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Wellness Care for Puppies and Kittens

Kitten rolling in grass

The professionals at West Valley Pet Clinic & Avian Medical Group are dedicated to starting new pets out on the right track. After all, your puppy or kitten deserves the best in wellness and preventive care. Our juvenile care program considers all aspects of your new addition's health, including your family's needs and lifestyle, for a wellness plan that is tailored exclusively for you.

There are several areas of wellness care that we address for each pet, such as vaccinations, diet, behavior and dental care.

The First Exam

Your new pet's first exam (whether as a youngster or an older pet adoption) takes longer than subsequent wellness exams because there is so much to talk about! We discuss training, the use of flea / heartworm preventatives, parasite testing, the choice of spaying or neutering, diet and any behavioral or medical questions you have. Then your pet will receive a thorough physical exam to check for any developmental or new problems or illnesses.

These are some of the things a veterinarian will look at during their exam:

  • Vital statistics: a weight, temperature, pulse and respiratory rate lay the groundwork
  • A hands-on evaluation from nose to tail: to look for any skin issues (including infection, fleas, lumps or wounds or signs of allergies) and feeling the abdomen to assess the size shape and location of various organs like the kidneys, intestines, liver and spleen
  • Ears: examines ears and ear canals for odor, infection, parasites, foreign objects
  • Eyes: Examine inner and outward structures for developmental problems. Injuries and corneal ulcers
  • Mouth: Examines gums, teeth, tongue and palate for odor, tartar, gingivitis, fractures, loose teeth and tumors or other lesions
  • Heart and Lungs: We use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs for early signs of heart or respiratory disease

Puppy Vaccinations

All puppies should be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza at around 8, 12, and occasionally 16 weeks of age. In addition, the rabies vaccine is required by law for all dogs in Santa Clara County. We vaccinate puppies for rabies as early as 12 weeks, 1 year after the initial vaccination, and then with a booster every 3 years after.

Kitten Vaccinations

All kittens should be vaccinated for rhinotracheitis, calici virus, and panleukopenia (feline distemper) at around 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. In addition, the rabies vaccine is required by law for all cats in Santa Clara County. We vaccinate kittens for rabies as early as 12 weeks, 1 year after the initial vaccination, and then with a booster every 1 or 3 years after (depending on the type of vaccine).

We recommend FeLV and FIV testing for all cats; vaccination depends upon exposure risk.

Preventing Heartworm Disease

Heartworm is becoming more common in our area and we recommend all dogs be on the a preventive. available as a monthly tablet. Although cats are more resistant to disease, we also recommend routine testing in outdoor cats. Heartworm prevention begins at 2 months of age and is given throughout a the pet's dog's life, with annual blood testing for effectiveness.

Intestinal Parasites

All puppies and kittens visiting West Valley Pet Clinic & Avian Medical Group are checked for worms and other parasites with a fecal exam, as puppies and kittens are born with parasites. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends regular deworming for puppies and kittens, and then checking annually.

External Parasites

Fleas are an extremely common external parasite, causing skin irritation and transmitting tapeworms. For effective flea control, we offer the most effective treatments available – you have your choice with oral, topical or a non-toxic collar (yes they do exist!). We also offer several products that offer cross protection against other parasites such as fleas and heartworm or fleas and ticks.

Spaying & Neutering

Performed between 6 months and 18 months of age, spaying and neutering is highly recommended to prevent behavioral issues as well as medical problems and to control the unwanted pet population. Here are some videos from AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) about spaying and neutering.

Dental Care for Your Pet

Brushing your pup's teeth helps prevent dental disease and premature tooth loss. For assistance, review our instructions for training your dog to accept teeth brushing. The need for teeth cleaning by the veterinarian will vary'learn more about our pet dental care program.

Microchip Your Puppy

All dogs should wear a collar or tag with the owner's telephone number. We strongly advise permanent microchip identification as well, an easy and painless way to protect your new pet.

Obedience & Training

We advise early training and socialization of young puppies, beginning by 12 weeks of age. Puppy classes offer tremendous benefits with low risk. Ask us about enrolling your new pup at your wellness visit.

Although kittens have no formal training programs, socializing your kitten to all kinds of people and playing frequently can create a more confident / friendly cat!