Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Our wellness plans mirror our health care philosophy

 Preventative health care, according to life stage
 Risk factor management, Species and Breed specific
 Proactive Medical care- especially with our senior citizens 
 Long term medical management for pets living with chronic disease 

Comprehensive programs tailored to meet your pet’s specific needs. 

  
Pick from the following to see detailed wellness plans
 

 

Canine Pediatric Health & Wellness Plan

Healthy Paws Veterinary Center

Congratulations on adopting your new puppy and welcome to the Healthy Paws Family!

At Healthy Paws, we have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Puppies with a primary goal in mind- to keep your puppy healthy through this important phase of rapid growth and build a solid foundation for maintaining optimal health throughout your puppy’s life.

What are the basic components of the Canine Pediatric Health Plan?

·         History & Physical exams- usually 3-4  pediatric exams

·         Immunizations- puppy booster series

·         Internal and external parasite control- intestinal, heartworm, flea, tick & mite control

·         Laboratory screening tests / preoperative blood screening

·         Nutritional counseling

·         Zoonotic disease (conditions that can spread to humans)

·         Spay / neuter / microchip discussion

·         Behavior consultation / house breaking & basic training

·         Management of congenital disease- problems some puppies are born with

·         Exercise / play recommendations

·         Dental care- starting the discussion of home care

We have carefully developed our program to provide the most current & complete medical care for new puppies to put them on the path for a healthy full life with you.  We will continue to modify the program as superior screening tests, vaccines, or medications are available.  Please look at our Canine Pediatric Health Plan in detail- we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.  We believe you will agree the program provides the best preventative health care for your newest family member.


HPVC- Canine Pediatric Wellness Program Schedule

 Age of Puppy

Core Vaccination

Non-core Vaccination

Parasite Control

6-8 weeks

(Doctor visit)

DHPP #1 booster  (Distemper-Hepatitis-Parainfluenza-Parvo Virus)

Bordetella  * recommended for all pups for baseline immunity

Fecal testing

Strategic Dewoming

Start monthly Heartworm prevention

10-12 weeks

(Doctor visit)

DHPP #2 booster

Leptospirosis  #1 booster *recommended for almost all patients

Strategic Deworming

Repeat fecal test if initial test was positive

Start Tick & Flea control

12-14 weeks

(Tech visit )

 

Lyme  #1 booster *recommended for most patients

Canine Influenza (CIV ) #1

 

14-16 weeks

(Doctor visit)

DHPP #3 (final) booster

Rabies vaccination

Leptospirosis #2 (final) booster

Strategic Deworming (final)

16-18 weeks

(Tech visit)

 

Lyme #2 (final)booster

CIV #2 (final) booster

 

 

6 months- Spay surgery for female dogs;  6-12 months- neuter for male dogs

1 year - Canine Adult Wellness Exam

  • Core vaccinations- DHPP, Rabies
  • Non-Core vaccinations- Lepto, Lyme, Bordetella, CIV
  • 4DX testing- screens for heartworm disease and exposure to Lyme, Anaplasma, & Ehrlichia (all tick transmitted diseases)
  • Fecal screen for parasites

 

 Why Vaccination for your Puppy are Vital

There are many very serious and highly contagious diseases that your puppy can contract if not properly protected.  Fortunately, safe and effective vaccines have been developed for most of these diseases. Similar to human babies, puppies require a series of vaccines (boosters) given during the first 4 months of life-when maternal antibody protection is wearing off and the puppy’s own immune system is maturing. By following recommended vaccination protocols, you are giving your dog a solid core immunity that will protect from infectious diseases throughout their lifetime.  

Vaccines are typically given in conjunction with the pediatric wellness exams at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. Depending on the size of your pup and the number of vaccines to be given, your doctor may recommend splitting the vaccines over two sessions.

What are we vaccinating against?

Core vaccines are those that are recommended for all dogs and include rabies, distemper, hepatitis, & parvovirus.

Non-Core vaccines also protect against serious diseases but may not be appropriate for all dogs based on breed or individual lifestyle. Non-core vaccines include Bordetella (kennel cough), Lyme, Leptosprirosis, canine influenza (H1N6), canine  melanoma, & porphorous (dental disease vaccine).

At Healthy Paws, your doctor will discuss which non-core vaccines are appropriate for your dog and your lifestyle and develop a vaccine strategy for each individual patient.

Distemper- A very contagious virus that causes gastro-intestinal, respiratory, and end stage neurological disease. Approx 80% of dogs who contract the disease die despite treatment.

Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus 2)- Causes severe damage to the liver

Parvovirus- Causes bloody diarrhea and suppression of the immune system.

Rabies- A fatal viral disease that can affect any warm-blooded mammal including humans. There is no cure for rabies.  Infected pets must be euthanized and all exposed persons must receive a series of painful rabies vaccinations. Common wildlife vectors include raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, & woodchucks.

Leptospirosis- is a bacterial disease that causes severe liver and kidney disease. The bacteria is spread through the urine of wildlife and causes similar disease in humans. 

Lyme disease- A tick transmitted disease communicable to both dogs and humans. In dogs, Lyme typically causes acute lameness, joint swelling, fever, lethargy, and occasionally kidney failure.

Bordatella-Parainfluenza- Commonly known as “kennel cough”, these respiratory diseases are highly contagious, causing coughing, tracheitis, bronchitis, and occasionally a severe bronchopneumonia.

Canine Influenza (H1N6) - a new variant strain of Equine Influenza causing widespread respiratory disease in exposed dogs. Although majority of dogs show mild signs and recover fully, approximately 5% of dogs in an outbreak die of fatal pneumonia.

Parasite Control

Protecting the health of your puppy and your family…

At each pediatric visit, we will check for the following:

·         Intestinal parasites via fecal (stool) exam

·         Ear mites

·         Fleas, ticks, and other skin parasites

·         Ringworm (fungal infection)

Treat for the following:

·         Intestinal parasites (strategic deworming)

·         Prescribe more intensive treatment for any identified parasitic infestation

·         Prescribe topical Flea/Tick prevention based on age

How do we test a stool sample? 

With the most common method, we mix a small amount of stool with a sugar solution that causes the parasite eggs to separate from the rest of the fecal material, float up, and stick to a glass slide which we then look at under the microscope.  Each type of parasite has a unique egg size and shape. Eggs are microscopic and can be missed if the worms are not shedding eggs the day the sample is collected.

Yikes, I see actual worms in the stool!

Sometimes puppies do pass adult worms- especially after a deworming. Roundworms look like spaghetti, and tapeworms look like small flat tan grains of rice. Call us if you ever see worms on your dog’s hind end or in feces!

In cases of chronic diarrhea & weight loss in puppies that have negative fecal tests, we may recommend additional testing for more rare parasitic diseases.

Common Tick Diseases in Westborough Ma:

  • Lyme Disease- Borreliosis
  • Anaplasmosis

 

 

 

 

 

  Heartworm Disease, Prevention & Testing

Heartworm disease is a serious risk to your dog.  Heartworms are parasites that live in your dog’s heart and pulmonary vessels. Adults can grow to 1 -2 feet in length and live an average of 5-7 years. It is not uncommon to find more than 30 worms in an infected dog.  When left untreated, infected dogs will eventually develop heart disease and failure

Transmission of heartworm disease is through mosquitoes.  The microfilaria (baby heartworms) are injected into your dog when a mosquito bites, so even a dog that is not outdoors a lot can still be infected—it only takes a single mosquito bite.  From there the larva migrate from the skin though tissues and eventually mature into an adult heartworm that resides in the heart. The maturation process takes 6 months, so prevention focuses on killing the immature worms BEFORE they become adults.   Once heartworms become adults, they are very difficult to kill. The only effective drug is an arsenic derived compound and the dying worms in the heart can cause significant damage to the lungs and even cause death. It is both costly and more risky to kill adults compared to prevention.

Prevention is easy, safe and effective. Healthy paws generally prescribes IVERHEART Plus / Max which are flavored tablets containing ivermectin and pyrantel. When consistently given monthly throughout the year, Iverheart is 100% effective .  We start pups on heartworm prevention at their first pediatric visit, but testing is usually first done at the 1 year visit.   Healthy Paws also carries limited supplies of Heartgard & Interceptor- alternative heartworm preventives. Heartgard contains the same drugs as Iverheart but is in a chewy treat form instead of a flavored tablet. Interceptor is a flavored tablet like the Iverheart, but uses a different drug- milbemycin to kill the baby heartworms.  All three brands are safe and 100% guaranteed effective .

Testing for heartworm disease is recommended yearly starting at the 1st year Canien Adult Wellness Exam. At Healthy Paws, we use the 4DX snap test which not only tests for adult heartworms, but also tests for exposure to Lyme disease, Anaplamosis, and Ehrlichia- the latter three are bacterial diseases carried and transmitted by ticks. By testing annually, we not only get important information on exposure to ticks and the common tick related diseases, but also make sure none of our patients go undiagnosed with heartworm disease should a failure with the preventive occur.

Topical Flea & Tick Prevention- Vectra

Healthy Paws currently recommends Vectra by Summit for flea and tick prevention. Vectra is approved for puppies 7 weeks and older and is applied directly to the skin in several locations along the back.  The compound absorbs but is contained in the lipid layer of the skin where it slowly releases over the next month.

Vectra Kills and Repels- ticks, biting flies, mosquitoes, and all stages of flea life including eggs, pupae, larve, and adults.

General recommendation is to treat seasonally- usually March/April through Nov /Dec based on weather patterns. Some folks decide year round prevention works better for them. Any time it is over 45 degrees F, the ticks are out and questing for a blood meal. So check your dogs carefully on those “unseasonably” balmy winter days for ticks if you choose to treat seasonally. 

Adult Canine Health & Wellness Plan

At Healthy Paws, your dog’s health is our main focus. We have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Adult Dogs using the most updated clinical information and recommendations of specialists as well as tailoring our program to address problems seen in our geographic location such as Lyme disease and Leptosporosis. Our goal is to give you more healthy years with your canine companion!

What are the basic components of the Adult Canine Health Plan?

Annual Examination Appointment: (years 1 to 8-10 yrs)

: (years 1 to 8-10 yrs)

Complete physical examination

4DX® test- screens for heartworm disease and 3 tick diseases- Lyme, Anaplasma, & Ehrlichia

Fecal parasite screen- check a stool sample for microscopic eggs of intestinal worms

Urine protein screen- for early detection of kidney disease which is especially important for dogs who have previously tested positive for Lyme disease or Anaplasma on the 4DX® snap test

Appropriate vaccinations or checking vaccine titer levels (see next page)

Topical Tick/Flea control- Canine Advantix® (or other appropriate product)

Heartworm prevention- year round – Iverheart Plus®, Interceptor®, Heartgard®

At 4 years: Baseline blood work- CBC, Chemistry screen, & thyroid level – similar to your physician running baseline blood work on you when you turn 35. In future years, as your pet’s chances of developing problems increases, we have a baseline to refer back to. If your dog stays healthy with no problems, then the next "screening blood work" would be at 8 years of age.

: Baseline blood work- CBC, Chemistry screen, & thyroid level – similar to your physician running baseline blood work on you when you turn 35. In future years, as your pet’s chances of developing problems increases, we have a baseline to refer back to. If your dog stays healthy with no problems, then the next "screening blood work" would be at 8 years of age.

At 8 years, large breed dogs (over 50 pounds) become "Senior Canine Citizens" and transition to our senior wellness program.

, large breed dogs (over 50 pounds) become "Senior Canine Citizens" and transition to our senior wellness program.

At 10 years, small and medium breed dogs (<50 pounds) become seniors.

, small and medium breed dogs (<50 pounds) become seniors.

Dental Care

Dental care is very important for dogs. Dogs can have cavities and broken teeth just like people.

We recommend brushing your dog's teeth daily with a pet safe toothpaste like C.E.T brand.

Every year at your dog's annual exam we will perform a visual exam of the mouth and teeth.

If we feel there are problems that may need a more through dental assessment and treatment plan (dental ATP) we will discuss the need for dental cleaning and x-rays under anesthesia.

HPVC- Adult Canine Wellness Program Schedule- Vaccination Scedule

Age of Dog

Core Vaccination

Non-core Vaccination

Lifestyle Vaccinations

Year 1

*DHPP- 3yr vaccine

*Rabies – 3yr vaccine

*Leptospirosis

*Lyme

*Bordetella

*CIV

Years 2-3

 

*Leptospirosis

*Lyme

*Bordetella

*CIV

Year 4

*Rabies – 3yr Vaccine

*DHPP – 3yr Vaccine OR Vaccine Titers**

*Leptospirosis

*Lyme

*Bordetella

*CIV

Years 5 to 8-10

*Boosters as needed

*Annual Boosters

Annual Boosters

DHPP= Distemper-Parvo-Adenovirus-Parainfluenza vaccination

Distemper-Parvo-Adenovirus-Parainfluenza vaccination

Core vaccinations are vaccinations that should be given to all dogs regardless of breed, size, or where the dog is living. They protect from devastating infectious diseases that are everywhere.

are vaccinations that should be given to all dogs regardless of breed, size, or where the dog is living. They protect from devastating infectious diseases that are everywhere.

Non-core vaccinations protect from diseases that not all dogs are exposed to due to geography. In our area, Lyme and Leptospirosis are two prevalent diseases that affect many dogs. Vaccination is strongly recommended for all dogs living in the Westborough, MA area.

protect from diseases that not all dogs are exposed to due to geography. In our area, Lyme and Leptospirosis are two prevalent diseases that affect many dogs. Vaccination is strongly recommended for all dogs living in the Westborough, MA area.

Lifestyle Vaccines are those that protect again contagious diseases encountered in unique situations- most commonly in boarding, daycare, busy grooming shops or showing environments where there are large numbers of dogs in close quarters and a constant influx of new dogs who may be carriers of respiratory disease. Bordetella (kennel cough) and Canine Influenza are the two "life style" vaccinations that Healthy Paws has available for individuals at risk.

are those that protect again contagious diseases encountered in unique situations- most commonly in boarding, daycare, busy grooming shops or showing environments where there are large numbers of dogs in close quarters and a constant influx of new dogs who may be carriers of respiratory disease. Bordetella (kennel cough) and Canine Influenza are the two "life style" vaccinations that Healthy Paws has available for individuals at risk.

*Rabies law: Mass State law mandates that a rabies booster vaccination be given between 9 and 12 months following an initial vaccination in order for the booster to be given a 3 year rabies certificate. If the booster is given either too early or too late (by even a single day!), the state will only let us make the certificate valid for one year and the pet must be vaccinated for rabies again the following year.

: Mass State law mandates that a rabies booster vaccination be given between 9 and 12 months following an initial vaccination in order for the booster to be given a 3 year rabies certificate. If the booster is given either too early or too late (by even a single day!), the state will only let us make the certificate valid for one year and the pet must be vaccinated for rabies again the following year.

**Vaccination titers: For clients concerned about over vaccination, there is an option to test the level of protective antibody against Parvo virus and Distemper virus in the blood. If the level is high enough to be considered "protective", then the vaccination booster is postponed until the next year where client again have the option to check titers or give the booster. Ask the doctor for more information if you are interested in titer testing.

For clients concerned about over vaccination, there is an option to test the level of protective antibody against Parvo virus and Distemper virus in the blood. If the level is high enough to be considered "protective", then the vaccination booster is postponed until the next year where client again have the option to check titers or give the booster. Ask the doctor for more information if you are interested in titer testing.

Senior Canine Health & Wellness Plan

Healthy Paws Veterinary Center

Welcome to the Healthy Paws Family!

At Healthy Paws, we have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Senior Dogs with a primary goal in mind- giving your dog the best quality of life for as long as possible. At 8 years, large breed dogs (over 50 pounds) become “Senior Canine Citizens” and transition to our senior wellness program. At 10 years, small and medium breed dogs (<50 pounds) become seniors.

The basic components of the Senior Canine Health Plan:

·         Semi-Annual Physical Exams

·         Senior Laboratory Screening (blood & urine sample)

·         4DX® screen (blood sample)

·         Fecal parasite screen (stool sample)

·          Appropriate vaccinations or vaccination titer testing

·         Topical Tick/Flea control- Advantix®

·         Heartworm prevention- year round – Iverheart Plus®, Interceptor®, Heartgard®

Dental Care

·         Dental care is very important for dogs. Dogs can have cavities and broken teeth just like people.

·         We recommend brushing your dog's teeth daily with a pet safe toothpaste like C.E.T brand.

·         Every year at your dog's annual exam we will perform a visual exam of the mouth and teeth.

·          If we feel there are problems that may need a more through dental assessment and treatment plan (dental ATP) we will discuss the need for dental clean and x-rays under anesthesia.

HPVC- Senior Canine Wellness Program

Senior Wellness Blood Work

Vaccinations

Routine Wellness

Dental Health

CBC (Blood Count)

Chemistry

Thyroid Level Urinalysis

Core vaccinations: DHPP & Rabies

Non-Core Vaccines

Lyme & Lepto

Lifestyle Vaccinations

Bordetella & CIV

4DX Test

Fecal Screen

Heartworm Preventative

Flea and Tick Preventative

Oral Exam to evaluate:

Caries (Cavities)

Fractured Teeth

Periodontal Disease

 

 

* For more information about vaccines speak with a technician or see our Adult Wellness Program

* DHPP= Distemper-Hepatits-Parvo-Parainfluenza; CIV= Canine Influenza (H1N9); Bordetella= kennel cough;                          Lepto= leptosporosis 4-way

Senior Wellness Blood work and Urinalysis

Once your pet is a senior pet we recommend annual blood work and a urinalysis to monitor for changes that might give us early warning of treatable disease—after all, 1 dog year is equal to 7 human years and a lot can happen in 7 years! Early diagnosis and treatment will extend and improve your pet’s quality of life and allow you to enjoy your relationship with your pet well into their senior years.  Why would you wait?   Ask us for more information- we are happy to discuss all the benefits of annual lab screening for senior pets or see pamphlet for more detailed information

·         Complete Blood Count (CBC)- Blood test to evaluate the number and type of red, white, and clotting cells. Abnormal values can be associated with bacterial or viral infection, anemias, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers.

 

·         Chemistry Profile (Chemistry)-Blood tests to evaluate the function of many internal organs. Abnormalities can indicate systemic disorders including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities.

 

·         Thyroid Level (T4)- Blood test to measure the amount of circulating thyroid hormone. Deficiency is common in dogs resulting in lethargy, weight gain, and dermatological problems. Increased levels are common in senior cats resulting in weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, and heart problems.

 

·         Urinalysis (U/A)-Urine samples provide valuable information about kidney function as well as screening for infections, tumors, or bladder stones.

Common Problems that Senior Canines Face

There are many health problems associated with old age, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s eating and drinking habits, attitude, and activity level.  Even subtle changes can be associated with an underlying health issue, so it’s important to report any abnormal activity to your veterinarian.  Here are some common things to watch out for:

Indications of Disease in Senior Pets:

·         Change in Appetite

A change in your dog’s appetite (an increase or decrease) can be the result of several different problems.  If your dog is suffering from dental problems, they will most likely eat less and start to lose weight, simply because it hurts to eat.  Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney, liver and thyroid diseases can also affect your pet’s appetite.  Simple blood tests can screen for these diseases if they are suspected to be the cause of your dog’s change in appetite.

 

·         Weight Loss

Any gradual or sudden loss of weight can be caused by any number of ailments. Some of the most common causes of sudden weight loss in older dogs includes neoplasia (cancer), kidney, liver, and heart disease.  

 

·         Frequent Drinking and Urination

Increased drinking and urination are also symptoms of common metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease.  Increased drinking can also occur as the result of a bladder infection or fever.  Blood and/or urine tests can screen for these diseases.

·         Lumps and Bumps

It is common to find new lumps and bumps on your senior canine.  Always let your vet know if you’ve found any new lumps or bumps on your pet so that the doctor can determine whether she wants to do further testing to determine exactly what the lump is.

·         Arthritis

If you notice that your dog is slowing down or having trouble getting up or laying down, he may be suffering from arthritis.  Arthritis is very common in senior pets.  When arthritis is suspected, x-rays are usually recommended in order to assess the severity and to rule out other problems, such as tumors.  Tick diseases can make your pet’s arthritis worse.  Obesity also makes arthritis worse, so it’s important to monitor your senior’s diet and keep them at a healthy weight.  There are different options for treating arthritis, which depend on your dog’s age and the severity of the disease.

·         Heart Disease

Heart disease is another common problem that older pets face.  If you notice that your pet gets winded easily, heart disease may be the cause.  As part of your dog’s semi-annual exam, the vet will listen to your dog’s heart and check for heart murmurs.  Medication can be prescribed to help your dog deal with its heart condition.

Feline Pediatric Health & Wellness Plan

Healthy Paws Veterinary Center

Congratulations on adopting your new Kitten and welcome to the Healthy Paws Family!

At Healthy Paws, we have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Kittens with a primary goal in mind- to keep your kitten healthy through this important phase of rapid growth and build a solid foundation for maintaining optimal health throughout your kitten’s life.

What are the basic components of the Feline Pediatric Health Plan?

·         History & Physical exams- usually 3 pediatric exams

·         Immunizations- Kitten booster series

·         Internal and external parasite control- intestinal, heartworm, flea, tick & mite control

·         Laboratory screening tests / preoperative blood screening

·         Nutritional counseling

·         Zoonotic disease (conditions that can spread to humans)

·         Spay / neuter / microchip discussion

·         Behavior consultation / Declawing & basic training

·         Management of congenital disease- problems some kittens are born with

·         Exercise / play recommendations

·         Dental care- starting the discussion of home care

We have carefully developed our program to provide the most current & complete medical care for new kittens to put them on the path for a healthy full life with you.  We will continue to modify the program as superior screening tests, vaccines, or medications are available.  Please look at our Feline Pediatric Health Plan in detail- we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.  We believe you will agree the program provides the best preventative health care for your newest family member.


HPVC- Feline Pediatric Wellness Program Schedule

 Age of Kitten

Core Vaccination

Non-core Vaccination

Parasite Control

6-8 weeks

(Doctor visit)

FVRCP #1 booster

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (vaccine)

 

Fecal testing

Strategic Dewoming

 

10-12 weeks

(Doctor visit)

FVRCP  #2 booster

FeLv/FIV test

Heartworm test for outdoor cats.

FeLv#1 (for outdoor cats)

(Feline Leukemia vax)

Strategic Deworming

Repeat fecal test if initial test was positive

Start Tick & Flea control (if outdoor cat)

14-16 weeks

(Doctor visit)

FVRCP #3 (final) booster

Rabies vaccination

FeLv #2

Strategic Deworming (final)

 

5-6 months- Spay surgery for female cats; neuter for male cats

1 year - Feline Adult Wellness Exam

  • Core vaccinations- FVRCP 3 year booster, Rabies 3 year booster
  • Non-Core vaccinations- Feline Leukemia (FeLV)- every 2 years
  • Triple Snap test- Tests for FeLv, FIV (Feline AIDS) and Heartworm
  • Fecal screen for parasites

 

 Why Vaccination for your Kitten are Vital

There are many very serious and highly contagious diseases that your kitten can contract if not properly protected.  Fortunately, safe and effective vaccines have been developed for most of these diseases. Similar to human babies, kittens require a series of vaccines (boosters) given during the first 4 months of life-when maternal antibody protection is wearing off and the kittens’s own immune system is maturing. By following recommended vaccination protocols, you are giving your cat a solid core immunity that will protect from infectious diseases throughout their lifetime.  

Vaccines are typically given in conjunction with the pediatric wellness exams at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. Depending on the size of your cat and the number of vaccines to be given, your doctor may recommend splitting the vaccines over two sessions.

What are we vaccinating against?

Core vaccines are those that are recommended for all cats and include rabies,  Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (FVRCP)

Non-Core vaccines also protect against serious diseases but may not be appropriate for all Cats based on individual lifestyle (outdoor or indoor). Non-core vaccines include FeLv (Feline Leukemia)

At Healthy Paws, your doctor will discuss whether or not a non-core vaccine is appropriate for your cat and develop a vaccine strategy for each individual patient.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis- FVR is very contagious and can cause severe disease, including death from pneumonia in young kittens. Initial signs of FVR include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, conjuntivitis, and sometimes fever (up to 106) and loss of appetite. These usually resolve within four to seven days, but secondary bacterial infections can cause the persistence of clinical signs for weeks.

Calicivirus- a common viral disease that affects cats, is characterized by upper respiratory symptoms, pneumonia, oral ulceration (sores in the mouth).

Panleukopenia (feline distemper)- A severe, highly contagious viral disease of cats, kittens, raccoons, and mink. The panleukopenia virus tends to invade cells which are rapidly growing such as those of the digestive system, bone marrow (which makes blood cells), lymph tissue, and developing nervous system. Common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, low white blood cell count, seizures and/or death.

Rabies- A fatal viral disease that can affect any warm-blooded mammal including humans. There is no cure for rabies.  Infected pets must be euthanized and all exposed persons must receive a series of painful rabies vaccinations. Common wildlife vectors include raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, & woodchucks.

Parasite Control

Protecting the health of your kitten and your family…

At each pediatric visit, we will check for the following:

·         Intestinal parasites via fecal (stool) exam (At 1st exam; if positive repeat at 2nd exam)

·         Ear mites

·         Fleas, ticks, and other skin parasites

·         Ringworm (fungal infection)

Treat for the following:

·         Intestinal parasites (strategic deworming)

·         Prescribe more intensive treatment for any identified parasitic infestation

·         Prescribe topical Flea/Tick prevention based on age and if cat goes outdoors

How do we test a stool sample? 

With the most common method, we mix a small amount of stool with a sugar solution that causes the parasite eggs to separate from the rest of the fecal material, float up, and stick to a glass slide which we then look at under the microscope.  Each type of parasite has a unique egg size and shape. Eggs are microscopic and can be missed if the worms are not shedding eggs the day the sample is collected.

Yikes, I see actual worms in the stool!

Sometimes kittens do pass adult worms- especially after a deworming. Roundworms look like spaghetti, and tapeworms look like small flat tan grains of rice. Call us if you ever see worms on your dog’s hind end or in feces!

In cases of chronic diarrhea & weight loss in kittens that have negative fecal tests, we may recommend additional testing for more rare parasitic diseases.

 

Topical Flea & Tick Prevention- Advantage or Revolution

Healthy Paws currently recommends Revolution by Pfizer for flea and tick and heartworm prevention in outdoor cats. Revolution is approved for kittens 8 weeks and older and is applied directly to the skin in between the shoulder blades.  The compound absorbs but is contained in the lipid layer of the skin where it slowly releases over the next month.

Advantage is recommended for indoor cats with flea infestation or if you feel they are at risk living with another animal that goes outside. It is safe to use in cats 8 weeks and older. It starts killing fleas within 3-5 minutes.

  Heartworm Disease, Prevention & Testing

(Yes, Cats do get Heartworm disease. Heartworms affect cats differently than dogs, but the disease they cause is equally serious)

Heartworm disease  A cat contracts heartworm disease when a mosquito carrying microscopic-size heartworm larvae bites a cat. The larvae enter through the bite wound where they develop in the tissues. The immature worms then enter a blood vessel and are carried to the arteries in the lungs where they cause an inflammatory reaction. Most worms die at this stage, causing even more inflammation. The worms that progress to the adult stage may live undetected for a couple of years. But, when the adult worms die, the inflammation can be severe enough to cause death. The respiratory signs associated with these reactions are called Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (H.A.R.D.). Chronic signs of feline heartworm disease include difficulty breathing, coughing or gagging,heavy or fast breathing and vomiting. More acute signs can be anorexia or weight loss, lethargy, seizures, fainting and loss of coordination. Many cats with heartworm infection may exhibit no signs of disease.

Prevention is easy, safe and effective. Healthy paws generally prescribes Revolution which is a topical medication containing selamectin. When consistently given monthly throughout the year, Revolution is 100% effective .  We start outdoor kittens on heartworm prevention at their first pediatric visit, but testing is usually first done at the 10-12 week visit

Testing for heartworm disease is recommended at the kitten’s 10-12 week pediatric visit if you are planning on them being outdoor cats. If proper prevention is demonstrated testing would not be necessary to perform again unless they are showing signs of unexplained respiratory issues.  

 

Spay and Neutering- All Cats should be Spayed or Neutered by 6 months of age.

Benefits:

  • No unwanted pregnancies- there are plenty of healthy kittens looking for home. Sadly, thousands of unwanted cats and kittens are killed each year in the shelters due to overcrowding and financial restraints.
  • Eliminate the risk of pyometra- a life-threatening uterine infection in intact females       
  • Reduce the risk of developing mammary (breast) cancer- increased risk with each estrus cycle.
  • Decrease/eliminate spraying and marking behavior
  • Decrease inter-cat fighting and aggression
  • Decrease risk if Feline AIDS and Feline Leukemia transmission (highest prevalence among intact male cats that are more likely to fight and be bitten)

Risks: no significant risks have been identified for cats other than the inherent risks of anesthesia and surgery. We take every step to minimize any potential risk and monitor vitals on every patient during the surgical procedure.

 

Adult Feline Health & Wellness Plan

At Healthy Paws, your cat’s health is our main focus. We have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Adult Cats using the most updated clinical information and recommendations of specialists as well as the standards of treatment set forth by the Feline board of practitioners. Our goal is to give you more healthy and quality years with your Feline companion… after all, we are routinely seeing feline pets living into their upper teens and a few patients are over 20 years old and still enjoying life!

What are the basic components of the Adult Feline Health Plan?

Annual Examination Appointment: (years 1 -12 yrs)

·         Complete physical examination

·         Appropriate vaccinations or checking vaccine titer levels (see next page)

For cats who venture outdoors, additional items include:

·         Fecal parasite screen- check a stool sample for microscopic eggs of intestinal worms

·         Topical Tick/Flea/Heartworm prevention- a few choices…..

 Feline Revolution® & Advantage-Multi® - protects against Feline heartworm disease, ear mites, fleas, round and hookworms, but also carries some protection against ticks (canine product carries the label claim)

 Feline Frontline Plus®- protects against Fleas and ticks (external parasites only)

Advantage®- kills adult fleas only, but we find the most effective  for immediate control of adult fleas

At 4 years: Baseline blood work- CBC, Chemistry screen– similar to your physician running baseline blood work on you when you turn 35. In future years, as your pet’s chances of developing problems increases, we have a baseline to refer back to. If your cat stays healthy with no problems, then the next “screening blood work” would be at 8 years of age.

At 12 years cats become “Senior Feline Citizens” and transition to our senior wellness program.

Dental Care

Dental care is very important for cats. Cats can have cavities and broken teeth just like people.

·         We recommend brushing your cat's teeth daily with a pet safe toothpaste like C.E.T brand.

·         Every year at your cat's annual exam we will perform a  visual exam of the mouth and teeth.

·         If we feel there are problems that may need a more through dental assessment and treatment plan (dental ATP) we will discuss the need for dental cleaning and x-rays under anesthesia.

 

  HPVC- Adult Feline Wellness Program Schedule- Vaccination Scedule

 Age of Cat

Core Vaccination

Lifestyle Vaccinations

Year 1

*FVRCP- 3 yr vaccine

*Rabies – 3 yr vaccine

*FeLV- feline leukemia

Years 2-3

 

*FeLV- every 2 yrs

Year 4

*Rabies – 3yr Vaccine

*FVRCP – 3yr Vaccine OR Vaccine Titers**

*FeLV- every 2 yrs

Years 5 to 12

*Boosters as needed

Biannual vaccination

FVRCP= Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis-Calici Virus- Panleukopenia

Core vaccinations are vaccinations that should be given to all cats regardless of breed, size, or where the cat is living.  They protect from devastating infectious diseases that are everywhere. 

Lifestyle Vaccines are those that protect again contagious diseases encountered in certain situations. For cats, the only “lifestyle” vaccination is the Feline Leukemia vaccine. Feline Leukemia is a retrovirus that is only spread through direct contact and exchange of blood and saliva with an infected cat. Indoor only cats at no significant risk of exposure, so we do not recommend vaccination. However, if your cat starts to venture outdoors, it is imperative to get them vaccinated against this deadly virus that causes cancer after infection.

*Rabies law:  Mass State law mandates that a rabies booster vaccination be given between 9 and 12 months following an initial vaccination in order for the booster to be given a 3 year rabies certificate. If the booster is given either too early or too late (by even a single day!), the state will only let us make the certificate valid for one year and the pet must be vaccinated for rabies again the following year.

**Vaccination titers:  For clients concerned about over vaccination, there is an option to test the level of protective antibody against Panleukopenia virus in the blood.  If the level is high enough to be considered “protective”, then the vaccination booster is postponed until the next year where client again have the option to check titers or give the booster. Ask the doctor for more information if you are interested in titer testing.  

Senior Feline Health & Wellness Plan

Healthy Paws Veterinary Center

Welcome to the Healthy Paws Family!

At Healthy Paws, we have developed our Health and Wellness Plan for Senior Cats with a primary goal in mind- giving your cat the best quality of life for as long as possible. At 12 years, cats become “Senior Feline Citizens” and transition to our senior wellness program.

The basic components of the Senior Feline Health Plan:

·         Semi-Annual Physical Exams

·         Senior Laboratory Screening (blood & urine sample)

·         Appropriate vaccinations or vaccination titer testing

 

For cats that go outdoors, these additional “lifestyle” items are added:

·         Fecal parasite screen- check a stool sample for microscopic eggs of intestinal worms- esp in mousers!

·         Topical Tick/Flea/Heartworm prevention- a few choices…..

 Feline Revolution® & Advantage-Multi® - protects against Feline heartworm disease, ear mites, fleas, round and hookworms, but also carries some protection against ticks (canine product carries the label claim)

 Feline Frontline Plus®- protects against Fleas and ticks (external parasites only)

Advantage®- kills adult fleas only, but we find the most effective for immediate control of adult fleas

Dental Care

·         Dental care is very important for cats. Cats can have cavities and broken teeth just like people.

·         We recommend brushing your cat's teeth daily with a pet safe toothpaste like C.E.T brand.

·         Every year at your cat's annual exam we will perform a visual exam of the mouth and teeth.

·          If we feel there are problems that may need a more through dental assessment and treatment plan (dental ATP) we will discuss the need for dental clean and x-rays under anesthesia.

HPVC- Senior Feline Wellness Program

Senior Wellness Blood Work

Vaccinations

Routine Wellness             for cats going outdoors

Dental Health

CBC (Blood Count)

Chemistry

Thyroid Level Urinalysis

Core vaccinations: FVRCP & Rabies

Lifestyle Vaccines

Feline Leukemia

 

Fecal Screen

Heartworm Preventative

Flea and Tick Preventative

Oral Exam to evaluate:

Caries (Cavities)

Fractured Teeth

Periodontal Disease

 

* For more information about vaccines speak with a technician or see our Adult Wellness Program

* FVRCP= Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis-Calici-Panleukopenia

Senior Wellness Blood work and Urinalysis

Once your pet is a senior pet we recommend annual blood work and a urinalysis to monitor for changes that might give us early warning of treatable disease—after all, 1 cat year is equal to 7 human years and a lot can happen in 7 years! Early diagnosis and treatment will extend and improve your pet’s quality of life and allow you to enjoy your relationship with your pet well into their senior years.  Why would you wait?   Ask us for more information- we are happy to discuss all the benefits of annual lab screening for senior pets or see pamphlet for more detailed information

·         Complete Blood Count (CBC)- Blood test to evaluate the number and type of red, white, and clotting cells. Abnormal values can be associated with bacterial or viral infection, anemias, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers.

 

·         Chemistry Profile (Chemistry)-Blood tests to evaluate the function of many internal organs. Abnormalities can indicate systemic disorders including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities.

 

·         Thyroid Level (T4)- Blood test to measure the amount of circulating thyroid hormone. Deficiency is common in cats resulting in lethargy, weight gain, and dermatological problems. Increased levels are common in senior cats resulting in weight loss, increased appetite and thirst, and heart problems.

 

·         Urinalysis (U/A)-Urine samples provide valuable information about kidney function as well as screening for infections, tumors, or bladder stones.

Common Problems that Senior Felines Face

There are many health problems associated with old age, so it’s important to keep an eye on your cat’s eating and drinking habits, attitude, and activity level.  Even subtle changes can be associated with an underlying health issue, so it’s important to report any abnormal activity to your veterinarian.  Here are some common things to watch out for:

Indications of Disease in Senior Pets:

·         Change in Appetite

A change in your cat’s appetite (an increase or decrease) can be the result of several different problems.  If your cat is suffering from dental problems, they will most likely eat less and start to lose weight, simply because it hurts to eat.  Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney, liver and thyroid diseases can also affect your pet’s appetite.  Simple blood tests can screen for these diseases if they are suspected to be the cause of your cat’s change in appetite.

 

·         Weight Loss

Any gradual or sudden loss of weight can be caused by any number of ailments. Some of the most common causes of sudden weight loss in older cats includes hyperthyroidism, neoplasia (cancer), kidney, liver, and heart disease.  A common cancer seen in cats is GI lymphoma.

 

·         Frequent Drinking and Urination

Increased drinking and urination are also symptoms of common metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease.  Increased drinking can also occur as the result of a bladder infection, fever, or chronic renal (kidney) disease.  Blood and/or urine tests can screen for these diseases.

·         Lumps and Bumps

It is common to find new lumps and bumps on your senior feline.  Always let your doctor know if you’ve found any new lumps or bumps on your pet so that the doctor can determine whether she wants to do further testing to determine exactly what the lump is.

·         Arthritis

If you notice that your cat is slowing down or having trouble getting up or laying down, he may be suffering from arthritis.  Arthritis is very common in senior pets.  When arthritis is suspected, x-rays are usually recommended in order to assess the severity and to rule out other problems, such as tumors.  Tick diseases can make your pet’s arthritis worse.  Obesity also makes arthritis worse, so it’s important to monitor your senior’s diet and keep them at a healthy weight.  There are different options for treating arthritis, which depend on your cat’s age and the severity of the disease.

·         Heart Disease

Heart disease is another common problem that older pets face.  If you notice that your pet gets winded easily, heart disease may be the cause.  As part of your cat’s semi-annual exam, the vet will listen to your cat’s heart and check for heart murmurs.  Medication can be prescribed to help your cat deal with its heart condition.

 

·         Chronic and progressive vomiting, diarrhea and /or weight loss

These are fairly common symptoms can be seen with a variety of diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, GI lymphoma, hyperthyroidism, liver disease, & kidney disease.

  
 
 
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