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At Countryside Veterinary Clinic, we believe that the best way to keep your pets healthy is to implement effective preventative healthcare plans. Routine vaccinations, parasite screenings and heartworm prevention are an important part of our preventive pet care program.
We also offer in house FIV/FELV (Leukemia) testing. Because the feline leukemia retrovirus can easily be spread between cats prior to diagnosis, we recommend that uninfected cats be vaccinated against the disease; this is the only effective way to prevent it.
Under West Virginia law, all dogs and cats are required to be up to date on rabies vaccination. The first administration of the vaccine must be given before a dog or cat is six months of age. A booster shot must be administered one year following the initial vaccination and then pets must receive a booster shot every three years.
When you first welcome a new pet into the family, your first stop should be our clinic! This is especially important if your pet is a young puppy or kitten. When puppies and kittens are first born, they receive natural immunization through their mother's milk. After the weaning process, however, puppies and kittens will be at risk for many contagious diseases until their immune systems fully mature. Our veterinarian begins our puppy and kitten vaccination series at six to eight weeks, and continues the series every three weeks until your pet reaches the age of 20 weeks. Keeping your pet up to date on boosters is absolutely critical during this period. It is also important to boost the vaccinations of any older pets in the household before introducing your new animal.
In addition to vaccinations, we offer heartworm testing, Lyme testing and FIV/FELV testing. If you have adopted a new pet or your pet is not on a heartworm or tick prevention regimen, we strongly recommend these tests. The earlier our veterinarian is able to detect a potential health condition, such as heartworms, the easier (and less expensive) the treatment. We offer deworming for pets, and encourage all pet owners to keep pets up to date on a heartworm prevention regimen, such as Sentinel, which helps to prevent heartworms as well as control adult hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.
Here in Charles Town and throughout West Virginia, ticks carrying Lyme disease are prevalent. If your cat or dog spends any time outdoors, we strongly recommend a flea/tick prevention program. In addition to the many unpleasant problems associated with fleas, some ticks can carry Lyme disease, a serious health concern for dogs and cats. Symptoms of Lyme disease include joint pain, swelling, sudden lameness and difficulty moving.
However, because these symptoms are also commonly associated with arthritis, Lyme testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. This blood test may need to be administered twice, as many pets also test negative in the early stages of the disease.
Routine vaccinations are an essential part of preventive pet care. By offering comprehensive pet care services, we look forward keeping your pet healthy and happy for many years to come!