When a kitten or puppy is born, its immune system is not yet mature leaving the baby open to possible infection. Fortunately, mothers produce a special milk within the first few days of giving birth called colostrum. Colostrum is rich in all the antibodies that the mother has to offer. As the babies drink this milk, they will be taking in their mother’s immunity. By 16 to 20 weeks of age, maternal antibodies are gone and the baby must continue to build it’s own immune system. Vaccinations provide your puppy or kitten the ability to build up immunity to the common diseases that can harm them. Cats are ideally vaccinated against Feline Leukemia, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus and Rabies. Dogs are vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Kennel Cough and Rabies. At the White Rock Veterinary Hospital we recommend vaccinating at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, with booster vaccinations annually. For more information on canine and feline infectious diseases go to our Client Resources Page.
Deworming your puppy or kitten is another important step to raising a healthy pet. Puppies and kittens have the potential to be born with intestinal parasites and have the ability to pick them up in their environment as well. The most common types of worms seen in dogs and cats are Tape Worms, Roundworms, Hookworms and Whipworms. It is even possible for our furry little friends to transmit their intestinal parasites to humans. A proper deworming protocol is the best way to protect our pets and ourselves from infestation. Puppies and kittens should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, then once a month until 6 months of age. After that, deworming your pet 4 times a year is sufficient but monthly deworming is a gold standard!