Your pet’s fecal sample is sent to the lab for processing via centrifugation (i.e. the process of separation through spinning) to check for intestinal parasites. Whether your pet goes outside or stays strictly indoors, your pet is susceptible to parasites simply by living in the city. As a precaution, we check your pet’s feces at least once a year, or whenever your pet has any symptoms of parasite infection.
Your pet’s blood is checked at least once a year. Pets age much faster than humans. One year is equivalent to several human years. Skipping one year of blood work is like not having a check up for ten years! Blood work screens your pet’s organ functions for any changes and abnormalities, can track any trends, and catch early signs of disease when it can be most treatable.
Vaccinations are important to keep your pet healthy. They prevent and protect. We recommend certain vaccines based on our community, your pet’s lifestyle and in accordance with official regulations.
They may include core vaccinations as well as “lifestyle based” vaccines. Core vaccines are required (or strongly recommended.) We suggest lifestyle vaccines if your pet will have an associated risk (that is, geographical or lifestyle based exposure) that would warrant additional vaccination protection.
The following vaccines are required or strongly recommended. It is advised that these vaccines are completed throughout the life of your pet:
Rabies (core vaccine)
New York State Law requires the rabies vaccine. Therefore it is a part of our core vaccine plan. The first vaccine is given to canines, around 16 weeks of age, and is then followed up with a booster at one year and then every three years after that. For cats, the rabies vaccine is given once a year starting at 16 weeks of age.
DA2PP/FVRCP (core vaccine)
A DA2PP (canine) or FVRCP (feline) is a combination vaccine of highly contagious and infectious diseases that can be transmitted between dogs and cats respectively — and can be fatal. This vaccine is also part of your pet’s core requirement. It is imperative to start this vaccine protocol around eight weeks of age and then be boostered at four-week intervals until 16 weeks of age to ensure proper immunity. After the series, this vaccine will offer protection for one year before it needs to be boostered. It then needs to be boostered every three years after that.
Bordetella (Canine Specific) (core vaccine)
Bordetella (also known as kennel cough) is a highly contagious disease, particularly for dogs that attend day care or go to dog parks. A Bordetella vaccine is given annually but in New York City, Bordetella is recommended and used to be required every six months.
Leptospirosis (Canine Specific) (core vaccine)
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans as well as animals and can be contracted through the urine of rodents that roam our city parks at night. We consider the Leptospirosis vaccine to be part of your pet’s required core vaccination based on potential exposure to leptospirosis at the many dog parks in our area.
If detected early, Leptospirosis is treatable. If not caught and treated appropriately this disease can be fatal. This vaccine must be boostered two to three weeks after its initial administration and then updated once a year.
The following vaccines are lifestyle-based. Your veterinary will advise you if vaccination is necessary
Lyme (Canine Specific) (lifestyle based vaccine)
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is contracted through the bite of certain species of tick. The Lyme vaccine is recommended for those dogs that travel to wooded areas, play in tall grass, or frequent areas that are known to contain ticks. Since deer are known carriers of the Lyme tick, dogs that go to areas inhabited by deer are particularly at risk. After this vaccine is given for the first time, it must be boostered two to four weeks after that. After the initial Lyme vaccine series is completed, it is then given annually.
Influenza (Canine Specific) (lifestyle based vaccine)
Canine influenza, also know as dog flu, is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza virus. It is recommended to vaccinate your dog if your pet will be spending time in public spaces such as the dog park, group walks, or at a kennel facility. Like most vaccines, a second booster needs to be done within two to three weeks of the initial shot, and then boostered annually.
Year-Round Preventatives: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Disease
Heartworm is a disease carried by infected mosquitos with the blood-borne parasite from an infected animal the bite of a mosquito can transfer the worm parasite is if your pet is unprotected. It then grows over time in your pet in your pet’s heart and arteries and can become as large as six to twelve inches long and live up to five years. Heartworm can be fatal to your pet.
The treatment for heartworm disease is costly, dangerous, and requires close monitoring and frequent veterinary visits. Prevention is not only easier but also cheaper and offers protection against other common gastrointestinal parasites. Heartworm prevention is easy and offered as a once a month tablet that can be started as early as eight weeks of age. We recommend year-round heartworm prevention.