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Pet Vaccinations

Preventive Care With Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinations and preventive care can keep your animal healthy and happy. We recommend vaccinations for your pet on an individual basis, taking into consideration the age, type, breed, lifestyle, and travel habits of your companion animal, as well as your needs and plans.

At Greenhaven Animal Clinic, we work with you to tailor a unique pet vaccination program that incorporates all of these factors and will give your animal companions optimum protection from disease.

You may be familiar with these typical canine and feline diseases, all requiring preventive vaccines:

  • Distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus similar to measles in humans. Worldwide, it is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in pets.
  • Canine Coronavirus is a contagious intestinal infection. It can be severe in young puppies and dogsstressed by poor health or other issues.
  • Canine Parvovirus is an acute, highly contagious disease that attacks rapidly reproducing cells such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract. Parvo affects dogs of all ages, but most cases occur in puppies.
  • Canine leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria found in wild and domestic animals. The bacteria are spread in the urine, making their way into water sources and infecting the soil for months. Rats, pigs, raccoons, cattle, skunks, and opossums appear to be the primary source for spreading this disease.
  • Feline panleukopenia, also called feline infectious enteritis, is a leading cause of death in kittens. It has been called feline distemper, but it bears no relation to the virus that causes distemper in dogs.
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a retrovirus and this vaccine is not given to every pet. Indoor cats that have been tested before coming home should have minimal risk of acquiring FeLV and would not necessarily need this vaccine unless they have exposure to other cats, especially outdoor cats.
  • Rabies is a dangerous, highly contagious, and deadly disease, with vaccination protocols governed by law in most states.
  • Heartworm is a disease that is prevalent in all parts of the United States and is spread only by mosquitoes. Areas such as ours–heavily populated by these insects–tend to have a greater incidence of heartworm disease. Heartworm can strike both dogs and cats, but is much more common in dogs. As its name implies, heartworms live in the blood of a dog or cat’s heart and adjacent blood vessels, leading to serious heart damage and death. In cats, the primary clinical signs are related to respiratory disease, not heart disease. The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round prevention for all dogs and cats.

Canine vaccines that are recommended:

  • Distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parainfluenza, parvovirus, and canine Coronavirus (DHPP+C)–annually
  • Rabies–annually or every 3 years, depending on which vaccine is used
  • Leptospirosis–annually, as needed based on exposure to livestock or wildlife
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)–every 6 months, as needed based on requirements of kennel or other high-exposure environments

We also perform annual heartworm testing and parasite prevention with Sentinel.

Feline vaccines that are recommended:

  • Feline distemper and upper respiratory (FVRCP)–annually
  • Rabies–annually or every 3 years, depending on which vaccine is used
  • Feline leukemia (FeLv)–annually, as needed if your cat goes outdoors or is exposed to outdoor cats

We recommend monthly doses of Revolution for parasite prevention with injectable Program every 6 months to help with flea control.

Pocket Pets do not have standard vaccination protocols, but preventive measures do exist for these small pets. Their small size allows diseases to overcome their systems more easily and quickly, so be sure to bring your pocket pet into the clinic for an annual exam. A missed check-up could make the difference!

Vaccine schedules are to be used as a basic guideline, but each animal will be evaluated for its own specific needs. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have with us at your next visit to Greenhaven Animal Hospital.

Internal Parasites

We recommend the following effective measures for prevention of internal parasite infestations in pets:

  • Deworm pets at the first veterinary visit, following veterinary guidelines.
  • Perform a fecal analysis on any new pet.
  • Deworm all pets annually, or more often if environmental factors indicate need.
  • Use good hygiene, such as washing hands after playing with pets or coming in from outside and wearing shoes outdoors.
  • Teach children to practice good hygiene at an early age.
  • Follow the recommended guidelines of Sentinel for dogs and Revolution for cats for year-round parasite control.

Young pets are more susceptible to parasites and have not developed the natural resistance of older animals. Still, our older pets also need to be dewormed on a regular schedule to prevent problems from occurring. Parasites can be controlled with just a little precaution, allowing people and pets to continue their close relationship.

For more information about parasite prevention, please contact us at Greenhaven Animal Clinic.

For information about pet vaccines, view the American Animal Hospital Association website.

Read the great article, Pocket Pet Care, at the AAHA website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a terrific website with a discussion about protecting yourself and your family from parasites in animals.

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