Your New Family Member

Your New Family Member

While it may seem like there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on how to properly take care of your puppy or kitten, we will consolidate all you need to know into these handy, informational brochures!

Here at Grace Park Animal Hospital, we believe in preventive care to make sure your puppy & kitten stays healthy. It is a lot easier to prevent diseases than to treat them once a pet is sick. We also like to tailor our recommendations to each individual pet. There is no “one-size-fits all” protocol for every puppy & kitten. Each dog or cat's risk profile for certain diseases is different. We’ll take the time to ask you about your pet’s lifestyle, and make recommendations based on the information you give us.


Your New Puppy Brochure Your New Kitten Brochure

Your New Puppy

Puppy Health Schedule

 8 weeks

Exam, Intestinal Parasite Screen, Bordetella Vaccine, Distemper/Parvo Vaccine, Canine Influenza Vaccine,* Preventive Deworming

 12 weeks

Exam, Intestinal Parasite Screen, Distemper/Parvo Vaccine, Canine Influenza Vaccine*

 16 weeks

Exam, Distemper/Parvo Vaccine, Leptospirosis Vaccine*, Rabies Vaccine

 20 weeks

Exam, Distemper/Parvo Vaccine, Leptospirosis Vaccine,* Lyme Vaccine*, Wellness Blood Panel

 24 weeks

Exam, Lyme Vaccine,* Spay/Neuter

*for dogs determined to be at-risk for the disease based on our individualized risk-assessment

Exams

Puppies are usually adopted out between 6 and 8 weeks of age. You should bring your puppy in for a checkup within the first few days to make sure there are no problems, which may not be immediately visible to you. Exams are usually performed every 4 weeks up until your puppy is 5 months old. Frequent exams are important for young dogs because so much can change in a short time. Remember, dogs age faster than people, especially in the first year. Those 4 weeks between exams is almost equivalent to one year for people!

Intestinal Parasite Screening

Each puppy will typically get two evaluations of their stool sample; one at the first visit and a second check at the next visit 4 weeks later. Intestinal parasites are common in young puppies, and because these parasites lay their eggs in cycles, parasites may not be visible on a single test. For this reason, we always like to check two samples, and will also recommend a preventive deworming, even if your pet was dewormed previously. Many of these intestinal parasites can be transmitted to people, so it is important that we don’t take any chances.

Vaccines

 Rabies

The rabies vaccine is required by North Carolina state law and is typically given at 16 weeks of age.

 Distemper/Parvo

This combination vaccine protects against two deadly viruses, distemper and parvovirus. Distemper is a disease that affects the nervous system, as well as respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. It is most often fatal. Parvovirus is a disease which affects the gastrointestinal system, resulting in septic infections. It is also fatal if not treated early. The combination vaccine is typically given in multiple doses, as maternal antibodies may interfere with initial doses and prevent longer-duration immunity provided by vaccination. These vaccines are scheduled at the 8, 12, 16, and 20-week puppy visits

 Bordetella

This is a vaccine given intranasally to help prevent respiratory diseases. Although frequently called “kennel cough,” these diseases can be transmitted in locations other than kennels, so most dogs should be protected with vaccination, even if they never visit boarding facilities.

 Leptosporosis

This is a bacterial disease transmitted by the urine of wildlife, most commonly deer, foxes, raccoons, and rats. It can cause liver and kidney failure if not detected extremely early. Animals with exposure to areas inhabited by wildlife are at risk and should be vaccinated. Also, animals doing any swimming in lakes or ponds, or with access to these types of water sources should be protected. The leptospirosis vaccine is usually combined with the distemper/parvo vaccine in the puppy series if your pet is at risk.

 Lyme Disease

While usually thought of as a disease found only in the Northeast, Lyme Disease has gradually spread southward, and we are now in an area where this disease is becoming more prevalent. Pets spending a lot of time outdoors, especially going hiking or spending time in the woods, are at risk and should be vaccinated. Puppies will typically receive this vaccine at 20 and 24 weeks of age.

Spaying & Neutering

Spaying and neutering of dogs is beneficial in prevention of both behavioral and medical problems, and is generally performed at 6 months of age. Overpopulation is also a very large problem in our area, with all of the area shelters constantly over capacity. Spaying and neutering helps prevent additional challenges to this problem. Behavioral changes, such as roaming, humping (males), vaginal bleeding (females in heat), and aggression can be curtailed by sterilization. In females, there is a significantly higher risk of uterine and mammary cancers in dogs who are not spayed or are spayed later in life. Pyometra, a life-threatening infection in the uterus, is prevalent in unspayed females, as well. Males will have increased risk of prostatic problems, including cancer, if not neutered. Our new state-of-the art laparoscopic equipment makes the spay procedure much less painful and the recovery time much quicker for female dogs. Ask us about this option for your puppy. Some recent studies have shown possible breed-related problems later in life that may be linked to early spaying and neutering, so ask us if we think the standard recommendation should be changed for your pet.

Blood Screening

We recommend a blood test at 20 weeks of age. This serves as a good pre-anesthetic panel for pets prior to their spay/neuter surgery, but also helps us detect congenital problems which may not be evident on physical examination. Liver disease, kidney disease, and bleeding disorders are all problems that can be detected with this early screening.

Heartwork & Flea/Tick Prevention

All dogs in our area of the country are at risk for these parasites all year round, even if they are kept mostly indoors. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos, and just one bite from an infected mosquito can be fatal if a pet is not on a monthly preventive. Fleas and ticks are also present year-round and can transmit a variety of dangerous diseases, like Lyme Disease. Monthly preventives will also protect dogs from these parasites. Our staff is here to help guide you to the product that best suits your dog’s needs.

Potty Training

We recommend using a crate to train your puppy to urinate and defecate outside. Dogs will instinctively not soil their environment if it is a small, enclosed space in order to avoid having to walk or sleep in their own mess. As puppies get older, this instinct grows stronger. Of course, crate training must be coupled with a very consistent and regimented schedule for going outside and lots of positive reinforcement when they get it right! It is generally not a good idea to scold for accidents inside the house, as you do not want your puppy to become afraid of urinating or defecating around you when they are outside.

Socialization

Socialization is an extremely important part of puppyhood. Exposing puppies to other animals, people, locations, and situations when they are young will help make them much more adaptable in the future. The window of socialization in puppies begins to close as early as 16 weeks, so don’t wait to get your puppy out of the house!

Training

Our training classes are a great way to get your puppy some socialization in those early months, and learning some good manners and training tips along the way doesn’t hurt, either! We offer evening classes so that even with a busy work schedule, you can be sure to have time to help your new pet learn the basics and get some socialization in a positive, controlled environment.

Learn more

Your New Kitten

Kitten Health Schedule

 8 weeks

Exam, FELV/FIV Test, Intestinal Parasite Screen, FVRCP Vaccine, Preventive Deworming

 12 weeks

Exam, Intestinal Parasite Screen, FVRCP Vaccine, Leukemia Vaccine

 16 weeks

Exam, FVRCP Vaccine, Rabies Vaccine, Leukemia Vaccine, Wellness Blood Panel

 20-24 weeks

Spay/Neuter

Exams

Kittens are usually adopted out between 6 and 8 weeks of age. You should bring your kitten in for a checkup within the first few days to make sure there are no problems which may not be immediately visible to you. Exams are usually performed every 4 weeks up until your kitten is 4 months old. Frequent exams are important for young cats because so much can change in a short time. Remember, cats age faster than people, especially in the first year. Those 4 weeks between exams is almost equivalent to one year for people!

Intestinal Parasite Screening

Each kitten will typically get two evaluations of their stool sample; one at the first visit and a second check at the next visit 4 weeks later. Intestinal parasites are common in young kittens, and because these parasites lay their eggs in cycles, parasites may not be visible on a single test. For this reason, we always like to check two samples, and will also recommend a preventive deworming, even if your pet was dewormed previously. Many of these intestinal parasites can be transmitted to people, so it is important that we don’t take any chances.

Vaccines

 Rabies

The rabies vaccine is required by North Carolina state law and is typically given at 16 weeks of age.

 FVRCP

The FVRCP vaccine protects against a complex of respiratory infections in kittens (rhinotracheitis, chlamydia, and calicivirus), as well as panleukopenia, a severe disease that affects the gastrointestinal system and which can be fatal to unprotected cats. This vaccine is typically given at the 8, 12, and 16-week visits.

 Leukemia

Feline leukemia is a viral disease that affects the bone marrow and immune system of cats. Kittens can be infected in utero from their mother if she has the disease, or can become infected via transmission from other cats. Outdoor cats are most at risk for this disease. We typically recommend that even cats that are intendedto be indoor-only receive the initial series as a kitten, as this could help their ability to fight off infection if exposed at a later time. We also recommend testing all kittens for leukemia at 8 weeks of age to be sure that infection was not transmitted from their mother. This is usually a part of the first kitten visit.

Spaying & Neutering

Spaying and neutering of cats is beneficial in prevention of both behavioral and medical problems, and is generally performed at 6 months of age. Overpopulation is also a very large problem in our area, with all of the area shelters constantly over capacity. Spaying and neutering helps prevent additional challenges to this problem. Behavioral changes, such as roaming, vaginal bleeding (females in heat), urine marking, and aggression can be curtailed by sterilization. In females, there is a significantly higher risk of uterine and mammary cancers in cats who are not spayed or are spayed later in life. Pyometra, a life-threatening infection in the uterus, is prevalent in unspayed females, as well. Our new state-of-the art laparoscopic equipment makes the spay procedure much less painful and the recovery time much quicker for female cats. Ask us about this option for your kitten.

Blood Screening

We recommend a blood test at 16 weeks of age. This serves as a good pre-anesthetic panel for pets prior to their spay/neuter surgery, but also helps us detect congenital problems which may not be evident on physical examination. Liver disease, kidney disease, and bleeding disorders are all problems that can be detected with this early screening.

Heartwork & Flea/Tick Prevention

All cats in our area of the country are at risk for heartworms all year round, even if they are kept indoors. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos, and just one bite from an infected mosquito can be fatal if a pet is not on a monthly preventive. We recommend starting on a monthly preventive at your first kitten visit and continuing that throughout life. Most indoor cats will not be at risk for fleas and ticks, but outdoor cats should be protected from these parasites with a monthly preventive.

Potty Training

Fortunately, most cats instinctively train themselves to use a litter box. Cats like to be able to dig and cover their urine and feces, so a litter box provides them with a means to satisfy that natural instinct. It is a good idea to start a new kitten out in a small space with his/her litter box, and gradually expand his/her territory. This allows them to always know where their litter box is. If you have a dog in the house, make sure that your kitten has private access to the litter box in an area blocked off from the dog. If your cat does not feel safe in the litter box area, he or she may find other places in your house to take care of business! Homes with multiple cats may need more than one litter box. Veterinary behaviorists recommend having one more litter box in the house than the number of cats you have. This results in less competition for this resource. Also, don’t’ forget to scoop often. Cats are very clean animals and will sometimes avoid the litter box if there is already too much waste in there.

Hours

Appointment Hours:
Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm
Sat. 8am-12pm

Lobby Hours:
Mon-Fri 7:30am-7:30pm
Sat. 8am-5:30pm
Sun. 1:00pm-5:30pm

Location

11010 Lake Grove Blvd. Suite 104
Morrisville, NC 27560
919-462-1212
Contact Us
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919-462-1212
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