Wellness & Preventative Care

We recommend an examination on every pet every six to twelve months depending on the age, health, and lifestyle of the animal. At every examination we will discuss nutrition, activity, preventative care routines, vaccinations and perform a thorough examination. Based on the exam findings and the needs of the individual patient we will discuss any diagnostic tests that may be indicated. Vaccination depends on lifestyle and is tailored to every individual patient.

Canine Vaccinations

In our dogs the vaccines we discuss include: DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza), Rabies, Bordetella, Canine Influenza, Lyme, and Leptospirosis.

DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza)

This vaccine protects against four viruses: distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.  These viruses are all highly contagious and serious which is why this vaccine is a core vaccine.  Distemper virus will cause a variety of signs including upper respiratory infections, seizures, and fever.  Adenovirus can cause severe liver disease and varying signs of an underlying illness or respiratory disease.  Parainfluenza is an upper respiratory infection that can lead to pneumonia.  Parvovirus is a very dangerous virus that causes the intestinal lining to slough and leads to vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, and anemia.  

Rabies

Rabies is a virus contracted through bites or contact with the saliva of an infected animal.  Common sources of infection in our area include bats, skunks and raccoons but all mammals are susceptible, including humans.  

Bordetella

Bordetella is one of the bacterial pathogens that causes infectious tracheobronchitis or kennel cough.   Dogs that contract this bacteria will typically be febrile with a cough and may have nasal and ocular discharge.  

Canine Influenza

Our influenza vaccine protects against two separate strains of canine influenza which are highly contagious.  Dogs infected with influenza typically progress to having pneumonia very quickly.  

Lyme

Lyme Disease is a bacteria that is carried by the black-legged or deer tick.  This disease is highly prevalent in the northeastern United States.  Lyme Disease infection can vary in clinical signs from a slight fever or lameness or may cause kidney damage in severe infections. 

Leptospirosis 

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is transmitted through the urine of infected animals and will cause damage to the kidneys and the liver.  The disease can affect all mammals, including humans, and is commonly spread by wildlife in rural areas such as foxes, raccoons, coyotes and rats in more urban environments.  

Feline Vaccinations

In our cats, the vaccines we discuss include: Rabies, FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia), and FeLV (feline leukemia virus).

Rabies 

Rabies is a virus contracted through bites or contact with the saliva of an infected animal.  Common sources of infection in our area include bats, skunks and raccoons but all mammals are susceptible, including humans.  

FVRCP

This vaccine protects against three viral pathogens that are highly contagious amongst cats and can be fatal depending on the severity.  Rhinotracheitis and calicivirus are upper respiratory pathogens that cause nasal discharge, ocular infections, and can progress to pneumonia.  Panleukopenia (commonly referred to as distemper) causes damage to the cells lining the intestines, bone marrow, and lymph nodes and will cause a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and can lead to death.  

FeLV

Feline leukemia virus is transmitted from direct contact with an infected cat and will cause anemia and chronic infections and eventually develop into cancer.  

Parasite Prevention

Heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other internal and external parasites are much more than just pests; they can cause life-threatening conditions in your pet—and cause severe, potentially fatal, health problems for you and your family. We will recommend the best preventive regimen for your pet, based on lifestyle and risk factors. We can also provide expert advice on keeping your whole household safe from parasitic infection. Set up an appointment with us to discuss parasite prevention, or call us to refill your pet’s medication. Protect your pet and your family today!

Heartworm Disease:
When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection. And those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.  Please click here for more information about heartworm disease in our dogs and cats (rest of heartworm information at link:)

In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and heart failure.  

Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms. The symptoms can be subtle signs of respiratory disease and may mimic those of asthma. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. 

Treatment for heartworm infection is far more dangerous and expensive than prevention; currently there is no approved treatment for cats. 

Ticks:
Hunterdon County is a region constantly affected by ticks and tick borne diseases and ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America with new diseases spreading to regions that were previously unaffected. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. 

Keep ticks off your pet by keeping your dog or cat on a tick preventive. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and effective at controlling ticks and the diseases they carry.  

Fleas:
Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

Intestinal Parasites:
Although we can’t see them, these parasites that colonize the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract can be picked up by your pets and cause a variety of signs of illness including weight loss, loose stools, vomiting, anemia, coughing, and more.  In addition, many of these parasites can be transmitted to humans.  We will recommend checking a fecal sample every year or during times of illness to make sure that there isn’t an internal parasite to blame.  Protect your pet by maintaining their monthly parasite control and keeping them from contaminated water sources and always clean up after your pet!