When puppies and kittens are born, their mothers pass on some natural immunity to diseases.
As they grow, the antibodies slowly diminish. They require multiple vaccinations to keep the
antibodies at a safe level, protecting their little bodies. Depending on the age that your
puppy/kitten starts their vaccinations, a veterinarian will determine how many they receive.
We recommend that they start receiving the distemper combo vaccine at 6-8 weeks. They should
continue the series every 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Once your pet reaches 16 weeks
of age, they can receive the rabies vaccine. The distemper combo and rabies are core vaccines
that are recommend for every pet. A rabies vaccine is also required by city and state ordinances.
While at your appointments, the veterinarian will give your pet a full physical exam and discuss
your pet's lifestyle. Based on this discussion they may recommend additional vaccinations.
Another very important part of wellness care is a fecal flotation test. This test checks for many
common intestinal parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms. Intestinal parasites that dogs and
cats carry may be zoonotic, which means they can be transferred to humans. According to the CDC
(The Center for Disease Control) http://www.cdc.gov/Healthypets/browse_by_animal.htm, a recent
national survey of shelters revealed that almost 36% of dogs nationwide harbored parasites
capable of causing human disease. Not only does this test keep your pet healthy, it also
protects the rest of your family and the community. The only thing required for the test
is an acorn-size portion of fresh stool. A small portion is analyzed under a microscope
for the presence of parasite eggs. Since the eggs are not shed consistently, we recommend
having two consecutive parasite-free stool samples. After that, stool samples should be checked
twice a year. If eggs are found, the doctor will prescribe a medication that will rid your pet
of the specific parasite(s) present.