The doctors and staff of the Little Silver Animal Hospital want to make sure that your puppies and kittens get the absolute best start in life. To ensure that your healthy puppy or kitten has the greatest chance of thriving in your home and growing up to be a well-loved member of your family, we meet the physical and behavioral needs of your youngest pets. Even the healthiest puppy or kitten needs to be seen by our veterinary staff within a few days of entering your home. This way we can assess the little one’s health, answer any questions, and forge a special bond between your young pet and our office staff.
The Right Start Requires the Right Care!
- ALL puppies and kittens require veterinary care to make sure that they get the best start for a long and healthy life. Their moms’ milk is not adequate protection against disease!
- ALL puppies and kittens need a complete physical examination to make sure that any potential problems are promptly diagnosed and quickly treated.
- ALL puppies and kittens need a series of several vaccinations, de-wormings, and a few laboratory tests.
Our doctors recommend the following first steps for your young puppies:
- First physical examination at approximately 8-9 weeks of age to make sure that the little one is growing properly and that no congenital problems exist. This hands-on physical is quite extensive and includes examining the eyes, ears, mouth and teeth for proper development, as well as checking the heart for murmurs.
- First vaccination at 8-9 weeks of age, then every 3 weeks until at least14-16 weeks of age. For most pets, the vaccinations will be a combination injection of several protective vaccines. Some will be injected under the skin; others given as nose drops or orally.
- First rabies vaccination at 12-16 weeks of age. All dogs require a vaccination to protect against rabies. This vaccine is boostered one year later then every 3 years thereafter. Rabies vaccination must be given prior to 6 months of age by law.
- Firsts for Puppies – In addition to vaccines, puppies also need fecal testing for intestinal parasites and treatment as recommended. Most treatments are given by mouth, right in the office. Puppies will be started on heartworm preventive, as well as flea and tick control, once they are 12 weeks old.
Our doctors recommend the following first steps for your young kittens:
- First physical examination at approximately 8-9 weeks of age to make sure that the little one is growing properly and that no congenital problems exist. This hands-on physical is quite extensive and similar to the physical examination performed on young puppies.
- First vaccination at 8-9 weeks of age, then every 3 weeks until at least 14-16 weeks of age. For most kittens, the vaccinations will be a combination injection of several protective vaccines.
- First rabies vaccination at approximately 12-16 weeks of age. All cats, including indoor cats, require a vaccination to protect against rabies. This vaccine is boostered one year later, and then every 3 years thereafter.
- Firsts for Kittens – In addition to vaccines, kittens also need testing for intestinal parasites and treatment as needed. Also, testing for feline leukemia, FIV, and Bartonella is highly recommended and performed within the first few visits to our office
- In addition, the doctors and staff are happy to discuss nutrition and behavior and to make recommendations regarding diet, early training, socialization, and house-training. The staff and doctors are eager to provide practical tips and suggestions for all issues. We welcome questions and look forward to meeting the newest additions to your family.
Feline Leukemia (FELV) and Feline Aids (FIV) are deadly viruses spread from cat to cat when fighting, hissing, and possibly even casual contact. These viruses are NOT contagious to people. Bartonella is a bacterial infection transmitted through a flea bite and can cause a condition called Cat Scratch Fever in people.
A detailed puppy/kitten folder will be given at your pet’s first visit that summarizes most of what is discussed in your first visit, in case you forget something we discussed. Other valuable tools like a list of poisonous plants, poison control hotline, and pet insurance information is found in this valuable folder as well.
Tracking weight and growth progress is a fundamental part of the first-year wellness exam, setting the foundation for ongoing pet health. Any changes in your pet’s response to food should be reported to your veterinarian at once, as it may indicate the development of a more systemic problem. All puppies and kittens require a constant source of fresh, clean water at all times, unless otherwise specified by your veterinarian. During their first year, puppies and kittens need a diet tailored to promote the proper growth and development of young bones, muscles, and teeth. This is the stage when they will need extra protein and a variety of specific nutrients. At the wellness exam, we will counsel you on the proper diet of food and treats for your specific breed and type of pet, as well as exercise requirements for a happy, well-behaved pet.