Puppy & Kitten Vaccinations
Vaccinations for puppies and kittens are the usual first introduction of the pediatric pet to our Clinic. Most pets are adopted at 6 – 8 weeks of age. While some breeders cover the first vaccination for the pet it is essential that this first shot be recorded with type and date. Pediatric office examinations include a complete physical examination, fecal tests, appropriate worming, and vaccinations. Luckily most vaccines used include more than one virus or bacteria at a time. This minimized the number of injections needed to protect the pet. Vaccines are given in a series of 3 – 4 visits approximately 4 weeks apart. Although the most prevalent diseases are covered, the series consists of adding different types at the various visits in order to optimize protection from these sometimes fatal diseases.
Dog & Cat Booster Vaccinations
After the puppy/kitten series is completed at about 16-18 weeks of age, boosters are given at the pet’s first birthday. Annual or bi-annual boosters are then scheduled thereafter. As a clinic service we notify all owner clients of the due dates. The importance of vaccinations cannot be over emphasized. As a health service provider we are always devastated when we have to treat a pet that is afflicted by a preventable disease.
Fleas & Ticks
Beyond the irritation that fleas and ticks cause to our dogs and cats, they carry parasites such as tapeworms and Ehrlichia that affect people. We have the task and challenge of finding the right products to help with flea and tick control.
Fleas and ticks love living in Paradise with us, as our weather is conducive to their life cycles. The moisture and warmth of our climate promotes a year round population. Summers are still the most prevalent time for problems. Flea and tick products that kill the adults are the original means of treatment. Shampoos and most monthly spot-on products work very well on the adult fleas and ticks. The monthly applied products that paralyze insects and not the dogs and cats are the newest approaches to flea control. These include Frontline Plus or Advantix for dogs and Revolution or Advantage Multi for cats. Store bought products including flea collars are inferior and dangerous. These products are attractive because of their low price; unfortunately veterinarians see poisonings from some of their ingredients. They have older ingredients that affect the nervous system of the dogs and cats as well as the fleas and ticks.
A new generation of flea and tick products are emerging that provide added killing power by affecting the larval immature stages in addition to the adults. As convenience is also an important factor to treating our pets, there are two oral products that will kill adult fleas in dogs. Capstar is one that kills adult fleas within minutes of administration and continues killing them for up to 24 hours. A newer pill called Comfortis is now available by prescription that will kill adult fleas for up to one month.
The products we have today are more effective than ever in our war against fleas and ticks. In addition, it is also important to focus on the source and circumstance of infestation and treat these areas as well. It is best to consult a veterinarian who can help decipher the multitude of options available in developing a SUCCESSFUL control plan for ridding our homes and pets of these irritating bugs.
Spaying & Neutering
Why should I Spay my dog?
The importance of spaying and neutering your pet goes beyond just preventing unwanted pregnancies and pet overpopulation. There are many health benefits associated with spaying your female pet prior to her first heat cycle. Mammary (breast) cancer rates are drastically reduced when pets are spayed by the time they reach their third heat cycle, this benefit is compounded if the surgery is performed prior to their first heat.
This means we prefer to do the spay surgery between 4 and 6 months of age, as most animals come into heat between six and twelve months. Yet another reason to spay is female dogs maintain their uterine lining following a heat cycle for approximately 65 days regardless of whether or not a pregnancy is present. This sets up a perfect environment for infection in pets that are not pregnant. Bacterial growth can lead to a life threatening emergency condition called pyometra (or “pus in the uterus”). The only effective treatment for pyometra is to spay the dog on an emergency basis. Your dog’s life may be threatened and this emergency surgery could end up costing up to four times more than a routine spay. If you plan to breed your dog then please also plan to spay her as soon as she has had her last litter. Although you may not get the benefit from the early spay in reducing cancer rates, you will eliminate the risk of pyometra. If you are not planning on taking on the great responsibility of raising puppies then having your dog spayed early in her life will help her to be a long lived and healthy pet.
Why should I neuter my dog?
Although neutering does not have as many of the obvious health benefits for males that spaying does for females (with the exception of removing the chance for testicular cancer), neutered male pets have a statistically longer lifespan than non-neutered males. This is because of the behavioral benefits that come with this relatively minor surgery. Removing the testicles prior to six months old will not allow the pet to develop many of the “typical” male behaviors that are undesired. These include inappropriate urination, aggressiveness toward other dogs and in some cases people, and wandering. It is these behaviors, especially wandering, that contribute to the statistically shorter lifespan. Many of these non-neutered animals are hit by cars or end up in shelters and are euthanized due to their need to seek out a female. Pets that are neutered will be much better family companions and although many of the undesirable behaviors will be neutralized, their core personality will not change.
Pet Emergency Checklist
Below are some items we recommend you have available in case of an emergency:
1) Collar/harness & leash
2) Microchip & visible identification
3) Copy of recent vet records and a photo
4) 2 week supply of current medications (rotate every 2 months or more)
5) 7 day supply of food & water (canned food should have pop lid, rotate every 3 months)
6) Pet carrier or crate
8) Blanket, toys, & treats
9) Clean up bags or cat litter & tray
10) Flashlight & first aid kit
Acupuncture services have been provided by Dr. Elison at Haiku Veterinary Clinic since 2002. Dr. Elison completed the acupuncture training course offered by Colorado State University and has passed the written and practical portions of the IVAS sponsored testing toward certification.
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that has been used for over 4,000 years in China. It has been found that by inserting fine needles in specific points on the body, a biochemical and physiologic response can occur that promote healing. Acupuncture is utilized for diagnostic, therapeutic and analgesic purposes.
The effects of acupuncture include, stimulating nerves, increasing blood circulation,relieving muscle spasms,and causing the release of hormones such as endorphins that control pain, and cortisols. In addition, clinical conditions benefited by acupuncture are gastrointestinal,respiratory, urinary, musculoskeletal and dermatologic disorders.
Treatments take as long as 10 seconds to 20 minutes of needle insertion. The frequency of treatment varies from one for acute conditions, and upward to about 4 sessions depending on the chronicity of the problem. A positive response is generally seen by the third treatment. Subsequent treatments are repeated depending on the need.
We welcome you to the practice of complementary veterinary medicine with options and alternatives that go beyond the boundaries of Western medicine.