Vet Visits

Today’s PetMeds spotlight is on Vet visits.

One of the most important veterinary visits for new puppy or kitten owners is the first exam given after adopting a new pet. Typically this exam is done approximately 6 to 8 weeks of age. Given how common intestinal parasites are in newborn puppies and kittens, it’s important to bring with you a stool sample for microscopic check of intestinal worms. Even if this stool sample is negative, many veterinarians will often prophylactically worm kittens or puppies with a broad acting wormer such as Strongid. Vaccination, pet food, and protection against fleas and heartworms are all common topics to discuss during your pet's first veterinarian visit

A very important topic to discuss at this first veterinary visit is how often puppies and kittens should be vaccinated.  It is my opinion that most veterinarians over vaccinate puppies and kittens.  For dog owners,  parvo and distemper are the main viruses to vaccinate for, and these should be given at age 8, 12 and 16 weeks.  For cat owners, feline panleukopenia, feline calici and rhinotracheitis virus are the main viruses to vaccinate for with a similar schedule.  Rabies should be given at a separate veterinary visit at age 4 to 6 months. Many other vaccinations are either not needed or are not safe in my opinion.

Other issues to discuss with your veterinarian should include what and how often to feed your puppy or kitten.  I stress all natural or minimally processed puppy and kitten foods such as those made by Halo, and Wellness brands. Puppies and kittens will also often be started on a parasite prevention control program, including topical flea and tick medication such as Frontline Plus and Advantage II, as well as oral monthly heartworm preventative medication (Interceptor or Heartgard).

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