New Puppy/Kitten Care - Petaluma Veterinary Hospital
Both puppies and kittens should come in for an exam and vaccines at roughly 8,12,16 weeks of age. At your first appointment, you are asked to bring any paperwork, vaccine history (previous shots, deworming, etc.) and a fecal sample that we submit for analysis to check for worms. These tests aren't 100% accurate, so we may give the puppy/kitten a broad-spectrum dewormer.
We can help determine what vaccines are recommended for your pets based on the lifestyle they will have- outdoor vs indoor cats, dogs that stay at home vs those that will do training/boarding/dog parks/outdoors. Our veterinarians will develop a specific vaccination plan for your pet based on AAHA guidelines. Factors such as age, breed, health, lifestyle, and location are considered.
We do NOT sell PACKAGES because this is not a one size fits all situation. We customize each pet’s plan to fit their needs. You may think “packages” save you money… but if you are paying for something you don’t need, it’s not a value.
Initial Puppy exam
The puppy receives a thorough, head-to-tail examination and any vaccines that are required. Core vaccines are Rabies, Distemper-parvovirus combination, and Leptospirosis. Non-core vaccines are given based on your pet’s lifestyle- exposure to other dogs, wildlife, livestock, etc.
For example, if your dog is spending time in kennels we will recommend a vaccination against kennel cough. This vaccine is usually given by mouth and protects against Bordetella, Bronchiectasis and Parainfluenza virus.
Puppies have immature immune systems. This makes them vulnerable to diseases carried by other dogs and from the environment. Our veterinarians will recommend vaccinations to keep your new puppy protected. It’s best to avoid excessive contact with other dogs until your puppy has received a full set of vaccinations.
We also will discuss parasite control with you: flea, tick and heartworm (transmitted by mosquitoes) preventatives. An initial dose of Heartgard (heartworm prevention) and Nexgard (flea/tick prevention) are given FREE and are good for a one-month coverage.
Our veterinarians will also answer questions you may have about potty training, diet, behavioral issues, future vaccines, neutering, spaying, microchip implantation, or other issues.
Initial Kitty Exam
Hospital visits can be particularly stressful to cats who are not used to being locked up or outside of their homes. Our Petaluma Veterinary Hospital staff is adept at using handling techniques to help frightened felines to relax during the exam.
We recommend that you schedule exams for your kitten at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. This way our veterinarians can monitor growth and answer any questions you might have. The kitty exam includes a comprehensive physical examination, fecal sample analysis to test for worms, vaccinations and parasite control as needed for worms, fleas, and ticks. In this part of the country, we only test/prevent against heartworm in dogs.
Until kittens have received all of their vaccinations, it is best to keep them safe at home to ensure they stay healthy and are safeguarded against illness. Core vaccines recommended for all cats include FVRCP, (Rhino tracheitis, Caliciviral, and Panleukopenia viruses), and Rabies vaccines.
Feline Leukemia vaccine is recommended based on your individual cat’s risk of exposure (if going outdoors) or unique health considerations.
Parasites such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and worms can harm animals if left untreated. To avoid the diseases and illnesses that parasites can cause, preventative treatments are required. We recommend that your pet be tested annually for parasites, in particular worms, heartworm, fleas, and ticks.
With a fecal sample, we can test for worms. If detected, we will administer a deworming treatment. Dogs should also receive yearly heartworm testing. Undetected heartworms that are left untreated can be fatal, which is why regular testing and prevention are important.