Parkville Animal Hospital

Preventative Care

The best time to treat sickness in your pet is before it happens— that’s why we recommend regular check-ups regardless of your pet’s age. These check-ups allow us to assess your pet’s health from nose to tail, identifying any potential issues and making recommendations about how even healthy pets can improve their wellbeing and live even fuller lives.


Providing regular medical examinations is paramount to your pet’s day to day wellbeing. Regularly scheduled check-ups allow our medical staff to catch potentially serious health issues early, such as diseases, thus preventing costly specialty medical expenses.

We recommend that you bring your pet in for a regular wellness visit once or twice a year, depending on the age and health of your pet.

During a regular visit, you can expect a physical examination consisting of:

  • An examination of the eyes and ears
  • Checking the mouth and gums for signs of disease
  • Palpation of the joints, muscles, and abdomen
  • Analysis of the skin and fur
  • Weighing the animal

The purpose of the physical examination is to reliably and quickly assess the general health of your pet, and to ensure normal physiological functioning. If needed, we can also perform blood and urine and fecal tests, cardiovascular testing, and more.

We recommend a fecal test every six months and a heartworm test annually to check for internal parasites, one of the most common ailments that plague cats and dogs. If you or we notice anything indicative of a possible parasitic issue, we may ask to run additional tests to analyze more.

We also recommend a mental wellbeing examination to assess your pet’s behavior, temperament, and lifestyle, as those factors contribute greatly to an animal’s physical welfare. Stress from excessive loneliness, for example, may eventually manifest as a physical ailment. A mental wellbeing examination will include:

  • Analysis of time spent alone and with company
  • A discussion of anxiety triggers
  • Overall animal friendliness

You know your animal the best, and we rely on that information so that we can provide the optimal care for your pet. It is our job to be your best resource for pet health, and in order for us to provide you with quality care, we need your help in the examination room.


There are many, many different kinds of diseases that can endanger your pets. To ensure a quality life for your pet, we have a recommended vaccine schedule so that you and your pet can stay healthy.

We classify vaccines as core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for pets of all ages and lifestyle considerations, and non-core vaccines are given based on lifestyle factors, such as age, health status, and risk of exposure. This classification takes into account vaccines that are either required by law or essential for a healthy pet, and prevents over vaccination. We  strongly recommend all core vaccines, and recommend non-core vaccines on a case by case basis. 

Core Canine Vaccines

  • DHPP vaccination protects against four diseases: distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. These diseases are all caused by viruses with no known cure, therefore, vaccination is the primary way to keep dogs protected. These diseases are also highly contagious, and it’s important to note that dogs of all ages are at risk of becoming infected.
  • Rabies vaccination prevents dogs from contracting this deadly infection. Vaccination is required by law. 

Core Feline Vaccines

  • FVRCP vaccination prevents three potentially deadly airborne viruses: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.
  • Rabies vaccination prevents cats from contracting this deadly infection. Vaccination is required by law.

Non-core Canine Vaccines

  • Bordetella vaccination prevents kennel cough, a highly contagious condition that causes a dry hacking cough that can persist for over six weeks.
  • Leptospirosis vaccination is passed from rats and wildlife to dogs and people. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, and kidney failure.
  • Lyme vaccination prevents tick-borne diseases.
  • Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) vaccination prevents the spread of dog flu.

Non-core Feline Vaccines

  • FeLV vaccination protects against Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Both of these conditions are chronic and fatal.

A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens, either viruses or bacteria. To do this, certain molecules from the pathogen must be introduced into the body to trigger an immune response. All vaccines administered at Parkville Animal Hospital are safe and carefully controlled. 

It’s important to note that keeping up with a vaccine schedule protects your pet, but also protects the rest of the pet community.

Parasite Control

Parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms are some of the most common afflictions that pets suffer from. They can have a lot of different symptoms such as pain, sickness, and even death, and diseases can be spread to human family members.

Here are some descriptions of some of the most common parasites in dogs and cats:

  • Heartworms: Heartworm disease in pets is a serious and potentially fatal disease in the United States, along with many other parts of the world. It is caused by worms that live inside the body, which causes lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. A single mosquito bite is enough to transfer a heartworm to a dog or cat, therefore, regular testing and prevention is required.
  • Fleas: Fleas are tiny bugs that live in the fur of a cat or dog.  They are known to cause dermatitis, bacterial infections, allergies, and hair loss. To check if your pet is infested with fleas, groom your pet regularly and look for black specks that look like dirt in the fur. You may also notice your pet scratching and chewing at their coat and skin.
  • Ticks: Ticks are small, blood-sucking bugs that can cause a number of serious canine tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It is imperative to check your dog or cat for ticks regularly, especially if they go outside frequently.
  • Intestinal parasites: Ringworms, hookworms, tapeworms, etc. are all classified as intestinal parasites, since they live inside the gastrointestinal tracts of their hosts. Since this category is large, a number of different symptoms can occur, so it is best to talk with a veterinarian to discuss treatment and prevention.

Younger animals have the highest risk of infection due to their immature immune systems. Thus, it is important to begin parasite prevention as soon as possible.


A microchip is a small device that carries a unique identification number, and is roughly the size of a grain of rice. When the microchip is scanned by a vet or shelter, it transmits its unique ID number. The microchip is injected under the loose skin between your dog’s shoulder blades and can be done in your vet’s office. The procedure is quick, pain-free, and similar to a routine vaccination. 

A microchip is most useful in cases where a pet is lost or stolen, as they are the most reliable form of pet identification. In cases where a microchipped pet is found, special scanners can be used to identify the animals identification information. We recommend inserting a microchip in your pet sooner rather than later.

After the procedure is completed, be sure to register your device with a pet recovery database so places like animal shelters and animal hospitals can return your animal to you as quickly and easily as possible. Additionally, if there are any changes in phone numbers, addresses, etc., be sure to update that information in that database.

We also recommend collars and ID tags for your pets, even though they are not as reliable as a microchip. It is always better to be more secure!

Nutrition & Weight Management

A significant percentage of pets can be considered overweight, which can lead to kidney problems, dermatitis, arthritis, hypertension, and other metabolic problems. However, as a pet owner, you have control over what your pet eats. Proper nutrition and weight management can help your pet live a long, fruitful life!

If you think your pet could benefit from weight loss, we can help you! We can give nutritional and weight loss advice, discuss options for animals with special needs or allergies, and more. We can also talk with you about your pet’s feeding and exercise habits, possibly making changes if needed.

Be patient with your pet if they need to begin a  weight loss plan. The best weight loss schedule will take time, and may need to be adjusted based on effectiveness.

Some other ways you can regulate your pet’s weight include: avoiding overfeeding (i.e. giving pets table scraps, leaving extra food in their bowls, etc.), regular exercise, and keeping in touch with your veterinarian!

Also note that sometimes medications, genetics, and premature spay/neuter procedures can cause obesity in animals.

If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s weight, be sure to tell your veterinarian.

Join the Parkville Animal Hospital Family Today!

Located off of the Baltimore Beltway in the shopping center between Willoughby Rd and Hiss Ave.

Phone: 410-668-1040

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