Puppy / Kitten Wellness
(under 9 months)
We are so happy that you have chosen a new member of your family. Owning a dog/cat can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is also a large responsibility that lasts the entire lifetime of the pet.
If you have questions concerning anything related to your puppy’s health, please feel free to call our hospital.
Your pets first visit to the veterinarian will be at two to three weeks of age for an initial health-check and de-worming (preventatively, when the puppy/kitten nurses its mother, it receives a temporary form of immunity by consuming the milk that is produced in the first days after delivery. That milk contains high levels of maternal antibodies that can provide passive protection against diseases that the mother has been exposed to, either naturally or by vaccination. This passive immunity is of benefit during the first few weeks of the puppy’s life, but at some point, its levels decline and the puppy must be able to develop its own active long-lasting immunity. Vaccinations are then used to provide this long-lasting protection).
8 weeks of age
The pets second visit is at six to eight weeks of age to begin immunizations (by vaccinating your puppy/kitten we have the ability to prevent several fatal diseases). The Veterinarian will also talk about heartworm and flea/tick preventive treatments. The typical vaccine schedule can be found below… (Vaccine schedules may be modified and change at the discretion of the veterinarian, based on size/breed/activity level).
12 weeks of age
This visit will include “boosters” of the original vaccines given back at 8 weeks, and it may have the addition of other vaccines too. (we do not know when an individual puppy will lose its short-term maternal immunity, and a single vaccination, even if effective, is not likely to stimulate long-term immunity, which is critically important. we give a series of vaccinations in a process of “Boostering”. The goal is for at least two of these to fall into the timeframe when the puppy has lost immunity from its mother but has not yet been exposed to disease).
>16 weeks of age
This will usually be the last visit as a puppy/kitten for vaccines. At this time the pet is now old enough for the Rabies vaccine (Rabies vaccine is an exception to puppy/kitten “booster” rule, since one injection given at the proper time is enough to produce long-term immunity due to the lack of maternal antibody interference). At this time the mothers antibodies have worn away allowing for the final boostering of the other vaccines to carry the preventative in to the next year. (As long as the mother’s antibodies are present, vaccinations are unable to stimulate the puppy’s immune system because the mother’s antibodies neutralize the vaccine).