Many diseases can be prevented through vaccination. A vaccination schedule prepared by your veterinarian can greatly contribute to good health and a longer life span for your dog or cat. At Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital we recommend the following vaccinations:
The DAPP vaccination is commonly referred to as the distemper vaccination. It vaccinates against canine distemper, canine adenovirus, canine parainfluenza, and canine parvovirus. We recommend a regular DAPP vaccination or titer test depending on your dogs vaccination history. Puppies should be vaccinated for DAPP at 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks, 14-16 weeks, and given an annual booster. Adult dogs are given a vaccination which is repeated in 3-4 weeks then an annual titer or vaccine.
Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all warm blooded mammals, including cats, dogs, wildlife, and humans. The virus infects cells of the nervous system, producing incoordination and behavioral abnormalities, such as unusual aggression or withdrawal. Once the signs of rabies appear, the disease is always fatal. Rabies is usually transmitted by bite wounds, often from infected wildlife, which represent the largest reservoir of the disease in the U.S. Vaccines are very effective in preventing rabies. Most states in the U.S. require rabies vaccination of dogs and cats at 1 to 3 year intervals. A rabies vaccination should be given to a puppy at 14-16 weeks old and a booster given in one year, then every three years.
Canine bordetella (B. bronchiseptica) may contribute to kennel cough. This bacterial infection can occur alone or in combination with distemper, adenovirus type-2 infection, parainfluenza, and other respiratory problems. A bordetella vaccine is recommended for dogs and puppies going to boarding facilities or dogs kenneled or trained with numerous other dogs. A bordetella vaccine may be given at 6-8 weeks of age or 1 week prior to kenneling. The bordetella vaccine is an annual vaccination.
Lyme Disease Vaccination
The deer tick may transmit lyme disease, a fast growing condition among people and pets in parts of North America. Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete bacteria and can cause serious, potentially deadly health problems. Signs of lyme disease in dogs are: Lameness, hot and/or swollen joints, lack of appetite, fatigue, and fever. The lyme vaccination is recommended for dogs exposed to tall grassy or wooded areas or dogs exposed to ticks. Puppies may be vaccinated at 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks with an annual booster. Adult dogs are given a vaccination which is repeated in 3-4 weeks then given an annual booster.
A PRC vaccination is commonly referred to as a distemper vaccination. It vaccinates against Feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and feline calicivirus. We recommend a regular PRC vaccination. Kittens should be vaccinated at 8-9 weeks and 12-13 weeks and given an annual booster. Adult cats are given a vaccination which is repeated in 3-4 weeks then given an annual or 3 year vaccination.
Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all warm blooded mammals, including cats, dogs, wildlife, and humans. The virus infects cells of the nervous system, producing incoordination and behavioral abnormalities, such as unusual aggression or withdrawal. Once the signs of rabies appear, the disease is always fatal. Rabies is usually transmitted by bite wounds, often from infected wildlife, which represent the largest reservoir of the disease in the U.S. Vaccines are very effective in preventing rabies. Most states in the U.S. require rabies vaccination of dogs and cats at 1 to 3 year intervals. A rabies vaccination should be given to a kitten at 12-13 weeks old and a booster given annually. At Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital we use Purevax which is considered the safest rabies vaccine for cats.
Feline Leukemia Vaccination
Feline leukemia is a high-mortality disease caused by the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). FeLV produces an initial immunosuppressive infection followed by various other diseases (e.g. respiratory disease, diarrhea, anemia) affecting the immunosuppressed cat. Cats that survive these initial diseases may develop some form of cancer, hence the name feline leukemia. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with infected cats or with contaminated food dishes.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) attacks a cat’s immune system, producing a slow developing immunodeficiency disease that results in chronic secondary and opportunistic infections. These include respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary tract, and skin infections, and general unthriftiness. Various cancers may also develop. FIV infection is lifelong. However, FIV disease is relatively uncommon and most cats remain normal for extended periods until immunodeficiency occurs. Because FIV is relatively uncommon, the questionable effectiveness of available FIV vaccination, and possible vaccine reactions, we recommend testing but not vaccinating for this disease.
We recommend a test for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) for kittens under 6 months old and a test for FeLV and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) for kittens over 6 months old and adult cats. Testing is important before vaccination to determine existing disease. Kittens 8-9 weeks or older may be tested for FeLV. Kittens and cats that will be outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats should be vaccinated for feline leukemia.
At Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital we take every step to ensure the safety of your pet during surgery. We have anesthetic protocols for each specific case and use gas anesthesia. Our doctors recommend blood work to make sure internal organs are functioning properly, and an IV catheter to give fluid therapy during surgery and to administer IV drugs. Your pet’s pulse, respiration, blood oxygen, temperature and blood pressure are monitored with our surgical monitor. In addition, we have a certified veterinary technician monitoring your pet during the entire procedure and while your pet recovers. Pain prevention is important to us, so we will give pain relief before and after your pet’s surgery. We also will dispense pain relief for your pet to be administered at home.
A neuter involves surgical removal of the testicles of a male dog or cat. Why neuter your dog or cat?
A spay involves surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus of a female dog or cat. Why spay your dog or cat?
Parasite control is a way of keeping your pet and family healthy by controlling any zoonotic (transmissible to people) and infectious diseases. Some parasites can be transmitted to people and can cause serious illness in young children and the immune suppressed.
There are many ways to help prevent parasites. Some parasites are easy to get rid of by using medications such as oral dewormers, topical treatments and maintaining a clean yard. Having a fecal (stool) sample checked at least once a year is important for diagnosing any intestinal parasites. We also recommend isolation of new pets until they have been examined by a veterinarian to rule out any potential parasites. Contact Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital for more information on parasite control.
Heartworm disease is a preventable, but serious and potentially fatal, parasitic disease that primarily affects dogs, cats and ferrets. It can also infect wild animals, such as exotic canines. There are documented human infections, but they are thought to be rare and do not result in clinical disease. A blood test for existing heartworm infection is recommended before beginning a prevention program to confirm that your pet is not already infected with the disease. In addition, annual re-testing is recommended to check your pet's status and ensure that the appropriate medication is being prescribed.
Dogs: As with most medical problems, it is much better to prevent heartworm than to treat it. However, if your dog does become infected with heartworms there is an FDA-approved treatment available. There is some risk involved in treating a dog for heartworms. However, serious complications are much less likely in dogs that are otherwise in good health and if the disease is detected early.
The goal of heartworm treatment is to kill the adult worms and microfilariae that are present in your dog's body. While your dog is hospitalized and for a period of time afterwards, it will require complete rest and may need additional medications to help limit inflammatory reaction as the worms die and are absorbed by the body.
Cats: There is currently no effective and safe treatment for heartworm infection in cats. If your cat is diagnosed with heartworms, your veterinarian may recommend medications to limit the inflammatory response and the resulting heartworm disease.
Using a quality flea and tick preventative can help prevent flea and tick borne diseases. Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis are very common in the Crow Wing County area. There are also other tick borne diseases such as Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Cat Scratch Fever is spread by fleas. Using a quality flea and tick preventative can help prevent parasites in your pet. Fleas are a major cause of tapeworm in pets.
Not all flea and tick preventatives are as effective as others and some may be dangerous to cats. Ask us which flea and tick preventative would be recommended for your pet. We may recommend one that also repels mosquitoes or kills flea eggs.
For dogs and cats ages 1 to 6
The Junior Wellness Blood Profile helps form a more complete picture of your pet’s overall health than can be determined by physical exam alone. This test can help identify hidden problems - before they become more serious. Early testing and detection of medical problems often allows for a more favorable and less expensive outcome. Likewise, if the lab work is normal, these tests provide a baseline for future results and a comforting peace of mind that your pet is in good health! Our staff can perform this simple in-house blood test that will check your pet’s:
As a general rule, a senior dog or cat is usually one that is over 7 years of age. However, there are many factors which determine how fast your pet ages including breed, size, nutrition, lifestyle, and veterinary healthcare. Therefore, some larger breed dogs may be considered senior at age 5, while a smaller breed dog may be 10 to 13 years of age before it is considered a senior pet.
Although age is certainly not a disease, our pets are more prone to a variety of conditions and diseases as they reach their golden years. Some of these include weight gain or loss, arthritis, kidney, heart or liver disease, diabetes, thyroid imbalance, tumors or cancer. Early discovery and treatment of these ailments is possible only through routine wellness exams and laboratory testing.
Remember, taking your pet to a yearly veterinary exam is the same as you visiting your physician only once every 5-7 years. This is why twice yearly exams can be so important in early detection and help your pet live a longer and healthier life.
Our Senior Wellness Program
At Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital, we work closely with you and your pet to determine the diagnostic tests and treatments that are most appropriate for your individual pet. In general however, you can expect the following recommendations for your senior pet:
Studies have shown that about 45% of middle age dogs and cats are overweight or obese. There are severe health risks for your pet associated with being overweight or obese.
You can improve your pet's health by maintaining them at a healthy weight. The benefits are longer life span, better health, and younger appearance. Your pet will have a decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory problems, skin problems, cancer, and liver disease.
Your pet's health is important to us, that is why we offer a FREE weight loss program. Please call us and we will help you determine if your pet is at a healthy weight.