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Adult dogs and cats are in the prime of their lives, the perfect time for you to enjoy their energy and companionship. Pets that receive quality care throughout their active adult years will not only enjoy themselves more but also perform better and ultimately live longer, healthier lives. At the Animal Hospital by the Sea, we consider all these factors when making plans for your pet’s day-to-day care.

Routine annual to semi-annual wellness examinations serve as the foundation of a quality health care program for your pet. These exams allow us to evaluate and record your pet’s physical condition as well as address any concerns you may have. Regular checkups allow early detection of many common problems and diseases permitting early intervention and our ability to better manage your pet’s long-term health and comfort. Avoiding full-fledged breakouts will also help keep your total veterinary costs down.

During each wellness exam, your pet will be given a complete physical. We review your pet’s outward appearance, including his or her gait and posture while standing in the room. Your pet’s coat and skin will be checked, as well as his or her eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, and gums. We will feel for any unusual lumps or bumps, listen to the heart and lungs, and check to see if there are any physical or behavioral cues indicating discomfort or potential disease.

Having decades of experience in working with purebred dogs and cats, we are especially attuned to the potential pet health issues common to specific breeds and will help anticipate and monitor for any such conditions in our patients.


Prevention of life-threatening infectious diseases through the judicious use of a high-quality vaccine program is one of the most effective ways we can help you maintain your pet’s health. There are many vaccines available today and yet we recognizes that your pets’ living environment and activities determine their exposure risk. We will work with you to customize a vaccine program and select products best suited to protect your pets without challenging them with unnecessary vaccinations.

In general, we follow the recommendations set forth by the American Animal Hospital Association  and the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

As such, our recommended vaccination protocol for your dog may include parvovirus, rabies, and distemper combinations that cover the prevention of adeno-2 virus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, and bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough). Cats are routinely vaccinated for rabies and distemper combination boosters to prevent feline rhinotracheitis, calici, and panleukopenia. On Whidbey Island, we have found that outdoor cats have significant risk of being exposed to the fatal feline leukemia virus, and we therefore recommend it be included in their core protocol. No matter what, we will provide you with a detailed schedule that outlines when your pets’ vaccines are due to be administered and send you electronic reminders to keep you on schedule.


Depending on age, lifestyle, and breed, some pets are at risk for certain health challenges. Many conditions, such as diabetes, renal failure, and altered thyroid function, can be successfully managed, especially when detected early. We recommend that wellness lab work be performed on any of our “at-risk” patients as well as those preparing to undergo anesthetic procedures. These tests will establish individual “normal” baseline values and potentially identify early disease changes even before your pet is showing any signs of being sick. In most cases, early detection allows us the chance to slow down or potentially reverse the progress of many debilitating illnesses.

Healthy weights are described by “body condition scores” for both dogs and cats. Providing quality nutrition tailored to various life stages and health conditions is essential to enabling them to live longer, healthier, and disease-free lives. At the Animal Hospital by the Sea, we are happy to counsel you on these topics and help you choose the various options available to best provide your for pet’s ideal needs.

Good oral care is vital for keeping pets healthy. We have many different options to address the specific needs of your pets at all ages, including product recommendations to help forestall the need for your pets to undergo anesthetic dental procedures.

Intestinal parasites, external parasites, and even blood parasites can be a concern for your pet depending on lifestyle and environmental exposure. Here on Whidbey Island, we recommend regular screening tests, such as fecal examinations for any pets with access to the outdoors, and routine heartworm prevention testing and medication for any pets traveling south or east outside of the Puget Sound region.

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