PUPPY AND KITTEN CARE
Congratulations on your new family member!Our team of caring professionals at Rand Road Animal Hospital will help you make sure your new puppy or kitten gets the best possible start to a long and healthy life.The first step, whether your puppy or kitten is from a breeder, a shelter or a rescue group, is an exam and initial canine or feline distemper booster. Also at this visit it is a good idea to bring in a fecal sample so we may check for parasites.
All puppies and kittens should receive a DA2/DAPP (canines) or FVRCP (felines)
booster every 3-4 weeks STARTING at 8 weeks of age and ENDING at 4-5 months of age.
-Why do we wait until 8 weeks of age to start?If your new pet is just recently weaned, it still has it's mother's antibodies from her milk in its system.This provides a small level of protection for your pet and may even interfere with the vaccine.
-Why give boosters every 3-4 weeks in puppies and kittens?Their immune systems are considered 'naive' and their immune systems need to be 'primed'.It takes time for their immune systems to recognize the vaccine and produce the necessary protection.This time span is the reason we wait 3 weeks between boosters.
- Why don't pets need Rabies boosters every 3-4 weeks?The rabies vaccine is considered highly 'immunogenic', meaning that a single dose produces a sufficient immune response for protection.To keep their level of immunity at a level to protect them from disease, your dogs and cats still need to get a Rabies vaccine every year.Illinois State Law requires the first Rabies vaccination at 16 weeks of age.
Of course, every pet is an individual.The veterinarian may slightly alter the vaccine schedule based on the pet's health status and history on a case by case basis.
For puppies and dogs, we recommend that Heartgard Plus be given once every month, year round.It is a chewable tablet that prevents heartworm and other internal parasites.For puppies/dogs and kittens/cats we recommend flea and tick preventative be used once per month, year round Frontline Gold is a topical treatment which comes in both canine and feline form.Nexgard is an oral tablet just for canines, which also protects against fleas and ticks.
When purchased from Rand Road Animal Hospital, Heartgard, Nexgard and Frontline Gold come with a guarantee from the manufacturer.If the product fails despite be used properly, the manufacturer will reimburse the cost of treatment.For Heaertgard, this only applies if a yearly Heartworm test is performed and if Heartgard is given monthly, year round, as prescribed and at the proper dosage.Nexgard and Frontline Gold offer a similar guarantee.This guarantee is not provided from online pet medication websites, warehouse clubs or big box retailers - it only applies to product purchased from your veterinarian.
Spaying and Neutering
Rand Road Animal Hospital highly recommends that you spay or neuter your puppy or kitten.Spaying (females) and Neutering (males) surgically eliminates the pet's ability to reproduce offspring.Not all puppies and kittens are as fortunate as yours, leaving many homeless, neglected or abused. Per the American Animal Hospital Association, 'In animal shelters throughout North America, 4-6 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year.'
Why should I spay or neuter my pet?Spaying or neutering your pet may also have long term health benefits.In females, spaying helps prevent mammary cancer, uterine infections and complication from pregnancies.In males, neutering prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems.Pets not neutered or spayed also tend to wander in search of a mate.Wandering pets are exposed to more wildlife and more diseases, are more likely be injured in either a fight with another animal or be injured or killed in a traffic accident.It is definitely in your pet's best interest to spay or neuter your pet.
When should I spay or neuter my pet?Rand Road Animal Hospital recommends that your female pet be spayed prior to her first heat cycle, between 4-6 months of age.It is recommended that your male pet be neutered between 3-6 months of age.Your pet is an individual and our veterinarian will work with you to determine the best time for his or her procedure.
Take an active role in your pet's health by scheduling an annual wellness exam.
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