Primary Care Services
Full service Primary Care!
We recommend either annual or bi-annual veterinary wellness exams, preventative care and vaccines for all stages of your pet’s life. Early detection is the key to the intervention of potentially serious health issues. Our wellness services include physical exams, vaccinations when appropriate, bloodwork screening, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, intestinal parasite screening and prevention, and preventative dental care.
What to expect on your first visit with us:
Welcome to your first appointment at the Pennsauken Animal Transitional Hospital (PATH)! As you arrive in our gravel parking lot, please park at one of the marked spots and make note of the number on the parking spot sign. At this point, please remain in your car and call the front desk to check in for your appointment.
A Customer Service Representatives will check you in and work with our nursing staff to prepare a room for you and your pet. This way we can bring you directly into a room as soon as it’s available, while limiting the time in a loud waiting room full of other animals. A nurse will call you once a room is ready and ask that you enter the lobby.
Once in a room, your nurse will obtain a history on your pet, including the primary reason for today’s visit, as well as other pertinent medical history/diet/current medications/etc. They will often at this time obtain your pet’s vitals, including heart rate/respiration rate/and temperature.
Soon afterwards, your doctor will enter to perform their exam and discuss the plan for today’s visit, from any vaccines which are due, to any diagnostics or medications they’d recommend for our patients who may need them.
Our Pharmacy Team will work alongside our doctors and nurses to fill all medications or preventatives needed, and our nurse will lead you to the front desk to check out with one of our Customer Service Representatives.
First Visit With Us?
During your first wellness visit, you will get a Welcome Bag full of information and goodies for your cat or dog.
Vaccinations are designed to help the immune system ward off specific infectious diseases. Vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies and provide protection or 'immunity' against one or several diseases; prepared from the causative agent of adisease, its products, or a synthetic substance, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease. Our goal is to keep your pet safe by giving them the vaccinations they need based on the AAHA and AAFP guidelines, proper vaccine schedules, and recommendations for their ages and risk factors. In keeping with NJ state law, all cats and dogs over the age of 12 weeks must be vaccinated for rabies.
Puppies and kittens require a set of vaccines, usually starting at 8 weeks and given at 3-4 week intervals, in order to boost their immune system. Vaccine protocols will be discussed at your pet’s first puppy/kitten visit but typically involve multiple visits which end around 16-20 weeks of age.
Many vaccines for dogs and cats are administered yearly, but there are some vaccines that are protective for 3 years. Most vaccines must be boostered following the initial injection, to ensure adequate protection. If it has been too long since your pet's last vaccination, we may recommended starting the series over to ensure that your pet is fully protected.
Your veterinarian will discuss a specific vaccine plan tailored to your pet.
Rabies: Protects your pets from a fatal, zoonotic virus, most commonly transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Vaccination of all dogs and cats is required by law to protect public health.
*Zoonotic is a disease that can be transmitted between animals and humans.
DHPP: protects your dog against Distemper virus, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza virus - all are potentially fatal viruses. All dogs should be vaccinated.
Bordetella: Protects your pet from a bacterial and viral disease that can cause a severe kind of 'kennel cough' or 'puppy cold'. Unfortunately, this disease can result in life-threatening pneumonia. Dogs should be vaccinated annually.
Leptospirosis: Protects your pet from a zoonotic bacterial infection that can cause liver and kidney failure; transmitted by contact with urine of infected animals, which may be found in puddles, creeks, and standing water. Dogs should be vaccinated annually.
Lyme: This vaccine protects your dog against a serious bacterial disease spread by deer ticks. Lyme disease is endemic in our region, and dogs should be vaccinated annually.
Influenza H3N8/H3N2: This vaccine protects your dog against two strains of influenza. Depending on your dog's risk of infection, vaccination may be recommended annually.
FVRCP: This vaccine protects your cat against rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus), calicivirus, and panleukopenia. All cats should be vaccinated every 3 years.
Lukemia FeLV: This vaccine protects your cat from an immunosuppressive virus similar to HIV. All kittens should be tested and vaccinated. Adult cats that go outdoors should be vaccinated annually.
A visual, auditory, and tactile examination of your pet. Your doctor will assess your pet's body condition, mentation, hydration status, vision, cardiovascular status, and look for evidence of disease - ie...
dermatological (skin and ears),
parasitic, ophthalmic (eye),
cardiovascular (heart & vessels),
respiratory (lungs, trachea, nose),
orthopedic (muscles and bones),
endocrine (glands and hormones),
urogenital (urinary and reproductive tract),
and gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines).
A physical examination can detect minor abnormalities before they become serious problems as well as identify major organ dysfunction. Our pets age faster then we do so ideally, physical examinations should be preformed every 6-12 months in healthy pets.
Routine tests are recommended to ensure the health of your pet - ie. Fecal parasite float, Heartworm Test, Complete Blood Count (CBC), Serum Chemistry (Chem).
We recommend tests on a regular basis to screen for disease and to provide a baseline. A CBC/Chem can help us identify early signs of organ dysfunction and disease. A fecal float can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. An annual heartworm test, and regular heartworm prevention, is essential in order to safely keep your dog heartworm free.
Depending on the age and species of your pet we may recommend these tests on an annual basis, or more frequently (ie. fecal floatation in puppies and kittens).
Regular blood screening is intended to obtain baseline information and establish a ‘normal’ for your pet. No two pets are the same, so regular screenings can help rule out potential health problems, indicate areas that need to monitored, or identify unseen problems at an early age. Sometimes wellness panels can indicate the need for additional testing, medications, or a change of diet, all of which will help ensure a long happy life for your pet. Your veterinarian will go over the more specific recommendations after meeting your pet.
Flea/tick/heartworm prevention is recommended year-round since these parasites can be an issue even in colder months. Flea/tick preventatives come in topical or oral forms and last anywhere from 30-120 days. Heartworm preventatives are given once a month and are a prescription medication that requires an annual blood test to rule out the presence of active heartworm disease.
Regular use of preventatives can help protect against infection with Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis), transmitted by mosquitos. Heartworm disease kills pets every day, and treating it is very dangerous and expensive.