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Pet Preventive Care

Just like your physician or dentist our veterinarians recommend your pet receive periodic preventive veterinary healthcare (aka Wellness Care). This is especially important since, a pet ages 5-7 time faster than we do. If our Cleveland veterinarian can detect a problem in its early stages, or better yet prevent it, your pet will be healthier, happier, and live longer. Not to mention, it’s less expensive to prevent problems than treat them.

Our veterinary clinics are easily accessible to Southwest Greater Cleveland.

Age/Life Stages

(click on the appropriate life stage to learn more)

What kind of pets do you treat at Big Creek Pet Hospital?

We provide veterinary medical care and advice for dogs, cats, and furry, 4-legged, pocket pets. Pocket Pets include: rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, hedgehogs, and chinchillas.

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What Preventive Veterinary Care Services does Big Creek Pet Hospital provide?

Pet Preventive Veterinary Care includes:

  1. Physical Exam – while sometimes you see obvious signs your dog, cat, or pocket pet isn’t feeling well, only a physical exam done by your veterinarian can spot a problem. Most adult pets should be seen at least once, while younger, older, and those with special needs should be seen more frequently. (Click here to learn more about what the veterinarian is checking during a preventive care exam)
  2. Vaccinations – whether you call them vaccinations, vaccs, immunizations, or just plain shots, your pet needs to be protected from diseases common to Greater Cleveland. We’ll only give your dog, cat, or ferret the appropriate vaccinations at the right time (i.e..we don’t over-vaccinate). In fact, many times you and your pet won’t even know they were vaccinated. (Click here to learn more about what dog and cat vaccinations we provide)
  3. Testing – “testing is like a window into body” and supplements the physical exam. Blood work can tell us how various organs are functioning and whether your pet has an infection or is anemic. Fecal exams can tell us whether your pet has worms or other intestinal parasites. Infrared Imaging Screens are inexpensive and safe ways to help the veterinarian spot inflammation and lack of circulation.
  4. Preventatives – heartworms, fleas, and other parasites are out to get your pet, and, some of these are even out to get you! While there are a multitude of flea preventatives available Over-the-Counter, some are possibly dangerous to your pet. Our veterinary team will provide you recommendations based on parasites we see in Northeast Ohio.

Due to the lifecycle of many parasites found in Greater Cleveland, we recommend year round protection.

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What is the Veterinarian checking during an Exam?

During your pet’s Preventive Care Exam, the veterinarian will be conducting a physical exam of the 13 major body systems. Testing will supplement the physical exam to get a “window into the body” and help identify problems.

You will receive a “Report Card” explaining the results of the exam and tests that you can refer to at home and share with your 2-legged, family members. Here are the major areas the exam will cover:

  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • GI/Abdominal Palpation
  • Heart/Cardiovascular
  • Lungs/Trachea
  • Lymph Nodes/Thyroid gland
  • Mouth/Teeth/Gums
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Nervous System
  • Nose/Throat
  • Skin/Haircoat
  • Urinary/Reproductive
  • Perianal Area (under the tail)

Click here to see sample Report Card

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What factors affect my pet’s health?

Here are some of the major factors that will affect your pet’s health and will be evaluated and discussed during your pet’s preventive care exam.

  • Lifestyle – We are going to ask two simple questions: Is your pet primarily an indoor pet or outdoor pet? And is your pet a solitary pet (never comes in contact with other pets) or a social pet?
  • Diet/Nutrition – what you feed your pet and how much can help your pet live longer and healthier or it can cause serious health problems. For example in cats improperly feeding your cat may cause diabetes. While some dogs are allergic to certain, common ingredients, causing skin and ear problems. Please let us know the exact manufacturer and brand you feeding your pet. We can also provide your nutrition recommendations for your pet.
  • Body Condition – we will evaluate your pet using the Purina 9 point Body Condition System. (to see the chart click here) Pets that are obese (7-9) or underweight (1-3) can be susceptible to a variety of health problems.
  • Exercise – Does your dog go running with you? Is your senior cat having problems jumping on to the table. Please let us know what type and how much exercise your pet gets and whether you have any special concerns.
  • Breed – each breed, even mixed breeds, may be genetically susceptible to certain health risks. For example, Dobermans are at risk for Von Willebrand’s Disease an inherited bleeding disorder.
  • Location – While we all know that Cleveland is the “best location in the nation”, sometimes you will travel with your pet outside Northeast Ohio. Please let us know so we can protect your pet from health risks in areas you are traveling though and to.
  • Special Needs – Is your dog or cat pregnant? Do you hunt with your dog? Are you planning to board your pet? Are you taking your pet to a Pet Show? Please let us know if your pet has any special needs.

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What vaccinations do you recommend for my pet?

Vaccinations (immunizations) protect your pet from deadly diseases. The vaccinations we recommend are based on threats common to Northeast Ohio and your pet’s lifestyle. While we have listed all the vaccinations we may administer for your pet, your pet may not need some of them.

Also, as your pet ages, many of these vaccinations are given on a 3 year cycle. We do not want to overvaccinate. Titer testing is also available to determine if a specific immunization is still effective.

Letters following some of the vaccines are short-hand designations


  • Rabies (Rv)
  • Distemper (D)
  • Hepatitis/Adenovirus (H)
  • Leptospirosis (L)
  • Parainfluenza (P)
  • Parvovirus (P)
  • Bordetella [Kennel Cough]
  • Lyme [Ticks]
  • Canine Influenza (we don’t normally recommend this vaccine)


  • Rabies (Rv)
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)
  • Feline Calicivirus (C)
  • Feline Panleukopenia (P)(aka Feline Distemper)
  • Feline Leukemia

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Preventatives (aka preventives) protect your pet from nasty parasites. The preventatives we recommend are based on threats common to Northeast Ohio and your pet’s lifestyle. They are once-a-month medications that protect your pet from heartworms, fleas, and other parasites. Due to the lifecycle of various parasites we recommend year-round protection!

Please let us know if your pet is visiting other parts of the country so we can protect your pet appropriately.

Our primary preventive recommendation is Revolution®, a very safe, broad-spectrum parasite preventative that is easily administered on the back of your pet.

For Dogs

REVOLUTION® (selamectin) is a veterinarian prescribed preventive. Just one application a month provides protection against heartworms, fleas and other parasites. REVOLUTION can treat puppies as young as 6 weeks, and is available in sizes to treat dogs up to 130 lbs with one simple monthly dose.

For Cats

REVOLUTION® (selamectin) is a veterinarian-prescribed preventive for fleas, flea eggs, heartworms, ear mites, roundworms and hookworms in cats. Revolution can treat kittens as young as 8 weeks and is also available in multiple sizes with one simple monthly dose.

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How can I save money and budget my pet’s preventive veterinary care?

First, by getting preventive veterinary care, we can protect your pet from many problems and detect others before they become too serious. It is always better for your pet’s health and your wallet to prevent problems!

For those of you that would like to save money on your dog’s or cat’s preventive care, we offer ABC Pet Health Plans. These are Affordable, Bundles, of Care and include the services we recommend for your dog or cat at a particular life stage (Puppy/Kitten, Adult, Senior, Geriatric). These plans also include unlimited exams and discount on certain services and products.

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How do I make an appointment for my pet?

To make an appointment for your 4-legged family member, call (440) 234-5831 or click here to Request an Appointment online

Please let us know what office you would like to bring your pet.

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