Taking your new pet to a veterinarian when you first get them is highly recommended to start them with a clean bill of health. At this appointment, your veterinarian can conduct a full physical exam and help you set up a vaccination protocol based on your pet’s lifestyle. During your pet’s first physical exam your veterinarian will discuss strategies with you to help keep your animal as healthy as possible and up to date on vaccinations. The importance of routine annual physical exams should not be overlooked. This physical exam is not only valuable for the animal; it is also helpful for owners. Problems can be discovered during the physical exam even in healthy looking animals. Your veterinarian can then make recommendations for treatment options and any preventive health care procedures for the future. Younger pets are at a much higher risk for certain diseases, therefore following your advised vaccination protocol is of the utmost importance. Kittens and puppies will need several vaccination series to be fully vaccinated. Be sure to follow all your veterinarian’s recommendations and make sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian soon after acquiring your new pet. Pets are susceptible to viral and bacterial diseases at any age but some common diseases can be prevented by using vaccinations.
Parasite Protection for Your Pets
Parasites are organisms that feed on or within animals. Fleas, ticks and lice are the most well known offenders, but there are many other parasites that you may be unaware of. The harm parasites can cause range from minimal irritation to potential fatality if left untreated. No matter how careful you are, your pet is still at risk of contracting unwanted parasites. The first step of parasite prevention is to appropriately deworm your puppies and kittens in early life, this is because young animals can acquire parasites from their mother before birth or even through her milk.
Recognizing external parasites is not always as easy as visualizing the parasite. Sometimes they are too small to be catch of glimpse of, this is when your animal can give you clues that sometimes just isn’t right. Clinical signs may include:
- Constant itching, chewing and licking
- Patchy hair loss
- Irritated skin or scabbing
- Constant scratching of their ears or head shaking
Unfortunately, internal parasites can only be noticed in two ways, either through clinical signs or by seeing your animal’s feces having unwanted wiggling guests within. Clinical signs may include:
- A pot-bellied appearance
- Vomiting, diarrhea or rapid weight loss
- Lethargy and loss of appetite
There are excellent parasite control products available. Speaking with your veterinarian can help you develop a parasite control protocol that will best fit you and your animal’s lifestyle to have them fully protected and safe.