Our Pet Wellness program
Colyer Veterinary Service is focused on your pet's
wellness.  For us, wellness is not just the opposite of
illness, but is a way of providing daily care for pets
that
optimizes their quality of life.  For optimum quality
of life, all of a pet's
essential needs must be met.
Cy, a blind pug that first appeared
at our clinic door 3 years ago, is
one of our wellness poster
children.  He has no eyes, and
though he did know sight at one
time, he has adjusted amazingly
well to life in a dark world.  We ended up adopting him after
searching in vain to find his previous owner, and now he
lives with 5 other dogs, several cats, and a host of other
creatures great and small that make their living with us.  Cy
can get just as excited about playing "chase the thing" with
the rest of the pack as anyone else, or happily assume his
For him, lack of something that we consider as
essential to good health as eyesight is irrelevant, and
that lack in no way dampens either his enthusiasm or
his ability to fit into and enjoy his group.  It's easy to
see that he enjoys life by the way he moves, the
sounds he makes, and the unmistakable joy that he
displays whether he is with his companions or by
himself, unaware that he is being watched.  From a
health care provider's perspective, his wellness level is
unquestionably high, and his
essentials are being met.
designated spot in the
pack formation as we
move out on our
morning adventure
each day.
Obviously, the choices that presented themselves along
with Cy were whether to: 1) take him in, surgically treat
his advanced glaucoma by ultimately removing both
eyes, 2) try to find someone else to take him (not likely,
with his distinctly Marty Feldman look), or 3) euthanize
him because of the extent of his disease when it became
clear his previous caretaker was not to be found.  He
proves to us daily that we made the right choice by the
joy that he brings to our household.  Even challenged
with major eye problems, he demonstrated clearly from
the first day we met him that his quality of life could be
good, and it has become better and better as he has
adjusted to his "altered perspective."  
Our Wellness Program is simple:  we do a physical exam on your pet every 6 months.  If anything suggests the
need for further diagnostic testing or routine health screening, the cost of any tests that we feel are indicated and
that you agree to have performed during these visits is done at a
10% discount over its normally offered price.  
Diagnostic or screening tests might include blood chemistry analysis, blood cell counts, heartworm testing,
sign
up for anything, just stick to a 6-month exam interval (which we will help you remember through email
or regular mail reminders).
 It's one of the essential things you can do to help keep your pet in an optimal state
of wellness.  

And, with every exam, we'll discuss with you other things that will help you optimize your pet's wellness:
1)  Adequate nutrition: The key word here is "adequate".  There is no end to the hype that surrounds diet, from supercharged
nutritional supplements to superfood diets that contain all the mysterious ingredients necessary for perfect health. The
unglamorous, simple truth is that a sensible combination of nutritious foods fed in a quantity sufficient to maintain an ideal body
weight is all that is necessary food-wise to obtain and maintain optimal pet health. (See body condition chart at the bottom of the
page).  Studies have shown that keeping your pet in the
4-5 range on the body condition chart may add as many as 2 years to
the lifespan of your pet.
 Maintaining ideal body weight is equally simple:

                                
Too much weight = too much food!

                                                           That's it!

2)  Daily physical challenge:
An animal's body is genetically programmed to perform amazing physical feats.  Essentially, for
99.9% of most species in existence on the planet, it is only by physical prowess and adaptation that they have survived.  Most
companion animals have developed (over centuries of living with humans), some well-honed physical skill, such as pest control,
guard duty, hunting/retrieving, herding, or any of a variety of other physically demanding kinds of work, which may lie dormant in a
pet's present state as a companion.  The body needs physical challenge to stay optimally tuned.  In the confined environments in
which most pets reside, the only way they can get exercise is if we provide it.
30 minutes of vigorous physical activity each day is the minimum necessary to meet this need!

3)  Daily mental challenge:  
Anyone who has spent much time with a pet understands that animals feel, learn, understand, and
problem solve in much the same ways we do.  They are capable of being trained to do almost anything.  Training requires a
commitment of time set aside daily, which can certainly be combined with the physical activity mentioned previously, or in the
context of other shared time.  Some of the most well-adjusted pets we see spend their days doing whatever their owners are doing,
whether it be accompanying them to work, on errands, or simply following them from room to room, participating in whatever way
they can.  Training includes teaching good manners in social situations, as well as basic obedience.  
Rewards for desired
behavior should not be limited to food treats, but can include enthusiastic praise, physical contact, or extra playtime

with you
.

4)  Adequate health care:  
Every pet we see will face a major health challenge at some point in its lifetime.  It's best to intervene
early
in the process of disease to minimize its term of negative impact on a pet's wellness.  Most pet caregivers pick up on
symptoms of illness readily:  vomiting, diarrhea, scratching, odors, or abnormal behaviors.  These are all clear indicators of things
being out of balance as far as the body's immune or self-defense system is concerned.  There are more subtle changes that take
place, however, that can often point to problems before they manifest as any of the above-mentioned symptoms.  This is where the
semi-annual pet physical exam, equivalent to a human physical exam every 3-4 years, can give people the opportunity to
make informed health care choices
early in the course of an illness.