Pet Wellness Program

Making the right decisions for your pet's health now will help them live longer, healthier lives. Prevention of diseases as well as early detection can make a huge difference in the longevity and overall health of your pet.

It's our desire to do everything possible to prevent common diseases through appropriate vaccination and parasite prevention programs as well as detect diseases and other health issues in the early stages when treatment is most effective.

The following is a list of our recommendations for our Canine and Feline patients:

 

Dog Wellness ProgramCat Wellness Program

dog wellness program

Dogs are separated into 3 categories: Puppies (up to 1 year of age), Adults (1-6 years of age), and Geriatric (7+ years of age).

Puppies - Puppies should be vaccinated starting at 7-9 weeks of age ideally; and receive a booster vaccination every 3-4 weeks until after they reach 16 weeks of age. This usually requires 3-4 well-puppy visits for the average puppy. Depending on the age, breed, and exposure risk, our veterinarians will customize a vaccination and parasite preventative program that is best for your puppy and determine the best time to spay/neuter your puppy.

Adult Dogs - Healthy adult dogs should receive a comprehensive physical exam at least once a year. The physical exam is a vital part of preventative medicine as some irregularities can be detected upon physical exam early before they become major health issues. The typical annual exam would include an annual Heartworm/Lyme/Ehrlichia blood test, appropriate vaccinations*, a fecal flotation parasite test, and purchase of appropriate heartworm/flea/tick prevention products according to the recommendation of the veterinarian based on the individual needs of your dog. Based on physical exam findings, our veterinarian will make recommendations for additional treatments as needed. Dogs that are on daily medications to manage a specific medical condition should receive annual blood work to check for side effects to the organ systems or in some cases to make sure medication levels are at the appropriate levels to manage the condition.

Geriatric Dogs - Healthy geriatric dogs should continue to receive a comprehensive physical exam at least twice a year as well as well as an annual Heartworm/Lyme/Ehrlichia blood test, appropriate vaccinations, a fecal flotation parasite test, and purchase of appropriate heartworm/flea/tick prevention products according to the recommendation of the veterinarian based on the individual needs of your dog.

Beginning at the age of 6-10 years, depending on the breed and overall health of your dog; annual blood work is recommended. This blood work can detect early signs of disease that can be treated if caught early. If the blood work is normal, then we have baseline numbers to compare to in the event of illness. All dogs on chronic medication, regardless of age, need to have annual blood work to monitor for signs of toxicity and to monitor proper dosing. Semi-annual exams are recommended for some dogs with chronic disease. All dogs over the age of 9 years old that require any surgical or dental procedure are required to have pre-anesthetic blood work to verify that they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.

cat wellness program

Cats are separated into two main groups: Indoor only or Indoor/outdoor.

When customizing a wellness program for your cat or kitten, if s important for us to know if your cat is strictly indoors or if your cat is exposed to the outdoors as indoor-only cats are vaccinated differently then outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats.

Indoor-Only Cats - These are cats that live strictly indoors and have no exposure to the outdoors or to cats that go outdoors.

Indoor/Outdoor Cats - These are cats that go outdoors at all even if only for a few minutes at a time or cats that live with cats that go outdoors. If your cat enjoys sitting in a screened window and other outdoor cats come up to the window, then they would need to be vaccinated as an outdoor cat.

There are 3 age categories: Kittens (up to 1 year of age), Adults (1-8 years of age), and Geriatric (9+ years of age).

Kittens - All kittens should be tested for Feline Leukemia at their first visit. Kittens should be vaccinated starting at 7-9 weeks of age ideally; and receive a booster vaccination every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age. This usually requires 3-4 well-kitten visits for the average kitten. Depending on the age of your kitten and exposure risk (indoor vs. indoor/outdoor program), our veterinarians will customize a vaccination and parasite preventative program that is best for your kitten and determine the best time to spay/neuter your kitten.

Adult Cats - Healthy adult cats should receive a comprehensive physical exam at least once a year. The physical exam is a vital part of preventative medicine as some irregularities can be detected upon physical exam early before they become major health issues.

The typical annual exam would include appropriate vaccinations, a fecal flotation parasite test, and purchase of appropriate flea/tick prevention products according to the recommendation of the veterinarian based on the individual needs and lifestyle of your cat. Based on physical exam findings, our veterinarian will make recommendations for additional treatments as needed to help keep your cat healthy. Stray cats or cats adopted as older kittens or adults should also be tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

Geriatric Cats - Healthy geriatric cats should continue to receive a comprehensive physical exam at least once a year as well as well as appropriate vaccinations, a fecal flotation parasite test, and purchase of appropriate flea/tick prevention products according to the recommendation of the veterinarian based on the individual needs of your cat. We will likely recommend that between 6-9 years of age, all healthy cats have a baseline comprehensive blood panel done to determine what levels are normal for your healthy pet. The reason for this is so that we would have something to compare blood test results with in the event that your cat becomes sick and needs blood work to help us find what is abnormal for your cat and/or what changes are occurring that could signal an early disease process. If your cat has a chronic condition that requires medication or in cats that are showing signs of gradual weight loss, decreased or increased appetite, we recommend semi-annual physical examinations and annual blood work to manage the health of older cats. All cats over the age of 10 years old that require any surgical or dental procedure are required to have pre-anesthetic blood work to make sure that they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.



Recommended Vaccinations for DogsRecommended Vaccinations for Cats

Core vaccines for all dogs: (these are vaccinations that all dogs should receive (unless otherwise determined by our veterinarians) as it has been determined that our area is an at-risk for these diseases).

DHPP(Distemper, Adenovirus Type2, Parinfluenza, Parvovirus) - recommended for puppy series administered in a series of 2-3 vaccinations given 3-4 weeks apart until after 16 weeks of age, then boosted one year later and then a booster is given every 3 years after that.

Lepto (Leptospirosis) - for puppies, given as a series of two vaccinations, typically at the last 2 puppy series visits or after the puppy is 10 weeks of age. This vaccination is boosted annually.

Rabies - puppies are vaccinated after 14 weeks of age initially and then received booster 1year later. Revaccination for rabies is given every 3 years.

Non-core vaccines: (Non-core means that these vaccinations are administered to dogs who are considered at-risk for these diseases because of lifestyle, area where dog may frequent, breed disposition, etc.)

Bordetella (B. bronchiseptica, aka "kennel cough) - administered to dogs who frequent areas where other dogs gather like boarding kennels, grooming parlors, dog parks, dog shows, training classes. This vaccination is boosted annually.

Lyme (Borreli Burgdorferi, aka "Lyme disease") - administered to dogs who live in or visit areas where there have been confirmed Lyme disease cases or to any dogs who are frequently exposed to ticks. Initial vaccination requires a series of 2 vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart and then boosted annually.

Porphyromas - a vaccine administered to dogs predisposed to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Certain breeds are genetically predisposed to early periodontal disease like Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, and other small breed dogs. This vaccine is not a substitute for tooth brushing or regular dental cleaning, but it may help prevent the bone loss around the root of the tooth which is caused by specific bacteria that this\ vaccine is designed to protect against. Initial vaccination requires a series of 2 vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart and then boosted annually. Note: Dogs with gingivitis and tartar build up should have a dental cleaning with sub-gingival cleaning done to manually remove the bacteria build up before receiving this vaccine to maximize the vaccine's effectiveness.

Heartworm preventative medication - We recommend that dogs be kept on Heartworm preventative medication year-round due to unpredictable warm spells during winter and also for the intestinal parasite (worms) protection as dogs are at risk for contracting intestinal parasites any time of the year, even in the winter!

Why does my dog have to be tested for Heartworm every year if I keep my dog on the preventative medication all year-round?

While the chance of your dog contracting heartworm if given the monthly preventative faithfully year-round is quite small, no medication can be guaranteed to be 100% effective. There is a chance that your dog could be at risk if:

  • You accidentally skip a dose or give it late one month.
  • You give the preventative and your dog goes outdoors and vomits it up shortly after ingesting it and you don't notice that he vomited.
  • If the dose is not correct (example: owner gives a pill for 26-50lb dog, but the dog's weight has slowly crept up over 50 lbs.)
  • The manufacturers of these medications guarantee their product- if the Heartworm preventative is given year-round and purchased from a veterinarian, if your dog is tested and is positive, the manufacturer of the preventative will pay for the cost to treat your dog for heartworm infection. (Please note: The manufacturer of Heartworm preventative products only guarantee their products when purchased directly from a licensed veterinarian - this guarantee is completely void if Heartworm medication is purchased from online pharmacies - other than ours, feed stores, pet supply catalogs, or any other secondary source!

Core vaccines for all cats: (these are vaccinations that all cats should receive, both indoor and indoor/outdoor cats)

RCP (Feline rhinotracheitis, Caficivirus, and Panfeukopenia) - recommended for kitten series administered in a series of 2-3 vaccinations given 3-4 weeks apart until after 16 weeks of age, then boosted one year later and then a booster is given every 3 years after that for indoor-only cats and annually for indoor/outdoor cats.

Rabies - Kittens are vaccinated after 14 weeks of age initially and then receive a booster 1 year later. Revaccination for rabies is given every 3 years for both indoor-only and indoor/outdoor cats.

Non-core vaccines: (Non-core means that these vaccinations are administered to cats that are considered at-risk for these diseases because of lifestyle, potential exposure risk, etc.)

FeLv (Feline Leukemia) - administered to any cat who may go outdoors or lives with cats that may go outdoors. This vaccination is boosted annually. Please note: Feline Leukemia testing is required prior to starting any kitten or cat on this vaccine as cats who are positive receive no benefit from this vaccine and are potentially spreading this disease to other cats if allowed to roam outdoors.

Why is testing my kitten/cat for Feline Leukemia so important?

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) states that the Leukemia testing is more important than the actual vaccination in preventing the spread of FeLv. Vaccination of a positive kitten results in a false sense of security as this kitten can spread the virus to other cats even though it has been vaccinated. Kittens born to feline leukemia positive mothers may be infected with the virus from birth or acquire it shortly after birth. Adult cats acquire the disease through contact with the bodily fluids (saliva, nasal or ocular discharge, urine, etc.) of infected cats. Early detection of the virus is a key factor to preventing the spread of the virus to healthy cats by segregating positive cats and keeping them confined indoors. Also, by knowing if your kitten/cat is positive before they exhibit symptoms, our veterinarians will know that what may be a minor illness in a normal healthy cat will require quick and fairly aggressive therapy in a cat that has a suppressed immune system due to FeLv. This disease is similar to HIV in humans where cats or kittens can show no signs of the disease for years sometimes and then suddenly become quite ill while others begin to exhibit symptoms shortly after acquiring the disease.

 

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