The things I do for my dogs and cats | Boulder Vet Clinic
This post offers a brief description of the routine things I do for my own critters. At Rise Vet, I always want to offer options, but hopefully it’s helpful to know what I feel is a good foundation for preventative animal care. Wellness and preventative medicine is an odds game. Some people take more risk than others, and that’s perfectly ok. We all have our own models of the way the world should work.
Here’s what I do for my dogs:
- Vaccines: Puppy vaccines, including boosters. DA2PP (aka the distemper vaccine which includes parvo), rabies, and the lepto vaccine (lepto is not a “core” vaccine, but we have the disease in Boulder…here’s a CDC link about lepto in humans, which we can get from our pets). I booster these as outlined by current veterinary recommendations. I feel most people go cross-eyed and don’t necessarily remember these vaccine schedules. I did until I was getting tested on them in vet school. So don’t worry, we’ll send reminders. Call anytime if you want more detail.
- Heartworm preventative: I have another post dedicated to this topic. Here’s a link. Most heartworm preventatives cover a number of GI parasites too.
- Flea and tick: I give it to my dogs April, May, and June. I live rural and find ticks on my dogs. Now I only find dead ticks on my dogs, which tells me it works. Some industry insiders will freak that I don’t give it year round. But I don’t, and I’ve never had a dog with fleas or a tick-borne disease.
- Bloodwork: I’ll usually check bloodwork every 12-18 months routinely. At that interval it’s like us checking our own roughly every 7 years. When my dogs get >8 years old I’ll do this every 12 months or less.
- Dentals: I strongly recommend dentals when needed. I know, some of you are saying really…dentals for pets?! Here’s another link to a recent post explaining more. One of my dogs didn’t need his first dental until 8 years old. The other needed his first at 2 years (totally depends on the individual).
Here’s what I do for my cats:
- Vaccines: FVRCP (aka “feline distemper”), rabies, and FeLV (feline leukemia). Somewhere between 2-10% of the cat population has feline leukemia. It’s most commonly found in outdoor cats, but not always. It’s a good idea to test every cat when they arrive new to your home. If they are indoors in a controlled environment, one test is sufficient and you don’t necessarily need to vaccinate. Outdoor cats should be occasionally tested depending. We can talk about this interval if you have questions.
- Anti-parasitics: These are a good idea for cats that go outdoors. My cats are out all day. I know this horrifies some of you. They were feral when I got them and they couldn’t be handled. At night they are closed in my hayloft with an infrared heater, heated blanket, and they love it. I tried to keep them indoors and they absolutely hated it. If you tried to keep me indoors for my entire life I’d hate it too, and probably lose my mind. Some cats don’t mind a bit though. For those indoor cats, I’m not too concerned about anti-parasitics. For outdoor cats I’d do it. Let us know if you have questions about what to give and when.
- Dentals: Ditto with the dog comments above.
- Bloodwork: Again, same as above. Most cats’ kidneys start slacking and not doing their job after about 12 years of age. A blood test lets us know pretty quick if this is happening, and we have ways to intervene and slow the progress of disease.
So that’s all the routine stuff. As always, not every veterinarian is going to agree. Some recommend more, other’s less. We live in a colorful world full of passionate ideas and opinions, hence the 2020 elections. These are my opinions at the moment, and they’re not set in stone. Stone is hard and cold. Medicine is not.