The discovery and development of vaccines has been an important step in health care, both for people and for pets. Vaccinations offer protection against major viral and bacterial diseases that cats and dogs may be exposed to. Vaccines contain small quantities of altered or “killed” viruses, bacteria, or other disease causing organisms. When administered they stimulate your pet’s immune system to produce disease fighting cells and proteins or antibodies to protect your pet against disease. Pets are susceptible to disease at any age and it is very important to have your young puppy or kitten vaccinated for maximum protection.
When your puppy or kitten is first born, it receives some initial immunity from its mother’s milk in the form of colostrum. At about eight weeks of age, this immunity starts to wear off. Your puppy or kitten then needs vaccines in order to build its immunity against harmful diseases. Puppies usually receive three sets of vaccines at eight, twelve, and sixteen weeks of age. Kittens usually receive two or three sets of vaccines at eight, twelve, and sixteen weeks of age.
Vaccinations are designed to provide disease protection for a limited period of time. It’s important that your pet has a yearly wellness examination as well as necessary vaccines. Many pet owners are concerned about overvaccinating. Each pet brought to us has its life style assessed to determine the appropriate vaccinations, which is reflected through the latest AAHA and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommendations. We have dog and cat vaccines that are labelled for use every three years for certain diseases, again minimizing the number of vaccines given to your pet.
Senior Pet Wellness
Pets typically enter their senior years at the age of seven. Smaller dogs generally live longer than larger dogs and cats generally live longer than dogs. Dogs and cats age more rapidly than people and every year in a dog’s or cat’s life is equivalent to approximately seven human years. Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. The aging pet is susceptible to a variety of health conditions and diseases, including weight gain or loss, dental disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and heart, kidney, or liver disease.
Regular veterinary examinations help keep your pet healthy and are extremely important for senior dogs and cats. Laboratory tests, such as blood and urine tests, can help us detect health problems before they are clinically apparent. With this valuable information, we can often delay the onset or the progression of some diseases. We recommend that senior dogs and cats visit the veterinarian every six months for a complete physical examination and laboratory testing.