Prévention can avoid a lot of problems.
While nursing, pets receive antibodies and nutrients from their mother's milk. When nursing stops, pets become more susceptible to illnesses because their immune systems do not have the same support they once did. As part of a preventative care routine, pet vaccinations can help protect your pet from life-threatening diseases.
For most pets, routine vaccinations start around the age of 6 to 8 weeks old and continue regularly throughout adulthood. Some vaccinations are even combined into a single syringe so a pet experiences fewer injections. After being vaccinated, most young pets take about 5 days to build protective antibodies with complete protection taking place after 14 days. Some vaccines require multiple dosages given over a short period of time, and most require booster shots every 6 months to 3 years. Pets who have been vaccinated have an advantage over those who have not. When a disease is detected, your vaccinated pet's immune system quickly responds, decreasing severity of the illness or preventing it altogether. While it is rare, some pets do not develop immunity from their vaccinations and still become ill. If your pet has been vaccinated, is current on all of their booster shots, and has never shown signs of illness or disease, it has likely been successfully vaccinated.
Pet owners should note that vaccinations are preventative, not curative. A vaccination will prevent an illness, but if your pet is already suffering from a disease, a vaccine will not cure them.
There are several pet vaccinations that are necessary for all pets and others that are recommended only under special circumstances. Core vaccinations are those that are commonly recommended for all pets, and non-core vaccinations include those that are only administered to pets considered to be « at-risk. » Necessary vaccines depend on local regulations, geographic location, and your pet's lifestyle. Your pet will be vaccinated according to their risk of exposure and your veterinarian will discuss the best options for your pet.
Similar to human vaccinations, pet vaccinations do carry a risk of side-effects. While negative side-effects do exist, it is important to note that your pet is statistically more likely to develop a life-threatening illness when not vaccinated, than to suffer adverse results from a vaccination. None-the-less, it is important to remain informed so you can ask your veterinarian the appropriate questions at your pet's appointment.
After being vaccinated, the injection site can be swollen or sore. Some pets also have a reduced appetite, fever, and experience lethargy. These side-effects should diminish over the next 24 to 48 hours. If you notice your pet's side-effects are not subsiding, please contact our office. Very rarely, pets develop an allergy to a vaccine. Allergies can be detected within minutes of receiving a vaccination and if left untreated, can result in death. If you witness any of the following, contact our office immediately: collapse, non-stop diarrhea, continual vomiting, difficulty breathing, itching, or swelling of the legs or face.
While the federal government does not mandate pet vaccinations for rabies, most states implement their own laws regarding pet vaccination. Vaccination laws also vary from country to country, so if you plan on moving, be sure to check necessary requirements to ensure a smooth transition for your family.
If you have any questions about vaccinations or scheduling new pet vaccinations, you may contact our office at your convenience.
Rhinotrachéitis (Feline Herpesvirus), Calici Virus, Feline Distemper - These vaccines are considered core vaccines. Your kitten will receive their first vaccinations between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks, and they will need a booster 3 to 6 weeks later. After an annual booster is done.
Deworming your pet is an integral aspect of pet care. While nearly 85% of kittens and puppies are born with parasitic infections, most animals develop immunity over time. However, illness and stress can weaken the body's response to fight off these parasites and can awaken any dormant larvae living in your pet.
Intestinal parasites affect growth and development and can be transferred between pets and pet owners. If you think your pet might be suffering from a parasitic infection, Please call us, we'll find the best dewormer for your animal.
Common internal parasites:
- Administering dewormers
Whether purchasing your deworming medication from your vet, online, or from a local store, be sure to consult with your veterinarian about which dewormer is best for your pet's age, infection type, and current medical status. Different dewormers target different parasites - you cannot buy any medication and assume it will work. It is also important to administer the medication as prescribed. While the anthelmintic (active ingredient in the medication) is a poison meant to directly target the parasites, pets weakened by parasitic infection might be too fragile for the toxicity of the medication and an overdose is possible if directions are not followed.
Typically, newborn puppies and kittens are dewormed every two weeks starting at the age of 2 weeks old. They should be continually dewormed every two weeks until they reach 6 months of age. The mother should also be dewormed along the same schedule as her offspring to prevent infection when drinking her milk.
How to control parasites
Parasites are known for their ability to continually re-contaminate their host. In order to control parasites, destroying the eggs and larvae before re-infestation is critical. To achieve this, pet owners must maintain clean and dry living areas for their pets.
Pets should be kept in areas that are easy to remove waste from, wash out, and keep clean such as cement or gravel. Dirt and grass should be avoided when possible. Pet waste needs to be removed daily, and fleas need to be exterminated.
Thé heartworm is a life-threatening parasite contracted through mosquito bites. These parasitic roundworms reside in the lungs and if left untreated, spread to the heart. Early symptoms include coughing and exhaustion, especially when exercising. Rarely, the roundworms get lost within the host and spread to other parts of the body, causing blindness, immobility, or seizures. Without treatment, roundworms build up in the lungs and heart, causing a pet to cough up blood, faint, and lose significant weight. It eventually results in congestive heart failure.
Pets age faster than humans. While their lives progress more quickly, serious medical conditions do too. Annual pet wellness exams can help detect serious medical conditions and allowing our facility to treat them before their status becomes unmanageable. In seeing your veterinarian annually, you have the opportunity to discuss your pet’s future health outlook, and ask questions about any existing conditions. Prior to your pet’s wellness exam, note any severe changes that have occurred with your pet including: vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, weight gain/loss, excessive thirst, or increased aggression. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms or has developed any abnormal behavior since their last wellness exam, please inform the veterinarian.
During your pet wellness exam we can perform:
- Complete dental exam
- Full body physical exam
- Heartworm check
- Lab tests (blood work, urine/stool testing, and parasite evaluation)
Puppy and kitten exams
Because puppies and kittens have less developed immune systems, they are far more susceptible to disease and parasitic infection. During puppy and kitten wellness exams, vital statistics are taken and recorded. Depending on the age of your pet, we might also perform lab work to provide a comparative chart for future visits. We also examine your pet from head-to-tail, checking the vital organs for bloating or pain, and joints for any limited range of motion or discomfort. If you get a new pet, a wellness exam is recommended to detect any existing illness so we could promptly begin treatment.
Adult pet exams
Similar to a younger pet exam, our physicians will examine your adult pet from head-to-tail, inspecting all of the central organs, checking joint functioning, and recording vital statistics to ensure normality. If there are any pressing irregularities, lab tests or X-rays might be necessary. During adult exams, it is also a good idea to discuss diet and nutrition, as diet plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Pet owners are encouraged to consult with the veterinarian about their pet’s current diet and eating habits, and discuss healthier options (if any).
Senior pet exams
Senior pets require more care than their youthful counterparts. Because older pets are more susceptible to age-related illnesses, it is recommended that elderly pets receive a wellness exam twice each year, with complete lab work performed once per year. During senior pet exams, our physicians take your pet’s vital statistics and perform a complete head-to-tail exam of internal organs and joints, accessing any abnormalities or pain your pet might be exhibiting.
To schedule your pet’s wellness exam, contact our office today!
As your pet’s veterinarian, we have a thorough understanding of their medical history, current needs, and temperament. To further serve our patients, we provide an in-house pet pharmacy which allows us to better monitor your pet’s health when taking prescribed medications. Offering you and your pet the convenience of having an in-house pharmacy allows you to easily obtain your pet’s prescription while you wait, after your office visit, or have it prepared for pick-up.
Some of the items available include:
- Dental care products
- Dietary supplements
- Flea and tick medication
- Heartworm preventatives
- Medicated shampoos and conditioners
- Most over-the-counter medications
- Odor control and pet stain removal products
- Prescription food and treats
- Return policy for prescriptions
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and FDA Compliance Policy Guideline 7132.09 state that our facility is not to allow patients to return unused prescriptions or over-the-counter products. Our office is held solely responsible in any instance of altered or contaminated prescription drugs harming any pet or pet owner. For this reason, we cannot accept any returns of opened items or any returned prescriptions. Also, any items that are beyond their expiration date are not acceptable for return. Please keep in mind that these policies are set in place to protect you and your pet from receiving potentially harmful substances.
If you have any questions about this policy or our pet pharmacy, please contact us at your convenience.