Standard veterinary practice recommends routine checkups for your pet. While taking your pet in to be evaluated every 6 months to a year can feel like a lot, it’s important to remember that given their lifespan, this is similar to if you were to see your doctor every 3 to 7 years, depending on the breed. Especially when your pet is advancing in years, having a doctor evaluate them is a crucial aspect of preventative care. Many health problems can be treated more effectively when caught early on, rather than waiting until symptoms have become more pronounced.
Over the course of history, vaccines have played an important role in eliminating many common diseases that were previously debilitating and often fatal. Maintaining a routine vaccine schedule is an integral part of assuring your pet’s health. In doing so, you are giving your pet a safe and effective way of living a longer and healthier life. Through an assessment of your pet’s health history, lifestyle, and environmental risk of exposure, we can work with you to create a personalized vaccine regimen for your pet.
The rabies vaccine is required by law in Maryland for both dogs and cats. The rabies virus is fatal if contracted, including in humans. It is our recommendation that all pets are vaccinated against rabies.
Distemper vaccine is considered a core vaccine for all dogs in our area. It protects your dog from four viruses: Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza virus.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterial infection that causes respiratory disease in dogs. Commonly called Kennel Cough, this vaccine is recommended if your pet visits a boarding facility, goes to a groomers, or visits public areas such as dog parks. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact or the air.
Lyme disease is very prevalent in our area. This bacterial infection is spread by the deer tick which can be found in large numbers in our area. This vaccine would be considered essential if your dog spends any time outdoors, especially in a high tick area.
Leptospirosis can be transmitted when your pet is exposed to water contaminated by the leptospirosis bacteria. This exposure can be through drinking and/or swimming in the contaminated water source. Your pet can also get this disease from other infected animals, such as mice, raccoons, and other dogs.
Dog flu, or canine influenza virus (CIV) is a highly contagious respiratory disease with two known strains spreading rapidly across the United States. Dogs who frequently interact with other dogs are at a high risk.
Feline Distemper vaccine includes protection for your cat against 3 viral diseases: Rhinotracheitis, Calici and Panleukopenia. These are highly contagious, upper respiratory diseases.
Feline Leukemia is viral disease that is important for your cat to be vaccinated against if they go outdoors or come into contact with cats that go outdoors. It can be transmitted through bite wounds or contact with an infected cat.
Most pets may experience mild soreness at the injection site after vaccination. This may last a few hours and are usually gone within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine. Your pet may also experience swelling at the injection site, mild fever and a mild decrease in appetite and activity.
Signs of a more serious response to the vaccines include vomiting, diarrhea, facial swelling or extreme lethargy. We ask that you closely observe your pet for 24 hours after receiving a vaccine and call the hospital if any of these signs are noticed.
Parasite Prevention and Control
Chesapeake Veterinary Hospital recommends all dogs be tested for heartworm and tick-borne diseases (lyme disease, ehrlichia and anaplasmosis) annually, as well as annual intestinal parasite testing for both dogs and cats. Along with annual testing, monthly prevention is a very important part of your pet’s care. We are fully stocked with flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Chesapeake Veterinary Hospital recommends your pet receive prevention year round. Please talk with our staff to see which prevention would be best for your pet.
While we all hope it never becomes an issue, being able to find your pet if they are lost or stolen can give great peace of mind. That’s why we offer the AVID microchip to help identify your pet if they get lost. If you and your pet are traveling out of the country, we also offer international microchipping.