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dr. randy examing a white and brown puppy

Veterinary Services

Pet Preventative and Wellness Care

Learn more about our pet preventative and wellness care services below.

Apalachee River Animal Hospital Staff with bulldog

Pet Preventative and Wellness Care

Our veterinarians feel that preventative care is the hallmark of good health and a long life. Preventative care visits are scheduled with the same veterinarian on a regular basis. We feel this provides the best long-term care as it gives our doctors an opportunity to really get to know your pet and better note small changes in their health. Minor changes detected on an annual exam can often signal problems your pet may be having. An earlier intervention can improve the outcome of the majority of illnesses we treat. Blood work, stool analysis, and vaccinations are also important aspects of preventative care. Vaccinations based on your pet’s lifestyle assessment will prevent disease and heartworm/flea/tick prevention can protect your pet from intestinal parasites, fleas, tick-borne disease, and Heartworm disease.

Puppy Recommendations

6-8 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • DHPv (Distemper/Parvo Vaccination)
  • *Bordetella (Kennel Cough Vaccination)
  • Microchip (Recommended)
  • Start Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea/Tick Prevention

11 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen (if previously positive or first visit)
  • DHPv Booster
  • *Leptospirosis Vaccine #1
  • Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea/Tick Prevention

14 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen (if previously positive or first visit)
  • DHPv Booster
  • *Leptospirosis Vaccine #2
  • Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea/Tick Prevention

17 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • DHPv Booster
  • Rabies Vaccination
  • Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea/Tick Prevention

6-12 months of age: We recommend all dogs be spayed or neutered unless going to be used for breeding. Continue monthly dosing of heartworm prevention year-round, life-long. Flea/tick medication is also recommended year-round.

Our vaccination schedule follows the recommendations of the American Animal Hospital Association Vaccination Guidelines. *Vaccines are considered non-core and will be administered based on your puppy’s risk assessment. Lyme vaccine can be discussed for at-risk patients as well.

Kitten Recommendations

8 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • FVRCP (Feline rhinotracheitis, Calici and Panleukopenia Vaccine)
  • Feline Leukemia and FIV testing
  • Microchip (Recommended)
  • Start Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea Prevention (Revolution)

11 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen (if previously positive or first visit)
  • FVRCP Booster
  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination #1
  • Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea Prevention (Revolution)

14 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen (if previously positive or first visit)
  • FVRCP Booster
  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination #2
  • Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea Prevention (Revolution)

17 weeks of age:

  • Examination
  • Intestinal Parasite Screen
  • FVRCP Booster
  • Rabies Vaccination
  • Confirmatory Feline Leukemia/FIV test
  • Heartworm/Intestinal Parasite/Flea Prevention (Revolution)

6 months of age: We recommend all cats be spayed or neutered unless going to be used for breeding. Continue monthly dosing of Revolution year-round, life-long.

Our vaccination schedule follows the recommendations of the American Association of Feline Practitioners Vaccination Guidelines. All kittens should receive leukemia vaccinations during their kitten series and boost at their first annual exam. After the one-year booster, we vaccinate for leukemia for at-risk patients only.

Annual recommendations

Canine
Rabies Vaccine – This is a county and state-mandated vaccine, and is therefore required for all of our patients (16 weeks of age or older).

DHPP (Distemper, Parvo, and Hepatitis Vaccine) – This is a core vaccine recommended for all of our patients with the exception of a previous severe reaction or other medical contraindications. Patients being admitted for bathing, daycare, boarding, or elective surgery/procedures must be current on this vaccine.

Bordetella/Parainfluenza Vaccine – This is a lifestyle vaccine recommended for our patients that visit boarding, puppy/obedience/agility classes, grooming at the salon, doggy playgroups/daycare, dog shows, and dog parks. This disease is highly contagious and causes inflammation of your dog’s upper respiratory system. This inflammation leads to coughing, illness, and can expose your dog to secondary infections. It can lead to fatal bronchopneumonia in puppies and chronic bronchitis in senior or immunocompromised dogs. Patients being admitted for bathing, daycare, boarding, or drop-off preventative medicine appointments must be vaccinated within the last 12 months.

Leptospirosis Vaccine – This is a lifestyle vaccine recommended for our patients that visit nature parks where wildlife could be, farmland in the proximity of yard or farm dog, exposure to creeks, ponds, lakes, or have any wildlife traveling through the yard. Leptospirosis is a disease carried by rodents, farm animals, and wildlife. These animals often infect pets via urinating in areas your pet may visit. Stagnant water (ponds, slow-moving creeks, etc) may also harbor this bacteria. This is also zoonotic, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. If your pet is exposed to the above risk, we recommend your pet be vaccinated every 12 months.

Lyme Vaccine– This is a lifestyle vaccine recommended for our patients traveling to the northeast or living in an area with a heavy tick burden. Lyme is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by black-legged (aka deer or Ixodes) ticks that tend to live in woods and tall grasses in many parts of the country. If your pet is exposed to the above risk, we recommend your pet be vaccinated every 12 months.

Routine Annual Wellness Blood Work – Your pet’s blood holds valuable information which can tell us how your pet’s organs are working. Organ function may begin to decline at any time in your pet’s life and early detection is critical since most conditions (like liver or kidney disease) are not visible until it is progressed. Our Annual Wellness Profiles also include a heartworm test. Heartworm testing is recommended for all patients and is required annually for heartworm prevention renewal.

Intestinal Parasite Screening – Fecal exams are used to determine if your dog has intestinal parasites such as hookworms or roundworms. Parasites not only make pets uncomfortable, but they could lead to more serious conditions for your pet and even be transmitted to family members. We recommend an Intestinal Parasite Screening every 6 months. Patients being admitted for bathing, daycare, boarding, or drop-off preventative medicine appointments must have a negative fecal test within the last 6 months.

We recommend heartworm, flea, tick, and intestinal parasite prevention like Heartgard and Nexgard year-round for our dogs. Our weather is unpredictable, and even in the winter, we experience warm days. Flea, tick, and mosquito activity decreases with cooler weather, but this area does not sustain enough days of cold weather to expect a true off-season. Intestinal parasites are a year-round occurrence, and heartworm prevention also keeps these parasites under control.

Feline
Rabies Vaccine – This is a county and state-mandated vaccine, and is therefore required for all of our patients (16 weeks of age or older).
FVRCP Vaccine (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia) – This is a core vaccine recommended for all of our cats with the exception of previous severe reactions or other medical contraindications. Patients being admitted for bathing, boarding, or elective surgery/procedures must be current on this vaccine.

FeLV Vaccine (Feline Leukemia Virus) – This is a lifestyle vaccine that we highly recommend for our cats that spend time outdoors, have exposure to new cats/kittens, or those that have a screened area that other cats could approach. This is a virus that infects only cats. FeLV depresses the immune system and tends to lead to persistent infection. It is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids. There is no treatment to eliminate the FeLV virus from the body, and the disease is ultimately fatal. If your pet is exposed to the above risk, we recommend your pet be vaccinated every 12 months.

Routine Annual Wellness Blood Work – Your pet’s blood holds valuable information which can tell us how your pet’s organs are working. Organ function may begin to decline at any time in your pet’s life and early detection is critical since most conditions (like liver or kidney disease) are not visible until it is progressed.
Intestinal Parasite Screening – Fecal exams are used to determine if your cat has intestinal parasites such as hookworms or roundworms. Parasites not only make pets uncomfortable, but they could lead to more serious conditions for your pet and even be transmitted to family members. We recommend an Intestinal Parasite Screening every 6 months. Patients being admitted for bathing, boarding, or drop-off preventative medicine appointments must have a negative fecal test within the last 6 months.

We recommend heartworm, flea, tick, and intestinal parasite prevention like Revolution year-round for our cats. Our weather is unpredictable, and even in the winter, we experience warm days. Flea, tick, and mosquito activity decreases with cooler weather, but this area does not sustain enough days of cold weather to expect a true off-season. Intestinal parasites are a year-round occurrence, and heartworm prevention also keeps these parasites under control.