Frequently Asked Questions
We pride ourselves on helping your pet maintain a happy and healthy life! Vaccinations are a critical component in your pet’s care. Unfortunately, the greater Wenatchee area is home to a variety of viruses, including Parvovirus (Parvo). This is why it is imperative that you fully protect young pets with a full puppy or kitten vaccination series. They should also receive regular boosters to keep them protected through adulthood as well.
- 8 weeks old: Distemper Parvo, Parainfluenza & Corona Vaccine (#1 DHPPC)
- 12 weeks old: Distemper Parvo, Parainfluenza & Corona Vaccine (#2 DHPPC)
- 16 weeks old: Distemper Parvo, Parainfluenza & Corona Vaccine (#3 DHPPC) & Rabies Vaccine (good for 1 year)
- At 20 weeks old: A Parvo booster only
The following year and through adulthood your pet should receive boosters for the DHPPC (every year) and Rabies (required every 3 years in Washington State after the initial annual booster)
Important Rabies Information:
The Rabies vaccination is required by Washington State and Federal Law for dogs AND cats regardless of indoor/outdoor status.
Other Vaccinations Available at Countryside Veterinary Clinic:
- Bordetella: This is required if your pet will be boarding or is frequently groomed. It protects against the bacterial form of kennel cough, which is highly contagious and often causes coughing and other cold like signs. Pets in these boarding/grooming scenarios are at a higher risk of contracting this disease, since there are many dogs in a confined space.
- Leptospirosis (Lepto): A bacteria often found in standing water near migratory water fowl and frequent haunts of other wild animals. It can lead to kidney and liver failure and can be passed from pets to humans. Please discuss this vaccine in more detail with us if you and your pet live or spend time in such areas.
- Rattlesnake vaccine: Important Note: This vaccine does NOT replace treatment for a rattlesnake bite. It is intended to lessen the adverse inflammatory reaction to the venom, which will buy you time in order to get to your veterinarian for full treatment.
*Your pet’s individual needs will be considered when developing their vaccination schedule. For more information about the optional Bordetella, Lepto, and Rattlesnake vaccinations, ask your veterinarian at your next visit.
What is a vaccine reaction?
A vaccine reaction is an inflammatory response to the vaccine. It can present locally (where the vaccine was given), as well as systemically (affecting the animal’s whole body and behavior). It is not uncommon for us to see mild reactions (which require no medical treatment) such as sleepiness, soreness over the area the vaccine was given, mild swelling at the injection site and a single episode of vomiting.
In some pets, the body’s inflammatory response reacts too strongly, causing a more serious vaccine reaction. Vaccine reactions that REQUIRE immediate medical care include:
- Repeated vomiting
- Swelling of face/muzzle/or area over which vaccine was given
- Difficulty breathing
- Marked lethargy (unresponsive)
When a serious vaccine reaction occurs, it often does so within minutes up to 1-2 hours after receiving the vaccination. For this reason, we recommend staying with your pet for at least several hours following the administration of a vaccine to monitor them for possible severe reactions (which in a worst case scenario, can lead to death without prompt medical treatment). In some cases, there are vaccines with slightly different components available from different sources that could increase the chance of a serious vaccine reaction. This is a key reason why we recommend having your veterinarian oversee vaccination administration, instead of giving vaccinations found in local pet and feed stores.
Diets are just as important in pet health as they are in human health. There is new and comprehensive research released annually on the dietary requirements your pet needs in order to achieve and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Did you know that 50% of our pets are now obese? Also on the rise are homemade diets. A recent study showed most homemade diets were nutritionally deficient (JAVMA). Raw diets can have specific health consequences as well. Speak with your veterinarian about options for your pet if you are considering a special diet.
With that in mind, here are our recommendations.
The three main nutritional concerns that should be addressed with your veterinarian at annual visits include:
- Quality of Diet
- Quantity of Diet
- Additional dietary needs (pregnancy, food allergies etc.)
Puppies and Kittens:
Your young pets will require a puppy or kitten food until they are about a year of age. This diet is specially formulated to help promote optimal growth, maintain proper caloric intake and help prevent potential orthopedic disease. Different recommendations exist based on your pet’s breed, size, and lifestyle. These can be discussed with your veterinarian during your pet’s monthly appointments as they receive their full vaccination series.
The dietary needs for your adult pet can vary greatly depending on their activity level, breed, use (working dogs/sled dogs) and dietary constraints (allergies, obesity, medical conditions). We recommend discussing diet recommendations at your annual exam and vaccination appointment, during which your veterinarian can customize a diet plan for your pet.
Diet plays a key role in our senior animal’s care. As our animals age, their nutritional requirements change. For example, many slow down and no longer require the same amount of calories. Our senior pets can also face arthritis and may need additional help to maintain not only their nutritional needs but also their quality of life. We find many of our older patients are often overweight, which puts additional stress on joints that may already have existing arthritis. While the amount of food one feeds may not seem like much, the calories in that food could easily be too much for your pet, especially for an older pet that doesn’t burn the calories as quickly as when they were younger. Allow your veterinarian to calculate the proper feeding amount for your pet based on their actual needs. It would also be helpful to discuss options with them in controlling your pet’s arthritis, as well as any other medical needs that may be affecting his/her quality of life.
To illustrate the importance of what your pets eat, we carry prescription diets that are only available from Veterinarians. We have many pets who have medical conditions that require a very regimented and specialized diet as a form of treatment to either control, or in some cases help prevent disease. We carry Science Diet and Royal Canin, the leading brands in pet nutrition research, and use other products as needed for your customized nutritional plan.
Common conditions we use prescription diets to control/treat:
- Urinary Bladder Health
- Obesity/Weight Loss
- Food Allergies
- IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
- Renal Failure
- Liver Failure
- Heart Failure
These diets are AAFCO approved and have had extensive and humane scientific research, including food trials, to help medically manage common diseases we see and diagnose in pets. If your pet has a medical condition or you have questions about our prescription diets, please discuss them with your veterinarian so they may customize a diet plan for your pet’s needs.
Spay and Neuter Recommendations:
We recommend spaying and neutering your pet between the ages of 4-6 months, which in most pets is prior to their first heat cycle and allows for better orthopedic development in larger dog breeds. If you have questions about spaying/neutering, speak with your veterinarian at your pet’s puppy/kitten examination for a specific recommendation.
MYTH: “It is necessary for my pet to have at least one heat cycle/reach full development so they will settle down and reach maturity.”
FACT: There are many reasons to spay and neuter your pet prior to their first cycle/full development.
REASON 1: Prevent unwanted pregnancy, potential danger to the mother, help control pet population, potential additional veterinary bills
REASON 2: Spaying drastically reduces (in fact almost eliminates!) the risk of breast cancer (0.05% risk if spayed prior to first heat)
REASON 3: Spaying prevents a life threatening uterine infection known as Pyometra
REASON 4: Behavior modification (e.g. marking in males)