Vaccines and Wellness Visits – Dogs

About your dog’s vaccinations and Annual Wellness Visit:

Routine vaccinations and annual exams help to prevent common disease, as well as identify other problems before they become unmanageable.

Vaccinations that are routinely given to every dog:

  • DA2PLP/C – the routine dog 6-way, or “distemper-parvo” vaccine
    • Distemper – is a viral disease that causes respiratory as well as GI signs, and then eventually can cause neurologic symptoms and, ultimately, death. It is a very common disease.
    • Adenovirus Type II – is a viral illness that is not very common. It causes a form of viral pneumonia as well as canine viral hepatitis.
    • Parainfluenza – is a more common form of viral pneumonia, especially in dogs that come from a kennel or shelter type environment.
    • Leptospirosis – is a bacterial disease that causes kidney and liver failure. Contrary to common myth, it is very common in the environment, as it is spread in the urine of wild and domestic animals, including opossums and raccoons, deer, cattle, and horses. Once contracted, it is often misdiagnosed due to its similarity to many other diseases.
    • Parvovirus – is a severe intestinal viral disease that causes acute, severe, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and which is often fatal. It is very prevalent in the environment, and is extremely common in puppies and other non-vaccinated dogs.
    • Coronavirus – similar to parvovirus, it causes vomiting and diarrhea, although is not usually fatal.
  • Bordetella (or kennel cough) – is a bacterial disease that causes a severe, hoarse, dry honking cough, similar to Whooping Cough in kids. It is rarely fatal.
  • Rabies – is a viral disease that is uniformly fatal to any animal that contracts it, including humans.

Of the vaccinations given above, all are viral diseases except for Leptospirosis and Bordetella. After the initial set of puppy vaccines, all viral vaccines are repeated at 3 year intervals, including rabies. The bacterial vaccines – Lepto and Bordetella – are less potent, and thus have to be repeated annually.

Also during the annual visit, we’ll perform the following:

  • A complete physical exam, checking all organ systems, including GI, respiratory, skin and coat, lymph nodes, and eyes/ears/nose/throat (pet permitting). Any abnormalities are noted and discussed as to proper course of action to remedy.
  • Fecal flotation – examines your pet’s stool for internal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms, all of which are common in Florida.
  • Heartworm test – uses one drop of blood to test for this extremely common disease that is transmitted between pets by mosquitos.

Other, optional vaccines that can be performed during this visit include:

  • Canine influenza – is a relatively rare viral disease, usually confined to kenneling and shelter environments. We usually only administer this on the requirement of a boarding kennel for a stay at their kennel.
  • Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) – is a bacterial-type disease transmitted by the deer tick. It is more common in the northeast, but cases unique to Florida are starting to be recognized. Any dog with high tick exposure is a candidate for this vaccine. If that includes your pet, please let us know and we’ll discuss whether your pet should receive this vaccine.