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We Have a new pet.  When should we see the doctor?

*Puppies and older dogs with no health history:

Congratulations!  We are sure you and your newest family member will create many wonderful memories over the years.  Our job is to keep him and your family happy and healthy, so there is a standard vaccination protocol that our doctor highly recommends.

  • 6–8 weeks of age: 1st Distemper/Hepatitis/Leptospirosis/Parvovirus/Parainfluenza/Corona vaccine (DHLPP-C) 
  • 9–12 weeks of age:  2nd DHLPP-C vaccine and Bordetella
  • 12 weeks and older:  3rd DHLPP-C vaccine and 1 year Rabies

     Vaccines will be given 3-4 weeks apart. 

*Depending upon your family’s travel plans with your pets, there may be additional vaccinations the doctor will recommend.

Distemper:  Highly contagious disease of dogs, wolves, skunks, coyotes, raccoons, mink and ferrets.  It is caused by a virus that is easily spread through air and by contaminated objects.

Leptospirosis:  Serious bacterial disease that is carried by wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and opossums.  It can infect dogs and people.  The bacteria attack the kidneys, liver and nervous system.

Parvovirus:  Dogs become infected with parvo through contact with the stool of an infected dog or contaminated environment.  The virus is very hardy, and remains infective in the environment for a long time.  Puppies are the most susceptible to parvo infection.  The virus causes severe bloody diarrhea and attacks the immune system.

Corona:  Like parvo, this affects the intestinal tract of dog, but is only seen in very young puppies.  Co-infection with parvo produces more severe signs.

Bordetella:  Commonly known as “kennel cough”, this is a common, highly contagious bacterial respiratory disease.  Dogs being boarded at Countryside Animal Hospital MUST be vaccinated for bordetella.  We also recommend it if you take your dog to the groomer or plan on socialization/training classes or programs.

Heartworm:  The heartworm parasite lives in the right side of the heart and nearby large vessels.  The female worm produces large numbers of microscopic, immature heartworms that circulate in the blood.  These immature worms are taken up with the blood by a mosquito feeding on an infected animal.  The parasite is transmitted to other dogs by the infected mosquito.  Untreated dogs with heartworms can develop heart failure, which can be fatal.  They are also a source of infection for other dogs.

When puppies are due for their vaccines 1 year after the puppy series, it is recommended that the dog get an annual Heartworm test, Distemper/Parvo (3 year), Leptospirosis (1year), Bordetella (1 year), Rabies (3 year), and a fecal test for worms.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.

*Kittens:

  •     6-8 weeks of age:  1st FVRVC vaccine, Fecal Float
  •     9-12 weeks of age:  Adult FVRVC, 1st FELV and FELV/FIV/HW blood test
  •    12 weeks and older:  Adult FELV and Rabies (1 year)

          Vaccines will be given 3-4 weeks apart.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis:  This is a severe upper respiratory infection caused by feline herpesvirus that is most dangerous to young kittens and older cats.  The virus is transmitted through direct contact only.  Signs of FVR include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis and sometimes fever.  Once infected, the cat will carry the virus for life.  Humans cannot be infected with this virus.

Calicivirus:  There are several different strains of calicivirus, causing a range of illness from mild infection to life-threatening pneumonia.  This virus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected cat or an infected item.

Panleukopenia:  Also known as feline distemper, this is a highly contagious disease that moves very quickly through body.  It is caused by a parvovirus similar to the parvovirus seen in dogs.  As many as 90% of young kittens (under 6 months), will not survive.  Direct contact with an infected cat or its’ feces is how the virus is spread.  Signs include severe diarrhea, lack of appetite, vomiting, dehydration and profound depression.

Feline Leukemia Virus:  FELV is one of the most common and destructive of all cat viruses.  It is highly contagious and is spread primarily by saliva during cat fights, mating, or while cats are grooming one another.  There is no single group of signs characteristic of FELV infection, but blood cancers and anemia are the most common.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection:  FIV is strikingly similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  While a vaccine is marketed, its’ effectiveness is questionable and a vaccinated cat will test positive for the disease.  We do not recommend the vaccine for that reason.  It cannot infect humans.

Heartworm:  The heartworm parasite lives in the right side of the heart and nearby large vessels.  The female worm produces large numbers of microscopic, immature heartworms that circulate in the blood.  These immature worms are taken up with the blood by a mosquito feeding on an infected animal.  The parasite is transmitted to other cats by the infected mosquito.  There is no safe treatment for heartworm disease in cats.  Therefore, monthly preventative is critically important.