Links to Educational Information
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1. When does my puppy/kitten need to be vaccinated?
Puppy and kitten vaccines are started at 8 weeks of age. Prior to this, their immune systems are not fully developed, and they have many antibodies from the colostrum and milk from their mothers. Following the initial vaccine, they are then given two boosters 4 weeks apart at 12, and 16 weeks of age.
2. Is deworming really necessary?
Deworming is important to keep our pets parasite free, especially because our pets interact with the environment with their nose and mouth in addition to their paws. There are many types of parasites around, and depending on the geographic location, activities, and age of your pet dictates how frequently and what type of deworming medication we recommend.
Puppies and kittens can acquire some parasites directly from their mothers through the milk. In addition, due to their immature immune systems, they are less able to deal with infestations resulting in higher parasitic burdens. Therefore, it is vital to deworm our young animals.
Parasitic eggs and larvae can be present in the environment anywhere. Most of them are transmitted in a fecal-oral fashion (ie. fecal contamination of the environment, objects, or via grooming which are then ingested). Others are transmitted through 'intermediate hosts' like mice, fleas, rabbits etc. Being bitten by fleas, or eating rodents and other critters are a great way to ingest worms, eggs, or larvae. Farm and rural areas are also potentially higher risk areas due to the multitude of animals and wildlife that roam about. For these reasons, we recommend more frequent deworming if your pet is a hunter, or you like to enjoy parks and other high traffic animal areas with your pets.
Unlike tick and flea medications, deworming is not a preventative, but rather a one time treatment. Therefore, it is something which needs to be repeated. How frequently depends on the risk of exposure.