Animal Kare Center of Paducah Vet Services

2625 Olivet Church Rd, Paducah, KY 42001

Veterinary Services

Preventative Health Care

Preventing disease is the best way to keep your pet(s) healthy. At the Animal Kare Center, we provide information, products, and services for you to optimize the health of your pet. This will increase the chances for your pet to enjoy a long healthy and happy life.


When problems do arise we have the tools to help us diagnosis and/ or monitor the condition. The Animal Kare Center provides both in-house testing as well as outside laboratory consultations.

  • Bloodwork (Serum chemistries, hematology, serology) why run bloodwork
  • Parasite testing- both internal and external parasites
  • Urinalysis
  • Cytology, Histology and Bacterial/fungal cultures
  • Radiology (x-rays)

Other Conveniences

Dr. Niki Henderson prides herself on the fact that we are a full service facility. The Animal Kare Center can treat your pet, watch your pet while you are away and even make sure your pet looks itís best when you return to pick up your pet.

  • Boarding
  • Bathing & Grooming
  • Prescription pet foods- We carry Royal Canine and Purina Prescription Products.


Your pet is at risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Vaccinating your pet is the best and most inexpensive way to prevent infectious disease. Dr. Niki Henderson can help you determine which vaccines your pet requires depending on your pets history and environment.

How does vaccination work?

When your pet is vaccinated, its immune system produces called antibodies that work against viruses or bacteria that cause the disease. Later, if your pet is exposed to that disease, the antibodies will help destroy those viruses or bacteria. In many cases, vaccines against several diseases are combined, reducing the number of shots your pet receives at one time.

How often should my pet be vaccinated?

We recommend that each puppy or kittenís vaccinations start at 6 weeks of age. Then additional shots are then given every 3 weeks. Each puppy will require a set of four DHLP vaccinations. The rabies vaccination is given at 12 weeks of age. Adult pets are then re-vaccinated annually. Special shots may also be recommended if the pet is groomed or boarded.

How do I know which vaccinations my pet needs?

The immunizations your pet needs are dependent upon its lifestyle, life stage, and risk of exposure to certain diseases. Dr. Niki Henderson will recommend which vaccines your dog needs and inform you when they should be administered. Variable vaccinations that your pet may require in addition to the DHLP can include Leptospirosis, Corona Virus, Lyme Disease and Bordetella.

Why do puppies and kittens require more shots than older pets?

Puppies and kittens are the most vulnerable because their immune systems are immature. The protection received naturally through their motherís milk can interfere with early vaccinations, making it difficult to pinpoint when vaccines stimulate immunity. This is why they need the vaccinations repeated multiple times during their first year of life.

What possible risks are associated with vaccination?

Severe reactions to vaccination are very uncommon. Your pet is at a higher risk of contracting an infectious disease than of experiencing side effects from a vaccination. Talk to us if you have concerns about vaccinating your dog and to find out more about the risks associated with vaccination.

Animal Kare Center Recommendations

Puppy and Kitten

6 - 16 weeks of age

  • Initial vaccination series (set of 3-4 Vaccinations)
  • Check for intestinal parasites and multiple dewormings
  • Heartworm prevention for puppies and possibly kittens
  • High-quality growth diet for proper development
  • Positive contact with other people and pets (critical for proper socialization)
  • Introduce home dental care
  • Beginning grooming so your pet to reduce anxiety later

Young Adult

6 - 12 months for cats and small-breed dogs 12 - 18 months for large-breed dogs

  • Regular exercise to promote good body conditioning
  • Heartworm & flea/ tick-disease monthly prevention
  • Obedience training classes to help reinforce desirable behavior habits
  • Elective reproductive surgeries (spay or neuter) See Article (link)
  • Begin regular home dental care (i.e. Brushing pets teeth)
  • Regular grooming to maintain your petís coat

Mature Adult

2 - 8 years for cats and small-breed dogs 2 - 7 years for large-breed dogs

  • Routine yearly physical with vaccinations
  • Regular grooming to maintain a healthy coat (usually every 4-6 weeks)
  • Regular exercise to promote good body conditioning
  • Heartworm and Flea and Tick monthly prevention and yearly testing
  • Blood chemistry screening at 6- 7 years of age to detect early problems common conditions in aging pets
  • Good quality maintenance diet to help avoid health risks
  • Regular home dental care
  • Professional dental care as needed

Senior Adult

Over 6 -8 years for dogs, depending on the breed Over 8 - 9 years for cats

  • Routine yearly physical with vaccinations
  • Heartworm & flea/tick-disease monthly prevention and routine testing
  • Blood Chemistry screening to establish a baseline for future problems.
  • Gradual adjustment to diet appropriate for senior animals
  • Professional dental care as needed
  • Regular grooming is essential in older pets as they loose the ability and desire to groom themselves.
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Dental Care

Most pet owners don't realize that dental disease in dogs and cats is one of the most common problems veterinarians have to treat.

Why do dental problems occur?

Like humans, plaque and tartar build up on the teeth. This is formed by food particles and bacteria which combine with salivary secretions where the teeth rise above the gum line. If this plaque is allowed to accumulate unchecked, it eventually causes a variety of dental conditions that range from mild discomfort and bad breath, to tooth root abscesses and difficulty eating. Naturally, when it gets to the latter stages, immediate attention by a veterinarian is required. We hope the suggestions made below will help you keep your petís teeth in good health.

How can you help prevent problems?

Many dogs and cats are susceptible to dental problems if not checked periodically. As part of your petís regular care, you can quickly and easily inspect the teeth for signs of tartar accumulation and also help keep them clean with regular brushing. Puppies and kittens can often be easily trained to accept regular tooth-brushing and dental care. With a little more patience, most adult pets can also be trained. When you make your next appointment, ask us how to do this at home. There are toothbrushes designed specifically for animals as well as safe toothpastes and dental rinses. An approved chew toy may also help your petís dental health. Small-breed dogs can greatly benefit from home dental care since dental problems occur more commonly in these animals as compared to larger breeds.

Does the type of food you use matter?

Certain pets seem prone to tartar buildup and tooth decay no matter what type of diet they eat. Common logic has it, however that dry foods would be better for preventing plaque buildup in dogs and cats, and there are diets especially formulated to reduce the accumulation of dental plaque.

Regular check-ups and cleaning can prevent health problems. Once plaque and gingivitis have formed dental scaling and polishing by a veterinarian or veterinary technician are needed. Without intervention, bacteria associated with tooth and gum disease can spread to internal body organs and cause infections of the kidneys, heart or lungs. Regular home care, combined with routine dental check-ups and teeth cleaning, is the best method of preventing dental disease.

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Heartworm Prevention for Dogs and Cats

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Due to the multiple surrounding lakes, rivers and bottomlands in Western Kentucky, we see a large amount of heartworm positive pets. The mosquito bites your pet and ingests a blood meal. The microscopic larval stages are passed from one dog/cat to another when the mosquito bites your pet. As the larval stage grows it becomes a parasite (spaghetti-like worm) that literally lives in your dog or catís heart. The presence of the worms interferes with the heartís ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. Consequently, the heart and lungs fail to function properly, and the dog or cat becomes very sick. It can even be fatal.

The Animal Kare Center recommends that you protect your pet against heartworms year around. Screening and prevention is the best. Treatment of the disease can be difficult, costly, and potentially deadly. Since it only takes one mosquito to cause heartworm disease, even indoor pets should be on prevention.

Dr. Niki Henderson recommends a quick and simple blood test before preventative medication is started to make sure your pet is not affected with heartworm disease already . This bloodtest will also check for other ectoparasitic disease. Cost is $29.50

The Animal Kare Center carries a variety of Heartworm Prevention Medications, like Advantage Multi and Heartgard.

Flea and Tick Prevention and Control

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The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

Not everyone realizes the benefits of having their pet spayed or neutered. There are social, economical, and medical reasons people should consider when deciding if they should breed their animal. I would encourage you to visit your local humane society and see why it makes sense to spay or neuter your dog or cat. Each year approximately 20-25 million animals enter the shelters and only about 15 million are adopted. This means there are about 10 million unwanted pets put to sleep each year because a suitable home could not be found for them.

Besides preventing unwanted litters, there are several medical benefits to spaying and neutering. Decreasing the chances of urogenital diseases should be the main reason to have your pet spayed or neutered. In females, the incidence of mammary gland cancer is significantly reduced. Also, there is a drastic decrease in the number of uterine infections. Most female dogs will come into heat every six months. The heat cycle consists of an approximate 21 day bleeding period in which they are only fertile during the middle week of the cycle. During most of the cycle unwanted male animals will begin to congregate where your animal resides. Spaying is an excellent way to prevent such unwanted nuisances. Neutering male pets reduces the incidence of prostatic and testicular tumors. Any crypt orchid (retained testicle) male should be neutered. This is a hereditary trait that often leads to the retained testicle becoming cancerous. Neutering in male animals may decrease the desire to roam, as well as decrease aggression and/or fighting, and possibly prevent urine spraying. Castration to decrease aggression is recommended in any household where small children are present. Also, male intact cats are the greatest risk group for contracting such fatal diseases as Feline Leukemia Virus and/or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Neutering male cats also decreases the incidence of urinary tract stones and infections.

The risks associated with either of these operations are minimal, especially with improvements in anesthesia and other areas of surgery. However, there are increased risks associated with the age and presence of other underlying disease processes. Pre-anesthetic blood work can be performed before the surgery to reveal any underlying problems that may not be apparent to the owner or the veterinarian. I recommend having your pet spayed or neutered early, before such problems develop. The optimal age for surgery, for both canines and felines, is six to nine months.

Of course, some animals should be bred, but this should be done by professional breeders raising quality purebred animals. Even with purebreds, only the top of the line from each breed should be mated so that good quality animals are reproduced. Breeding less valuable animals perpetuates congenital defects and abnormalities. This simply adds to the problem of increasing the numbers of unwanted animals.

For more information about spaying or neutering your pet, please consult us at Animal Kare Center of Paducah.

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Dr. Henderson
Your full service animal Kare center.

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