New Pet Information

Congratulations of adopting a new furry family member!!

Adopting a new pet is a very exciting (and potentially overwhelming) event in one’s life. Below is a summary of preventative care recommendations by the doctors and staff at West Delray Veterinary.

Preventative pet care is a team effort. What this means is there are some preventative measures that take place in a veterinary clinic setting on an annual, bi-annual, or quarterly basis. Then there are measures that typically take place at home on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. At West Delray Veterinary, we take a tailored approach to your pet’s care, meaning that we make our preventative care recommendations based in the specific life stage and health status of your pet.

For the purposes of this summary, we will outline some general recommendations that are meant to be an overview for most pets and for client education. Once we have the opportunity to learn more about you and your pet’s needs, we then develop a more individualized set of recommendations.

Preventive and Wellness Examinations:

*Puppies and kittens should receive a series of wellness check ups every 3-4 weeks between the age of 6 weeks and 16 weeks. During these exams, we take the time identify the following:

  • Make sure that development is occurring as expected
  • There is no evidence of congenital abnormalities
  • Update necessary recommended vaccinations
  • Take the time for client education regarding recommendations for new pet care
  • Answer any questions or concerns
  • Treat any sickness or abnormalities that may be present

*For normal healthy adult animals between the age of 1 and 7 years, we recommend routine wellness exams at least once a year.

*For senior and geriatric animals greater than 7 years of age, we recommend routine wellness exams at least twice a year

Vaccinations Guidelines:

Canine (Derived from AAHA- The American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines):

Core vaccines- Rabies, Da2p, Bordatella:
– Rabies Virus Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • An initial rabies vaccine is given sometime in the window of 14-16 weeks of age
  • An adult Rabies booster is given at 1 year from the time of the puppy vaccine, then every 3 years for life.
  • **Rabies vaccines are required by law unless there is an underlying health condition that warrants avoiding vaccination**

– Canine Distemper Virus/Parvovirus/Adenovirus-2/+/-Parainfluenza or Da2P Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • Puppy boosters: Series of at least 3 boosters given 3-4 weeks apart between that age of 6-8 weeks and 16 weeks. Ideal to give 3 total boosters
  • Adult booster at 1 year of age, then every 3 years for high risk dogs
  • For low risk dogs or those with underlying health problems, vaccine titers (blood test to check antibody levels) are available for canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus
  • Vaccine titers can be performed in lieu of revaccinating every 3 years in low risk adult dogs

– Bordatella Bronchiseptica +/- Parainfluenza (intraoral, intranasal, or subcutaneous administration options)
*Schedule:

  • A single dose of oral or intranasal Bordatella vaccine is given at or after 8 weeks of age
  • Adult dogs receive can receive a Bordatella vaccine every 6-12 months (1-2 times a year) depending on lifestyle and risk
  • Adult dogs that do not visit a groomer, daycare, dog parks, or interact with any other dogs DO NOT need a regular Bordatella vaccination

Non-core (optional) vaccines:
– Leptospirosis Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • An initial series of two boosters given 2-4 weeks apart are administered regardless of the age of the pet at the time the series is started. This can start as early as 8 weeks of age in puppies.
  • After the initial 2-booster series, the leptospirosis vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunological protection

– Lyme Disease Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • An initial series of two boosters given 2-4 weeks apart are administered regardless of the age of the pet at the time the series is started. This can start as early as 8 weeks of age in puppies
  • After the initial 2-booster series, the Lyme vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunological protection

– Canine Influenza Vaccine (H3N8, H3N2, or Combo):
*Schedule:

  • An initial series of two boosters given 2-4 weeks apart are administered regardless of the age of the pet at the time the series is started. This can start as early as 8 weeks of age in puppies
  • After the initial 2-booster series, the Canine Influenza vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunological protection

Feline (Derived from AAFP- The American Association of Feline Practitioners):

Core Vaccines:
– Rabies:
*Schedule:

  • An initial kitten vaccine is given anytime after 12 weeks of age
  • A Rabies booster is given 1 year from the time of the initial vaccine, then is repeated every 1 or 3 years depending on the licensed interval of vaccine administered

– Panleukopenia + herpesvirus-1 + calicivirus (FPV+FHV-1+FCV aka FVRCP) Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • Kitten series: A series of at least 3 boosters given 3-4 weeks apart between that age of 6 weeks and 16 weeks. Ideal to give 3 total boosters
  • Adult booster at 1 year of age, then every 3 years for high risk cats

– Feline Leukemia Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • A single initial dose is given no earlier than 12 weeks of age
  • The vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunity for at risk cats

Preventive and Wellness Examinations:

*Puppies and kittens should receive a series of wellness check ups every 3-4 weeks between the age of 6 weeks and 16 weeks. During these exams, we take the time identify the following:

  • Make sure that development is occurring as expected
  • There is no evidence of congenital abnormalities
  • Update necessary recommended vaccinations
  • Take the time for client education regarding recommendations for new pet care
  • Answer any questions or concerns
  • Treat any sickness or abnormalities that may be present

*For normal healthy adult animals between the age of 1 and 7 years, we recommend routine wellness exams at least once a year.

*For senior and geriatric animals greater than 7 years of age, we recommend routine wellness exams at least twice a year

Vaccinations Guidelines:

Canine (Derived from AAHA- The American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines):

Core vaccines- Rabies, Da2p, Bordatella:
– Rabies Virus Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • An initial rabies vaccine is given sometime in the window of 14-16 weeks of age
  • An adult Rabies booster is given at 1 year from the time of the puppy vaccine, then every 3 years for life.
  • **Rabies vaccines are required by law unless there is an underlying health condition that warrants avoiding vaccination**

– Canine Distemper Virus/Parvovirus/Adenovirus-2/+/-Parainfluenza or Da2P Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • Puppy boosters: Series of at least 3 boosters given 3-4 weeks apart between that age of 6-8 weeks and 16 weeks. Ideal to give 3 total boosters
  • Adult booster at 1 year of age, then every 3 years for high risk dogs
  • For low risk dogs or those with underlying health problems, vaccine titers (blood test to check antibody levels) are available for canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus
  • Vaccine titers can be performed in lieu of revaccinating every 3 years in low risk adult dogs

– Bordatella Bronchiseptica +/- Parainfluenza (intraoral, intranasal, or subcutaneous administration options)
*Schedule:

  • A single dose of oral or intranasal Bordatella vaccine is given at or after 8 weeks of age
  • Adult dogs receive can receive a Bordatella vaccine every 6-12 months (1-2 times a year) depending on lifestyle and risk
  • Adult dogs that do not visit a groomer, daycare, dog parks, or interact with any other dogs DO NOT need a regular Bordatella vaccination

Non-core (optional) vaccines:
– Leptospirosis Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • An initial series of two boosters given 2-4 weeks apart are administered regardless of the age of the pet at the time the series is started. This can start as early as 8 weeks of age in puppies.
  • After the initial 2-booster series, the leptospirosis vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunological protection

– Lyme Disease Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • An initial series of two boosters given 2-4 weeks apart are administered regardless of the age of the pet at the time the series is started. This can start as early as 8 weeks of age in puppies
  • After the initial 2-booster series, the Lyme vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunological protection

– Canine Influenza Vaccine (H3N8, H3N2, or Combo):
*Schedule:

  • An initial series of two boosters given 2-4 weeks apart are administered regardless of the age of the pet at the time the series is started. This can start as early as 8 weeks of age in puppies
  • After the initial 2-booster series, the Canine Influenza vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunological protection

Feline (Derived from AAFP- The American Association of Feline Practitioners):

Core Vaccines:
– Rabies:
*Schedule:

  • An initial kitten vaccine is given anytime after 12 weeks of age
  • A Rabies booster is given 1 year from the time of the initial vaccine, then is repeated every 1 or 3 years depending on the licensed interval of vaccine administered

– Panleukopenia + herpesvirus-1 + calicivirus (FPV+FHV-1+FCV aka FVRCP) Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • Kitten series: A series of at least 3 boosters given 3-4 weeks apart between that age of 6 weeks and 16 weeks. Ideal to give 3 total boosters
  • Adult booster at 1 year of age, then every 3 years for high risk cats

– Feline Leukemia Vaccine:
*Schedule:

  • A single initial dose is given no earlier than 12 weeks of age
  • The vaccine is boosted annually to maintain immunity for at risk cats

Parasite Prevention in Dogs and Cats:

At West Delray Veterinary, we take a tailored approach to your pet’s health care. This is especially relevant when considering the appropriate protocol for parasite prevention. All dogs and cats, whether they are indoor or outdoor, are susceptible to both internal and external parasites. However, geographic location and lifestyle are important factors to consider when deciding on appropriate parasite prevention for your pet.

For example, a hunting dog in the northeastern United States, where ticks and Lyme disease are endemic, may require a different approach to parasite prevention than a mostly indoor dog that lives in a condominium in Miami Beach. In South Florida, the most important parasites that we are concerned about and should be prevented are heart worms, intestinal parasites and fleas. Ticks are certainly present, but do not seem to be widespread.

External Parasites:
External parasites include fleas, ticks, and skin/ear mites. Both dogs and cats, whether they are indoor or outdoor, are susceptible to external parasites. In South Florida, where the weather is a warm, humid, sub-tropical climate, external parasites are a concern and should be prevented in all dogs and cats.

The rationale for preventing external parasites is that fleas and ticks can spread potentially life threatening infectious diseases and can cause significant itchy skin, discomfort and skin infections. These conditions are easily prevented with sound external parasite prevention.

There are several safe and effective systemic (orally ingested) and topical (on the skin) flea and tick preventives available. Veterinary approved products are typically safe and effective. Please discuss the appropriate approach to your pet’s external parasite prevention with our team.

Internal Parasites:
Internal parasites include blood parasites (heartworms and infectious tick transmitted diseases like Lyme Disease) and intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and protozoans like giardia and coccidia).

All of these internal parasites are a high risk in South Florida and can mostly be easily prevented with a monthly heartworm prevention.

There are several approaches to safe and effective internal parasite prevention in at risk pets. Please inquire with the West Delray Veterinary team about the best approach to prevention for your pet.

For detailed information about heartworm prevention please visit the American Heartworm Society Website. https://www.heartwormsociety.org/

Spaying and Neutering:

A spay (ovarihisterectomy) is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs (uterus and ovaries) in female dogs/cats.

A neuter is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs (testicles) in male dogs/cats.

We generally recommend spaying and neutering all domestic dogs and cats. In most cases, this recommendation is made to prevent pet over population and to prevent some fairly common disease processes that occur in intact pets, including mammary cancer, life threatening uterine infections (pyometras), and some unpredictable behavioral patterns. This recommendation is a generalized one and may not be appropriate in certain circumstances.

In small/medium dogs and cats, it is appropriate to consider neutering or spaying your pet after 6 months of age. In large to giant breed dogs, it is most appropriate to wait until they are skeletally mature, and perform the proceeded at or after 1 year of age.

Dental care and prevention:

Just like in people, dogs and cats are susceptible to the progressive onset of dental disease. It is as important to prevent dental disease in your pet as it is in people.

We recommend the following guidelines:
At home prevention:

  • Brush your pet’s teeth daily (or as often as possible)
  • Consider an approved dental treat or chew that is safe and effective
  • Consider additional at home dental preventive techniques like wipes or water additives

Regular professional cleanings:

  • We recommend annual professional dental cleanings as the most effective approach to dental disease prevention. West Delray Veterinary offers comprehensive dental services for disease prevention and treatment.

For more information on veterinary dental disease and prevention, please visit www.vohc.org

Nutrition:

There are several options on how to approach your pet’s nutrition. The most convenient, conventional and reliable approach is to select a reputable, AAFCO approved, well-balanced commercial pet food that meets all of the recommended nutritional requirements for your pet’s needs given their age and health status.

However, there are also some alternative approaches to commercial pet foods, which may improve the nutritional value and the quality of the food that you feed your pet.

West Delray Veterinary supports all well-balanced and safely prepared approaches to pet nutrition without judgment. Our goals regarding your pet’s health and nutrition are to determine what are most important factors influencing your position on how to feed your pet, and to provide you with the education and resources on how to effective and safely execute your desired approach.

Training and socialization:

Most dogs that are new to your environment will require some level of positive reinforcement based training and controlled socialization. Some dogs require more intensive training than others.

We recommend consulting with a reputable trainer and/or group training a socialization classes to help provide you with resources on how to most effectively communicate with your pet.

Pet Health Insurance:

You never want to be in a position where you have to base your pet’s best interest on financial limitations. To avoid this potentially challenging circumstance, we recommend enrolling in a reasonable pet health insurance plan to help buffer the cost on unexpected veterinary medical expenses. Please see the pet insurance section of our website.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

West Delray Veterinary is conveniently located in Delray Beach.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries.

Have a question?

15065 S. State Rd 7, Suite # 750
Delray Beach, FL 33446
info@westdelrayvet.com

Mon-Thu: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Fri: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sat: 8:00am – 1:00pm
Sun: CLOSED

West Delray Veterinary is a Delray Beach, Florida based general small animal, integrative veterinary practice founded in 2019 by Dr. Jonathan S. Block CVA CCRT.