What do we recommend?
For your first year: Puppies and Juniors
Depending on breed and health status, our veterinarians usually recommend three physical exams during the first six months to make sure your puppy is developing well and to follow the core vaccination guidelines to ensure your puppy is adequately protected from disease. We want to make sure that your puppy’s social and behavioral development is coming as expected, and work with you to prevent future behavioral problems for you and your family. Socialization in the first few months is crucial, and we can help provide tips and advice for you. Our veterinarians also recommend an internal parasite exam to ensure that your puppy is able to grow and develop to the best of their ability-internal parasites can also be passed on to people so we want to ensure your family’s safety as well.
There are literally hundreds of distinct dog breeds and many mixed breeds. Many dog breeds have associated genetic disorders that can create risk factors as they grow. We will work with you to help you understand your dog’s risk factors and the best preventive care options. We also will assess your dog’s lifestyle and partner with you to develop a life long activity and care plan to give your new family member the best quality of life possible throughout all stages of their life.
We recommend that you spay or neuter your companion in the first year when your veterinarian feels they have reached the right age. This may vary depending on the specific characteristics of your pet–some dogs seem to reach their maturity a bit later than others so spaying or neutering is usually based on your pet’s needs. Generally, most people consider spaying or neutering when their dog is between 6-8 months old.
Young Adults and Mature Dogs
For dogs who have reached their physical and social maturity, we recommend annual preventive health exams. These exams include an assessment of their lifestyle and associated risks, behavior, nutrition, medical conditions, infectious and zoonotic diseases, parasite prevention and control, dental care, body condition scoring, and pain assessment. Your veterinarian will also assess genetic and breed characteristics and considerations. We will help develop a vaccination schedule appropriate for your companion that protects their health and yours. We also recommend annual 4DX tests-This blood test checks your companion for heartworm, Lyme, erhlichia, and anaplasmosis. Lyme disease and anaplasmosis are tick borne diseases that are prevalent in our area. We have unfortunately found many pets in the area with these diseases. They can cause significant health concerns if undiagnosed and untreated. We recommend that your dog stay on heartworm prevention and flea and tick control year round in this area.
Senior and Geriatric Dogs
Our senior pets are aging more rapidly then we think-so we recommend preventive health exams with all of the same assessments as above every six months and the addition of annual screening with a comprehensive senior panel that includes blood testing, urine testing, and fecal analysis. This testing allows us to establish a baseline for your companion’s health, and to carefully check for underlying disease processes. These senior tests help us check for problems with your pet’s thyroid, for early kidney or liver disease, for urinary problems, blood in the stool, and several other concerns. Early detection and treatment can extend your friend’s life, and timely treatment can be less costly. Please talk to your doctor about the wellness plan that works best for you and your family.
The Rabies vaccine is required by New York State Law, and it protects your pet from contracting this fatal disease. The Rabies vaccine also protects people from the risk of rabies being transmitted through pets. Rabies is a fatal disease that kills over 50,000 people in the world each year. The initial Rabies vaccine is effective for one year. Subsequent booster programs may include annual or triannual vaccines depending on your pet’s needs. Your doctor will recommend the best program to ensure the safety of your pet and your family.
Distemper –Parvovirus combination
This vaccine protects your dog against several diseases. Canine distemper is a highly contagious, diffcult to treat, and often fatal disease. The Distemper/Parvovirus combination vaccines are required for any animals that need to be hospitalized or boarded. A series of three vaccines are required for puppies for complete immunization and they are given 3-4 weeks apart. The vaccine is given again at one year, and then most dogs are able to move to a three year vaccine protocol. Your veterinarian will develop a plan with you to address your pet’s individual needs.
This is a bacterial disease that is found throughout the United States. It can cause serious health problems for your dog, and we strongly recommend this vaccination as leptospirosis infection has been increasing dramatically across the United States. Leptospirosis can also be contracted by people, and the virus can be very dangerous. The vaccine is given in combination with the Distemper-Parvovirus vaccine for adult dogs, but is recommended on an annual basis so it will need to be boostered separately for those dogs on a three year distemper vaccine protocol. The initial protocol consists of two shots 3-4 weeks apart followed by annual vaccines.
Lyme disease is increasing in the dogs that we see, and infection rates for our area are among the highest in the United States. Like Leptospirosis, the Lyme protocol consists of two shots initially 3-4 weeks apart, and then annual vaccination. Lyme disease is a very serious infection that can usually be treated in the early stages, but can be fatal if it progresses into Lyme nephritis. While the vaccine may not be able to prevent every occurrence of Lyme disease, it can provide valuable protection for your pet.
Bordatella or Kennel Cough vaccinations
In New York State, most boarding facilities require the bordatella vaccine in addition to rabies and distemper. It can help prevent contagious upper respitory infections caused by certain bacteria. The vaccination may be given intranasally or by injection. Some boarding facilities may require that the vaccine is boostered every six months. Your veterinarian can help you make sure that you have the right program for your boarding needs.