Routine Vaccination & Preventative Care
An Overview for Pet Owners
North Shore Boston
As a pet owner, you hear a lot about vaccinations
and how your four-legged friend has to have them. But what are pet vaccinations? And what vaccinations should your pet have?
Protecting Pets from Disease
Simply put, vaccinations are given to protect your pet against disease. During vaccination, a modified bacteria, parasite or virus is administered to your pet by injection or intra-nasally. The vaccination triggers an immune response within your pet's body to protect against a specific disease.
Vaccinations for Young Pets
Veterinarians usually recommend giving puppies and kittens a series of vaccinations starting when they are approximately seven weeks old. Young animals need to be vaccinated early on since the natural immunity in their mothers' milk gradually wears off and they become vulnerable to infectious diseases.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a series of vaccinations are usually scheduled approximately three to four weeks apart, with the final vaccination series being administered when they are 16 to 18 weeks old.
The Importance of Annual Shots
Annual booster shots will also be necessary to keep vaccine levels high enough in your pet to protect her over time. Fortunately, pet owners appear to be keeping up with their pets' shots; the 2007 AVMA Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook reports that 64.4% of dog owners and 63.7% of cat owners received vaccination services or products during their most recent veterinary visit.
X-rays are used in a variety of cases. They are vital in detecting bone fractures, bladder stones, and for finding and assessing tumors. They can be helpful in locating foreign material such as swallowed fishhooks and safety pins. They are used to aid in decision making regarding Cesarean Section surgery by allowing the surgeon to actually see the size and number of fetuses present. In order to have a quality x-ray film the subject must be motionless for the fraction of a second the exposure it occurring. Some cats and dogs are very cooperative and others will need sedation to calm them for the procedure. Other special situations require that the dog or cat be completely relaxed for a particular view or procedure…and that means a light anesthetic is required.
Diagnostic Laboratory Samples
North Shore Veterinarian
On a house call basis, lab work could never be easier both on the pet or the client. In the towns we service, from Peabody up to Danvers and from Reading to Beverly, we often collect blood samples ,stool samples and even cytology samples for laboratory submission. Veterinary animal care requires a great deal of analysis because our patients rarely speak. Presently the laboratory work most required includes Occult heartworm testing, thyroid function tests, adrenal gland function tests and biochemical tests addressing liver kidney and other organ function.
On a home visit basis, we administer ECGs and these are immediately assessed and diagnosed with the help of Idex labs.
The procedure requires neither sedation nor more than very basic restraint. Results are quick and efficient. Often an ultrasound is suggested in addition to the ECG. Either we transport the pet or refer to a specialized ultrasound center.
Extensive Diagnostic Testing
We seek the analysis of underlying physiological/biochemical changes.
We do this by utilizing extensive biochemical profiles. We have our own in house lab, as well as using IDEX labs and their excellent consultation services.
Within 24 hours or less, we are able to process blood chemistry results for CBC, Chemistry, Thyroid, occult heartworm, fecal analysis and many other laboratory procedures.
We will provide guidance regarding your pet's nutritional needs for each life stage, including dietary requirements for growth, weight maintenance and performance. We provide delivery for our patients of prescription diets.
Deciding to euthanize a companion animal is one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner will ever make. Although performing euthanasia for pets
to end suffering is the, most unselfish thing we can do for our pet, it is also very sad.
When a pet is euthanized, it is often an emotional time for the pet's caregiver.
You should know that we will make sure that absolutely everything has been done and that this really is the only option left to you and your animal. Our vet is a pet owner too, and he has had to make this tragic decision for his own special family members. The recommendation he gives to you will be in the best interest for you and your pet. Furthermore, a trip to a hospital for an ill animal may be a traumatic experience.
Our home pet euthanasia
service makes this difficult time less stressful for everyone involved. We can help you make a decision you feel comfortable with, then provide a peaceful experience for your family and for your pet when you feel his time has come.