When Dr. Jeffry Morrison and Dr. Tana Weeks of Wailuku Pet Clinic took over the existing veterinary clinic one year ago, they invested in new, up-to-date medical equipment to help ensure healthier and longer lives for Maui's coveted pets. The clinic strives to live up to its mantra-"compassionate animal care at an affordable price."
They stress the importance of bringing your VIP, "Very Important Pet," in for regular check-ups, noting that preventative medicine is the best medicine. Since pets age a lot quicker than we do (about seven times faster), Wailuku Pet Clinic recommends office visits for their furry patients every six to 12 months. These visits may include blood screenings, which can detect certain diseases early before they advance further making them harder to treat.
"As with humans, our pets are going to have more health problems and complications as they get older," said Dr. Morisson. Cancers, for example, have a greater prognosis for treatment and or recovery when found early.
Wailuku Pet Clinic strives to live up to its mantra—“compassionate animal care at an affordable price.”
Prevention starts when animals are young. Kittens and puppies need to be fully vaccinated just as children do, said Dr. Morisson.
"Kittens and puppies require their first vaccination at 6 weeks old," Dr. Weeks emphasized. "Dogs follow up their initial vaccination by a series of three additional shots every three weeks, while cats receive a total of two vaccines three weeks apart."
These vaccinations prevent a wide range of diseases found on Maui, such as leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that attacks the kidneys, and the highly contagious and potentially deadly parvovirus found in dogs. With such a huge feral cat population on the island, kittens should also be vaccinated for feline leukemia and for feline viral rhinotracheitis (herpes virus).
At around 4 to 6 months of age, these passionate vets strongly recommend having your pet spayed or neutered, not only to prevent overpopulation, but more specifically, because it helps to prevent testosterone-based tumors as your pets get older. If your pets don't receive this safe and widely practiced procedure, they are more prone to serious ailments, including testicular cancer, rectal cancer and prostate enlargement in male animals, and mammary cancer in female pets.
"If your pet is spayed before their first heat cycle (prior to 6 months of age), their chances are only .5 percent of them getting cancer," explained Dr. Morrison. Imagine if humans had the same statistics for potentially eliminating these risky cancers!
"The risk could heighten to 20 percent after the first heat cycle, and then increases all the way up to 80 percent after the second heat cycle," Dr. Weeks added.
With young adult pets between 1 and 6 years old, they recommend an annual exam which checks the eyes, ears, nose, lymph nodes, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, heart and lungs. It also includes a dental exam. They also recommend an annual heartworm test and intestinal parasite screening.
Wailuku Pet Clinic stresses the importance of having every dog on monthly heartworm prevention. Heartworms are transmitted through mosquitoes on island.
Flea and tick prevention is also important because fieas not only cause itching and hair loss, but also can cause serious skin infections and pass tapeworms to your pet. Furthermore, ticks can give your dog a disease called ehrlichia.
Other concerns for pets in this age range are obesity, allergies and dental disease.
For senior pets 7 years of age and older, close monitoring for dental disease, as well as heart, kidney and liver disease is important. In overweight patients, monitoring for diabetes and thyroid problems is crucial. Any abnormal lumps and bumps should be checked out early to rule out cancer.
Wailuku Pet Clinic also provides emergency vet services, grooming and boarding.
The clinic is located at 1728 A Ka'ahumanu Ave. next to Stillwell's Bakery, right before the underpass that turns into Main Street in Wailuku.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please visit: www.wailukupetclinic.com.