At Essex Animal Hospital we strive to prevent illness whenever possible. The time and effort invested in wellness programs has rewards for both pets and their owners. Our wellness programs are designed specifically for your pet and include comprehensive physical exams, internal and external parasite testing, heartworm, flea and tick control, individually tailored vaccination programs, spay and neuter programs and special blood testing for all life stages. There are many diseases that are contagious from pets to humans and we routinely discuss and screen for these illnesses that may affect your family.

Essex Animal Hospital is accredited by the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association.

Essex Animal HospitalVeterinary Wellness Care for Every Age and Life Stage

Essex Animal Hospital believes that prevention is the key to your pet's long-term health and minimizing the lifetime cost of care. We recommend routine wellness exams, vaccinations, regular lab work, deworming and fecal checks, as well as medications to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks.

Wellness care is offered at a reasonable cost. In fact, most of the tests can be done during your dog or cat's regular exam. These examinations are similar to the yearly physical you receive from your doctor. During wellness exams we assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, update you on advancements in veterinary care and offer you the opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

During your pet's wellness exam, we will:

  • Examine your pet's teeth, throat, and oral cavity
  • Check your pet's vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergies and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet's heart
  • Test your pet's reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood, and other systems

Parasite Control

Dangerous parasites are always a threat to your pet. Just as importantly, if brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and Giardia can infect members of your household.

Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites from pets to people. It also prevents the transmission of parasite eggs, which contaminate yards or any place a pet relieves themself.

We also recommend complete blood testing annually for all pets. This is especially important as they age.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. Although they're a bigger problem in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Today, there's no reason for any pet or owner to be bothered by these pests.

Fleas are so common because they are reproductive marvels. A single female flea can lay as many as 30 eggs a day and can live and breed on your pet for up to 100 days. The eggs then fall and land in carpets and upholstery where they can lie dormant for up to 8 months. The best management techniques of flea-proofing your home include regularly vacuuming carpets, furniture, floors and areas where your pet sits or sleeps. You should also wash your pet's bedding, toys, and towels weekly.

Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause an intense allergic reaction, resulting in a severely painful skin infection. In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These same ticks can bite people and transmit disease as well. Due to the prevalence of ticks in New Jersey, we recommend all dogs be vaccinated against Lyme Disease.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at our hospital. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. They are what we use on our own pets.

Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there are no holistic or natural products available which have been shown to be effective in preventing or killing fleas and ticks. Ask a veterinarian or staff member at Essex Animal Hospital to recommend the flea and tick prevention product which is best suited for your pet.

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease of dogs and cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite. After the infected female mosquito bites your pet, the heartworm migrates through the bloodstream and moves to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults within 6-7 months in dogs and 8 months in cats. As many as 30 species of mosquitoes can transmit heartworms.

Until the early 1970s, the occurrence of heartworm disease in the United States was primarily confined to the southeastern part of the country. Today, heartworm disease is found almost everywhere in the continental United States and is particularly abundant in the northeast.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Often symptoms are not noticeable until several years after the initial infection. Lack of energy and exercise intolerance are early symptoms. Coughing and difficulty breathing are both common symptoms. As the disease progresses, most dogs develop congestive heart failure. Dogs often collapse in the final stage of the disease. In cats, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma. Some cats may exhibit no signs of the disease, while others may suddenly die.

Since heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually. This test is highly accurate, and we often have the results in less than 10 minutes.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple. For dogs, a once-a-month heartworm preventative can be given as a tasty, chewable treat. This same chewable medicine prevents not only heartworms from developing, but also kills and prevents most other types of worms that can infect your dog. Cats are protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once-a-month. We recommend this to prevent heartworm disease as well as fleas, ear mites, and other types of worms that can infect your cat.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet and your family from these dangerous parasites, please call Essex Animal Hospital.

Puppy And Kitten Care at Essex Animal HospitalPuppy and Kitten Care

There are few things more memorable than bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home. They add energy and fun and are a source of unceasing affection as they bond with you and your family.

They also require a little extra attention to ensure they get a good, healthy start at life. This means that comprehensive physical exams at key developmental stages are important, as well as responsible and accurate advice on housebreaking and training.

Your very first visit with your new puppy or kitten is perhaps the most important. This is when you, your doctor, and your pet begin to form the relationship that will last for the life of your pet. We will give your puppy or kitten a thorough exam, speak with you about any concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and discuss questions regarding:

  • Diet, including types of food to feed, and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  • House training and other behavioral issues
  • Spaying and neutering. Is this best for my dog? What should I expect if I don't spay or neuter my pet? If I decide to spay or neuter my pet, when is the best time to have this done?
  • Vaccinations. We will discuss the pros and cons of vaccinations and recommend a vaccination protocol specifically tailored to your pet's needs.
  • Pet health insurance. Should I get pet health insurance? What should I look for in a company?
  • Microchipping. Should I get this done? When is the best time to do this?

We will give your pet a complete physical exam and discuss any questions or concerns you might have. This is your new pet and we know you have many questions. We promise to answer all of them.

Senior Pets at Essex Animal HospitalGeriatric/Senior Care

By taking the time to learn more about the special needs of your senior-aged pet, you've taken the first step toward providing the best care for your friend in its golden years. We're proud of the special interest we take in geriatric medicine and care of chronic disease.

Pets in their senior years begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. In some breeds, these aging changes can begin as young as six years of age. However, this process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care, thereby offering your beloved pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Additionally, preventive care tailored to your pet's age, lifestyle, risk factors, and other elements can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and easily treatable stages.

There is also an important role for you to play as your pet's primary caregiver. While you cannot control age-related decline, you can influence your pet's activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. We can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet's good health and vitality, as well as increase his or her well-being, even as his or her pace slows a bit.

However, the best time to begin your pet's senior care program and recognize the need for a little extra TLC is well before age-related conditions begin to set in. We recommend regular senior wellness exams, which should include specialized lab work to detect the early signs of disease processes. Dental care becomes even more important as well. We recommend routine dental exams and cleanings for all pets, but especially those in their senior years. Diet and proper weight maintenance are also important issues to keep an eye on. When you bring your pet in for a senior wellness visit, we will offer recommendations based on what our complete examination findings show us.

Exotic Pet Care in Bloomkfield NJExotic Pet Care

Veterinary medicine for exotic pets is expanding as the popularity of these animals increases. With better education in health, nutritional and environmental management, all species have a greater chance for living longer and healthier lives.

Often these animals' healthcare needs are quite unique and require a veterinary practice with the experience and expertise to provide them with the best and most appropriate care possible. For example, in the wild, many of these animals evolved strategies to conceal illness or injuries as a survival technique. These tendencies continue in domestic exotic and pocket pets, which means their medical problems often go unnoticed.

This is why we recommend regular physical examinations to check for health problems, as well as annual monitoring to check for nutritional and husbandry-related conditions. With regular veterinary medical examinations, problems are often diagnosed before they become serious medical conditions.

A complete veterinary examination is also recommended after acquiring your new exotic or pocket pet. This exam includes a thorough physical examination, nutritional consultation, disease screening, and laboratory testing, if necessary.

Dr. Dolin sees most of our exotic pets and has a special interest in ferret medicine and surgery. He is available to see your exotic pets at any time. He also sees birds, reptiles (snakes, iguanas, turtles) and pocket pets (guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbil, mice, rats).