What could be more amazing than adopting a new pet? There are a lot of things that New Bedford pet owners need to know to make sure that they provide the necessary veterinary care and preventive treatments required to help their pet live a long and healthy life. Outside of a comfortable place to sleep, nutritious food to eat, proper exercise, and lots of love, your pet also needs to get a veterinary check-up in Southeastern Massachusetts to make sure they have a good start. Even if the place where you adopted your pet gives them a clean bill of health, it is a smart idea to get a “baseline exam” with your local, trusted vet and make sure you get on a vaccination schedule for cats and dogs based on your pet’s needs. Pet adoption in New Bedford is a great way to give homeless animals a safe and healthy place to live and establish a wonderful bond and lifelong memories with you and your family.
Puppies and Adult Dogs
While we hear a lot about the vaccination schedule for cats and dogs concerning kittens and puppies, adult pets require vaccinations as well. Some are required by the city, county, or state where you live, while others may be recommended by your Dartmouth veterinarian based on the pet’s age, lifestyle, or the area where you live. Some areas have more threats from things like fleas, ticks, heartworm, and mosquitoes, while others may be more at risk for parvo, canine influenza, and other diseases due to travel or activities. Dog parks, doggie daycare, trips to the beach, and other types of travel outside of your own backyard will all come with risks. Even grooming and boarding situations might warrant extra vaccinations at your next veterinary check-up in Southeastern Massachusetts to help New Bedford pet owners keep their dogs and puppies safe.
Distemper, Parvo, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Adenovirus prevention is available at Anchor Animal Hospital in a single vaccine. Dogs are vulnerable to both distemper and parvovirus at any age if they do not have this vaccine. We highly recommend a vaccination schedule that includes treatments at 8, 12, and 16 weeks for puppies. The State of Massachusetts, along with many other American states, requires a rabies vaccine. Rabies can be spread from the blood or saliva of other infected animals, such as foxes, bats, raccoons, and rats. Our team highly suggests the first rabies vaccine be given at the 16-week puppy visit. For adult dogs, make sure to find out the previous vaccination record and speak with one of our veterinarians about establishing a schedule for future shots. Canine influenza, Lyme disease, bordetella, and leptospirosis are all serious diseases that can be transmitted in various environments and situations. Speak with a team member about these vaccines.
Kittens and Adult Cats
While there are many serious vaccinations that should be given to kittens and new adult cats during their first veterinary check-up in Southeastern Massachusetts after adoption, there are three that really stand out as essential. The first is the Feline Distemper shot, also known as FVRCP. It protects kittens from feline distemper, which is a very serious and potentially fatal disease. Vaccinations are recommended at 8, 12, and 16 weeks and include protection against feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus, which cause serious upper respiratory infections in cats. Massachusetts State law requires rabies shots for cats as well, which are typically given at the 16-week appointment and vaccination schedule for cats and dogs. The third most vital vaccination for cats and kittens is Feline Leukemia or FeLV, which is a very serious and fatal disease. A negative test is required before vaccination, which is given at the 12 and 16-week visits following pet adoption in New Bedford and the surrounding area.
Similar to dogs, internal parasites are also something that New Bedford pet owners who have cats should be concerned about and request preventive treatment. Kittens are frequently exposed to parasites during birth and in the first few weeks of their lives. A fecal examination should include testing for Giardia, worm eggs, and coccidia. Heartworm is not as prevalent in cats as it is in dogs, however, it is serious enough that year-round treatment is often advised. The same is true with fleas and ticks, regardless of whether the cat stays indoors or has an outdoor and indoor lifestyle. And finally, toxoplasmosis is a disease that can affect cats that is caused by a single-cell parasite. While it rarely causes significant symptoms in cats, it can be dangerous for some people, in particular, pregnant women who clean the litter box. Exposure comes through contact with hunting and killing small animals, but the parasite is present in feces for one to three weeks after infection. Unfortunately, it can also survive for months in garden soil, children’s sandboxes, and feces in the yard.
Ongoing Vaccination Schedule for Cats and Dogs
Once you have had your initial veterinary check-up in Southeastern Massachusetts, you should speak with your veterinarian about getting on a routine schedule for vaccinations and preventive treatment for your new cat or dog. Pet adoption in New Bedford comes with great responsibility, and part of your commitment should be to the health and well-being of your new pet. Not only will this approach help your pet to live a long and happy life, but it also protects New Bedford pet owners from the potential risk of exposure to parasites and disease. To schedule an appointment with Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth, contact our team directly by calling 508-996-3731.