Your pet’s wellness exam is anything but routine—the seemingly humble physical examination is the most powerful, sensitive, and informed diagnostic tool available. Indeed, no technology can surpass the veterinarian’s hands-on assessment. The wellness exam is more than a precursor to annual vaccines—it’s the cornerstone of your pet’s lifelong health.

The wellness exam is a comprehensive nose-to-tail evaluation of your pet’s body systems, and the findings are used to inform and direct the veterinarian’s recommendations. Additional advantages include:
  • Early diagnosis — Pets naturally hide weakness and illness, making it hard to identify disease until the condition is severe. Routine wellness exams allow our veterinarian to identify subtle changes—such as tartar and gingivitis that suggest dental disease, or an increase in thirst and urination which may signal diabetes or kidney failure—and potentially halt or slow disease progression.
  • Diseases screening and surveillance — Our annual recommendations include disease screening tests for heartworm disease, tick borne illnesses, and intestinal parasites. Additionally we encourage yearly blood work to establish a baseline should your pet become ill. 
  • Hidden pain — Our pets can’t tell us where it hurts, but a wellness exam can reveal hidden pain, discomfort, or mobility issues and prevent unnecessary suffering. 
  • Effective treatment — Vaccinations and preventive medications may be ineffective—or dangerous—when administered to unhealthy pets. Confirming your pet’s health prior to any services ensures their safety and your peace of mind.
  • Customized care — No two pets are alike, and neither is their veterinary care. The wellness exam lets us get to know your pet and their specific needs so we can make precise recommendations for diet, exercise, at-home care, and vaccination protocols. 

At every visit, our detailed physical exam includes an assessment of your pet’s:
  • Vital signs
  • Overall appearance
  • Eyes and ears
  • Dental health
  • Upper respiratory tract
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Abdomen
  • Immune health
  • Urogenital area
  • Nervous system
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Behavior and mentation

No one understands your pet like you, and that’s why you serve a pivotal role in their preventive care. We take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide tailored recommendations. As your pet’s primary caregiver, your unique insight, input, and involvement are not only welcome, but necessary in the development of your pet’s treatment plan.


Vaccinations are the best way to protect your pet against serious diseases and harmful pathogens. However, not every pet requires the same vaccines. Our veterinarians are happy to work with you to develop a customized vaccination protocol based on your pet's age, lifestyle, and travel history, considering the diseases that are most prevalent in our area, and the most current recommendations from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Our goal is to maintain your pet’s optimal health and protection without over-vaccination.

Your new puppy or kitten’s first year of care is the most vital for their lifelong health. Like babies, puppies and kittens require special attention to grow and develop well. We partner with you to create a custom puppy or kitten health plan—ensuring your new companion receives the appropriate vaccinations and veterinary care for the best start in life.

Why are vaccines important?
Vaccines provide protective immunity against several life-threatening diseases.

Which vaccines do we consider core and non-core?
Core vaccines are vaccines that are strongly encouraged by our veterinarians and deemed necessary for pet and public health. Core vaccinations should be up-to-date no matter where your pet lives, and regardless of their housing status (e.g., indoor-only).

Core vaccines for dogs include:
  • Rabies (required by law)
  • Distemper
  • Bordetella (i.e., kennel cough) 
Core vaccines for cats include:
  •  Rabies (required by law)
  • Feline distemper (FVRCP)
Non-core vaccines are highly encouraged by our veterinarians, but are administered on a case-by-case basis.

Non-core vaccines for dogs include:
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine Influenza 

Non-core vaccination for cats includes:
  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV) — Depending on your cat’s lifestyle this may be considered a core vaccine

Parasite Prevention

In addition to causing intense discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases that are dangerous to pets and people—and it only takes one tiny parasite to cause big trouble. If your pet is allergic to fleas, as little as one bite can result in an extreme reaction including itching, hair loss, and skin infection.  In our area, ticks can transmit several debilitating illnesses, including Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis.

The best way to protect everyone from fleas, ticks, and disease is to give your pet year-round parasite prevention. Staples Mill Animal Hospital offers many tested and proven flea and tick control products—including 3-month Bravecto—that provide safe and effective coverage. Our veterinary team will help you select the correct preventive regimen based on your pet's risk factors and health status.

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening condition in dogs—and less commonly, cats—that could impact any pet in our area. Heartworm disease is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and is most common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries—however it has been diagnosed in all 50 states. 

Fortunately, heartworm disease prevention is simple, safe, and effective. We recommend and stock heartworm preventives for dogs—including ProHeart 12, a once-yearly injectable medication that prevents heartworms for 12 months—and cats, and can recommend the product that best suits your pet. In addition, we recommend annual heartworm testing to ensure your pet’s health, and that their prevention plan is effective.

When is a heartworm test required?
Annual heartworm testing is required to fill your pet’s prescription for heartworm prevention. Tests are performed in-house with results available in less than 10 minutes. In addition to heartworm disease, the test also screens your pet for Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis, which are diseases commonly spread by ticks. 


Microchipping is a safe, convenient way to identify your pet. Tags and collars can fall off, but your pet’s microchip is permanently implanted below their skin. The microchip is approximately the size of a rice grain and implanted between the shoulder blades through a hypodermic needle. Because this area is less sensitive, most pets barely react. Microchipping does not require anesthesia and can be performed at any appointment. After your pet is microchipped, we will immediately register the chip with the manufacturer’s database—this ensures you can be contacted right away if your missing pet is located and their chip is scanned. +

Puppy and Kitten Care

Puppies and kittens are pure joy—but despite their bold curiosity, their health and safety require conscientious attention and care. Our puppy and kitten series—a set of three to four early-life visits—are designed to provide you with everything you need to start them off right, including:
  • Growth and development monitoring
  • Screening for congenital conditions
  • Vaccinations
  • Intestinal parasite screening (i.e., fecal testing)
  • Deworming
  • Nutrition recommendations
  • Guidance on behavior, socialization, and training

Senior Care

As pets age, their care needs change—but our dedication and love for them only grows stronger. Through the years, our approach to your pet’s care will shift from preventing disease to early detection—ensuring that we can address their needs as they arise. In addition to our standard comprehensive wellness exam, we’ll pay special attention to your senior pet’s body condition, mobility, and appetite and ask you key questions about their habits and behavior. These areas help us identify common senior pet conditions including chronic pain, sensory loss (e.g., vision, hearing, and balance loss) and illness. 

Because pets age more rapidly than humans, we may recommend more frequent exams and lab work (e.g., blood work, urinalysis) for closer monitoring. 

Behavior Counseling

Life with pets isn’t always idyllic—coexisting with another species, or multiple species , can result in unique, frustrating, or dangerous situations. Because many behavior issues can have medical causes, we always recommend starting with a physical exam. Our veterinarians offer behavior counseling for common canine and feline issues including:
  • Separation anxiety
  • Destructive behavior
  • House soiling
  • Inter-pet aggression
  • Excessive fear or generalized anxiety


Our in-house pharmacy provides convenient access to the most common veterinary prescriptions, including:
  • Pain Medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Anti- anxiety medications
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Prescription diets
  • Medicated shampoos and conditioners
  • Prescription-related accessories such as pill-guns, medication-hiding treats, dental home care kits, and more
If we don’t stock your pet’s prescription we can direct you to our online pharmacy, or have it custom-made at a compounding pharmacy.