Wellness and Vaccinations

Disease prevention is always less costly than dealing with the treatment of a disease once your pet has developed it. An example would be the treatment of parvovirus. Parvovirus treatment can frequently cost $1,000 or more while a single parvovirus vaccination will usually cost less than $100. Early diagnosis of a disease process can lead your pet to a longer healthier life. Kidney disease, if diagnosed early, will allow us to modify your dog or cat's diet and in some cases add supplements to their diet to potentially extend their lives. There are many other conditions to which an early diagnosis is advantageous.

Puppy Wellness


Wellness check-ups are recommended for your puppy from 6 weeks to 16 weeks of age. Included in these check-ups are a series of examinations and vaccinations including rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis vaccine.

In addition, your puppy will be tested for worms and treated for the most common intestinal worm of puppies – roundworms. Roundworms can cause gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and / or diarrhea. There are other parasites that can cause similar symptoms and can even cause your puppy to become anemic (low red blood cells). Performing a fecal test will allow us to treat your puppy accordingly. Although some worms are visible to the naked eye, most worm burdens are diagnosed by examining the stool of your puppy microscopically.

Puppies should also be checked for Giardia infection, a very common parasite that can sometimes be spread to humans.

For further information regarding leptospirosis, visit the follow website www.leptoinfo.com .

Kitten Wellness


Wellness check-ups are recommended for your kitten from 6 to 12 weeks of age. Included in these check-ups are a series of examinations and vaccinations including rabies, panleukopenia (distemper), leukemia, etc.

In addition, your kitten will be tested for worms and be treated for the most common intestinal worm of kittens – roundworms. Roundworms can cause your kitten to vomit and / or experience diarrhea; however, it is possible for your kitten to have roundworms and not show any signs of harboring the worms. A microscopic fecal examination will allow us to evaluate the presence of these worms.

The examination will also look for other types of worms as well as Giardia and coccidia that can affect your kitten.

We look forward to meeting your new kitten! Schedule your appointment today.

Adult Wellness


Healthy Adult – Dogs Ages 1-7

At Callbeck Animal Hospital we strive to provide our patients with the best possible health care and an optimum quality of life. It is common to find potential health problems during routine exams in “healthy pets”, which is why we strongly recommend bringing your pet in for a check up at least once a year. This visit will include but is not limited to:

• All necessary vaccinations and boosters (Distemper, Parvo, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella & Rabies)
• Wellness blood work for your dog
• 4DX testing (Heartworm, Lyme, Erlichia and Anaplasmosis screening)
• Fecal screening for intestinal parasites
• Flea, Tick & Intestinal parasite prevention

Healthy Adult – Cats Ages 1-8

At Callbeck Animal Hospital we strive to provide our patients with the best possible health care and an optimum quality of life. It is common to find potential health problems during routine exams in “healthy pets”, which is why we strongly recommend bringing your pet in for a check up at least once a year, even if they are strictly indoor cats! This visit will include but is not limited to:

• All necessary vaccinations and boosters – FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia) , Rabies & Leukemia
• Wellness blood work for your cat
• Fecal screening for intestinal parasites
• Flea & Intestinal parasite prevention

Senior Pet Wellness


Once your dog turns 7 years of age or your cat turns 8 years of age, we recommend they undergo a thorough senior wellness exam and diagnostic work-up. Even though you may believe your pet is healthy, there are many disease processes that do not show any outward sign until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early.

Early detection of diseases such as kidney disease and thyroid disease, will allow us to administer the appropriate treatments to help extend your pet’s life.

Many symptoms that historically have been attributed to old age and considered untreatable are now treatable. For example, some dogs that appear to have lost their mental alertness can be returned to a mental status indicative of a younger age using appropriate therapy. Please feel free to contact us to discuss our senior wellness program in more detail.

Call us today to schedule your pet’s exam!

Rabbit Wellness


Rabbits can live approximately 10 – 12 years.  They make great pets, but like cats and dogs, they need veterinary attention and care. At Callbeck Animal Hospital we recommend routine annual veterinary examinations to ensure optimal health. It is also a good idea to discuss diet and husbandry care with your veterinarian, as these factors greatly impact your rabbit’s overall health. You should regularly examine them for signs of illness or pain, and be sure to check their nails because, just like cats and dogs, they need to be trimmed. If you notice your rabbit is eating less or not eating at all you should contact the clinic immediately.

1. Diet: To extract as much goodness as possible from food, rabbits perform a digestive process called ‘caecotrophy’. They eat these caecotrophs; usually directly from the anus, allowing the food to be re-ingested. Cecotrophs are green elongated droppings that are coated in mucous and have a strong odour. These droppings are a vital part in your rabbits health. They are packed with amino acids, fatty acids and a variety of vitamins. If you notice a lot of them in your rabbits cage there could be a problem and they should be seen by a veterinarian. Rabbits are herbivores and need high fibre in their diet.
Hay: The bulk of your rabbits diet should be hay; it helps protect the intestines and prevents fur chewing, hairballs and overgrowth of normal bacteria in the intestines. Eg; Timothy, meadow, oat, rye, barley, and Bermuda hay.
Pellets: Not essential in the diet, they have low indigestible fibre and do not promote normal tooth wear.  If you decide to feed pellets, make sure they are high quality and do not buy pellet mixes that contain seeds, dried fruit or nuts. Be careful not to overfeed because too many can cause obesity.
Vegetables: The most important food in their diet. Vegetables promote healthy intestine, kidney and bladder function.  Although these green foods are important in your rabbits diet, they should never be the total source of nutrition. The Darker the green food the better; the nutritional value is higher. Eg: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot/beet tops, dandelion greens, kale, leaf lettuce, and baby greens. Be sure to wash before feeding!
Fruit: The best treats for rabbits! They should be fed in small quantities and only as treats! Ex. Apple, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapple, and mango.
Forbidden foods: Beans, breads, cereals, chocolate, corn, nuts, oats, peas, refined sugar, seeds, and wheat. Do not give lawn mower clippings, salt licks or mineral blocks. These can cause issues with their digestive system and may have harmful substances in them.  

2. Environment: A rabbits environment is important.  They are messy pets and need a lot of space to move around.
Cage: Plastic bottom cages with a wire top is ideal. The cage size will depend on the rabbits size; bigger is always better. The cage should be cleaned 1 – 2 times daily.  Rabbits like to burrow/hide so providing extra bedding or toys is important.
Litter Box: Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, but do not use clay or clumping litter. You can put hay in the litter box as rabbits often have bowel movements while eating.  This may encourage them to use the litter box more often.
Bedding: Pelleted litter makes the best bedding; it is non-toxic, draws moisture away and is digestible.  Garden peat or newspaper covered in hay are also good bedding materials to use.  Garden peat will neutralize ammonia; which will reduce irritation to eyes and the respiratory tract. Blankets are not a good idea because they might ingest them.  It is also important to avoid using wheat or cedar shavings.

3. Entertainment: Rabbits are subtle communicators and highly social. They do well in pairs/groups as long as you introduce them gradually to each other. Regular handling and interaction with your rabbits is beneficial, and social interaction is good for their mental health. Rabbits are very athletic and have long, powerful hind legs. They require regular exercise; at least 4 hours a day, and should never be completely confined to a cage. Supervised outside activity in an enclosed pen is also a good idea. Rabbit incisors grow at a rate of 3mm per week! Grass and hay are abrasive and help to wear the teeth down, thus a very important component of their diet. Your vet will examine the teeth at each checkup. They like to chew and love things that make noise. Make sure to provide many fun toys for them to interact with and chew on. Eg; chew toys designed for birds or hard plastic baby toys.

If you require further information or would like to book your rabbits health exam, please contact us at Callbeck Animal Hospital.

Pocket Pet Wellness


Rodents can make great companions, but just as dogs or cats, they need regular veterinary care.  Each species has specific requirements that make them unique and interesting to own.  Be sure to research and speak to your veterinary team before you adopt one of these pets so you are fully aware of the responsibilities that come with ownership.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs can live an average life span of 5 – 7 years.  Like rabbits, they have continuously growing teeth; 20 teeth in total!  They are very gentle/social pets, and should be handled frequently while young.  Guinea pigs are naturally curious and friendly, but they can be startled very easily.  They have two glands around their anus in which they use for marking.  Some owners often notice them rubbing their hind end against things to mark their scent.  Guinea pigs cannot jump or climb, but they are quick to bolt away from you.

1. Diet: Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means their diet should consist mainly of vegetables and hay. Grass-Hay should be available to them at all times; ex. Timothy hay.  You should avoid alfalfa hays because they can cause respiratory problems.   Parsley, kale, kiwi, and broccoli are some great options for fresh leafy green foods that guinea pigs often love. Keep in mind that fresh foods should be removed from cage after a few hours if not eaten.  Guinea pigs are unique when it comes to vitamin C.  They need to have Vitamin C rich foods because they lack the enzyme needed in the synthesis of Vitamin C.  Purchase food that is no more than 3 months past produce date; the vitamin c levels will have decreased dramatically if longer.  Do not add any vitamins or medications to the sipper bottle, it could change the taste and the guinea pig may not drink it.  Pellets can be given in limited quantities; but never give rabbit pellets.  Guinea pigs are nocturnal animals and like to eat a majority of their food at dusk and dawn.  They do not tolerate environmental or dietary changes; they often refuse to eat. It is a good idea to expose them to a variety of foods early in life so they become accustomed to variety; feed new diet every 3 – 4 days to allow intestinal tract to adjust.  Foods to avoid – high starch foods (Peas, beans, corn, cakes, cookies, cereal, grains, bread); they can cause bacterial imbalances in the intestinal tract.  Guinea pigs are similar to rabbits in that they also digest their food through caecotrohy.

2. Environment: Guinea pigs are extremely messy pets, they require regular bedding and cage clean up to minimize ammonia. They often turn their bowls upside down and urinate and defecate in food and water dishes.  Their bedding should be absorbent, non-toxic, have good ventilation and be dust free.  The easier it is to replace the better; ex. hard wood shavings, shredded paper, or commercial pellets.  Avoid cedar, saw dust, and soft wood.  The cage should be escape proof and kept away from direct sunlight; susceptible to hyperthermia. Wire cage bottoms can cause foot problems and should be avoided, a solid bottom is best.

3. Entertainment: Guinea pigs need routine grooming, especially if they are long-haired. They are curious creatures and are often interested in toys; cat toys or hammocks.  Guinea pigs should be provided with as much floor space as possible.  Keep in mind to close off any escape holes or harmful surfaces.  You can place cardboard boxes or piping in their cages for them to run through.  Be sure to provide lots of things for your guinea pig to chew on; it can help grind their continually growing teeth.  Guinea pigs are gentle companions and need lots of love and attention. 


Rats on average live 2-3 years but within their short life span they will leave large imprints on families hearts, they make great family pets. They are extremely intelligent and are easily trained to preform tricks and come when they are called. Rats are very social, and interactive, they require affection and companionship.

1. Diet: Rats are considered opportunistic eaters, meaning they will eat whenever the opportunity arises, causing them to be prone to obesity. Rats are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. There are fully balanced diets that are formulated specifically for rats. The best options are usually the ones that are in pellet or block form. The mixed seed diets are fully balanced as well but most rats will pick through and only eat the parts they like. These balanced diets should be available for consumption at all times. Small portions of fresh fruits and vegetables are great to offer to rats as treats. Some good examples include; apples, berries, bananas, plums, carrots, broccoli, kale, and peas. Other tasty treats would be; cooked lean meats, meal worms, yogurt, small dog biscuits, and whole wheat bread/pasta/rice. The incisor (front) teeth of a rat grow continuously throughout the pet’s life. It is important to provide rats with things to gnaw on, such as; wood, or other safe chewing toys. Over grown incisors is a common problem seen by veterinarians. It is treated by grinding or filing the teeth under general anesthetic.

2. Environment: Most pet rats spend the majority of their lives in a cage, therefore the larger the cage the better. A large cage encourages exercise, which increases lifespan and decreases the risk of obesity. Cage and bedding need to be cleaned and changed at least twice weekly, a small cage should be done more frequently. Good types of bedding include; paper pellets (example – Carefresh), straw pellets, and shredded cardboard or cloth. Beddings you should NEVER use with a pet rat include; cat litter, cedar or pine chips, and corn cob. It is important the housing is well ventilated to prevent respiratory issues that are commonly seen in pet rats. With that being said, be sure the wire bars are close enough together that rats cannot escape through them. Also, cages with solid bottoms are recommended, wire bottoms can be harmful and painful to a rodents feet.

3. Entertainment: Rats are very social and affectionate animals, they enjoy the company of humans, and other rats. If introducing rats to one another be sure to do it gradually, house separately and have supervised play time to start. Rats are curious by nature, and like to explore. They constantly look to be entertained. Providing toys is a great way to keep them busy, and active. Crinkle tunnels, hammocks, climbing ropes, and wooden toys are all great examples of toys for rats. Keep in mind, rats like to chew, so all toys should chew-friendly.


A hamster is one of the most commonly kept family pets, with a lifespan of approximately 2 years. They are hardy, clean animals and are generally easy to care for. With gentle care and good socialization from a young age, hamsters can make great pets.

1. Diet: Hamsters are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. There are fully balanced diets formulated specifically for hamsters, offered in pellets or mixed seeds and dried fruits and vegetables. This should be available to pet at all times. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be offered in small amounts, such as; apples, bananas, blue berries, bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. Protein sources should also be fed daily; dog biscuits, hard boiled eggs, and mealworms are a few good examples. The incisor (front) teeth of a hamster grow continuously throughout the pet’s life. It is important to provide hamsters with things to gnaw on, such as; wood, or other safe chewing toys. Over grown teeth are a common problem seen by veterinarians. It is treated by grinding or filing the teeth under general anesthetic.

2. Environment: Similar to other rodents, hamsters are excellent escape artists. They are able to squeeze through bars of cages that are too big, and will chew through some types of caging. Cage needs to provide good ventilation to prevent respiratory infections. Avoid wire bottom cages, these are harmful and painful on your pet’s feet. Cage and bedding should be cleaned and changed every couple of days. Safe and appropriate bedding options include; Carefresh, Kaytee Clean and Cozy, and Aspen shavings. NEVER use the following, anything scented or artificially coloured, cat litter, corn cob, and pine or cedar wood shavings.

3. Entertainment: Obesity is commonly seen in hamsters, therefor exercise is important. Hamsters enjoy exercise wheels, tunnels, mazes, and puzzle houses or toys. Be sure to provide only safe and appropriate forms of entertainment. Keeping in mind hamster may chew and ingest any and everything they are given. Hamster are the most aggressive of the pocket pet family, but with gentle care and lots of socialization they can be very affectionate and interactive. Hamster are easily frightened, move slowly and calmly to avoid startling them.