When should my new puppy or kitten see the Veterinarian?
Kittens are routinely vaccinated against upper respiratory viruses, like Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (the Feline Type-1 Herpes Virus), Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (also known as Feline Distemper). All cats, even indoor cats, are at risk from these highly contagious diseases. These are all combined into one vaccine so your kitten only needs to get one needle. Outdoor kittens are also vaccinated against Feline Leukemia, which is passed through close contact or bite wounds. These vaccines must be boostered at regular intervals in order to create a strong immunity against these diseases. At 16 weeks, we vaccinate outdoor cats against rabies, which does not need to be boostered until a year later. Please see the chart below for clarification.
After one year of age annual exams are necessary for both dogs and cats. Annual exams enable the veterinarian to assess your pet's health and are an appropriate time for vaccination.
Is it really necessary to get all of those vaccines?
Yes, it really is. Just like infants, animal babies have poor immune systems, and need to get several boosters in order to build immunity against these diseases. Due to their age and immune systems, they are at greater risk of contracting the diseases and also of becoming seriously ill from these diseases. For example, Parvovirus in dogs and Panleukopenia in kittens is frequently fatal. Thanks to routine vaccination protocols, these diseases are being seen less and less frequently by veterinarians. Vaccinating your puppy or kitten not only protects your own pet, but prevents spreading these diseases to other pets.
What else will the veterinarian do when I bring in my puppy or kitten?
Vaccination time is also an excellent time to talk to your veterinarian about your pet's nutrition and individual needs based on size, breed, and living arrangements. The veterinarian will perform a thorough exam of your pet's eyes, ears, skin, heart, lungs, and musculoskeletal system. Many puppies and kittens may be infected with fleas, mites, roundworms, hookworms, or other parasites. The veterinarian will prescribe your pet medications which will treat these problems, and prevent them from recurring. You can also discuss spaying or neutering your pet, dental care, and ask us to teach you how to trim your puppy or kitten's nails.
How will the doctor deworm my puppy or kitten?
The type of dewormer will depend on your puppy or kitten's age, and what kind of parasites the veterinarian finds on your pet, or suspects your pet might have. If the veterinarian finds fleas or mites, we may prescribe and apply a topical medication (Revolution) to the back of your pet's neck. For other puppies or kittens, a pill dewormer (Interceptor) might be most appropriate.
How often should I deworm my pet?
For any animal that goes outside, such as dogs or outdoor cats, we strongly recommend monthly deworming all year round. Worms can be picked up from the soil at any time of year, and can be zoonotic (be passed on to humans), especially children, seniors, and immunocompromised adults. Deworming your pet is therefore a public issue! Ask us which dewormer would be right for your pet.