Annual Exams

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.

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”
    vaccination.

    • Rabies
      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”
    vaccination.

    • DHPP
      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

    • Kennel
      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
    lifestyle vaccine.

    • Leptospirosis
      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
    vaccine.

    • Lyme
      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
      migrate 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 begin 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 by 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 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 against common intestinal parasites which is another
      reason to have your dog on monthly prevention all year long.   

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 schedule an appointment, call us at 262-549-2000.