- A routine puppy vaccination series includes vaccinations at 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. The 16 week vaccines include a Rabies vaccination. Puppies are especially susceptible to the disease listed below (under recommendations for adult dogs) so vaccinations are a vital step toward insuring a healthy puppy.
- Intestinal parasite treatment or “de-worming” at 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. Puppies should also be screened for other intestinal parasites and treated accordingly at these ages.
- Depending on your pet’s size we usually send home heartworm and flea prevention at each 8, 12, and 16 week appointments. Puppies cannot receive Proheart 6 until they are 6 months of age; therefore we send you home with heartworm preventative until your puppy is that age.
- We recommend that all male and female dogs not intended for planned breeding be spayed or neutered at 6 months of age.
- Annual vaccinations, which includes immunization against: Rabies, Parvovirus, Distemper virus, Parainfluenza virus, Adenovirus, Coronavirus, Bordetella and Leptospirosis* (* Administration of Leptospirosis vaccine depends on the size and breed of your dog) Yearly Heartworm testing and intestinal parasite screening.
- Heartworm prevention. Our first choice for heartworm prevention is Proheart 6, which is an injectable heartworm prevention that patients receive every 6 months. Of all the preventatives available, we feel that Proheart 6 is the most effective at preventing heartworm disease. We also carry monthly preventatives such as Heartguard.
- Monthly flea prevention. We recommend Bravecto, NexGard, and Comfortis.
- Annual dental cleanings
- Microchip identification
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is ProHeart 6 recommended at Loftin Veterinary Hospital ?
We believe that Proheart 6 is the most effective heartworm preventative currently on the market. Over the past years, the veterinary community has noticed an increase in the number of cases of patients testing positive for heartworms, despite owner’s claims of faithful, monthly heartworm prevention. We have not experienced this with Proheart.
- Proheart 6 is a more convenient alternative to heartworm prevention for owners because your dog will only require heartworm prevention every 6 months rather than every month.
- With ProHeart you rest assured that your pet received its heartworm prevention because it is given by injection by either the veterinarian or a trained technician.
- Overall, we recommend ProHeart 6 because it is a more effective and more convenient option for heartworm prevention.
When should I spay or neuter my dog?
Why should I spay my female dog?
- Female dogs have an increased risk for developing mammary cancer with each heat cycle. Females spayed before their first heat cycle have a 0.5% chance of developing mammary cancer. Females’ first heat cycle usually occurs between 9-12 months. This protective mechanism drastically decreases with each allowed heat cycle, and there is a 7-fold increase in the chance of developing mammary cancer if spayed after 2 years of age.
- Intact females are much more likely to roam and will attract male dogs to your home. This could lead to more “headache” for you and could potentially result in harmful incidents like: being hit by a car, transmission of disease, dog fights, etc.
- Older intact females have a higher risk of developing other diseases, such as “pyometra”. Pyometra is a very severe infection of the uterus. This disease is life threatening and requires emergency surgery, hospitalization, and antibiotic therapy.
- And very importantly, animal shelters around the country are already severely overpopulated. Allowing dogs to breed freely only adds to this problem. Unfortunately many dogs in shelters have to be euthanized because there is simply not enough room to provide adequate care. Spaying females helps to control this growing problem.
Why should I neuter my male dog?
- Intact male dogs are more likely to develop unwanted behavior patterns like urine marking, humping, aggressiveness and “roaming”. This could lead to more “headache” for you and could potentially result in harmful incidents like: being hit by a car, transmission of disease, dog fights, getting lost/stolen, etc.
- Intact male dogs are at a greater risk of developing prostate and urinary problems as they age. These problems include prostate enlargement, prostate infection, or prostatic cancer. Dogs with this condition may have trouble urinating or defecating. Treatment almost always requires neutering.
- Older intact males are at an increased risk for developing testicular cancer, which can be life-threatening. Treatment also requires neutering.
- And very importantly, animal shelters around the country are already severely overpopulated. Allowing dogs to breed freely only adds to this problem. Unfortunately many dogs in shelters have to be euthanized because there is simply not enough room to provide adequate care. Neutering males helps to control this growing problem.
Why should I have my pets teeth cleaned regularly?
- The most common disease in companion animals in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a PLAQUE-INDUCED INFECTION of the gingiva (gums) and supporting ligaments of the teeth. If left untreated the teeth will become very loose, abscesses can develop, patients may experience pain while eating, and systemic infection could occur.
- Because periodontal disease is a plaque-induced infection the treatment and prevention of this disease is to have all the plaque removed and the teeth cleaned.
- We recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned either yearly or every other year in hopes to prevent and/or treat this disease before it becomes too severe.
What is pre-anesthetic blood work and why is it important?
- Pre-anesthetic blood work checks blood values related to the liver and kidney function. Checking the function of these two organs prior to surgery is important because they are the organs primarily involved in metabolizing the anesthetic drugs.
- We highly recommend pre-anesthetic blood work for every patient prior to having surgery for this reason.