FAQ

It is very common for pet owners to ask similar questions regarding their pets and our clinic. We thought it would be helpful to provide you with some of our most frequently asked questions and the answers we provide our clients. If a question you have doesn’t appear below, please call us and we will be glad to help you out.

1. Should I test my cat for Feline Leukemia and FIV?
2. Why do I need to do a heartworm test on my dog even if he/she is on prevention?
3. Does my pet need to be on flea and tick prevention year round? Even in the winter?
4. I just got a new kitten – what vaccinations does it need?
5. I just got a new puppy – what vaccinations does it need?

1. Should I test my cat for Feline Leukemia and FIV?

Absolutely! Feline Leukemia (FELV) and FIV are contagious and deadly viruses that have no cure. They are spread primarily through saliva, but blood and tears have also been known to transmit the viruses. Infection is limited to cats only, so there is no worry of them spreading to humans or other pets. Cats cannot be tested until they are 12 weeks of age, so if you get a new cat or kitten and have other cats – keep them separated until they can be tested! At the Pet Wellness Center we are seeing more and more positive cats, so we have made the Feline Leukemia vaccine one of our core vaccinations. Unfortunately, the FIV vaccine is not effective, so we do not offer it.

2. Why do I need to do a heartworm test on my dog even if he/she is on prevention?

The reason we recommend yearly heartworm testing and require ever other year testing is for your pet’s safety. No medication is 100% – though current heartworm preventions are close. Also, we sometimes get clients that give the wrong size (their pet gained weight and they were giving too small of a dose), the pet spit it out when the owner was not looking, or it was a topical medication and the pet rolled after putting it on so some was rubbed off. The test also looks for 3 tick born diseases – Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis, that can cause severe arthritis, liver and kidney problems, seizures and even death. Early detection of these diseases is the key to treatment.

3. Does my pet need to be on flea and tick prevention year round? Even in the winter?

I recommend it. Fleas can live year round in your house, so outside temperatures do not affect them. And, once fleas get a foothold in your house, they can be difficult to dislodge. It is especially important if you pet goes to a boarding facility or gets groomed since they will be around many other animals. We have actually seen ticks in January and February – the coldest months of the year! And since ticks can transmit disease, it is a good idea to keep your pet protected year round.

4. I just got a new kitten – what vaccinations does it need?

It all depends on the age of your kitten.

Kittens under 4 months get a series of 3 FVRCP’s (commonly referred to as Feline Distemper) vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart. They also receive a series of 2 FELV (Feline Leukemia) 3-4 weeks apart. At the final vaccination visit they receive a 1 yr Rabies vaccination. We recommend at some point checking a fecal sample for intestinal parasites and testing the cat for the FELV and FIV viruses once they are 12 weeks of age or older.

Kittens and cats 4 months or older get a series of 2 FVRCP’s and 2 FELV’s 3-4 weeks apart and a 1 yr Rabies. It is also recommended to perform a fecal exam for parasites (especially since some of the parasites that pets get can be transmitted to people) and an FELV/FIV test.

5. I just got a new puppy – what vaccinations does it need?

It depends on the age of your puppy.

Puppies less than 4 months old get a series of 3 DHPP (Canine Distemper) and 2 Leptospirosis vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart. The also receive a series of 2 lyme vaccinations 2-3 weeks apart. If the puppy will be boarded at a kennel or go to a groomers they need a Bordatella (Kennel cough) vaccination. The final vaccination visit will include a 1 yr Rabies. A fecal examination for intestinal parasites is also recommended – especially since some of the parasites that pets get can be transmitted to people. It is also recommended that the puppy start on heartworm prevention at its first visit.

Puppies/dogs older than 4 months receive a series of 2 DHPP’s and 2 Leptospirosis vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart. They also receive 2 lyme vaccinations 2-3 weeks apart. If they will be boarded at a kennel or go to a groomers they need a Bordatella (Kennel cough) vaccination. . The final vaccination visit will include a 1 yr Rabies. A fecal examination for intestinal parasites is also recommended – especially since some of the parasites that pets get can be transmitted to people.

Dogs older than 6 months must have a heartworm test before they may start preventative.