Regular vaccinations are one of the cornerstones of good preventive health care for dogs and cats. When administered by your veterinarian, vaccines provide cost-effective protection against infectious and contagious diseases for both pets and people. Vaccines help prevent many contagious illnesses, including ones that can be fatal, that pets may encounter if they are outdoors at all, socialize with other animals in public places, or travel with you.
Our team can help offer you some of the best advice regarding your pet’s vaccination plan, which can help lead to many happy years of health and wellness. Our doctors can help tailor a vaccination protocol for your pet based on his or her individual risk factors. Our pets are faced with many deadly infectious diseases, and vaccines can help protect them. Over the years, vaccines against dangerous diseases have saved millions of pets and virtually eliminated some fatal diseases that were once common.
All dogs and cats within Visalia and the surrounding area are required to be vaccinated for rabies at three months of age and as needed thereafter. The first vaccination is good for one year and subsequent vaccinations are good for three years.
Proof of prior rabies vaccination is necessary to give a rabies certificate for a three-year duration.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease (meaning it can infect humans) caused by a virus that is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. It is 100% fatal once contracted. Even indoor-only pets have been documented to be infected with rabies, thus the vaccination is necessary for all pets.
These vaccines are recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association.
- DAPP – distemper, adenovirus I & II, parainfluenza, parvovirus (all five vaccines are given in one shot)
- Bordetella – to protect against kennel cough
- FVRCP – feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia (all in one shot)
Additional Vaccinations Based on Your Pet’s Risk
- Influenza – Dogs also are susceptible to the flu. This vaccine may be recommended for boarding, grooming, or dog park interactions. Canine influenza vaccination can be given at six weeks of age followed by a booster two to four weeks later.
- Leptospirosis – This vaccine is recommended for dogs that will be hiking, camping, and generally playing in bodies of water as a way to help protect against this possibly fatal disease. Leptospirosis vaccination can be given at 12 weeks of age followed by a booster in four weeks.
- Lyme vaccine – This vaccine may be recommended if your dog will be spending time in tick-endemic areas (the East Coast, forested areas).
- Feline leukemia – This is a vaccine intended for kittens and is especially recommended if you’re planning on allowing them outside. Prior to vaccination, a leukemia test should be run to make sure your cat does not have this disease. This vaccine should be given at eight and 12 weeks.
- Canine rattlesnake vaccine – This vaccine can be useful in decreasing the effects of the western diamondback rattlesnake venom. It is usually only recommended if the dog has frequent encounters with rattlesnakes, such as pets that hike frequently. If a vaccinated dog experiences a snake bite, they will still need medical evaluation, as the severity of the effects of the venom is only decreased but not eliminated with this vaccine.
Puppy & Kitten Vaccinations
Puppies and kittens are particularly susceptible to certain contagious diseases and should receive their first vaccines for preventive care within six to eight weeks of birth. Please be aware that the first vaccination will not fully protect your puppy or kitten, and they should be kept indoors until the full course of puppy/kitten vaccinations is completed.
Due to a puppy’s insufficient immune system, a series of vaccinations every three to four weeks is recommended to “booster” the puppy’s immune system to provide protection from serious life-threatening diseases such as parvo and distemper. As such, it is recommended to keep your new puppy at home until at least one week after the last vaccine booster to protect them from the disease.
The following schedule is recommended at House of Paws Veterinary Clinic. This schedule may change based on the weight of the puppy or signs of illness:
- 6 weeks – Parvo vaccine
- 8 weeks – DAPP #1 (Distemper-Parvo) vaccine
- 12 weeks – DAPP #2, Bordetella #1 (kennel cough), rabies (1 year)
- 16 weeks – DAPP #3, Bordetella #2
Administration of dewormer to treat and prevent GI parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms is recommended for puppies. This can be given by mouth at the time of vaccinations. It is also recommended to check two fecal samples for parasites during the course of vaccines for puppies.
Following a proper vaccination schedule will help to ensure that you are doing your part to keep your new friend healthy. Additionally, we recommend that all dogs be placed on a monthly parasite preventative and be tested bi-annually for parasites with a fecal examination and annually for heartworm.
Due to a kitten’s insufficient immune system, a series of vaccinations is recommended to “booster” the kitten’s immune system to provide protection from serious diseases such as panleukopenia. As such, it is recommended to keep your new kitten at home until at least one week after the last vaccine booster to protect them from disease.
The following schedule is recommended at House of Paws Veterinary Clinic. This schedule may change based on the weight of the kitten or signs of illness:
- 8 weeks – FVRCP #1 vaccine, FeLV #1 vaccine
- 12 weeks – FVRCP #2, FeLV #2, rabies (1 year), FeLV/FIV testing
Administration of dewormer to treat and prevent GI parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms is recommended for kittens. This can be given by mouth at the time of vaccinations. It is also recommended to check two fecal samples for parasites during the course of vaccines for kittens.
Following a proper vaccination schedule will help to ensure that you are doing your part to keep your new friend healthy. Additionally, we recommend that all outdoor cats be placed on a monthly parasite preventative.
Prevention is the key to great health! As part of this, annual physical examinations are used to evaluate overall body condition, track age-related changes, provide nutritional advice, and to catch and treat illnesses before they have a chance to progress. We also provide the vaccinations that are appropriate to protect your pet against many deadly diseases. The check for intestinal, skin, and blood parasites, as well as age-appropriate monitoring of body function via laboratory work, are all included in the key to the preventive health package.
At the beginning of every wellness exam, your pet’s exam assistant will ask you questions to obtain a complete medical history for your pet. This way, we can determine right away if there have been any changes in health or behavior since your last visit. Your pet’s veterinarian will then assess your pet’s overall appearance and body condition during a physical examination. This examination includes:
- Listening to the heart and lungs
- Feeling for signs of pain, tumors, or any other unusual changes in the body
- Checking joints for signs of arthritis or muscle weakness
- Examining the eyes, ears, and mouth for any signs of disease
Your veterinarian will alert you to any abnormalities they find and will make recommendations to encourage the best health for your pet.
In addition to a complete physical exam, during wellness exams, we will also draw a blood sample to test your pet for heartworm disease and will check a stool sample for intestinal parasites. Depending on your pet’s age and general health status, we will recommend a tailored blood panel and possibly a urinalysis to evaluate the health of the internal organs and help detect the early stages of a disease.
Wellness examinations are the most important part of preventive health care for pets in all stages of life, from puppies and kittens to senior pets. They allow us to detect changes such as weight gain or loss, dental disease, and other subtle differences you may not notice at home. Many diseases become more dangerous and easier to contract as pets get older, so routine wellness exams and blood panels are particularly important for helping us detect diseases in senior pets before those diseases become serious problems.
With early diagnosis, many diseases—like dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease—can be treated, and early treatment can greatly decrease pain and improve your pet’s overall health and well-being. Early detection and treatment can also help extend your pet’s life.
We take immense pride in our highly skilled ability to perform veterinary surgeries when your pet needs it most. Our experienced team of doctors and staff make it their number one priority to focus on pain management and patient safety, employing the most current surgical practices to ensure your pet receives the best veterinary care around.
Our team will be working with you before, during, and after surgery to address any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure, anesthesia, or postoperative care. We will make sure you are equipped with all the knowledge you need in order to make sure your pet makes a full recovery.
When your pet is ready to go home, we will review your postoperative care and medication instructions. If any questions arise after your pet returns home or at any other time during the postoperative period, call us. We welcome your questions and will do all we can to help your pet recover fully. Help is only a phone call away.
House of Paws Veterinary Clinic performs various minor surgeries, including:
- Spay and neuter
- Cesarean sections
- Cherry eye repair
- Entropian surgery
- Soft palate and nasal fold resection
- Exploratory surgery
- Mass removals
- Laceration/wound repairs
- And more!
Pet dental care is a critical component of your pet’s wellness program. House of Paws Veterinary Clinic offers state-of-the-art dental care for every type of pet, with a focus on long-term health and longevity.
Dental disease can be the origin of more complex, life-threatening issues such as heart, liver, and kidney disease in pets. Routine dental cleanings and a home dental care regime have the potential to add years of vigor to your pet’s life.
A dental exam and cleaning are performed under general anesthesia for a safe and thorough procedure. Whenever anesthesia is used, we take many steps to assure the safest possible procedure, including pre-anesthetic laboratory tests, IV fluid support, and blood pressure monitoring, as well as pulse and blood oxygen monitoring on all patients. Your pet’s teeth are cleaned of plaque and calculus, and the tooth enamel is polished, followed by a fluoride treatment to further protect the teeth and strengthen enamel.
Our digital dental X-ray system allows near-instant radiographic views of the non-visible areas of the teeth. This invaluable tool is critical for identifying hidden, often painful problems.
Our staff is trained in dental surgical procedures such as extractions of broken, loose, diseased, or painful teeth. If oral surgery is needed, careful attention is paid to managing pain using local anesthetic nerve blocks and other analgesic approaches. Often, medication is sent home after the procedure to help minimize any discomfort. Finally, a careful charting of any concerns or treatments of the teeth is made for future reference and follow-up.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums in pets can be a simple and enjoyable process for both the animals and their owners. The professionals at House of Paws offer assistance and training to pet owners in establishing a home care regime that meets their needs. Good dental hygiene is an investment in your pet, paying off in your animal companion living a longer, healthier life free from pain.
Light energy enters the damaged cells and stimulates inter-cellular activity. This reduces pain in the area and speeds the recovery of the damaged cells. Once the cells recover, the healing process is complete. We use state of the art Companion Laser Equipment.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery. It is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area on a pet, and radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip then transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays a number on the screen.
How is a microchip implanted into a pet? Is it painful?
It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for vaccinations. No surgery or anesthesia is required and the microchip can even be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit.
What kind of information is contained in the microchip?
The microchips used in pets only contain identification numbers. The microchip is not a GPS device and unfortunately cannot track your animal if they get lost. The microchip itself is only associated with an identification number that will eventually lead you to the owner’s information.
How does a microchip help reunite a lost pet with its owner?
When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. Once they scan and find the identification number, it can be looked up in an online database. If the microchip has been registered, the owner’s information will appear. If the microchip registry has accurate owner information, they can quickly find the animal’s family.
Why should I have my pets microchipped?
The best reason to have your pets microchipped is the improved chance that you’ll get your animal back if they become lost or stolen.
Sick Patient Exams
Sick patient exams allow our vets to examine your pet whenever they are ill or injured to diagnose the issue and prepare a treatment plan. Our experienced vets are equipped to deal with anything from vomiting and diarrhea to a limping pet, cut paw, or other concerning signs such as lethargy or labored breathing.
At House of Paws Veterinary Clinic, we always strive to provide the best possible medical care for your pet. We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic services to quickly respond to your pet’s urgent needs, provide pre-anesthetic testing, or provide routine screening.
We offer in-house laboratory testing and continue to offer reference lab services for those lab services not offered on-site (e.g., allergy testing, cytologies, biopsies).
We have digital radiography services to take high-quality radiographs (X-rays), which limit the amount of X-ray exposure for your pet, help save time while taking radiographs, and allow electronic transfer of images to a board-certified radiologist for interpretation (provided for all radiographs). It also makes for easy transfer of images to a specialist or emergency hospital, if necessary.
Ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic tool that uses high-frequency sonic waves to evaluate the structure and function of the heart, liver, kidneys, and other internal organs to determine if masses or foreign bodies are present, to determine if kidney/bladder stones are present, and to help detect and diagnose other illnesses. Ultrasound-guided biopsies can usually be made at the time of ultrasound, providing additional results that can help us diagnose disease and provide treatment options.
The decision to say goodbye is never easy. With the support of the House of Paws staff, you will never have to make it alone. We promise to make your goodbye as easy and as comfortable as possible for you, your pet, and your entire family. Our empathetic and compassionate team will guide you from start to finish.
Our gentle sedation protocols are designed with you and your companion’s comfort in mind. We induce a nice, deep, pleasurable sleep state. No pain. No suffering. After several minutes, your beloved pet is under a comfortable plane of anesthesia. Then we give a touch more, which causes breathing to cease and the heart to stop naturally on its own after about a minute.
Most of our families are comfortable with 45 to 60 minute visits. Let us know if you feel you may need extra time or have any special requests. We will ask you a few simple questions about your wishes for your visit beforehand to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible during our time together.
Our visits allow for ample time in a familiar environment, complete comfortable sedation, and custom accommodations to suit every family member’s needs. At the completion of our visit, we can make arrangements and provide gentle transport for aftercare services to honor your companion.