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North Country Animal Health Center
Health Care Recommendations
Please take a moment to review the following information about our recommendations for your pet's health. These guidelines are based on the recommendations of AVMA, AAHA, and AAFP. Please feel free to ask our technicians and doctors any questions you may have.
Feline Health Care Plan:
- FVRCP (or feline distemper): This vaccine contains panleukopenia, calicivirus and herpesvirus (viral feline rhinotracheitis). This is given every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is at least 16 weeks, then boostered in 1 year, then every three years.
- Rabies: NY state law requires your pet to be vaccinated for rabies after 12 weeks of age. We use Merial's Purevax vaccine. This is currently an annual vaccine. This vaccine is considered less inflammatory and may be less likely to stimulate a cancerous mass.*
Non Core Vaccines:
- Feline Leukemia vaccine (Felv): Leukemia virus is a potentially fatal virus that is contracted from direct contact with infected cats, either through bites, sexual activity, grooming or sharing food bowls. It can also be passed from a mother cat to her kittens. Although young cats are most susceptible to the virus, adult cats can be infected as well.
It is strongly recommended that all kittens at least have the first series of Leukemia vaccine, whether indoor or outdoors. It is considered an annual vaccine, but may be spaced out as the pet ages.
Felv/FIV/Heartworm Testing: (Combo Test)
All kittens should be tested for Felv and FIV (Feline AIDs), especially before starting the Felv vaccine. Both viruses are contagious to and from other cats. Outdoor cats, especially those that fight or are intact, should be tested annually.
All pets should have their feces checked annually for intestinal parasites, whether indoor or outdoors. Many of the parasites that animals carry are zoonotic (meaning they can pass to humans). The CDC recommends that animals be dewormed quarterly.
We recommend monthly flea and tick prevention throughout the year, especially in outdoor cats.
Canine Health Recommendations:
- DAPP- This injection contains 4 different vaccines; Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. It is started at about 6-8 weeks and is boostered every 3-4 weeks until the pet is about 16 weeks, then at 1 year, then every 3 years.
- Rabies: NY state law requires that your pet be vaccinated for rabies. It is given after 12 weeks, then at 1 year, then every 3 years. Once your pet is vaccinated for rabies, he or she should be licensed with the County. For more information, contact your town office.
- Lyme's Disease- Jefferson County is considered an endemic area for the tick carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme's disease. All dogs in this area are at risk, whether country or urban pets. Tick control is very important, but it is also recommended to vaccinate you dog against Lyme's disease. This vaccine can be started at 9 weeks, is boostered in 2-4 weeks, then repeated annually. A Lyme's test should be done in adult dogs before starting the vaccine, and should be done annually to assure there is no breakthrough in protection.
- Kennel Cough- Bordetella bronchiseptica can cause a contagious upper respiratory disease and is usually transmitted when dogs are in close contact, such as in boarding facilities, dog parks, groomers, or obedience classes. This can be started at a young age and is boostered every 6 months in at risk patients.
- Leptospirosis: This disease is a sporadic disease that can cause liver and/or kidney disease. It is harbored by wildlife and rodents, and survives in the stagnant water. Clinical signs vary greatly and, although treatable, it is potentially fatal. This disease is zoonotic, causing flu-like symptoms in people.
Heartworm/Lyme's/Erhlichia/Anaplasma test (4dx test)
- This test should be performed annually. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, and if untreated, can be fatal. The worms live in the heart and can extend into the lungs. Currently there is a shortage of immiticide, the drug to treat heartworm disease, so prevention is very important.
- Lyme's, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma are all tick-born disease. Ehrlichia is more common in the southern states, but Lyme's and Anaplasma are seen in this area. Lyme's disease presents in many ways, including lethargy, lameness, and even kidney failure. Anaplasma destroys platelets, the clotting cells in the blood and can present with bleeding disorders.
- A fecal analysis is recommended at your pet's first visit and at every annual exam. This checks for intestinal parasites, including roundworms, hook worms and giardia, which are potentially zoonotic. The CDC recommends your pet be dewormed for roundworms, hook worms and whipworms at least quarterly.
- We recommend your pet to be on year-round flea and tick prevention and heartworm prevention. This will protect him or her from such diseases as Lyme's disease, Anaplasma, heartworm disease and intestinal parasites.
· Start Distemper Purevax 8-9 weeks. From that point on they will get the Distemper every 3-4 weeks until 16-17 weeks old.
· Rabies given at 12 weeks of age or older.