Assessing Your Pet
From Nose to Tail
Preventive health care is one of the cornerstones of Odyssey Veterinary Care’s practice. To ensure that your animal companion lives a long and healthy life, regular veterinary wellness exams are essential for preventing and detecting health problems before they become serious illnesses.
Puppies and kittens should be brought in for their introductory exam as soon as possible. Dogs and cats younger than six years old should have a wellness exam at least once a year. For animals older than six years of age, we recommend semi-annual or twice a year exams. If your pet is experiencing environmental or lifestyle changes, we might recommend you bring them in for a wellness exam every six months. You can discuss what type of wellness program best meets your furry friend’s needs with your doctor at each visit.
While the individual needs of each patient are taken into consideration, you can expect that our veterinarians will assess the following during their thorough examination:
- Weight and body condition score
- Coat and skin quality
- Cardiovascular function
- Respiratory function
- Teeth and gum condition
- Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
- Abdominal palpation to evaluate normal organ size, masses, and fluid accumulation
- Lymphatic system and lymph nodes
- Basic neurological system
- Musculoskeletal system
- Appropriate vaccines
In addition, your veterinarians will make recommendations on proper nutrition; parasite testing; flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite prevention; behavioral changes; and any other concerns you may have.
Vaccinating Your PetVaccinations are an important part of keeping your pet healthy. They protect your dog or cat from many contagious and deadly diseases. During your visit, your vet will assess your animal’s specific risk of exposure to various diseases and recommend a vaccine protocol tailored to his or her lifestyle.
For most of our CANINE patients, we recommend:
- Rabies is a viral infection transmitted through a bite wound from another infected animal. The disease affects the nervous system. By the time symptoms are evident, the disease is fatal in both animals and humans. Rabies vaccines are REQUIRED BY LAW in Wisconsin.
- Bordatella,commonly known as kennel cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. In severe cases, symptoms progress from a dry hacking cough to pneumonia. Puppies, older dogs, and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk.
- Distemper (given as DHPP combo vaccine) is a widespread virus that is easily transmitted and often fatal. Puppies and young dogs with lower immunities are at greatest risk.
- Hepatitis (given as DHPP combo vaccine) is an acute liver infection in dogs. It is spread through the feces, urine, blood, saliva, and nasal discharge of infected dogs.
- Parainfluenza (given as DHPP combo vaccine) is a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. The virus is transmitted through contact with nasal secretions of infected dogs.
- Parvovirus (given as DHPP combo vaccine) is a common virus that causes intestinal disease. Severe cases can be fatal due to dehydration and loss of appetite. Parvovirus can easily spread from one animal to another.
- Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted through contact with urine of infected wildlife or contaminated water or food. It can be transmitted to humans through breaks in the skin or mucous membranes.
- Lyme (dependent on lifestyle risk) disease is a bacterial infection spread through the bite of a tick. It causes joint inflammation, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
For most of our FELINE patients, we recommend:
- Rabies is a viral infection transmitted through a bite wound from another infected animal. The disease affects the nervous system. By the time symptoms are evident, the disease is fatal in both pets and humans. This vaccine is important even for indoor-only cats. You never know when they might be inadvertently exposed to a potentially infected animal; bats and squirrels have been known to enter homes. For this reason, unvaccinated pets must be quarantined if a bite or scratch to a human occurs.
- FVRCP (feline combo distemper vaccine includes feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia).
- Rhinotracheitis is a very contagious viral infection of a cat’s upper respiratory system. It can cause severe illness including death from pneumonia. Young kittens are at greatest risk.
- Calicivirus is one of the many causes of upper respiratory disease in cats. It is easily spread in multi-cat homes.
- Panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, is a highly contagious virus that causes intestinal disease. It is often fatal. It is spread through contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids or by fleas.
- Feline leukemia is a viral disease with a high mortality rate. It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected cat or with contaminated water or food.
Odyssey goes above and beyond my expectations, and truly cares about my dog. We will always come back to Odyssey and highly recommend it to anyone who asks!
Dr. Bruss is great—he is very kind and caring. He called us several times to explain our options and didn’t pressure us to make a particular decision.
My dog sees Dr. Stokes for his vet care and she is the best vet ever. She understands my dog’s unique needs and I highly recommend them!
No matter which vet we've seen, they’ve always been loving and compassionate whether we were there just for yearly vaccinations or for something a bit more serious.
I am in love with all of the staff at this facility. If I could, I would want to be treated there, but sadly, they only take the four legged types...
Wouldn’t go anywhere else! I feel surrounded by people that love animals as much as I do. Wouldn’t change a thing.
Services are very reasonably priced and we've never felt like we had any unnecessary procedures or products pushed on us. we really feel that we can trust Dr. Bruss and Odyssey Veterinary Care with our cats’ health.
— Onion Girl
Dr. stokes has seen our family through kitten to senior cat, puppy and loss of dog, new puppy and everything in the middle! We think the care our animals get here is top notch!
Great people, great care! You've all made such a difference in my life and Abby's too. Thanks Odyssey Staff!
When they prescribed my dog eye drops for an infection, they gave me the instructions and then called me within a 48 hour period to ask me how the medication was going and if I had any questions.
They are very friendly and very thorough. The dog loves them, and she’s shy, so that’s a good thing. We have always had a lot of confidence in what they have told us.
They happily accommodate our special request to see our big dogs in their fenced back yard, since our 100-pound German Shepherd gets nervous in a small examination room.
We bring our dog to Odyssey Vet Clinic and will continue to do so as long as we live in this area. They are the best vets we’ve ever had.
They are very friendly, and they always remind you of when your appointments are. They are the top veterinary hospital in Madison. They are very good.