Virtually every professional veterinarian will agree with our recommendation to bring your pet in for a routine physical examination at least once or twice per year. Even pets that seem healthy will benefit from a check-in, whether we end up confirming that they’re happy and healthy or catch something important before it becomes a problem. It’s also important to remember that addressing any issues up front would likely be less expensive than if it went untreated.
Dogs and cats are quite skilled at hiding signs of discomfort, disease, and illness, a problem exacerbated by their inability to tell us what’s wrong. We take our role as veterinarians seriously when it comes to these examinations and don’t take for granted that your pets are feeling their best. Your friends at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel are expertly trained to look for cues that something is amiss. Our goal is to make sure that your pet is as happy and healthy as possible, which strengthens the bonds that you have with your dog or cat. That’s the TotalBond way!
Coming in for an examination can provide an important benchmark for your pet’s health. While all pets should come in for examinations once or twice per year, it’s most important for puppies, kittens, seniors, or pets living with a medical condition. Dogs and cats have a much shorter lifespan than humans, so meticulous care is extremely important. We make sure to keep track of your pets’ changing health trends and help keep them on the path to wellness.
The goal of the physical examination is to assess the health of your pet in a holistic way. As your trusted veterinarian, our test includes, but is not limited to, investigation of:
One of the best indicators of possible intestinal parasites comes from a simple fecal test. We recommend that you bring a fresh stool sample to your pet’s routine examination. If we find anything that could be of concern, we’ll discuss treatment options with you. But we hope and expect that the fecal test will yield only positive results.
We look forward to answering the questions or concerns you may have about your pet’s health, behavior, and wellness. We tailor our insight to your pet’s unique health concerns and provide consultation as to best practices for pet-parenting moving forward. We believe that veterinary treatment should be a two-way street, which is why we think about your pets’ health in relation to their well-being: physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and behaviorally.
In our collective years of experience, we hear a lot of common questions from concerned pet-parents. We’ll follow up with questions that you may want to consider ahead of time:
If you have any questions that are better suited for a specialist in another facility, we are happy to provide recommendations for trusted specialists in the area.
There are countless ailments that could sicken your pet. Luckily, veterinarians can agree on one surefire way to keep the affliction away: follow your veterinarian-recommended vaccination schedule. Vaccinations save lives!
At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel, we take great effort to ensure that the vaccinations your pet receives are completely necessary for your pet and effective when applied. We know that every pet is unique, which is why each treatment also needs to be unique. With our knowledge of exposure risks in Lake Wylie, SC and your input on your pet’s age, type, health conditions, and lifestyle, we create a vaccination regimen that best suits the health and wellness of your pet, including both core and non-core vaccinations.
Core vaccinations are those that are recommended for all pets.
For Canines: Rabies Vaccination and DA2PP Vaccination
For Felines: Rabies Vaccination and FVRCP Vaccination
Our veterinarians may also recommend non-core vaccinations by taking into account such factors as your pet’s age, lifestyle, and present health considerations.
Vaccines provide the best bulwark against disease and are safe to use. It is important to remember that vaccines in animals work the same as they do on humans; that is, they introduce small amounts of the pathogens that cause the disease, thus allowing your pet’s immune system to strengthen its defenses for the next time it comes into contact with the pathogen. The exposure from the vaccines has proven to be safe, controlled, and effective time in and time out.
Vaccines prevent your pet from potentially fatal illnesses and they also help keep the community safe. By vaccinating your pet, you help ensure that any outbreaks will be contained (or prevent the outbreak in the first place).
We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, or to check our records to make sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations.
All pets are regularly exposed to parasites. Parasite prevention is essential in keeping your pet in good health, as these creatures can cause minor discomfort and in some cases, life-threatening infections. Our team at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel recommends two simple steps when preventing parasites: consistent year-round medications, and annual parasite testing.
Throughout the year, we encourage continuous parasite prevention to ensure the safety and comfort of not only your pet, but the pet community and people as well. Properly protected pets creates a safeguard against zoonotic diseases which humans can contract. We strongly encourage having a routine prevention plan to greatly reduce the chance of infection.
Even if your pet seems to be perfectly healthy and parasite-free, we still encourage your pet to be tested for internal parasites annually. In some cases, parasites can be spotted with the naked eye, but internal parasites can only be detected through testing. In order to test for parasites, we will collect a small blood sample, and we also ask that you bring a fresh stool sample when coming in for your pet’s wellness visit
Common Parasites Found In Pets:
Ticks: commonly found in wooden or grassy areas outdoors, ticks can cause several diseases including Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Be sure to check your pet for ticks by inspecting the areas around their collar, eyelids, ears, toes, tail, and legs.
Fleas: In North Carolina, fleas typically peak in warmer months, however it’s essential to protect your pet with year-round prevention. Fleas bite and latch onto your pets skin, and if left untreated, fleas can cause medical problems including dermatitis, tapeworms, bacterial infections and allergic reactions.
Intestinal Parasites: Typically contracted from contaminated soil or feces, intestinal parasites can cause a great deal of discomfort to your pet and in some cases, serious illness. Hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia are all examples of internal parasites.
Mosquitoes: Even though mosquitoes do not latch onto pets, infected mosquitoes can cause heartworm disease which can pass on an array of problems including lung disease, heart failure, and damage to organs. Additionally, it’s very hard to detect heartworm disease in pets because it does not cause any symptoms until it is too late and irreversible damage has been done. By visiting our veterinary hospital for regular checkups, we can help keep your pet safe with prevention medications.
Pet parents around the world hope they never have to face the tragedy of a lost or stolen pet. Sadly, this is the fate of approximately 10 million dogs and cats every year. At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel, we know that relationships make the difference, which is why we do all we can to ensure that your pet stays safe for a lifetime.
If your pets are ever lost, microchips are the most reliable identification and tracking solution. The procedure is surprisingly quick and relatively painless, comparable in both respects to a vaccine, and can therefore be completed at the same time as other procedures. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted between your pet’s shoulder blades and works for life.
After the procedure, it’s important to register the microchip number with the national database with your contact information. This provides the most streamlined communication in the event that your pet is lost. Remember to update contact information as it changes. Since each chip comes with a special serial number, animal healthcare professionals can identify found pets using special scanners that help them contact you.
Any form of identification helps give peace of mind that your pet is never too far from home. For this reason, we recommend using collars and ID tags in addition to microchips. These methods are not foolproof but are highly recommended to make reuniting with your lost pet more likely.
Obesity among pets is on the rise and it has serious health consequences for our furry family. Sadly, it’s all too common; the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reported that 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs in 2018 were classified as overweight or obese. At TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel, we know that a healthy lifestyle makes for a stronger and longer relationship.
It’s for the best that you provide your pets with a proper, nutrient-dense diet, an active lifestyle, and a healthy body weight. Our best piece of advice is that you make these tips into habit because drastic change - for better or for worse - doesn’t happen overnight. This is especially important as a few extra pounds can be a difference-maker for smaller dogs and cats.
Overweight and obese pets are more likely to suffer from respiratory disorders, kidney dysfunciton, liver disease, chronic inflammation, metabolic and endocrine disorders, high blood pressure, orthopedic diseases, skin disorders, immobility, cancer, and in general a lower quality of life or decreased life expectancy.
If you believe your pet could benefit from shedding weight, talk with your trusted TotalBond veterinarian at Bethel about ways to help your pet. In coming up with a plan, we’ll ask about your pet’s food intake, specifically how much food, how often, and what kinds. We’ll have a conversation about the frequency with which you play with and walk your cat or dog, as well as other factors, such as medications and procedures.
In our experience, some of the most common advice we give is to pay closer attention to food in the house. When scraps of human food is left out or given to your dog or cat, it’s not only detrimental to your pet’s diet, but it’s also potentially toxic. Low quality calories are likely to cause weight gain. It’s also important to remember that dogs benefit from at least one walk per day and cats benefit from at least 15 minutes of playtime per day, even with a laser pointer.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to your pet’s active and healthy lifestyle. Your commitment to your dog or cat is instrumental for cultivating a strong and positive quality of life.
We're located in Lake Wylie, in York County, SC, easily accessible to Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties, NC. Our clinic is right off Hwy 49, half an hour from downtown Charlotte.