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We recommend yearly wellness exams for all of our canine patients. For our senior dogs, we sometimes recommend bi-annual exams to monitor any on-going health issues. Regular routine examinations allow your veterinarian to assess your pet as they age and potentially catch diseases before they become more serious. Remember, our pets cannot tell us when they are sick, so it is up to you to keep your pet healthy with regular preventative care.
As part of your dog's annual wellness examination, there are a number of vaccinations we offer and recommend. We will tailor our recommendations depending on your dog's age, lifestyle and possible exposure. In addition to vaccines, we also recommend annual fecal exams and heartworm tests. A fecal exam can help identify if your dog is carrying any intestinal parasites. Some parasites can be transmitted to humans. Early detection and treatment is important for your dog's overall health.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and can be fatal if left untreated. A simple blood test done annually can detect these parasites in your dog's blood. Preventative medicines such as Heartgard or Interceptor is available at our hospital and we recommend administrating the preventative medicine year-round to minimize the chance for infection.
The vaccinations we administer include:
Canine Distemper Vaccine (DA2P): This vaccination helps protect your dog from three diseases - distemper, adenovirus or hepatitis and parainfluenza. Canine Distemper is a highly contagious virus that causes manifest as a respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin, ocular or neurological disease. It is often fatal. Canine hepatitis or adenovirus-2 causes liver and kidney damage. Dogs that survive with intensive supportive care often have chronic problems. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, nasal discharge and bloody diarrhea. Canine parainfluenza virus causes an upper respiratory infection. We recommend starting to vaccinate your dog at 8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Thereafter, we recommend vaccinating every 1-3 years, depending on the age of your dog.
Parvovirus Vaccine: Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. It causes severe bloody diarrhea, vomitting, fever and extreme depression. Without intensive supportive care, dogs will become dehydrated and die. It can also cause damage to the heart. We recommend starting to vaccinate your dog at 8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Thereafter, we recommend vaccinating every 1-3 years, depending on the age of your dog.
Leptospirosis Vaccine: Leptospirosis is a type of bacteria found in water or wet soil. It is spread through contact with urine of infected animals. This disease affects the liver and kidneys and can be deadly. It can be spread to other dogs and humans. Dogs with with leptospirosis may show signs of lethargy, dehydration, jaundice, and fever. We recommend starting to vaccinate your dog at 12 weeks of age, then boostering 3-4 weeks later. Thereafter, we recommend vaccinating every year.
Bordatella Vaccine: This vaccine helps to prevent tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) which is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease. Clinical signs include a dry, hacking cough that can persist for several weeks. Young puppies that will be exposed to many other dogs should be vaccinated for this disease. This vaccine can be administered intranasally (in the nose) or by subcutaneous injection. We recommend starting to vaccinate your dog at 8 weeks of age and then at 6 months of age. Thereafter, we recommend vaccinating depending on your dog's age and exposure to other dogs.
Lyme Vaccine: Lyme Disease is spread through tick bites and is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferii. It can affect both dogs and humans. The symptoms of Lyme Disease include sudden onset of severe pain and lameness, fever, loss of appetite and depression. Lyme infections can also rarely lead to crippling joint, cardiac, kidney and neurological disease. This disease is endemic in this area so for dogs that will be exposed to ticks, we recommend vaccinating starting at 12 weeks of age and boostering 3-4 weeks later. Thereafter, we recommend vaccinating yearly depending on your dog's exposure level.
Rabies Vaccine: This vaccination is required by law. This vaccine helps prevent dogs from transmitting this deadly neurologic disease to humans. There is no cure for rabies. We vaccinate at 16 weeks of age and then every 1-3 years thereafter depending on your dog's age and vaccination history. Maintaining current vaccination status minimizes the risk to both you and your dog.