Canine Preventative Care
Pets are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Routine preventative health care such as vaccinations, heartworm/tick-borne disease testing, and intestinal parasite screenings are very important to minimize certain diseases.
Below are the different types of vaccinations and preventative health screenings that we offer and recommend to our canine patients at Dalton Animal Care South.
Vaccinations and Routine Screenings for Dogs
- Distemper-Hepatitis-Parvovirus-Parainfluenza (DHPP)
- Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
- Heartworm Testing
- Fecal (Stool Sample) Testing
Rabies vaccinations are required by law and meant for the protection of both people and pets. Rabies is a fatal disease for which there is no cure and our pets tend to be the carrier to humans, due to their tendencies to come into contact with our animals that may be carrying rabies.
- A Rabies vaccination is given as early as 12-16 weeks of age and is good for one year.
- Subsequent Rabies vaccinations for dogs are every 3 years.
Distemper-Hepatitis-Parvovirus-Parainfluenza (DHPP) are life-threatening and highly-contagious viruses. Puppies need to be properly vaccinated in order to fight off any exposure to these viruses.
- Typically, puppies will receive their first DHPP vaccine at 8 weeks and receive additional boosters at 12 and 16 weeks.
- The minimum number of boosters for a dog of any age who has never been properly vaccinated for DHPP is a series of two vaccines, given 1 month apart, followed by an annual booster.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Kennel cough is used to describe a highly contagious upper respiratory infection caused by the bacteria, Bordetella. This infection typically presents as a dry hacking cough and can also be accompanied by ocular or nasal discharge, lethargy, and inappetence. In severe cases it can lead to pneumonia.
- This vaccination is recommended (and sometimes required) for any dogs exposed to other dogs either by daily walks, dog parks, doggy daycare, grooming, boarding or obedience classes.
- We recommend vaccinating for Bordetella every 6-12 months.
Leptospirosis is a disease contracted by the bacteria, Leptospira, and it can cause acute kidney disease and/or failure. Leptospirosis is contracted through the urine of infected animals either by direct contact or contaminated soil or water.
- Vaccination for Leptospirosis is a two shot series, one month apart and then boosted annually.
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne illnesses we see in dogs. It is contracted though the deer tick. Lyme disease causes joint swelling, pain, and stiffness and in severe cases, it can also damage the kidneys and central nervous system.
- This vaccination is recommended for any dogs whose lifestyle involves activity in tick-infested areas such as wooded areas, tall fields, camping or hunting.
- We also encourage dogs to be on year round, monthly flea and tick preventative regardless of lifestyle.
Heartworm is a parasite that targets the heart and is contracted through infected mosquitoes. Infected mosquitoes transmit microfilaria into the bloodstream of their host (your dog) while feeding. All dogs are subject to heartworm disease regardless of how often they go outside and regardless of the time of year.
- Heartworm testing is simple and only requires small blood draw to run what is called a 4Dx Snap Test.
- We recommend annual heartworm testing as well as year-round monthly heartworm prevention.
Fecal (Stool Sample) Testing
Fecal testing screens your dog for various intestinal parasites such as Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, Tapeworms, Coccidia and Giardia. These parasites are contracted through fecal-oral ingestion by a number of ways including coprophagia (directly eating stool), contaminated soil, contaminated water, communal dog grounds, or doggy daycare. Other ways they can be contracted is ingestion of wild animals or fleas. Intestinal parasites can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, inappetence and weight loss.
- All puppies should have their stool tested for parasites along with a second follow up test at some point before completing their puppy vaccination series.
- We recommend all adult dogs have their stool tested at least once yearly if not more often depending on lifestyle.
To schedule an appointment for routine preventive care and screenings, contact Dalton Animal Care South at 706-278-1113.