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.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur. Learn more about canine preventative care in Waukesha, WI.
Vaccine & Screenings For Your Dog
Which vaccinations and
routine screenings should your dog have?
Below are the different
types of vaccinations and preventative health screenings that we offer and
recommend to our canine patients:
- Rabies- Considered a “core”
vaccinations are required by law and meant for the protection of people
more so than your pet. Rabies is a
fatal disease for which there is no cure and our pets tend to be the
“middle man” so to speak between humans and Rabies due to their
tendencies to come into contact with other wildlife that may be carrying
Rabies. Any pet, who is not
properly vaccinated for Rabies, who bites, scratches or otherwise breaks
human skin in any fashion may be subject to Rabies observation in
accordance with the law. 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.
- DHPP- considered a “core”
stands for Distemper-Hepatitis-Parvovirus-Parainfluenza. These viruses are life-threatening and
highly contagious even in the most inclement environment. It is especially important for all
puppies to be properly vaccinated in order to stimulate their immune
systems 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. At
Waukesha Walk-In Veterinary Clinic, we practice a 3 year protocol for
DHPP, so after your pet has received their first annual booster, they
will only need a DHPP booster every 3 years thereafter. We also offer titer testing for clients
who wish to determine if their pet’s immune system is still mounting an
adequate response to these diseases in lieu of periodic vaccination.
- Bordetella- commonly referred to as
the “kennel cough” vaccine
cough is an umbrella term 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 inappatance. In severe cases it can lead to
pneumonia, especially in young puppies or dogs with a compromised immune
system. Again, we prefer to use
the safest vaccines for our patients, therefore we prefer to use the oral
or intranasal Bordetella vaccine with has a rapid onset of stimulating
immunity, a 12 month duration of immunity and minimal to no risk of
vaccine related reactions. 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.
- Leptospirosis- considered a
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. Leptospirosis is also zoonotic, meaning
that it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Vaccination for Leptospirosis is a two
shot series, one month apart and then boosted annually. Typically we recommend starting the
Leptospirosis vaccine with your dog’s puppy series, however, the series
can be started at any age. At Waukesha
Walk-In Veterinary Clinic, we strongly recommend this vaccination for all
dogs regardless of lifestyle.
- Lyme- considered a lifestyle
disease is one of the most common tick-borne illnesses we see in dogs. It
is contracted though the Deer Tick which is very prevalent in the state
of Wisconsin, especially in the northern regions. 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. At Waukesha Walk-In
Veterinary Clinic, we encourage all dogs to be on year round, monthly
flea and tick preventative regardless of lifestyle, however, tick
preventative does not replace the immunity provided by a vaccination so
it is important to examine your dog’s risk for Lyme disease to determine
if this vaccination is appropriate for your pet.
- Heartworm Testing- annual preventative care testing.
- Heartworm is commonly mistaken for an intestinal parasite, however, it is actually 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. The microfilaria then migrates to the heart where they mature into adult heartworms. When left undiagnosed and/or untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal due because the adult worm begins to fill up the heart preventing it from pumping properly. 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 a small blood draw to run what is called a 4Dx Snap Test. This test takes about 10 minutes and screens your dog for Heartworm Disease as well as three of the most common tick-borne diseases: Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis. At Waukesha Walk-In Veterinary Clinic, we recommend annual heartworm testing as well as year-round monthly heartworm prevention.
- Fecal (Stool Sample) Testing- annual preventative care testing.
- Fecal testing screens your dog for various intestinal parasites such as Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, Tapeworms, Coccida, and Giardia. These parasites are contracted through fecal-oral ingestion in 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 the ingestion of wild animals or fleas. Intestinal parasites can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, inappetance, and weight loss. Puppies are especially sensitive to intestinal parasites and they can make them very sick very quickly. All puppies should have their stool tested for parasites when they first come in to see us along with a second follow-up test at some point before completing their puppy vaccination series. Prophylactic deworming for common parasites in puppies is also performed even in the event of a negative fecal test. We recommend all adult dogs have their stool tested at least once yearly if not more often depending on lifestyle. Monthly Heartworm preventatives also treat and prevent common intestinal parasites which is another reason to have your dog on monthly prevention all year long.
Canine Preventative Care in Waukesha, WI
Your pet’s routine preventative care is very important to your pet’s overall health and well being. The team at Waukesha Walk-In Veterinary Clinic is dedicated to educating and advising you of the best recommendations for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information or to Make an Appointment, call us at 262-549-2000.