As pet owners ourselves, we understand the importance of pets in our lives! Regular wellness exams are important since our pets age approximately seven times faster than we do. Also, our pet’s natural instincts are to hide their symptoms (as a means of survival in the wild) and not reveal that they are hurting. Since our pets cannot verbally tell us how they feel, it is up to us to take preventive measures to care for them. Regular wellness exams help ensure that your pets receive the care they need and deserve!

Regular physical examinations, labwork screenings, professional dental cleanings, vaccinations, and heartworm prevention are all components of good health, wellness, and preventive care. 

The following pet care services are offered at Family VetCare. Click any service to learn more.


Upon arrival at Family VetCare, your Veterinary Technician will greet you and perform a pre-exam assessment of your pet including: weight evaluation, temperature, heart and respiratory rate, dental grading and relevant historical questions regarding your pet’s general health. We encourage you to share your concerns so that we can better understand your pet’s overall health picture.

Your Veterinarian will complete a comprehensive physical examination of your pet and communicate their findings, your pets’ needs and the forward treatment plan for your pet.

Laboratory Screening

Because peace of mind is important, our diagnostics capabilities allow our Veterinarians to provide you with complete internal health screening through the assessment of your pet’s labwork. These results can be done in-house should your pet experience a more time-sensitive emergency where results are needed as quickly as possible.

  • Early Detection Screening – We offer various lab panels designed to provide you an overall understanding of your pet’s internal health. Because we can’t see or palpate many of your pet’s internal organs, lab screening is an essential tool to learn more about your pets internal health. These screenings offer insight into various organs including the liver, kidneys, and thyroid gland. Additionally, the panels can check for heartworm disease and other parasites, as well as a thorough screening of your pet’s white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, electrolytes and urine. These panels can be utilized to establish a baseline for a young and healthy pet or to monitor for possible diseases in an aging pet.
  • Fecal Parasite Test – Parasites and pets seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly! Unfortunately, roundworms and hookworms are zoonotic parasites that can be passed to your family members, so it’s important to keep all family members parasite-free! The CDC recommends that your pet be tested annually. However, if your pet shows signs of diarrhea, weight loss, or general poor health, testing may be warranted more frequently. Testing of a stool sample can help keep your pet parasite free. This test is included in many of our panels but it can also be run independently.
  • Heartworm Test – Heartworms are a life-threatening reality to our pets in Arizona. Spread by mosquitoes, heartworms are worms that grow to be more than a foot long in a little as five months! These worms invade the right side of a dog or cat's heart and the major blood vessels that surround it. Because the disease and the treatment of the disease are both life-threatening, it’s always best to prevent the disease instead of treat the disease! The American Heartworm Society recommends annual Heartworm Testing for your pet with year-round prevention. The heartworm test is included in many of our panels but it can also be run independently.


To help keep your pet as healthy as possible, we recommend the following vaccines for most pets living in Arizona. For a customized risk assessment of your pet’s vaccination needs, feel free to schedule an appointment with your Family VetCare veterinarian.


DAPP Vaccine (4-in-1):
  • Distemper – A contagious viral disease that can cause severe pneumonia, diarrhea, vomiting and neurological disease – often fatal.
  • Adenovirus – A contagious viral disease that damages the liver.
  • Parainfluenza – A contagious viral disease that causes respiratory disease.
  • Parvovirus – A highly contagious viral disease that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. If left untreated, it is 100% fatal.
Rabies Vaccine

A zoonotic viral infection that attacks the brain and central nervous system tissue. Rabies is almost always fatal, and the vaccination is given to protect you and your pet against this virus.

Bordetella Vaccine

This bacteria can contribute to “Kennel Cough,” a highly contagious upper respiratory infection, spread via direct contact or aerosolized droplets. Vaccination helps protect your pet from more serious respiratory compromise.


HCP Vaccine (3-in-1) +/- FELV:

  • Viral Rhinotracheitis – A herpesviral disease which causes high fever, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eyes), rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passage), ocular discharge and excessive sneezing.
  • Calicivirus – A viral disease causing many symptoms including excessive sneezing, nasal discharge, ocular discharge, conjunctivitis, ulceration of the tongue, lethargy, inappetence and high fever.
  • Panleukopenia Virus – A highly contagious parvoviral disease that causes gastrointestinal, immune system and nervous system disease marked by low white blood cell counts, depression, inappetence, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal discharge and dehydration.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus – A contagious viral infection that causes suppression of the cat’s immune system making them vulnerable to a number of infections. Symptoms often include lethargy, fever, inappetence, diarrhea and weight loss.
Rabies Vaccine

A zoonotic viral infection that attacks the brain and central nervous system tissue. Rabies is almost always fatal, and the vaccination is given to protect you and your pet against this virus.

Bordetella Vaccine

This bacteria can contribute to “Kennel Cough,” a highly contagious upper respiratory infection, spread via direct contact or aerosolized droplets. Vaccination helps protect your pet from more serious respiratory compromise.

Heartworm, Flea & Tick Prevention

Year-round pest prevention is the best way to keep fleas, ticks and mosquitoes off your pets. Most pet owners are shocked to learn that these pests are sources of major diseases to their pets, which means it’s essential to keep our pets protected! There are different micro-climates in Arizona that include: (1) irrigated fields; (2) backyard ponds and pools; and (3) man-made golf courses, all of which affect the severity and duration of the mosquito season. Heartworm infections are also present in wild species such as coyotes, and infected wild animals are often the source of infection to your dog or cat. Your pets may also be at higher risk if they travel with you to areas of dense mosquito populations. There are several options you have to provide your pet with year-round prevention that our Veterinarians can discuss with you at your next appointment.


Why should you microchip your pet?

If you’ve ever lost a pet, you know how frightening that can be for you and your pet. Registered microchips give lost pets the best chance of returning home. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the US every year. One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters across the US, confirmed the high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families, and the importance of microchip registration. From the Study:

  • Only 22% of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return to owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52%.
  • Less than 2% of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return to owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38%.
  • Only 58% of the microchipped animals’ microchips had been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information. This is why it is important to not only register your pet’s microchip, but to keep the information up-to-date.
How it works

The microchip is no bigger than a grain of rice and it is easily and quickly implanted beneath the skin. Most Veterinarians will recommend implanting the microchip at the same time the spay or neuter is done, however, your pet does not need to be under anesthesia to have the microchip implanted.

The microchip does not contain a battery; therefore, it does not need to be charged. The chips are designed to last the life of your pet. Most Animal Hospitals and Rescue organizations have globally compatible scanners that can read the unique identification code on the microchip. This code is used to retrieve the contact information that the pet’s owner has provided to the pet recovery database.

Microchips are inexpensive and provide incredible value to your family should they go missing at anytime. It’s important to remember that any time you move, you’ll need to update your contact information associated with your pets’ microchips.

Senior Care

Dogs, 7 years of age or older, qualify as “seniors”. In cats, age 9 years or older qualifies them as “seniors”. As with humans, being “old” doesn’t mean your pets are unhealthy, it just means we need to be intentionally observant to identify health changes sooner rather than later. Our pets’ relative age is influenced by a number of factors including weight, nutrition, exercise and overall health. What is your pet’s age in human years?

Click on the images below to download these helpful age-related documents and checklists (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader):

Canine Senior Chart

Open PDF

Feline Senior Chart

Open PDF

Canine Aging or Illness

Open PDF

Feline Aging or Illness

Open PDF

Diet & Nutrition

Did you know that it’s estimated that about 17 million dogs in the United States are overweight? Just as in humans, extra weight can cause medical problems that have serious health consequences (diabetes, heart disease, ACL injuries, breathing problems, decreased activity, osteoarthritis, etc). Maintaining a healthy weight helps your animal live a longer and healthier life. Weight loss – even in small amounts – can reduce the risk of serious health problems and improve the quality of your pet’s life.

There are significant health risks associated with a few extra pounds of body weight:

Diabetes and ACL Injuries – Diabetes can result in twice a day injections for the rest of your pet’s life. Orthopedic Injuries can result in expensive surgery, and anytime we can avoid surgical intervention, that’s a win!

Osteoarthritis – Arthritic joint disease is one of the most common health problems exacerbated by obesity. Excess weight adds extra strain to joints and ligaments, worsening pain and make it harder to be mobile and active. Overweight animals often have trouble navigating stairs and will have difficulty rising up from a resting position.

Breathing problems – Does your animal huff and puff on walks or during playtime? Excess body fat can increase pressure on your dog’s lungs and interfere with normal function. When expansion of the lungs is restricted by fat in the chest cavity, the lungs have to work harder to provide oxygen, which can result in shortness of breath and exercise intolerance.

Heart disease – Does your animal seem to have less energy? Those extra pounds may be putting a strain on your dog’s heart. Obesity can be associated with high blood pressure or hypertension in dogs, and similar to people, this can lead to a variety of cardiovascular health problems.

Increased anesthetic risks – Excess body fat can make surgery more challenging for the surgeon, hindering access to internal organs and tissue, and thus prolonging the procedure. This in turn increases the risk of complications associated with anesthesia. For these reasons, elective surgery is sometimes postponed until the overweight animal has lost weight.

Decreased activity – Have you noticed your pet just isn’t as interested in chasing after a toy or interacting with family? Those extra pounds can slow your pet down, often due to a combination of the conditions just listed. Pet owners whose animals have lost weight report noticeable improvements in their energy levels and willingness to play and interact. Because we are committed to providing the best veterinary care for your pet, if your pet needs to lose weight, we will be your partner in helping to reduce the risk of serious health problems and improve their quality and quantity of life!

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