It is important to bring your new puppy or kitten in for a health check. This will allow us to identify any health issues as soon as possible, as well as create a personalized vaccination schedule, deworming schedule, and discuss diet, preventatives, training, and breed-specific concerns. It is a good idea to bring your puppy or kitten back for a Junior Wellness examination at 6 months of age. This will help us evaluate any issues that may have developed during the growing stage, such as the development of orthopedic issues, abnormal occlusion of the teeth, skin issues, etc.
It is recommended to bring adult dogs and cats in for an examination on an annual basis. This will hopefully allow us to detect issues before they become a major problem. If your pet is diagnosed with a chronic disease or issue, our team may recommend bringing them in for an examination on a more frequent basis.
Core vaccinations for dogs include DAP (which stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus) and Rabies virus. Dogs should always be in optimal health at the time of each vaccination, and vaccines should never be given to a dog suffering from cancer or any other severe illness. We recommend core vaccinations be administered every three years, or a vaccine titer be checked to ensure immunity (these recommendations are according to AHAA Vaccination Guidelines).
All puppies should receive a full series of DAP vaccines, especially prior to interacting with or going where there are dogs of unknown vaccination status. This is to prevent them from contracting Parvovirus, as well as the other diseases this vaccine protects against. We recommend a puppy's first vaccine be given at 8-10 weeks of age, second at 12-14 weeks of age, and the last DAP vaccine given at 16-18 weeks of age, with the Rabies vaccine also being given at that time. They should then get a booster of the DAP and Rabies vaccines one year after their final puppy vaccine. Each puppy's individual vaccine schedule may vary depending on the age at which they present for their initial examination, but will be provided and explained to you by our team.
There are various vaccinations on the market that are made available for dogs with lifestyles that make them a "higher risk." The more common lifestyle vaccines you may see include Leptospirosis, Influenza, Bordetella, Rattlesnake and Lyme. At MBVC, we offer Leptospirosis and Bordetella vaccinations for dogs at higher risk of contracting these diseases. Leptospirosis is a spirochete bacterium that can cause liver and kidney damage in all mammals, including humans. It is contracted by exposure to the urine of another infected animal, most often wildlife. Dogs that are higher risk for contracting this disease include hunting dogs and dogs that frequent areas with wildlife and/or standing water. Bordetella is a bacteria that is part of the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (aka CIRDC, or Kennel Cough), and is recommended for dogs that have exposure to other dogs, such as in boarding, grooming, or show situations. Talk with us about whether your dog is considered higher risk for these diseases and if vaccination is appropriate for them.
We are able to check antibody titers to ensure immunity for the diseases covered by the DAP vaccination. This allows us to avoid overvaccination and limit potential adverse effects associated with vaccines. If immunity is deemed insufficient, then it will be recommended to boost their vaccine. Rabies vaccines are required to be given every 3 years by law. Ask us about having titers done rather than repeating the DAP vaccine every 3 years.
Core vaccinations for cats include FVRCP (which stands for Felive Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Feline Panleukopenia), as well as Rabies virus. Cats should always be in optimal health at time of each vaccination, and vaccines should never be given to a cat suffering from cancer or any other severe illness. While it is important for all cats to have immunity to these potentially debilitating diseases, it is also important to consider the higher risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations in cats. There has been cause for concern about a link between the FVRCP vaccine and kidney disease, as well as a risk of developing tumors at vaccine injection sites. Because of these concerns, recommendations for vaccinations are individualized to each cat and their lifestyle, and will be gone over in detail at their appointment. We do offer a 3-year Rabies vaccine (as opposed to a 1-year vaccine) to help limit the number of vaccines your cat receives.
All kittens should receive a full series of FVRCP vaccines, with the first being given at 8-10 weeks of age, the second at 12-14 weeks, and the last at 16-18 weeks of age. They should receive their first Rabies vaccine after 16 weeks of age. Each patient's vaccine schedule may vary depending on lifestyle, age at the time of initial examination, and other factors.
Feline Leukemia virus (FeLV) is a common infection of cats and is the cause of more cat deaths, directly or indirectly, than any other organism. Transmission occurs through close contact with infected cats, and for this reason is more common in feral cats or cats housed in large groups. Because cats are most vulnerable to the virus as kittens, we recommend testing to determine FeLV status, and discussion of your kitten's future lifestyle to determine if they will be at risk of contracting the disease, at which point vaccination for FeLV may be recommended.
We are able to check antibody titers to ensure immunity for the diseases covered by the FVRCP vaccination. This allows us to avoid overvaccination and limit potential adverse effects associated with vaccines. If immunity is deemed insufficient, then it will be recommended to boost their vaccine if they are at risk of contracting these diseases. Talk with us about having titers done rather than repeating the FVRCP vaccine every 3 years.
We work with one of the leading diagnostic laboratories in the country to process our patient's bloodwork samples. We also have in-house bloodwork machines for more urgent needs.
It is recommended to check bloodwork every 1-3 years in healthy animals, and prior to any anesthetic event. This allows for earlier detection of abnormalities, usually prior to the development of any clinical signs. Early detection is key for many diseases, and can result in a better outcome for the patient.
In addition to general bloodwork, we now offer a cancer screening test for at-risk dog breeds. Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in dogs over 2 years of age, and over 50% likely in dogs over the age of 10. At risk breeds include Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Flat Coated Retrievers, Beagles, Burmese Mountain dogs, Rottweilers, West Highland White Terriers, Great Danes, Mastiffs, and older Shetland Sheepdogs.
Other blood tests for breeds that have higher incidences of diseases include those related to cardiac (heart) disease, gastrointestinal disease, vitamin/mineral testing, and cancer testing for felines (which tests specifically for GI lymphoma, which is the most common form of cancer in the cat).
A microchip is a small device that can be easily inserted under your pet's skin. It is as quick and painless as a vaccine. The owner's information is registered on a national database and if a lost pet is found, the owner can be contacted. Most veterinarians and animal shelters have scanners that read the microchip number and allow the owner to be identified.