Wellness exams every 6 to 12 months are the backbone of good health care for your pet. When your pet is examined, the doctor will perform a thorough head-to-tail assessment. Ears, eyes, heart, skin, teeth, lymph nodes, and many other areas are checked out. Be sure to let us know if your pet has any issues, lumps or bumps, or other concerns that you would like to discuss.
One important part of your pet's examination is assessing which vaccinations your pet needs. It is important to understand that not every pet needs every vaccination available. We want your pet vaccinated to protect it from what it could be exposed to, but we also want to protect your pet from over-vaccinating by administering only the vaccines that are needed based on your pet's age, lifestyle, and individual needs. Vaccines for ferrets are also available.
Distemper-Parvovirus: This vaccine protects your dog from 4 serious contagious diseases; Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, and Parainfluenza. In adult dogs, we recommend the 3-year vaccine so that we can reduce the number of vaccines your dog receives while still keeping it protected. Puppies will need to receive a series of this vaccine to be fully protected.
Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection is transmitted by wildlife such as deer and rodents. Dogs with exposure to wooded areas, fields, and dogs that hike and camp are usually vaccinated for this, but there has been an increased rate of infection in your typical indoor dogs. This infection is also zoonotic, which means it is highly contagious to humans.
Bordetella: Also known as Kennel Cough, this disease causes coughing and cold-like symptoms. Dogs who are boarded, go to dog parks, get groomed, or attend doggy daycare are at the highest risk and should be vaccinated.
Rabies: Rabies is a serious viral infection transmitted by bites from infected animals. This infection is almost always fatal and is contagious to humans through bites. In most counties and states, this vaccination is required by law.
At Butler Creek Animal Hospital we use Purevax brand vaccines for cats. Several studies have shown that adjuvant-free vaccines such as Purevax have fewer risks of adverse side effects. In fact, the American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends using Purevax vaccines in cats whenever possible. Our Feline Distemper, Feline Leukemia Virus, and Rabies vaccinations are Purevax.
Feline Distemper: This vaccine protects against 3 serious viral infections: Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis, and Calicivirus. These are highly contagious diseases that can lead to lifelong respiratory and eye problems. They are transmitted through the air, but can also be spread on clothing and shoes so we recommend vaccinating indoor as well as outdoor cats for this. Our protocol, using the guidelines of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, involves vaccinating adult cats every 3 years. Kittens will need to receive a series of vaccinations to be fully protected.
Feline Leukemia Virus: This infection is spread by direct contact with infected cats. Per the guidelines of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, we recommend all kittens be vaccinated for this and adults if they are at risk.
Rabies: This is a serious viral infection transmitted by bites from infected animals. The infection is almost always fatal and contagious to humans through bites. In most countries and states this vaccination is required by law.
Based on CDC guidelines, our veterinarians also recommend a fecal examination at least every 6 months for both cats and dogs. They may also recommend testing a fecal sample if your pet is sick. For more about fecal testing and why it's so important, please visit our Microscopy page!