wellness visit
  • Fecal check for the presence of intestinal parasites
  • Examining your pet's teeth, throat and oral cavity
  • 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

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 deserves so he can live a long, healthy life.

Pet Wellness Services at North Paws Veterinary ClinicPuppy and Kitten Care

Whether purchasing a pet for the first time or introducing one into your multiple pet home, a puppy or kitten quickly melts your heart. Knowing how to properly care for your new pet will help eliminate any hassles and worries. The team at North Paws Veterinary Clinic is always ready to support you with exceptional pet care and guidance, and we share your joy at welcoming this new family member into your life.

Our puppy and kitten programs are designed to cover all the fundamental health care needs of your new pet during his/her early life stages.

The first item on your agenda should be a trip to North Paws Veterinary Clinic for a comprehensive physical examination by Dr. Riggs. The initial visit provides an opportunity for you, your pet and Dr. Riggs to meet and get acquainted. This time is well spent and offers you, the pet owner, a chance to ask questions. Dr. Riggs will also allay any concerns or anxieties you may have about owning a puppy or kitten. This is a special time for you, your family, and your young pet, and we want your memories to be cherished and worry-free.

Just like health care for humans, veterinary medical care for pets is constantly evolving and advancing. To help you navigate your way through the various stages of care necessary to keep your beloved companion healthy, Dr. Riggs provides comprehensive veterinary care at an affordable price.

Similar to the programs offered for adult dogs and cats, our puppy/kitten programs include:

  • Comprehensive wellness examinations
  • Vaccines
  • Parasite prevention
  • Behavior counseling
  • Spay/Neuter surgery
  • Discussion of housetraining/litter box training
  • Nutrition and diet counseling

It is important to all of us at North Paws Veterinary Clinic that your puppy or kitten start off on the right paw and enjoy a healthy and happy life. If you are interested in our Kitten or Puppy Preventative Care Packages, please contact us for more information.

Pet Wellness Services at North Paws Veterinary ClinicVaccinations

Vaccinations are the number one way you can protect your beloved pet from serious infectious diseases. Your veterinarian can create an individual immunization program for your pet based on his/her lifestyle and your local conditions.

Core Vaccines for Dogs

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

Distemper Vaccine (DHPP): This combination vaccine protects against four diseases: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus.

Lyme Disease: Carried by ticks, Lyme Disease is extremely prevalent in the entire Great Lakes region, but especially in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

Other Available Vaccines for Dogs

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.

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.

Core Vaccines for Cats

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

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.

Other Available Vaccines for Cats

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.

Pet Wellness Services at North Paws Veterinary ClinicParasite Prevention

Flea and Tick Prevention

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. In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. Ticks tend to thrive in wooded areas or in high grass. It is often difficult to keep your pets away from tick-infested areas, so if they go exploring, check them when they come inside.

Flea and tick problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products available at our hospital. We have selected prescription-strength products due to their proven efficacy and they are available at our in-house pharmacy. Other flea and tick control options are also available via our online pharmacy.

Heartworm Disease Prevention

Heartworm disease is a serious ailment spread by mosquitoes. Fortunately, preventive medications exist to prevent Heartworm disease in your beloved companion. Dr. Riggs at North Paws Veterinary Clinic recommends administering preventive medication once a month, all year. We also provide injectable heartworm prevention, which is administered by Dr. Riggs every 6 months.

When Should I Test My Dog for Heartworm?

Symptoms of Heartworm are not always immediately apparent. Therefore, it can be difficult to detect symptoms in your pet. Some dogs may show no signs of the disease, while others may exhibit clinical signs, such as a mild, persistent cough, reluctance to move or exercise (lethargy), fatigue after only moderate exercise, reduced appetite and/or weight loss.

Cats may exhibit non-specific clinical signs, such as vomiting, gagging, difficulty or rapid breathing, lethargy and weight loss. If your pet is experiencing these symptoms, please contact North Paws Veterinary Clinic to schedule an appointment.

The timing and frequency of Heartworm tests depend on several factors. These include:

  • The pet's age when heartworm prevention was started;
  • Was preventative heartworm medication ever forgotten;
  • If the pet was switched from one type of heartworm prevention to another;
  • If the pet was not on preventive medication and traveled to an endemic area;
  • The length of the heartworm season in the region where the pet lives.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Since it is easier and more convenient to protect your pet from disease and illness Dr. Riggs at North Paws Veterinary Clinic recommends you have your dog tested yearly for heartworm disease, as recommended by the American Heartworm Society.

North Paws Veterinary Clinic carries the best products to prevent heartworm disease in your pets. Topical liquids, oral tablets and biannual injections are available.

Contact North Paws Veterinary Clinic today to set up a heartworm test for your pet.

If you would like more information about the veterinary wellness services North Paws Veterinary Clinic offers for your pet or to schedule an appointment at our animal hospital in Maple Grove, please contact North Paws Veterinary Clinic.