Brief Overview - Vaccinations

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Regular Exams Pets can’t speak up when they’ve got a problem. That’s why regular Veterinary exams are so important – we don’t want to find anything wrong with your furry friends, but if there is a problem, they want us to find out and make it better!

We recommend Annual and semi-annual exams to make sure any problems are caught early and any questions or concerns you have get addressed by our staff.  The most economical way to get all of your dog or cat's needs taken care of is by becoming a "VIP" - Wellness Plan Member.  Check it out on our "Pricing" page.

Preventative and Screening Recommendations Every pet needs regular check-ups – but all other Preventative and Health Screening recommendations are based on the individual needs of your pet. A hunting dog that spends its days searching tick-infested fields has much different needs than a housecat who spends its days loafing on a windowsill!

  • Vaccinations: Our vaccination protocols are based on American Animal Hospital Association guidelines and the lifestyle needs of your individual pet. We give a one-year Rabies to puppies between 3-4 months old.  One year later, we prefer to give a three-year Rabies, ensuring your pets get the protection they need without excessive vaccinations. We only use products proven safe and effective.
  • Heartworm disease is endemic in Florida, so we recommend annual testing and monthly preventatives for all pets.  We carry a variety of products and a brief discussion with the Veterinarian will help you decide which is best for your pet.  Do not think that because your dog has "long hair" or is "inside" that he will not get Heartworms!  Mosquitoes carry this disease.  Your dog goes out to poop/pee.  Mosquitoes come INSIDE the house!  Mosquitoes will bite dogs on the nose if they can't get to their skin because of long hair.  Look it up!  Polk County has a huge population of heartworm positive dogs.  :(
  • Intestinal parasites are common in all dogs and cats, often with few or no signs. At a minimum, we recommend a fecal exam annually. Depending on their lifestyle, more frequent testing or deworming may be recommended.  Many are dangerous!  Hookworms are "zoonotic" (dangerous to people as well).  Hookworms can mimic the signs of Parvo and a puppy can become anemic, have bloody diarrhea and become dehydrated quickly.  Hookworms can be deadly to pets. Fleas and ticks carry serious diseases!  
  • Protect your puppy, dog and feline friends by using monthly heartworm, flea and tick prevention!
  • On your first visit, the Veterinarian will suggest the right plan and vaccine protocol for your pet.

Miscellaneous Vaccination Information

  • FIV/FeLV:  "FIV” stands for “feline immunodeficiency virus” just as “HIV” stands for “human immunodeficiency virus.” In fact, these two viruses are closely related and much of the general information that has become common knowledge for HIV also holds true for FIV. FIV is a virus that causes AIDS in cats; however, there is a long asymptomatic period before AIDS occurs and our job is to prolong this asymptomatic period.
    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a virus that infects cats. ... There is no treatment to eliminate the FeLV virus from the body, and the disease is ultimately fatal. Therefore, preventing infection with FeLV through vaccination is highly recommended.  
  • FVRCP: In the cat world, the core vaccine is known as FVRCP. This is an acronym used by veterinarians and it stands for “feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.”
  • DHPP and DHLPP - The parvovirus vaccine is given as a 4- or 5-way vaccine (DHPP or DHLPP), standing for Distemper, Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Leptospira, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus.  The first dose is administered as young as six weeks old and is then given in a 2 to 4-week interval until at least the age of 16 weeks old (totaling three times). A booster shot is given one year after the last interval dose, then again every three years.
  • Bordetella: Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium 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.