Adding a new family member is an exciting event and, to make sure your new puppy or kitten lives an active and healthy life, Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends establishing a preventive health care plan right from his or her first week with you.
- First well-kitten exam—Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends kittens be seen for their first healthy checkup within the first 72 hours after bringing them to your home. At your first healthy checkup, we will provide you with a kitten care kit, which will include some excellent health care information as well as training tips and tricks.
- Health tests
- Feline leukemia—Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends that all kittens be checked for feline leukemia as it is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of illness and death in cats. As long as the test comes back negative, we recommend vaccination to protect against this highly contagious disease.
- Feline immunodeficiency virus—FIV attacks a cat’s immune system, making them severely weakened and incapable of fighting off even the simplest cold or infection. Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends every kitten be checked for FIV. A second test is performed six months after the first test because it is possible for the first test to be a false negative due to the antibodies from the mother.
- Feline distemper combination—Kittens are given their first distemper vaccination when they are eight weeks old. They receive two booster shots three to four weeks apart, and then yearly boosters for continued protection.
- Feline leukemia—Kittens are given their first vaccination against feline leukemia following a negative blood test at eight weeks of age. They are given one booster in three to four weeks, and then they will be protected for one year.
- Rabies—Kittens are given the rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age and are protected for one year. Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care uses a special kind of rabies vaccination called Purevax, which has been shown to be more effective and less likely to cause vaccine-associated sarcomas (cancer at the vaccination site).
- First well-puppy exam—Similar to kittens, Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends that a puppy’s first health exam is within 72 hours of them coming to live with you. At your first healthy checkup, we will provide you with a puppy care kit, which will include some excellent health care information as well as training tips and tricks.
- Canine distemper combination—Puppies are given the first distemper combination vaccination between six and eight weeks of age and receive boosters every three to four weeks until they are 16 weeks old. The vaccination will offer protection for one year.
- Bordetella—At 10 weeks of age, puppies are given their first bordetella vaccination. The vaccine protects against kennel cough and should be given every six months.
- Rabies—Between 12 and 16 weeks of age, puppies are given their first rabies vaccination. A booster will be needed in one year’s time, and then it will protect your dog for three years.
Spaying and Neutering
Depending on the size, breed, and species of your pet, spays and neuters are done between 20 weeks of age and over one year. When your puppy or kitten comes in for his or her first health exam, our veterinarians will discuss the best time to spay or neuter.
- Deworming—Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends all puppies and kittens are given deworming medication until two consecutive fecal exams are negative. As adult dogs and cats, we recommend fecal exams every six months. For more information, check our parasite prevention information.
- Heartworm—With the dangerous nature of heartworm infection, Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care recommends that kittens and puppies start heartworm preventive at eight weeks of age. For more information, check our parasite prevention information.
Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care is excited to welcome your new puppy or kitten into our extended family. Please contact us with any questions you may have.