Even though your pet appears healthy – and hopefully is – the most important part of preventive pet health care is a yearly check-up with a vet. Our highly trained, qualified and experienced veterinarians have a keen eye for subtle clues that may indicate an underlying health issue with your four-legged friend. And remember, every calendar year that passes is the equivalent to 7 years – for cats as well as dogs; that means that even with an annual vet visit, it’s the same as you only going to your family doctor once every 7 years!
Evolution has taught cats and dogs to hide signs of illness or injury, which make them more vulnerable to predators. Unfortunately this means that they also hide pain, discomfort and illness from their families, who want to help them! An annual physical exam can identify many of these hidden issues, as well as identify early health problems that may begin in your pet with no symptoms at all, but progress “silently” to something serious and life threatening by the time symptoms begin to appear. So it’s very important that your pet receives a full “nose to tail” examination at least once a year. For senior pets we recommend health exams every six months.
During the first portion of the annual visit one of our technicians will have some routine questions for you with the objective of obtaining a complete, up to date history. They’ll ask you about diet, energy level, bowel and bladder habits, behaviour and anything that is concerning you. This history is an essential tool for our vets to identify potential or existing health problems. Our vet will then perform a complete physical examination of your pet, looking for those subtle clues that may indicate concern but could otherwise go unnoticed.
Protecting your pet from disease
The annual examination is also an opportunity to ensure that your pet is up to date on their preventive vaccines. Vaccines are an essential component of a complete preventive health program, since they protect our pets from the most common viral and bacterial diseases that can be picked up during their daily activities.
In the past, vaccines were given once per year; however new studies have shown that certain vaccines are actually effective in cats and dogs for longer periods of time. At Bloorcourt, we believe in “extended duration” vaccine protocols – which means less frequent vaccinations for your pet – while still keeping them completely protected. As a result, we give your pet each of their core vaccines (see list below) only once every 3 years.
Giving puppies and kittens the best start in life
Most veterinarians recommend that puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccinations, beginning when they are 6 to 8 weeks old. Young pets needs to be vaccinated early on since the natural immunity in their mothers’ milk gradually wears off, making them vulnerable to infectious diseases. Three sets of vaccines are given 3 to 4 weeks apart, with the final series being given when they are 3 to 4 months old.
Adverse or allergic reactions to vaccines
Just as in humans, with any pet vaccine there is a risk of an adverse or allergic reaction. However, vaccines today are produced to very high standards and are safer than ever. You can rest assured that your pet’s protection from disease is maximized, with the most minimal risk for reactions. Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about our vaccine protocols or vaccines in general.
Core and Non-core Vaccines
This list of vaccines may appear overwhelming, but the good news is that we are here to help you sort through all of the information and create a vaccine protocol tailored specifically to your pet. This will ensure that they receive ONLY the vaccines they need, and nothing more. Core vaccines are recommended for all cats and dogs. Non-core vaccines are optional, and should be considered after talking with our vets to determine your pet’s risk according to their lifestyle:
Core Vaccines for Puppies and Dogs:
- Parvovirus (CPV)
- Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
- Canine Adenovirus (CAV)
Non-Core Vaccines for Puppies and Dogs:
- Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPiV)
- Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
- Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme Disease)
- Giardia (Intestinal Parasite)
Core Vaccines for Kittens and Cats:
- Feline Herpes Vaccine (FHV1)
- Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
- Panleukopenia Virus (FPV)
Non-Core Vaccines for Kittens and Cats:
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Do not underestimate the importance of taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular wellness examinations. These regular examinations will help your pet live a longer and healthier life.