Routine Care

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Overview


routine preventative care, annual exams, vaccinations, monitoring for parasites, prevention of heartworm disease, blood testing or x-rays, dartmouth, massachusetts, veterinarianThe best way to treat disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Anchor Animal Hospital offers routine preventative care to help ensure long and happy lives for our patients. Routine preventative care includes annual exams, vaccinations, monitoring for parasites, prevention of heartworm disease, and blood testing or x-rays when appropriate. Routine care also involves monitoring and preventing dental disease and preventing weight problems.

Routine care starts when pets are puppies and kittens. It is very important for new puppies and kittens to be examined by a veterinarian while they are still young (usually the first visit is between 6-10 weeks of age). Puppy and kitten visits are designed to identify any potential problems that pets may have been born with, treat potential parasites, and discuss young animal care and what to expect in the future. This is also the time when puppies and kittens begin to receive their first vaccines. A series of vaccines is given to help prevent a variety of infectious diseases. Thanks to current vaccination protocols we rarely see some of the life threatening infectious diseases that used to be common in the pet population.

Croutine preventative care, annual exams, vaccinations, monitoring for parasites, prevention of heartworm disease, blood testing or x-rays, dartmouth, massachusetts, veterinarianomprehensive wellness exams should be performed annually to help identify problems with pets before they become severe. We estimate that cats and dogs age the equivalent of 5-7 years for every year that passes. That means that a lot can change with your pet in just a few months. Young animals frequently require some vaccines every year. As animals age we begin to space out the vaccines which means that some years they may not be due for vaccines. Even in these non-vaccine years it is still important to bring your pet in for a wellness exam to make sure that no new problems have developed. As your pet ages it may be appropriate to perform annual bloodwork to look for geriatric diseases or to have twice annual exams.

As part of our routine wellness exams we do a visual inspection for parasites such as fleas, ticks, or mites. We request that owners bring in fecal samples annually so that we can have the laboratory check for internal parasites such as round worms. We do a blood test annually on dogs to check for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia canis, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Parasitic infections decrease the overall health level of animals and in some cases can cause severe disease and even death. Some parasites can also be transmitted to humans. For these reasons we want to make sure that we do our best to ensure that your pet is parasite free. If they do have parasites we are ready to treat them and make recommendations about how to prevent parasites in the future.

At the annual wellness exam the doctors exam the mouth to look for any dental problems, just like people tartar and plaque buildup over time. Routine tooth brushing is recommended for dogs and cats to help prevent the development of plaque. This is usually easiest if you start training your pet when they are a puppy or kitten. We have special pet tooth paste and brushes and are happy to help you get started. If there is dental disease present we may recommend a routine dental cleaning to prevent it from become more advanced.

Many pets are overweight or obese. Being too heavy decreases a pets overall health, can lead to diabetes or arthritis, and may decrease a pet’s life span or quality of life. We weigh our patients at every visit to the hospital so that we can track trends in weight. In addition the doctors at Anchor animal hospital can body score their patients and are happy to provide nutritional counseling and tips on weight loss. When needed we have several weight control or weight loss prescription foods available.

Remember, annual wellness exams, proper vaccination schedules, dental care, and weight management are all important to having a happy and healthy pet.

Canine Vaccine Protocol


Core Vaccines
Canine Distemper Vaccine

• Given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks
• Booster 1 year later.
• Then repeated every 3 years

Leptospirosis
• Given with the Distemper vaccine at 12 and 16 weeks
• Then booster yearly
• This vaccine is not given in dogs with known vaccine reactions

Rabies
• Given between 12-16 weeks of age. Cannot be given prior to 12 weeks.
• Booster must be given 9-12 months later to be considered a 3 year vaccine. Otherwise the 1 year booster is good for another year.

Non-core Vaccines
Kennel Cough

• Given at least 7-14 days prior to exposure
• Repeated every 6-12 months as needed.
• Recommended for any dogs going to puppy classes, boarding and grooming facilities, dog parks or in frequent contact with other dogs.

Lyme
• Given between 12-16 weeks of age and given again 2-4 weeks later.
• A booster is given annually.
• In adult dogs, a Lyme test is needed prior to beginning the vaccine series.
• Recommended for any dogs going outdoors or with a high exposure to ticks. Due to the high number of ticks in the area this vaccine is recommended for most dogs.

Vaccine Reactions

• Can occur with any vaccine given at any time.
• Severe reactions are often seen within 2-4 hours after the vaccine; however, mild delayed reactions can occur within 48 hours of vaccination.
• Signs of reaction: Facial swelling, Hives, Trouble Breathing, Collapse, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Lethargy.
• If you are concerned your dog is having a vaccine reaction, please call immediately for further advice. (508) 996-3731.

pet vaccine reactions, routine preventative care, annual exams, vaccinations, monitoring for parasites, prevention of heartworm disease, blood testing or x-rays, dartmouth, massachusetts, veterinarianCanine Distemper Vaccine:

1.) Distemper
2.) Adenovirus
3.)Parvo virus
4.) Parainfluenza
(DA2PP for short)

Distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus, which most commonly affects puppies and young dogs. It can cause death in up to 80% of infected dogs and has many signs including fever, nasal or ocular discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, cough and neurologic signs.

Adenovirus 2 vaccine protects against both infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus 1) and a respiratory disease (adenovirus 2) that is part of the kennel cough complex. Infectious canine hepatitis is a serious and often fatal disease of the liver and other organs. It is usually seen in dogs less than a year and will often result in death within a few hours of illness.

Parvo virus (CPV) is a highly contagious viral disease, spread by direct contact between dogs. It attacks the intestinal track, white blood cells, and in some cases the heart muscle. This disease quickly debilitates puppies and often results in death in 24-48 hours of onset.

Parainfluenza is a virus which produces a mild respiratory tract infection often associated with other respiratory tract infections (kennel cough complex). This disease is usually transmitted by contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs. The vaccine to protect against this disease may be combined with the Bordetella vaccine to offer broader protection.

Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that is spread between mammals thru bite wounds and direct contact with the saliva of infected animals. Once the infected individual becomes sick with Rabies the disease is fatal. Our pets can contract this disease from wild animals and if infected could transmit this disease to humans. Due to the serious health risk this disease poses to humans the State of Massachusetts requires that all cats and dogs receive rabies vaccines.

Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a bacterium which can infect both animals and humans. It is transmitted between animals through contact with infected urine and the can survive in fresh water for months, resulting in disease outbreaks during the summer and fall. This bacterium affects the liver and kidney resulting in serious or even life threatening illness. The vaccine protects against the 4 most common serovars of this disease.

Kennel Cough
Kennel cough (tracheobronchitis) is caused by a group of infectious agents including Bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza, and adenovirus 2. These diseases cause a severe chronic cough, nasal discharge, and potentially pneumonia. Transmission most frequently occurs by contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs.

Lyme
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria which are transmitted to animals by ticks. This disease causes high fevers, joint pain and lethargy in many affected dogs. It can also cause chronic lameness, severe liver or kidney disease and can in some cases result in death. Prevention of ticks and vaccination against this disease provide the best protection available.

Feline Vaccine Protocol


Core Vaccines
Feline Distemper Vaccine (FVRCP)

• Given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks
• Booster 1 year later.
• Then repeated every 3 years

Rabies
• Given between 12-16 weeks of age. Cannot be given prior to 12 weeks.
• Booster must be given 9-12 months later to be considered a 3 year vaccine. Otherwise the 1 year booster is good for another year.

Non-core Vaccines
Feline Leukemia Vaccine (FeLV)

• Given to cats that go outdoors or are exposed to infected cats.
• Kittens and cats must be tested for FeLV prior to starting vaccine series.
• Given at 12 and 16 weeks
• Booster given yearly.
• This vaccine can rarely cause the development of a vaccine related sarcoma. If a mass develops at the site of injection please have the area examined immediately.

Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) test
feline lukemia, FIV, pet vaccine reactions, routine preventative care, annual exams, vaccinations, monitoring for parasites, prevention of heartworm disease, blood testing or x-rays, dartmouth, massachusetts, veterinarian• All kittens should be tested between 12 to 16 weeks of age, even if they are going to be indoor only cats.
• Kittens that test positive for FeLV or FIV should be retested at 6 months of age, as some kittens will temporally test positive due to maternal antibodies.
• Cats must be tested prior to starting the FeLV vaccine protocol or if there is possible exposure to infected cats.
• A small quantity of blood is needed to run this test. This test can be during you cats physical examination.

Vaccine Reactions
• Can occur with any vaccine given at any time.
• Severe reactions are often seen within 2-4 hours after the vaccine; however, mild delayed reactions can occur within 48 hours of vaccination.
• Signs of reaction: Facial swelling, Hives, Trouble Breathing, Collapse, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Lethargy.
• If you are concerned your cat is having a vaccine reaction, please call immediately for further advice. (508) 996-3731.

Feline Distemper Vaccine 1.) Rhinotracheitis 2.) Calicivirus 3.) Pneumonitis 4.) Panleukopenia
(FVRCP for short)

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Pneumonitis are diseases of the respiratory tract of cats and are highly contagious between cats. These diseases are easily transmitted from cat to cat through direct contact, through the air by sneezing or coughing, or by contact with people who have been close to infected cats. These diseases may cause either acute or chronic respiratory signs, fever, loss of appetite, depression, pneumonia and can result in death. All cats (including indoor only cats) should be vaccinated for these diseases due to the highly contagious nature of these diseases.

Feline panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, is a highly contagious viral disease passed by direct contact between cats. This disease can have a variety of clinical signs which can range from very mild to extreme. Clinical signs can include depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, and can result in death. Pregnant females that contract the disease, even in its mildest form, may give birth to kittens with severe brain damage. Due to the contagious nature of this disease vaccination is recommended in all cats.

Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that is spread between mammals thru bite wounds and direct contact with the saliva of infected animals. Once the infected individual becomes sick with Rabies the disease is fatal. Our pets can contract this disease from wild animals and if infected could transmit this disease to humans. Due to the serious health risk this disease poses to humans the State of Massachusetts requires that all cats and dogs receive rabies vaccines on a regular basis.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a usually fatal disease that suppresses the cat’s immune system, resulting in an increased susceptibility to other diseases and often causes leukemia. Clinical signs of this disease include weight loss, recurring or chronic illness, lethargy, fever, diarrhea, respiratory problems and liver failure. All kittens should be tested for this disease. Cats should be tested if there is concern of exposure or prior to beginning the vaccine series.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline immunodeficiency virus, also known as feline AIDS, is a viral infection that suppresses the immune system and can result in chronic infection, cancer and death. FIV is not transmissible to humans. It is spread only through bite wounds from one cat to another and is most commonly seen in intact male cats. Cats that go outdoors and get into fights should be tested regularly for this disease so that prevention of spread and supportive therapy can be initiated. Although there is currently a vaccine available, it is not recommended as the vaccine is not 100% effective and cats that are vaccinated will test positive in the future.

Spay and Neuter Benefits


Spay (ovariohysterectomy) is a surgical procedure in which we remove the uterus and both ovaries.

Neuter (castration) is the surgical removal of both testicles.

General Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pets
• Eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy and helps to control the pet population.
• Spayed and neutered pets are healthier and tend to live a significantly longer life than intact pets.
• Spayed and neutered pets are healthier and tend to live a significantly loner life than intact pets.
• Spaying and neutering will decrease “sexual” behaviors in pets including “humping”, posturing and vocalization.

Benefits of Spaying
• Spaying eliminates the incident of uterine and ovarian cancer. It also greatly decreases the risk of breast cancer especially when done prior to the first heat.
• Spaying eliminates heats in female cats and dogs. Eliminating blood spotting in female dogs and vocalization and posturing in female cats.
• Spaying will significantly decrease the risk of a life threatening infection in the uterus known as pyometra. Pets with a pyometra (puss filled uterus) need emergency surgery and intensive medical care in order to survive the infection.

Benefits of Neutering
• Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incident of prostate disease, including infection, enlargement and cancer.
• Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and dogs less likely to urine mark territory.
• Neutering can decrease the risk of perineal hernia (breakdown of the muscles around the anus). This disease can result in constipation, fecal incontinence, and potentially life threatening intestinal or urinary blockage.
• Neutering can decrease the risk of cat fights which decreases a cat’s risk of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Feline AIDs).
• Neutering decreases aggression between dogs as well as decreasing aggression and biting of humans.

Why Spay and Neuter at Anchor Animal Hospital
• All pets are examined by the surgeon the morning of the procedure.
• In house blood work is available and recommended the morning of the procedure. The surgeon will review this prior to surgery.
• Anesthesia is tailored to each pets own needs including any known medical conditions.
• Pain control is very important to all the surgeons at Anchor Animal Hospital. All pets will be given pain medications during the procedure. Any patients that seem uncomfortable after the procedure will go home with pain medication as well.
• Our surgeon works with two trained technicians who prepare you pet, administering anesthetics, monitoring your pet during surgery, and monitoring your pet thru recovery.
• All pets are placed on anesthetic monitoring equipment to monitor pulse, blood oxygen saturation and in many cases blood pressure.

Anesthesia
• Pre-anesthetic medication is given prior to the procedure. This helps to relax your pet and provides pain medication
• Your pet will then receive an intravenous anesthetic to sedate your pet enough to place an endotracheal tube.
• All pets are placed on oxygen and gas anesthetic during the procedure. Inhalant anesthetics are the safest anesthetic agents at this time and allow use too easily and quickly alter the plane of anesthesia.

Follow-up Care
• The technicians stay with your pet until he or she is fully awake and the endotracheal tube is removed.
• Your pet will be monitored thru the day for comfort. If your pet seems painful further pain medication will be given.
• Your pet will be able to go home later in the day when the surgeon feels that he or she is fully recovered and comfortable.
• Our veterinarians are available for phone consultations and follow up examinations if your pet has any difficulties in the days following surgery.