Full Wellness Care

Wellness CareDr. Vigee and our team of veterinarians at Asheville Veterinary Associates believe that prevention is the key to your pet's long term health. This approach helps to identify health issues before they become serious and minimizes the lifetime cost of care. We recommend thorough, routine wellness exams, vaccinations, regular lab work, deworming and fecal checks, as well as medications to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks. We stay current with all the latest veterinary innovations to ensure your pet receives the best care.

Most of the tests we offer can be done during your dog or cat's regular exam at one of our Asheville locations. This is our chance to get to know your pet, to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, update you on advancements in veterinary care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions that you may have.

During your pet's yearly wellness exam at Asheville Veterinary Associates, we:

  • Examine your pet's teeth, throat, and oral cavity
  • Check your pet's vision and examine the eyes
  • Examine the ears for infection, ear mites, allergic reaction and other related health issues
  • Examine the respiratory system
  • Assess your pet's heart
  • Test your pet's reflexes
  • Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
  • Inspect the skin
  • Palpate joints and muscles for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Test to evaluate the function of internal organs, blood, and other systems

Deworming and Fecal Check: Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. If brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. We normally associate parasites, such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms, with cats and dogs. But people can be infected with the same parasites. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites from pets to people. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which can contaminate lawns or any place a pet defecates.

Regular Blood Testing: A complete physical includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and includes a full blood workup. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Additionally, blood work is necessary if your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning, removal of a skin mass, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia.

We also recommend complete blood testing annually for all pets over the age of seven.

Flea and Tick Borne Diseases

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. Although they're a bigger problem in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Today, there's no reason for any pet or owner to be bothered by these pests.

Fleas are so common because they are reproductive marvels. A single female flea can lay as many as 30 eggs a day and can live and breed on your pet for up to 100 days. The eggs then fall and land in carpets and upholstery where they can lie dormant for up to 8 months. The best management techniques of flea-proofing your home includes regularly vacuuming of carpets, furniture, floors and areas where your pet sits or sleeps. You should also wash your pet's bedding, toys, and towels weekly.

Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause an intense allergic reaction, resulting in a severely painful skin infection. In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These same ticks can bite people and transmit disease as well.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided by using parasite prevention products that are available at Asheville Veterinary Associates. When used properly and according to our directions, these products are very safe and effective. They are what we use on our own pets.

Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there are no holistic or natural products available which have been shown to be effective in preventing or killing fleas and ticks. Ask one of our veterinarians or staff members to recommend the flea and tick prevention product which is best suited for your pet.


Dr. Vigee and our team of veterinarians recommend that your pet stays up to date on his or her vaccines.

Vaccinations are not only safe and effective, they are an important and fundamental aspect of your pet's preventive healthcare plan. Diseases that once were relatively common and fatal to pets are now easily preventable. There are also vaccines – such as for rabies and other zoonotic diseases – that help protect your family from very dangerous and difficult to treat illnesses. Additionally, with each passing year, veterinary science is improving on existent vaccines as well as increasing our ability to prevent an even wider array of contagious diseases.

At Asheville Veterinary Associates, we tailor our vaccination protocol to your pet's lifestyle and to the diseases which your pet is most likely exposed. During your kitten or puppy's first year of life, we also spread out the series of vaccines in order to put as little strain as possible on his or her developing immune system. This provides the best protection from disease as well as to reduce the possibility of your pet having an adverse reaction to a vaccine.

Core vaccines we provide are: Canine distemper, which includes distemper (affects respiratory & nervous system), hepatitis (leading to severe kidney damage or kennel cough), leptospirosis (a disease passed through contaminated water such as puddles & streams), parainfluenza (partly responsible for kennel cough/bronchitis), parvovirus (causing severe diarrhea & vomiting), and rabies for dogs.

Non-core vaccines include Bordetella (kennel cough) and Lyme vaccine for dogs.

For cats, our core vaccines are: FVRCP (for diseases of the bronchial tubes, mouth and nasal passages), FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) and rabies.