Just like you, your dog needs to go to the doctor annually — if not twice a year — to check for any health problems, get screened for issues common to dogs and receive required vaccinations and antiparasitics. And there are five top things to add to your furry friend’s wellness checklist.
There are core vaccines recommended for almost every pet. Core vaccines protect dogs from common and/or severe contagious diseases. Core vaccines for dogs include:
- Rabies: Rabies virus is fatal, and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection. Rabies vaccinations for dogs are required by law in most states.
- DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus): Commonly called the “distemper shot,” this combination vaccine actually protects against the four diseases in its full name.
Lifestyle vaccines are not needed for all pets. When deciding whether to give your dog a lifestyle vaccine, you and your vet should consider the pet’s age, environment, lifestyle and overall health. Lifestyle vaccines include:
- Bordetella: Called “kennel cough,” the Bordetella virus causes an extremely contagious upper respiratory infection. Your vet may recommend this vaccine before your dog goes to a dog park, groomer, boarding kennel, doggie daycare or dog show.
- Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection is most prevalent in moist climates where there are areas of standing or slow-moving water. This disease can be spread from animals to humans.
- Canine Influenza: Known as “dog flu,” this viral upper respiratory disease originated in 2004 and quickly spread across the country. Outbreaks are prevalent in animal shelters and boarding kennels.
- Lyme disease: A bacterial infection carried by ticks, this disease is extremely prevalent in certain parts of the country — and more so in wooded areas.
Transmitted by mosquitoes, this condition can be fatal to pets, causing heart failure if left untreated. Treatment can be costly and physically taxing. Therefore, preventive year-round medication is the safer, more affordable route to take. Injectable, oral and topical options are available.
Fleas live indoors in the winter, burrowing under baseboards and contributing to itching and skin damage in pets. Ticks are prolific at spreading such diseases as Lyme and Ehrlichiosis. For the best protection, your pet should be on a year-round prescription medication — there are oral and topical options.
Blood Work Profile
Blood tests screen for infection or disease that may not otherwise be detected through a physical examination. Blood work also allows a veterinarian a comprehensive assessment of your pet’s health.
Your pet deserves the best care possible. Make an appointment to discuss what your pet needs with one of our Pet Wellness Clinics team members today!