When to Vaccinate
Puppies receive protective antibodies from their mothers which provide a temporary immunity against infectious viruses and bacteria. These antibodies wear off in most puppies betwen 8 and 16 weeks of age. If these maternal antibodies are high enough levels when a vaccine is given, they will destroy the vaccine virus and it wil be ineffective. Vaccines do not give immediate immunity; they work by stimulating the puppy's immune system to produce antibodies. Therefore, to ensure that a puppy develops protection as soon as possible, we recommend that vaccinations begin at about 8 weeks of age and be given every 4 weeks until the puppy is 4 months old.
Core and Non-Core Vaccines
Different pets have differing lifestyles and environments and therefore different exposure to infectious disease. A few core vaccines are essential for all pets. Your ABC Veterinarian will discuss any additional non-core vaccines recommended for your pet.
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DHP Vaccine D is for Distemper - Distemper is one of the most severe diseases seen in dogs. It is caused by an air-borne virus similar to the human measles virus. This particular agent can invade any tissue in the dog's body. We often see pneumonia, a thick, yellow nasal discharge, vomiting and fever. Later, convulsions may develop. Distemper is most commonly seen in young animals and tends to be most severe in that age group. Older, unvaccinated dogs may occasionally be infected. The disease usually takes several weeks to months to run its course. Once the virus invades the central nervous system, the disease progresses more rapidly. There is no effective treatment, as presently we have no anti-viral medicines. Antibiotics are used to prevent secondary infections, and good nursing practices help keep the animal comfortable. Distemper has an 80-90% mortality rate. Immunity to the vaccine lasts approximately thirteen months, so annual boosters are necessary. Puppies should start their vaccine series as early as six weeks of age. H is for Hepatitis - Hepatitis is an uncommon disease in dogs because the vaccine is so reliable in prevention of the infection. It is caused by either of two adeno viruses. Symptoms of hepatitis are related to damage to the liver. Vomiting, diarrhea, a high fever, and jaundice (yellow discoloration of skin and mucus membranes) can be seen. Sometimes the eyes are affected too. As with distemper, no specific therapy is curative. The animal must be in the hospital on intravenous fluids and other medications to relieve symptoms. This disease has a high mortality rate similar to distemper. The vaccine produces a long lasting immunity. P is for Parainfluenza - This particular virus causes an upper respiratory infection which is one part of the "kennel cough" complex. It is passed from dog to dog in the air. It can affect dogs of any age, and is most commonly seen where dogs are housed in groups such as boarding kennels and grooming establishments. Dogs may be carriers and show no sign of infection. Symptoms are usually related to the respiratory system. A severe cough is the most pronounced sign, and it may sound as if the dog has something caught in its throat. Some dogs run a high fever and have bronchopneumonia. No specific treatment is available, but cough suppressants and antibiotics are often prescribed.
This gastro-intestinal disease was prevalent in the late 1970's. It is devastating to young animals, but can be seen in dogs of any age. Vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration and depression are common symptoms. Symptomatic therapy such as intravenous fluids, antibiotics and antiemetics (to stop vomiting) are used on hospitalized pets. Intensive care may be required for five to seven days before improvement is seen. Some dogs may die within 12-24 hours after initial signs are seen. Puppies should receive several vaccinations in the series, with the final given at sixteen weeks.
A canine coronavirus infection (CCV) is a highly contagious intestinal disease that can be found in dogs all around the world. This particular virus is specific to dogs, both wild and domestic. The coronavirus replicates itself inside the small intestine and is limited to the upper two-thirds of the small intestine and local lymph nodes. A CCV infection is generally considered to be a relatively mild disease with sporadic symptoms, or none at all. But if a CCV infection occurs simultaneously with a viral canine parvovirus infection, or an infection caused by other intestinal (enteric) pathogens, the consequences can be much more serious. There have been some deaths reported in vulnerable puppies.
If your pet is a regular at day care, grooming facilities, or the dog park, those shots every 6 to 12 months to prevent canine infectious tracheobronchitis (aka, kennel cough) may be inconvenient. But the vaccine against Bordetella is important in protecting your pet from the hacking cough and snotty nose brought on by the easily contracted bacteria that causes the highly contagious disease in both dogs and cats.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs. It can also infect cats, rabbits, and, in rare cases, humans. It is one of the more common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also sometimes called kennel cough. Bordetella bronchiseptica is one of several viral and bacterial agents responsible for kennel cough syndrome. Bordetella is highly contagious, easily transmitted through the air or direct contact, and resistant to destruction in the environment.
In healthy adult dogs, Bordetella typically causes no more than a mild illness. In puppies or dogs with other underlying health issues, however, it can cause severe illness or even death in rare cases. The same can be said for cats who suffer this infection.
A safe and effective vaccine for this upper respiratory infection is available for dogs and cats.
Canine Flu H3N8
Canine influenza virus (CIV) causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as canine influenza. CIV is a relatively new virus, so almost all dogs are susceptible to infection when they are newly exposed because they have not built up natural immunity. Most dogs that develop CIV infection have a mild illness, but some dogs get very sick and require treatment.
There is an effective and safe vaccine for canine influenza fully licensed by the USDA. Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8 has been shown to control the spread and minimize the impact of CIV infection and has been proven safe in half a million dogs.
A fecal examination is the microscopic evaluation of feces. The test is indicated for pets with diarrhea, straining, lack of appetite or vomiting. Annual fecal examinations are recommended on all animals as part of a yearly health exam. Fecal examinations are also recommended on all puppies and kittens.
There is no contraindication to performing this test. Negative results help determine health or may exclude the presence of disease and gastrointestinal parasites.
Once a parasite infects a puppy, it can take weeks or months for the parasites to develop into adults. Before that time occurs, the parasites remain in the egg and larval stages. Deworming medications only target the adult worms; they cannot kill the egg and larval stages of the parasites. Since puppies are often exposed to a parasite multiple times, veterinarians recommend using strategic deworming procedures to ensure that the puppy is totally cleared of the infection.
When a puppy is strategically dewormed, the deworming medication is administered at regular intervals to target any new adults that may be developing. Strategic deworming protocol recommends that puppies are dewormed at two, four, six, eight, and 12 weeks of age; puppies that are severely infected by one, or multiple, parasites should then be dewormed once a month until they are six months of age.
If you are bringing a new puppy home, and the puppy has already been dewormed a few times, don't assume that the puppy is now clear of parasites. You should continue the strategic deworming protocol based on your puppy's age. The puppy should also receive a veterinarian examination to check for any internal parasites.
Revolution is a topically-applied medication that provides all-around protection from parasites for your dog or cat. Revolution kills adult fleas, prevents flea eggs from hatching, prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls both ear mites and roundworms. After applying Revolution, it enters your pet's bloodstream and redistributes itself from the blood to the skin and other tissues, where it provides protection against parasites.
Science Diet Puppy Food
Rich in fish oil and nourishing fatty acids.
Hill's® Science Diet® Puppy Healthy Development Original provides precisely balanced nutrition to build immunity and digestive health. It is enriched with DHA from high quality fish oil and made with high quality ingredients that provide an ideal combination of nutrients, clinically proven antioxidants and vital fatty acids to give your puppy the best start in life.
During a physical examination, we perform a "nose-to-tail" examination of your pet. We examine your pet's nose, eyes, ears, check your pet's teeth and oral cavity, listen to your pet's heart and lungs, carefully examine the skin and coat, look for any unusual lumps or swelling, palpate the abdomen and muscles and perform an orthopedic evaluation of the bones, joints and back.
Rabies is one of the most devastating viral diseases affecting mammals, including dogs and humans. The disease is usually transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Vaccination promotes the production of antibodies but is only effective if given before the virus enters the nervous system. Modern rabies vaccines for dogs, cats, horses and ferrets are extremely safe and effective. All dogs and cats between the ages of twelve and sixteen weeks should be vaccinated.
There is no treatment for a dog with rabies. If rabies is suspected, the dog has to be kept in isolation and prevented from escaping or injuring someone. Your veterinarian is required by law to notify the local and state or provincial animal disease regulatory authorities. These authorities will determine the steps necessary to properly protect the public.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria (Leptospira interrogans) that produce a wide range of symptoms that may occur in phases; some patients may develop kidney or liver failure, respiratory failure, meningitis, or even death. The disease is spread by the urine of infected animals (many species, both domesticated and wild); the bacteria can survive in the water and soil for months. The disease is most common in temperate and tropical climates. The infecting bacteria occur worldwide.