Vaccinations & Parasite Prevention for Your Pet

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Veterinarian pulling rabies vaccine into a syringe

Vaccinating your pet is critical to long-term health and longevity, and every patient deserves a disease prevention plan that is tailored to his or her specific needs. Although some vaccines pose minor risks, the veterinarians at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital weigh the benefits of vaccinations against any harm to your pet.

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Vaccine Guidelines

AAHA vaccine recommendations clearly state that all pets are different, and vaccine decisions should be made on an individual basis. Issues to consider include:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Health status
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle

Health threats can vary depending on where and how you live. We work with you to tailor an immunization program to your pet’s needs, risk factors, and lifestyle.

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Dog & Cat Vaccines

The following are generally recommended vaccines for all dogs and cats. These vaccines are usually given during the initial puppy and kitten series and boostered at one year. As your dog or cat matures, we may convert to every three years to provide proper immunity with the least amount of vaccinations.

Dog vaccines:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Adenovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Bordetella/kennel cough

The following vaccines are reserved for dogs at specific risk for infection due to exposure situations, such as boarding, dog parks, dog shows, and rural environments:

  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine influenza

Cat vaccines:

  • Distemper
  • Feline upper respiratory diseases
  • Rabies
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella

For your cat’s safety, we use adjuvant-free Merial vaccines.

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Staff hugging a dog

Parasite Prevention & Treatment

Fleas and ticks are among the most common parasites that plague our domestic pets. While they are certainly annoying, these pests can also make your pet extremely sick. Since fleas suck blood, pets can become anemic or even die with heavy infestations. Puppies are most susceptible to getting sick this way.

A very common problem in dogs and cats is flea allergy dermatitis. Your pet may only have a few fleas to cause this problem. Affected pets will bite and scratch themselves excessively.

Tick bites can transmit more than a dozen diseases to our pets. These include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and more. Many of these diseases can be fatal.

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Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people. Examples include rabies, cat scratch fever, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This means that neglecting parasite prevention and treatment not only puts your pet at risk, but your family and loved ones as well.

The CDC provides information about zoonotic diseases with tips on how to keep yourself, your family, and your pets healthy. You can also find additional information in Diseases from Animals: A Primer.

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How We Can Help

There are many products on the market that claim to prevent or treat flea and tick infestations. Many over-the-counter products are ineffective, and some are even toxic. Don’t waste your time and money on these products.

At Carriage Hills Animal Hospital, we discuss parasite prevention and treatment with you at every wellness visit, making recommendations for high-quality, effective products. If you experience any problems in between visits, simply call us to discuss an appropriate game plan.

East Montgomery pet owners may prefer the convenience of our Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic for prescription medications and products related to parasite prevention and treatment.

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Additional Resources