We recommend that each pet receives two wellness exams a year. Wellness exams are essential for monitoring your pets overall health, diagnosing problems in the early stages of disease progression, preventing disease progression, and for improving their overall quality of life. Wellness exams evolve and are tailored to your pet’s specific needs as they age. It is important to remember that these guidelines may vary depending on your pet’s size, breed, and medical history.
Young Adult Canine (6mo-5yrs)
Recommendations for young adults include a dental exam, running a 4DX-LYME C6 panel to test for heartworm, Lyme, Ehrlichia, and anaplasma infections, and testing a fecal sample for gastrointestinal parasites biannually. Young adults should also be kept up to date on rabies and dhp/parvo vaccinations or titers. Additional vaccines may be warranted depending on lifestyle.
Adult Canine (6yr-8yr)
Recommendations for adult pets include those for young adults with the addition of baseline blood work to begin monitoring liver, kidney, and thyroid values for early detection of disease.
Senior/Geriatric Canine (9yr+)
Recommendations for senior/geriatric pets include those for young adults and adults with the addition of blood pressure readings biannually.
Young Adult/Adult Feline (6mo-8yrs)
Recommendations for young adult and adult indoor only felines include an annual dental exam, fecal testing, and wellness exam. Young adult and adult felines should also be kept up to date on distemper and rabies vaccines. Additional vaccines may be warranted depending on lifestyle.
Senior/Geriatric Feline (9+ yrs)
Recommendations for senior and geriatric indoor only felines include those for young adults and adults along with annual baseline blood work to monitor liver, kidney, and thyroid values as well as blood pressure readings.
Core Vaccinations for Canines
These vaccines are considered mandatory for all healthy dogs and puppies.
DHP vaccines: This is a vaccine that gives protection against four canine diseases: canine distemper virus, hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, and parvovirus. It is often simply referred to as a “distemper vaccine”. This vaccine is good for one year after the initial puppy series, then is typically given once every three years.
Rabies: This vaccine mounts a strong immune response that does not require boostering as a puppy. This initial vaccine provides protection for 1 year and is typically boostered every three years after the initial vaccine.
Non-core Vaccinations for Canines
These vaccinations are considered for those dogs and puppies at increased risk of exposure based on lifestyle.
Bordetella: This vaccine is usually given orally and is a preventative against the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica, one of the causes of the canine upper respiratory complex “kennel cough.” While this vaccine does not provide immunity, it may reduce the severity of the disease. It is recommended for dogs that will be around many other dogs (those that frequently attend puppy training, grooming, dog parks, or boarding).
Influenza: This vaccine is against a contagious form of canine influenza virus. It is recommended for dogs that will be traveling to shows or competitions with dogs from different parts of the country or in certain boarding situations.
Leptospirosis: This vaccine helps protect against the four most common strains of leptospirosis, a disease caused by a bacteria that is often spread by the urine of wildlife. Any dog can be exposed, but dogs at highest risk are those that spend time in the woods or swim in slow flowing rivers or ponds. The vaccine is not 100% effective as there are many strains (“serovars”) of the bacteria that are not covered by the vaccine, but it does cover against the most common strains.
Lyme: This is a vaccine against Lyme disease. It is not 100% effective. The veterinary internists were split 50/50 in their recommendations to give or not give the Lyme vaccine in the most recent consensus statement released regarding Lyme disease. Whether or not to vaccinate is a personal decision. Good tick preventatives remain the most important key in preventing Lyme disease.
Core Vaccinations for Felines
These vaccines are considered mandatory for all healthy cats and kittens regardless of lifestyle.
FVRCP: This is a vaccine that gives protection against three feline diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis (feline herpes), calicivirus, and panleukemia virus. It is often simply referred to as a “distemper vaccine”. After the initial kitten boostering, this vaccine is given every three years.
Rabies: This vaccine mounts a strong immune response that does not need to be boostered as a kitten. This initial vaccine provides protection for 1 year and is typically boostered every 3 years after the initial vaccine.
Please keep all unvaccinated kittens inside or on closely monitored outdoor time.
Non-core Vaccinations for Felines
These vaccinations are considered for those cats and kittens at increased risk of exposure (going outside).
Feline leukemia: This vaccine is recommended only for all kittens and for cats that plan to go outside. This is a vaccine that prevents against feline leukemia, a retroviral disease spread by the saliva of affected cats. Feline Leukemia virus is a common cause of cancer and impaired immune function in cats. There is no cure of feline leukemia, so prevention of infection is key.
We recommend that all dogs and outdoor cats receive flea and tick prevention. Since we are a high-tick area, preventatives should be given at least from the early spring until winter when the ground remains completely frozen for at least two weeks but should be considered year-round. We offer a variety of preventatives that can be administered orally or topically. In addition to traditional flea and tick preventatives, we also carry a natural flea and tick spray.
Dogs should be given a monthly heartworm preventative. Heartworm disease is dangerous and is transmitted by mosquitoes. Preventatives are administered orally and also protect against common gastrointestinal parasites. Heartworm preventatives should ideally be administered year-round for full benefit. If your dog was taken off of heartworm medications during the winter months, a heartworm test will be necessary in the spring prior to restarting a heartworm preventative.
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