Pet Care

Caring For Your Pet

Having a pet is a huge responsibility. Please consult with your veterinarian concerning your pet needs.


  • An annual physical exam for your pet; twice a year for pets over seven years old
  • Annual vaccinations (see below for vaccination recommendations)
  • Having a stool (fecal) sample checked for worms and parasites annually
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Dentals as needed
  • Weight control as needed
  • Diagnostic testing for pets over seven years old and as needed
  • And love and exercise for the pet.

Canine Vaccinations

  • Canine vaccinations start at 6 weeks of age
  • We do not vaccinate pregnant or sick animals


  • Required by law in Michigan at four months of age;can be given as early as 3 months
  • Booster required one year after first rabies booster
  • Subsequently boostered every three years


  • Initial series include 2-4 injections
  • Start vaccinations as soon as weaned (six weeks of age)
  • Annual boosters required after initial series
  • DHPP Vaccine (protects against Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvo Virus)
  • Bordetella Vaccine (required for boarding)
  • Lyme Disease and Giardia Vaccines (recommended for outdoor dogs)


  • Viral disease, highly contagious to dogs
  • Signs—nasal or eye discharge, cough, no appetite
  • Takes 4-6 weeks to run its course
  • May develop nervous system signs (convulsions, twitches)
  • Treatment is not successful in late stages
  • Wait thirty days before getting another dog
  • Disinfect with Clorox (4oz/gal water)


  • Serious viral disease that affects liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, eyes, and other organs
  • High fever, loss of appetite, tonsillitis, bloody diarrhea
  • Highly contagious
  • IV fluids are required to treat


  • Similar to “Kennel Cough”


  • Viral disease, highly contagious
  • Spread through feces of infected dog
  • Signs—vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, dehydration
  • Prognosis depends somewhat on age of dog—more severe in young puppies
  • IV fluids often required for several days to recover
  • Disinfect with Clorox (4oz/gal water)

CORONA VIRUS: (needed for younger dogs only)

  • Viral disease, highly contagious
  • Intestinal infection resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and depression
  • Spread through feces of infected dog
  • Treatment same as Parvo Virus
  • Does not need to be boostered in older dogs


  • Often called “Kennel Cough”
  • Persistent, dry, hacking cough
  • Highly contagious among dogs
  • May last 4-6 weeks
  • Not the only cause of “Kennel Cough”


  • Tick-borne disease
  • Cannot be directly transmitted to humans or other pets
  • Severe pain, lameness, lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, arthritis
  • Also affects the heart, brain, and kidneys
  • Treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics


  • Caused by parasite often found in water
  • Diarrhea, weight loss; (severe abdominal pain and cramping in humans)
  • Possibility of transmission to humans
  • Not easily treated

Feline Vaccinations

  • Felines start vaccines at 8-10 weeks of age
  • Initial series is 2-3 injections
  • Annual boosters required after initial series

PCRP (protects against Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Rhinotracheitis, and Feline Pneumonitis)


  • Commonly known as Feline Distemper
  • Serious viral disease, highly contagious
  • Severe vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration


  • Fever, excess salivation, mouth or tongue ulcers


  • Viral respiratory disease
  • Profuse discharge from eyes and nose
  • Most severe in small kittens


  • Respiratory infection resembling rhinotracheitis
  • Caused by Chlamydia psittaci organism
  • Can by complicated by associated bacterial infections



    • Caused by a virus that may lead to cancer
    • Highly contagious to other cats
    • Unable to resist other diseases
    • Should be tested before initiating vaccination program
    • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) often tested with FeLV (Feline version of H.I.V.)


    • Often called “Kennel Cough”
    • Persistent, dry, hacking cough
    • Highly Contagious

    About Parasites and Worms



    • Advise routine fecal exam every 12 months (not critical for indoor cats)
    • Pups can be born with worms or become infected from nursing
    • Start deworming pups at four weeks of age
    • Dogs and cats do NOT have pinworms (people do not get pinworms from pets)


    • Known as Roundworms
    • Long, round, look like spaghetti, often curl up
    • Seen primarily in young animals
    • Can cause visceral larval migrans in people


    • ¼ the size of the head of a pin
    • Blood suckers, causing anemia
    • Can cause bloody diarrhea
    • Can be fatal to young pups
    • Can cause rash in humans


    • Large intestinal worm
    • Environmentally resistant egg
    • Contract from ingesting eggs
    • Causes weight loss, diarrhea, anemia
    • Disinfect area where dog defecates daily


    • Short, flat segments (like rice or cucumber seeds)
    • Can get from ingesting fleas
    • Can get from ingesting birds, rabbits, rodents—primary cause in U.P.
    • Must find segments in stool sample to diagnose
    • Eggs not usually found on fecal exam
    • Treatment requires special type of medication
    • Transmission to people rare


    • Spread by mosquito
    • Causes death from heart failure
    • Coughing, weight loss, tiring on exercise
    • Test once a year, even if on preventative if in epidemic area
    • Can start prevention at 3-4 months of age
    • Not transmittable to people


    • 90% of life cycle is OFF the pet
    • Major flea control involves treating house and yard
    • Recommend Vectra for dogs and Frontline for cats for prevention and treatment


    • Recommend Vectra for dogs and Frontline for cats for prevention and treatment
    • Recommend Lyme vaccine


    • Many types, must bring to clinic for skin scraping diagnosis
    • Sarcoptic Mange—contagious to other animals and people
    • Demodectic Mange (“Red Mange”)—can be contagious to other pets (usually not to normal adult dogs) and to humans in small amounts

    Surgical Recommendations


    • Surgeries done Monday-Fridays on varying days. Dentals done on specified days.
    • No food after 8:00 PM the night before surgery or dental cleanings
    • Do not restrict water
    • Food and water should be restricted after surgery for 8-12 hours and then only small amounts at a time for the first 24 hours, to prevent nausea and vomiting
    • Non-dissolvable sutures are removed in 10-14 days at no charge, unless sedation is needed or surgery was done at a different veterinary clinic


    • Pre-anesthetic blood-work is strongly recommended.
    • Always some risk involved


    • Best to do before first estrus (“heat”)—about 5-6 months of age
    • If nursing, prefer to wait 3-4 weeks after weaning pups so milk dries up
    • Extra charge if “in heat” or pregnant
    • Stays overnight
    • Sutures out in 10-14 days, no charge
    • Restrict activity for 2 weeks
    • Does not cause animal to become fat or lazy


    • Any time after 5 months of age in both cats and dogs
    • Does not cause animal to become fat or lazy
    • Helps prevent later tumors and prostate problems in dogs
    • Usually stops fighting, spraying, and strong urine odor in cats
    • Sutures, if used, are dissolvable
    • Can go home same day if surgery is done in the morning
    • Has to stay overnight if animal has cryptorchid


    • Recommended age—3-5 days
    • Will not be done after 5 days old
    • Dewclaws are routinely removed at the same time
    • Dewclaws can be removed on older animals, but it is considered surgery