What Are Parasites?
Parasites are organisms that live off another living being. There are 2 main types of parasites:
- Internal Parasites (Includes All Intestinal Worms)
- External Parasites (Fleas & Ticks)
When your pet swallows fleas, they can get tapeworms. Tapeworms are small white worms that look very similar to a grain of rice.
What is Giardia?
Giardia is a one-celled parasite that can cause a gastrointestinal illness. These parasites divide and multiply and then are passed in the feces. The Giardia in the feces can contaminate the environment and water and infect other animals and people. Younger animals are more commonly affected, and the main sign is diarrhea. Usually the infected animals will not lose their appetite, but they may lose weight. The feces can be blood tinged. In the intestine, Giardia prevents proper absorption of nutrients, damages the delicate intestinal lining, and interferes with digestion.
What Are Heartworms?
Heartworms live in your dog’s heart and they are transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworms can be prevented with a monthly heartworm preventative. Blood work to test for heartworms should be done yearly or if you have missed your monthly dose of heartworm preventative.
You can prevent both internal and external parasites by deworming, checking your pet’s stool yearly for parasites, monthly heartworm preventative, and monthly flea and tick prevention
Why Does My Puppy Or Kitten Need To Be Vaccinated Every 3 Weeks?
When puppies and kittens are nursing, they receive a temporary immunity through their mother’s milk. This immunity can be beneficial during the first few weeks of life, but at some point it starts to fail and your pet needs its own long-lasting immunity gained through vaccinations.
A single vaccination, even if effective, is not likely to stimulate your pet’s long term immunity. This is why we revaccinate your pet starting at 6-8 weeks of age, and then every 3 weeks until the animal reaches 16 weeks of age. After this schedule is completed, then you can vaccinate on a yearly basis. The Rabies vaccination is an exception to this, as the first vaccine is given at 12-16 weeks of age.
If My Pet Stays Indoors All The Time, Why Do I Need To Vaccinate?
In the event of a personal emergency requiring your pet to be boarded or a medical emergency requiring your pet to be hospitalized, your unvaccinated pet could be vulnerable to any of the diseases we vaccinate against. Your pet may be even more susceptible than other pets since it hasn’t been exposed to any type of disease.
In New York, the State requires that all pets be vaccinated against Rabies. Failure to do so, could result in heavy fines, quarantine of your pet, and even possible euthanasia if your pet scratches or bites you, another person, or animal.
What Vaccinations Do You Offer for Cats & Kittens?
- FVRCP (includes Feline Distemper, Calici Virus, Panleukopenia, & Rhinotracheitis)
- Feline Leukemia
What Is FVRCP?
FVR stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. This is a severe upper respiratory infection that is most severe in young kittens and older cats. The virus is airborne and very contagious in susceptible animals. Symptoms include lethargy, sneezing, coughing, discharge from the nostrils, eyes, and a high temperature. Infected cats may not want to eat or drink and dehydration and weight loss are common.
C stands for Calici virus infection. This infection can cause problems in the mouth, nasal passages, and the conjunctiva (mucus membranes) of the eyes. Early symptoms are loss of appetite, elevated temperature, and lethargy. Later, sneezing, oral ulcers, and discharge from the eyes are seen.
P stands for Panleukopenia. This disease is also known as feline distemper and infectious enteritis. It is highly contagious and is caused by a parvo virus similar to the parvo virus seen in dogs. The disease is most severe in young kittens, but can affect cats of all ages. The first symptom is loss of appetite, followed by vomiting and diarrhea. The FVRCP vaccine is very effective in preventing these diseases. We recommend vaccinating your kitten every 3 weeks for a total of 3 doses and then yearly after that.
What Is Feline Leukemia?
Feline Leukemia is a cancerous disease caused by feline Leukemia virus (FeLV). The disease is excreted in the saliva. Therefore, the most common mode of transmission is through mutual grooming, nose-to-nose contact, shared food and water bowls, and bites. FeLV can be found in lesser amounts in tears, urine, and feces. Thus litter boxes could be a source of infection in multi-cat households and catteries. We recommend vaccinating your pet against Feline Leukemia every 3 weeks for a total of 3 doses and then it is a yearly vaccine.
What Is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease that infects the central nervous system of mammals. It is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. In New York, animal rabies occurs primarily in raccoons, bats, and skunks. To protect your pet and your family your pet should be vaccinated against rabies starting at 12-16 weeks of age and then yearly. New York requires any cat or dog over three months of age to be vaccinated against rabies.
What Vaccinations Do You Offer for Dogs & Puppies?
- DHPP (Includes Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza Virus, & Parvo Virus)
- Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
- Borrelia (Lyme)
- Canine Influenza
What Is DHPP?
D stands for canine distemper virus which is closely related to human measles. It is a disease that affects the respiratory, digestive and neurological systems.
H stands for Hepatitis virus, which causes an inflammation of the liver.
P stands for Para influenza virus, which affects the respiratory system.
P stands for Parvo virus, which affects the intestinal tract causing vomiting and diarrhea.
What Is Bordetella?
Bordetella (or more commonly known as kennel cough) is an upper respiratory infection that is highly contagious in dogs. The most common symptom is a dry hacking cough sometimes followed by retching. A watery nasal discharge may also be present. In more severe cases, the symptoms may progress and include lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, pneumonia, and in very severe cases, even death. The majority of severe cases occur in immune-compromised animals, or young unvaccinated puppies. We recommend vaccinating your puppy against kennel cough. We give an initial vaccine, booster in 3 weeks, and then yearly.
What Is Borrelia?
Borealis (Lyme disease) is transmitted by the deer tick. Symptoms in dogs differ from those in people, and usually occur much later after the tick bite. Clinical illness in dogs usually occurs 2-5 months after a bite from an infected tick. The most common symptoms are a fever between 103 to 105 degrees, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Dogs can also show no signs and be positive for Lyme disease. We recommend vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease, particularly if he/she goes out of the city. We give an initial vaccine, booster in 2-3 weeks, and then yearly.
What Is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is transmitted by contact with infected urine. Stagnant or slow moving water provide a suitable habitat for leptospirosis. Your pet can contract the disease from drinking water in a puddle or even from licking their feet after going on a walk. Symptoms include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, anorexia, vomiting, dehydration, and increased thirst. Your dog may be reluctant to move due to muscle or kidney pain. We recommend vaccinating your pet against leptospirosis, particularly if he/she goes out of the city. We give and initial vaccine, booster in 2-3 weeks, and then yearly.
What Is Canine Influenza?
Canine influenza is a respiratory disease that can cause coughing, runny nose, and loss of appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs, but the coughing caused by canine influenza can last for several weeks. With proper care, most dogs generally recover. However, canine influenza can lead to more severe or even life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia, and has been fatal in some cases.
Because canine influenza is a relatively new virus, dogs have no natural immunity to it. And since it’s highly contagious, visiting places such as kennels, doggie daycare, dog parks, and groomers can put your pet at a higher risk of infection. Making things more difficult is the fact that dogs can spread the virus before coughing and other signs of sickness appear. We give the initial vaccine, booster in 3 weeks and then yearly.
What Are Vaccine Reactions?
Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system by mimicking a “real” virus or bacteria attack. The immune system then generates antibodies which act to protect the body from contracting disease in the future. Mild reactions include: a sleepier pet and slight decrease of appetite that usually resolves in 24-48 hours. More serious reactions include swelling of the face or lips. It can also lead to a more serious reaction (anaphylaxis) where they experience breathing difficulties, seizures, vomiting and/or collapse. Anaphylaxis is very uncommon but potentially fatal and your pet needs to be examined immediately. Most reactions occur within the first two hours of exposure.
What Is Spaying?
Spaying is the surgical removal of the entire uterus and ovaries. We recommend spaying at about 6 months of age, but adult pets can be spayed as well.
What Is Neutering?
Neutering is the surgical removal of the testicles, also referred to as castration. We recommend neutering at about 6 months of age, but adult pets can be neutered as well.
How Long Is My Pet in Season (Heat)?
Dogs are in season (heat) for approximately 21 days, starting at 6-13 months of age, but can occur as late as 2 years of age. For the first 10 days you will see bleeding from the vagina and then she is ready to mate (accept the male).
How Long Does The Pregnancy Last?
Dogs are pregnant for 58-71 days, with an average pregnancy lasting 63 days.
Cats go in and out of season (heat) all year long. This generally starts at 6 months of age and lasts 4-5 days for each (heat) cycle. This continues until the cat is bred or spayed. Cats are pregnant for 61-65 days.
How Soon Can My Dog or Cat Be Spayed After Giving Birth?
Dogs and cats can be spayed as soon as the babies are weaned and the mother’s milk has dried up.
Should I Let My Dog or Cat Experience a Season (Heat) Cycle or Pregnancy Before Spaying?
No. The more seasons (heat) cycles and pregnancies your pet experiences can increase the chance of mammary tumors and uterine cancer. Some pets even experience behavioral changes after having a litter.