Vaccinations are given to prevent the development of serious infections diseases.
Puppies and Vaccinations:
Puppies require a series of vaccinations to develop adequate immunity. Initial breeder or pet store vaccines are often temporary vaccines or initial boosters only. A 3 month old dog is too young to have "all of its shots," which the new pup owner's are sometimes told.
· Annual Physical Examination
§ Annual physical examinations provide for early detection and treatment of problems. The importance of the annual exam is stressed at Saint Francis Animal Hospital because a lot transpires in the life of an animal over the course of a year. To put it in perspective, the annual examination for your pet is like a physical every seven years for you, so a great deal needs to be addressed during the exam.
§ Vaccinations, parasite detection and dispensing of preventative medications are handled at each annual visit. In order to focus on the problems of our senior companions, geriatric exams may include diagnostic procedures such as blood work and x-rays.
Annual Vaccination Boosters include DHPP, Corona, Bordetella, and Lyme Disease.
· DHPP: consist of :
§ Distemper (CDV): A widespread and often fatal disease which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia and neurological problems.
§ Hepatitis (CAV-1): A viral disease which may lead to severe damage of the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs.
§ Parainfluenza: A highly contagious respiratory disease of dogs.
§ Parvovirus (CPV): A highly contagious and potentially fatal disease, which may cause severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. It is especially dangerous in young dogs, but all unvaccinated dogs are at risk of contracting this severe disease.
· Coronavirus (CCV): Annual Booster. A contagious viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract which causes vomiting and diarrhea. Usually given mixed with the DHPP booster.
· Bordetella: Also called Tracheobronchitis and Kennel Cough.
§ This is a highly contagious viral infection that is a common cause a severe cough and respiratory disease in the dog. The vaccine is required for boarding, grooming, obedience training, etc.
§ Bordetella is a Routine Vaccination due to the high risk of your dog being exposed to the infection. All dogs should get this vaccine. Your dog can pick up the infection from going outside or contact with any other dog.
· Lyme Disease: A serious disease transmitted by ticks which infects both humans and dogs. This disease can damage joints, kidneys and other tissues.
§ Lyme Disease is on the rise in
County and is recommended for all dogs exposed to ticks.
· Rabies: The first vaccine is good for 1 year; boosters are good for 3 years.
§ State Law requires this vaccine for all dogs and all cats (cats that are exposed to people).
§ Dogs that are high risk, for example hunting our outside dogs should receive annual boosters for added protection.
§ A fatal viral infection if the central nervous system that can affect all mammals, including humans. The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.
§ Rabies is in
· Heartworm Checks:
§ Heartworms are parasites that inhabit the heart and lungs of infected dogs.
§ Heartworm disease can cause serious health problems, and may eventually lead to heart failure and death.
§ Mosquitoes transmit heartworm infection. There is no way to prevent your dog from a mosquito bite.
§ All dogs over the age of 6 months should be on heartworm preventative.
§ Dogs over 6 months of age or dogs that have not been on preventative in the last 2 to 3 months should be tested by taking a small blood sample to check for existing heartworms before starting a heartworm prevention program.
§ Your dog should be tested annually for heartworms if the dog is not on year round protection.
§ Year Round Preventative is the best method. It also protects against Roundworms and Hookworms.
§ There are two options:
1. Give a chewable tablet once a month
2. Or receive an injection that lasts 6 months.
· After 6 months, we send a reminder. You may switch to the monthly tablets or receive another 6 month injection.
§ Both methods are equally effective and the cost is similar.
· Annual Stool (Fecal) Checks:
§ Your dog's feces (stool) should be checked at least once a year for internal parasites
§ Most worms you cannot see by looking at the stool. The stool requires special processing and viewing under a microscope.
§ Puppies should have stool checked at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd check up the veterinarian. Puppies are wormed at monthly intervals until they are put on heartworm preventative.
§ Adults should be checked at least once a year by bring in a stool sample to the clinic that is within 24hours old.
§ Tapeworms may be seen around your pet's rectum or tail, or on the feces. They look like pieces of rice. Let us know if you see them, since the eggs or segments may not be present when we process and examine the feces. If you see them, special wormers are required to kill them since regular wormers do not work against tapeworms.
· Tick Prevention:
§ Ticks can transmit serious diseases to dogs and people. Throughout the
United States there are numerous types of ticks, all with a disease carrying potential, though the kind of disease each may carry differs among the types of ticks.
§ Frontline Plus: Protect against Fleas and Ticks.
§ Preventic Prescription Tick Collars:
· Preventic Prescription Tick Collars are not regular flea and tick collars.
· They can be used with Topspot.
· The best product to treat only Ticks.
· Flea Prevention:
§ Fleas are small, brown or black, wingless insects with flattened bodies. Several types of fleas infect the hair coat of the dog or puppy. These blood-sucking insects cause considerable irritation and distress to the infested dog.
§ The best place to check for fleas on your dog is the hindquarters, base of tail, stomach, and groin regions. Sometimes no fleas are found but only tiny, black granules that resemble black pepper. This material is flea feces and consists of digested blood. To distinguish this material from dirt, smudge it on white paper or add a drop of water to it. If you see a reddish-brown color, your dog has fleas, even if you cannot find them.
· Over-the counter products are usually ineffective or may cause severe reactions.
· Over the counter "Frontline Plus like products" have caused serious side effects and are strong insecticides.
· Prescription Frontline Plus Products are very safe without side effects.
· Frontline Plus: Protects against Fleas and Ticks.
· Best Product Available to treat ticks and fleas.
· We no longer carry tablet flea products like sentinel and program because:
§ The flea has to bite the dog to become infertile or die.
§ These products do not work against ticks.
§ These products are absorbed into the dog.
· We prefer Frontline Plus since:
· it is not absorbed into the dog
· is very safe and proven effective
· is 100 % guaranteed
· Microchip & Tattoing for Permanent Identification & Permanent Pennsylvania Licenses:
The Microchip is the preferred method of Identification, Lost Pet Prevention, and Lifetime Dog Licensing. Inserting a microchip is a simple in office procedure that can give you peace of mind should your pet get lost. A small microchip is injected under your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip is completely harmless. Most animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in the United States scan stray animals for microchips so they can be reunited with their owners. The microchip has a unique number which identifies your pet.
Tattoos are also used for dog lifetime licenses. They are placed on the pet's inner thigh. A drawback is the tattoo number can only be traced in the county the pet was licensed. If your pet strays to other counties or states and loses the collar tag, there is no way of tracing your pet from the tattoo.