Wellness Care & Vaccinations
At Westmount Animal Clinic we like to focus on preventive medicine whenever possible. To help your pets stay healthy it is important to have a physical examination at least once a year for young pets and twice a year for senior pets. At this time we assess your pets’ overall health, nutritional status and answer any questions you may have regarding your pets’ health and behaviour. We will provide you with updated information on current recommendations for preventive health care as well as parasite prevention . Simply put regular yearly/bi-annual exams focus on keeping your pets healthy and confronting problems before they get out of hand.
Although some vaccines are generally recommended for all dogs and cats, our veterinarians can assist you in selecting vaccines for your pet based on the unique set of risks faced by your pet. Some factors to be considered include the number of pets in the household, exposure to other pets or wild animals, age and health status of your pet, as well as travel and kenneling considerations. By measuring blood titre levels of antibodies to the core vaccines we can determine whether immunity needs boosting or not (at this time titers are available for dogs only).
Research has shown that both puppy and kitten maternal antibodies can persist for months and their immune systems are initially slow to develop, both contributing to poor immune response to early vaccination. In our practice area it is recommended that those pets at high risk should get their first vaccine at 8 weeks, but both puppies and kittens really need the 12 week and especially the 16 week booster to maximize their immune development.
Adult cats get the respiratory series which includes a herpes virus (Rhinotracheitis) and Calici virus and the Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia) vaccines yearly, all combined into one injection. It is much safer to give these “unadjuvanted” vaccines yearly than to use the extended three year vaccines with adjuvants, that have been shown to cause sarcoma cancer in cats.
*We give the Feline Leukemia Virus vaccine to outdoor cats at risk only.*
Our core canine vaccines; Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Adenovirus are licensed for only 1 year but have been tested to last longer. We give the same as the final puppy full set of boosters including Rabies on the first adult annual visit. We can continue with yearly vaccine boosters, but research has shown that many dogs will have lasting immunity, so on yearly visits after this we prefer to do a blood test to measure antibodies and often immunity persists for longer. If immunity to any one fraction drops below protective levels, we can booster just that fraction, (parvovirus or distemper/adenovirus). Rabies vaccine is given once every three years for the life of your pet.
*Bordetella vaccine if needed is given yearly to some and twice yearly for those at high risk; those frequenting day cares, boarding facilities and grooming parlours.*