Yearly Exams and Vaccine Boosters
A yearly examination is required for vaccine boosters. An exam is also required if there has been a recheck exam or lab work due and missed within the last year. An exam and blood work is highly recommended every 6 months for older pets (over 8 for small dogs and cats, over 6 for large dogs).
Vaccine titers are available and should be done yearly instead of giving booster vaccinations if desired. A blood sample is run for distemper and parvovirus titers, and if they show a level of immunity that will protect the dog against the disease, the dog does not need a vaccine that year. If the immunity is low, the vaccine is required, and we do carry separate distemper and parvovirus vaccines.
Requirements for heartworm preventative refill include an examination and a negative heartworm test every year and no missed doses. If the owner wants a written prescription, an examination is required for each refill even if it is every 6 months.
Requirements for medication refills:(all at the final discretion of the doctor)
In general, all recommended rechecks must be done; if any are missed another exam is required. We cannot fill medications for a new problem without examining the pet. Most outside pharmacy refills require a recheck examination.
Refills of chronic medications generally require an examination every 6 months, and lab testing is based on the specific action and/or side effects of the drug (i.e., phenylpropanolamine refills require a urinalysis, NSAID refills require a CBC/chem because they can potentially damage the liver, etc.).
Antibiotics or prednisone cannot be refilled if there has been a break in therapy.
Phenobarbital, potassium bromide, cyclosporine and digoxin refills require serum levels every 6 months.
Heart medications (enalapril, spironolactone, furosemide) refills require chest radiographs every 4-6 months depending on the case. Furosemide refills also require a chemistry panel every 4 months.
Refills of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Deramaxx, Metacam, etc.) requires a CBC and chemistry panel every 4 months. Zubrin is the exception; it requires only an examination every 6 months.