How do dogs and cats get heartworm disease?


Heartworms are transmitted via mosquito bites to infect dogs AND cats. Once bitten by an infected mosquito, microscopic larvae are injected into your pet’s skin. It takes about 6 months for these larvae to mature and be detected with heartworm testing. The more bites; the more heartworm larvae transferred. Please contact Prien Lake Animal Hospital to discuss the best way to prevent this life-threatening infection in your pet. A simple blood test is available for both dogs and cats. For more trustworthy and accurate information on heartworm disease please follow our link to the American Heartworm Society website ( .

Click below for a Pet Health Video about Canine Heartworm Disease
Canine Heartworm Disease

Click below for a Pet Health Video about Feline Heartworm Disease
Feline Heartworm Disease


When should puppies and kittens come in for their first visit?

Puppies should have their initial examination around 6-8 weeks and kittens around 9 weeks of age, if there are no signs of any problems or concerns. Multiple immunizations at different visits will be required to get your new pet’s immune system ready for exposure to the environment outside your home. Puppies and kittens are highly susceptible to viruses, infections, and/or parasites, and proper early care and screening by the experienced veterinarians at Prien Lake Animal Hospital will help to give your new baby the best start in life.

Click below for a Pet Health Video about Vaccines


Why is it important that my pet has an examination or blood tests done yearly?

Each year your pet can age as much as a human does in seven years! This means that if your pet has not been to the veterinarian in the past year, it is the equivalent of a human not having a check up in seven years. It is very important to schedule yearly exams for your pet, especially after they reach the age of five. Call us at Prien Lake Animal Hospital to schedule your pet’s check up.

Click below for a Pet Health Video about Wellness for your Pet
Wellness for your pet

How old does my pet need to be in order to be considered “old?” And why does it matter?

Senior citizenship begins at different ages for different breeds and sizes. In dogs, typically the senior years can begin around 5 or 6 years of age for large breeds and 8 or 9 years for small breeds. For cats, it begins around 8 years old.

It is important to be mindful of your pet’s advancing age because significant health changes can take place very quickly, sometimes in as little as 3 – 6 months. We recommend bi-annual Senior Checks for our patients so that we can help you stay ahead of any potential health issues. During the appointment, our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive physical exam, noting any changes to eyes, ears, mouth, and body condition. They will also run a comprehensive blood panel to test for any abnormalities in the kidney, liver, and pancreatic enzyme levels, as well as a Complete Blood Count to monitor white blood cell, red blood cell, & platelet counts.

Today’s pets enjoy longer lives than in years past. It is our goal at Prien Lake Animal Hospital to help pets in Lake Charles live to the fullest. Performing these diagnostic tests every year helps our veterinarians detect problems before visible symptoms are present.

Click below for a Pet Health Video about Geriatric Wellness
Geriatric Wellness

Why does it matter that my pet has bad breath?

It is estimated that 80% of pets over the age of 5 years have periodontal disease which includes tartar build-up on the teeth, swollen or receding gum tissue and loss of bone support.

It takes approximately 24 hrs for plaque to harden into tartar on your pet’s teeth. As tartar builds up, it pushes the gum tissue back and away from the teeth, allowing bacteria access to the bloodstream. Studies have shown that these bacteria can be responsible for causing heart and kidney disease in many pets.

These bacteria also eat away at the jaw bone supporting the teeth, leading to pain from loose teeth and abscesses (large pockets of infection at the tooth root). The only solution for either issue is to remove the affected teeth as soon as possible. Abscesses also require antibiotic therapy.

The good news is that periodontal disease can be reversed in some instances. Scheduling a dental cleaning with Prien Lake Animal Hospital to have the tartar professionally scaled off and the teeth polished can go a long way toward extending the health and life of your pet.

Click below for a Pet Health Video about Dental Health
Dental Health