Wellness and Vaccination

We like to keep pets healthy and the best way to do that is for them to have a yearly examination by a veterinarian. Pets age much faster than humans and a lot can change in a short amount of time. Puppies, kittens, seniors, and pets with health conditions need more frequent examinations to better assess their progress. Even if your pet seems healthy there could still be underlying problems starting that only your veterinarian can pick up on through physicals and blood work. If we are able to diagnose an illness or disease early we may be able to treat the condition and prolong the life of your pet.

 

Vaccinations are recommended for all pets starting at 8 weeks of age and continue at 12 weeks and 16 weeks. From there we recommend annual physical examinations and vaccinations based on your pets lifestyle. We can work with you and your pet to help you establish a health protocol to best suit your pets needs.

Congratulations on your new puppy! By the time your puppy is 8 weeks of age most breeders and rescues will have already given them their first set of vaccines and deworming. Although not all breeders require an examination by a veterinarian within 72 hours, we still highly recommend bringing them in to be sure there are no health concerns that can be found. Typically the first vaccine given is DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza) between 6-8 weeks of age. For the first appointment we recommend bringing a fecal sample with you to make sure your new puppy does not have any internal parasites, like worms or protozoa, that are invisible to the naked eye. Unfortunately not all dewormers kill all types of parasites that puppies can acquire from their parents or living conditions and some of them have a zoonotic potential. Depending on the time of year (summer) we may also send home a dose of revolution to aid in parasite prevention against fleas, ticks, heartworm etc. At the age of 12 weeks we booster the DHPP vaccine and add in Leptospirosis and Bordetella (kennel cough vaccine) if needed for boarding, puppy classes, or doggy daycare. We would also continue with either deworming or revolution depending on time of year and what was given previously. At the age of 16 weeks we again booster the DHLPP and give the puppy their first Rabies vaccination. 10-14 days after their last set of vaccines your puppy will be fully protected against the most common diseases.  

Congratulations on your new kitten! By the time your kitten is 8 weeks of age most rescues will have already given them their first set of vaccines and deworming. (Most free kittens will unfortunately not come with vaccines or deworming). Typically the first vaccine given is FVRCP (Feline rhinotracheitis virus, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) between 6-8 weeks of age. For the first appointment we recommend bringing a fecal sample with you to make sure your new kitten does not have any internal parasites, like worms or protozoa, that are invisible to the naked eye. Unfortunately not all dewormers kill all types of parasites that kittens can acquire from their parents or living conditions and some of them have a zoonotic potential. At the age of 12 weeks we booster the FVRCP vaccine and add in FeLV (feline leukemia) if the kitten will be going outside and coming into contact with other cats. We would also continue with deworming depending on what was given previously. At the age of 16 weeks we again booster the FVRCP and FeLV (if needed) and give the kitten their first Rabies vaccination. 10-14 days after their last set of vaccines your kitten will be fully protected against the most common diseases.  

Dog- One year after the last puppy visit is when your dog will be due for their next set of vaccinations. Typically we vaccinate yearly for DHLPP, Rabies and Bordetella (only if needed) until the dog is 3 years old. After that time we switch to 3 year vaccines for DHPP and Rabies which we alternate between the 2 vaccines with their annual exams until the dog is 10 years old. Both Leptospirosis and Bordetella have to be given annually to be effective. *NOTE* not all pets follow this vaccine protocol, some factors may differ due to health status or based on lifestyle, we can accommodate to meet your pets best interest and health. Heartworm testing and flea/tick/parasite/heartworm prevention are also highly recommended. We test for heartworm every other year and prevent every summer from June-November. If there is more than one dog in the household we will alternate and test 1 dog every year until everyone has been tested. Fecal tests are also recommended, especially if your dog frequently habits dog parks or walking trails where he/she may come into contact with another dogs droppings. Some of the parasites dogs pick up from one another can also be zoonotic (humans can contract them) and children are typically more susceptible to them.

 

Cat- Cats follow the same vaccine protocols as the dog. We vaccinate yearly for FVRCP, Rabies and FeLV (only if needed) until the cat is 3 years old. After that time we switch to 3 year vaccines for FVRCP, FeLV and Rabies which we alternate between the vaccines with their annual exams until the cat is 10 years old. *NOTE* not all pets follow this vaccine protocol, some factors may differ due to health status or based on lifestyle, we can accommodate to meet your pets best interest and health. Fecal tests are also recommended, especially if your cat goes outside and hunts small animals. Some of the parasites cats pick up from one another can also be zoonotic (humans can contract them) and children are typically more susceptible to them.

Seniors can be any pet between the ages of 7-12 years depending on the size. At these ages we may start to see changes in behavior and activity. There are many things we can do to help ease these changes on not only your pet but you as an owner. It is recommended that your pet have early senior blood work to allow for a baseline of major organ function to compare to in the future if needed if your pet ever becomes sick. Other diagnostics may also be recommended like urinalysis (for kidney function) or xrays (look at heart/lungs/liver etc.). Other factors that may help your senior pet is a proper diet that is lower in calories, mild activity daily to help with arthritis, and mental stimulation to help with cognitive function.

Most illnesses are easier to treat if caught early enough. You should monitor your pet for any changes in their drinking/urinating habits, appetite, activity level, weight loss or gain, hearing/sight, or overall attitude. For some pets these changes may be gradual but could be signs of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, hormone imbalance, or major organ problems etc. It is best to speak to a veterinarian if you have any of the above changes or concerns in your pet. There are many different types of medications and all natural products that can help with senior changes in any pet.

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