Canine Preventative Health Care and Vaccinations

We offer new puppy physical exams and vaccinations as well as annual physical exams and vaccinations.

Veterinarians agree that your dog should be protected against those diseases that are most common, highly contagious and cause serious illness. These diseases could include distemper, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus and rabies. Vaccines are initially administered in a series starting when the puppy is about 6-7 weeks old, then certain vaccines are recommended annually. Below is a listing of the most common diseases veterinarians vaccinate against.

Canine Distemper: Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. This disease affects dogs and certain species of wildlife. Young unvaccinated puppies and non-immunized older dogs tend to be more susceptible to the disease.

Canine Parvovirus: Canine parvovirus infection is a highly contagious viral illness. This virus can be spread by direct and indirect contact with another dog’s feces. This virus attacks the dog’s intestines and symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, especially in puppies. There is evidence that the virus can live in the ground up to a year or more.

Canine Hepatitis: Infectious canine hepatitis is a viral disease that is caused by the adenovirus CAV-1, a type of DNA virus that causes an acute liver infection and an upper respiratory tract infection. This particular virus is seen in wild and feral hosts like the coyote and fox so it is particularly important to maintain current vaccines in our domesticated pets.

Canine Leptospirosis: Canine leptospirosis is an infection of bacterial spirochetes which dogs acquire when subspecies of the leptospirosis bacteria penetrate the skin and spread through the body by way of the bloodstream. The leptospirosis spirochete bacteria are zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted to humans. This particular bacteria causes kidney disease and/or failure to occur in both dogs and humans.

Canine Rabies: Rabies is a severe, fatal virus affecting the brain and nervous system. The primary way the rabies virus is transmitted to dogs is through a bite from a disease carrier such as a skunk or bat. This disease has zoonotic characteristics and can be transmitted to humans in the same way. Bordetella: An infectious disease complex that causes what is known as “kennel cough”. This disease can be self limiting, but it can be very damaging to the throat and lungs and create a very harsh cough for several weeks. There are several methods of vaccinating for this disease complex. Methods include the typical injectable vaccine, an intra-nasal vaccine or an oral vaccine.

Heartworm Preventative: We recommend all dogs be on heartworm preventative year-round. Dogs should be tested annually for heartworm infection. Annual testing is necessary even when dogs are on
prevention year-round, to ensure that the prevention program is working. For more information about heartworms go to www.heartwormsociety.org.

Intestinal Parasites: Parasites are a common cause of disease in dogs and cats. Intestinal parasites are parasites that live inside the host animal’s intestinal tract. Examples include worms like hookworms, roundworms, whipworms tapeworms and protozoa, such as, giardia and coccidia. Monthly heartworm preventatives also help control intestinal worms.

Preventative Bloodwork: We recommend preventative care screening. Because the signs that your pet is sick are not always obvious, preventative care testing is recommended as part of your dog or cats annual physical exam. By testing before certain conditions occur, you have a baseline to go by for any issues that might come up in the future.