Recommended Feline adult/kitten vaccinations
8 weeks: Distemper combo (FVRCP) #1
This combo includes vaccines for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
(feline herpes), Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia virus (feline distemper). It will require boosters every 4 weeks until the kitten is at least 16 weeks old.
Feline Leukemia/FIV test - Recommended
These are viruses that can suppress the immune system; some cats are able to live otherwise normal lives for years, and some will become very ill at a young age and are in danger of dying due to secondary diseases.
Not all parasite swill show up consistently in stool samples, so we deworm all kittens with a broad-spectrum dewormer at least once during kitten visits.
12 weeks: FVRCP #2
Rabies (required by law between 12-16 weeks)
Rabies will need a booster 1 year after the initial vaccination. After the 1-year mark, Rabies will need to be given every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia Virus #1 - Optional
FeLV is given as a series of 2 vaccinations (2-4 weeks apart) only to cats who will be spending time outdoors or those indoor cats that will be exposed to cats who go outside. It will require a booster 1 year after the 2nd vaccination of the series, and subsequent vaccination will vary depending on age, health, and lifestyle.
16 weeks: FVRCP #3
FeLV (Feline Leukemia virus) #2
Spay & Neuter: Most veterinarians now agree that cats should be spayed or neutered at 5 months of age or earlier. Newbury Vet Clinic often recommends doing a spay or neuter at the same time as the last distemper booster (~16 weeks) for the sake of efficiency.
Recommended Canine vaccinations
8 weeks: Distemper #1 (DHPP)
This vaccine combo guards against canine distemper virus, parvovirus, Hepatitis virus (adenovirus), and Para-influenza virus. It will require boosters every 4 weeks until the puppy is at least 16 weeks old.
Not all parasites will show up consistently in stool samples, so we deworm all puppies with a broad-spectrum dewormer at least once during puppy visits.
Heartworm & Flea/Tick Prevention
At 8 weeks old, your puppy is old enough to be started on monthly heartworm and flea/tick preventative. It is begun during your first puppy visit and is part of the deworming protocol as well as protecting against heartworm disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. We recommend heartworm prevention monthly May- October or year-round. Monthly: give the first tablet of preventative by June 1st, and the last tablet in November.
If you travel to areas that have a warmer climate - such as going South for the winter - or if you have small children at home and want monthly protection, we recommend year-round heartworm preventative. Important: if you travel to a warmer climate with your dog, even for a short time, you must continue heartworm prevention by giving it not only during your travel, but also for at least 1 month after you return.
12 weeks: Rabies (required by law between 12-16 weeks)
Rabies will need a booster 1 year after the initial vaccination. After the 1-year mark, the Rabies vaccine will need to be given every 3 years.
The second distemper combo vaccine usually includes the vaccine against Leptospirosis, a bacteria-caused illness that is transmissible to humans as well as animals. It is passed through the urine of infected animals and can contaminate soil, water, and food products that then infect people and other animals. We highly recommend including it as a core vaccine, though the choice to include it does depend on lifestyle and individual circumstances.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough) - Optional
This vaccine can be given to dogs as young as 3 weeks old; it is generally first given ~2 weeks before expected exposure to other dogs. This vaccine is only recommended for puppies and dogs that will be in contact with many other dogs, such as in obedience classes, at the groomer, and in boarding, play groups, dog parks, and similar situations.
For boarding at Newbury Vet Clinic, we require an annual Bordetella booster. It can be given as soon as 3 days (72 hours) before boarding, so please give us a call if you are planning to board and need to schedule a technician appointment to give or boost this vaccine for your dog.
Lyme - Optional
This vaccine is given as a series of 2 vaccines, 4 weeks apart, in puppies 12 weeks or older. It is boosted annually, and boosters are most effective if given in the spring before tick season has fully started. Inclusion of this vaccine in your dog's vaccination routine depends on individual circumstances including lifestyle, and we always recommend tick control (see "Flea, Tick and Heartworm Prevention" below) as the primary protection against Lyme disease.
16 weeks: DHPP/DHLPP #3
*Lepto must be boosted annually as an individual vaccine, and every 3rd year is given as part of DHLPP)
We recommend testing at least every 3 years as long as the dog has received appropriate heartworm prevention consistently (every month). If a dog is older than 5 months and has never been on heartworm prevention, it will need to be tested for heartworm before starting prevention. For dogs moving from the South who have not been on prevention, we recommend immediate testing and start of prevention with a re-test in 6 months. See "Flea, Tick & Heartworm Prevention" below for more info.
FLEA, TICK & HEARTWORM PREVENTION
We currently offer several flea, tick, parasite (worm) and heartworm* prevention products. All are available as prescription products, meaning that owners are welcome to purchase some as long as their pets are up-to-date on annual wellness exams.
Simparica Trio, Credelio, and Interceptor Plus are all given monthly as a pill, while Seresto collars last 8 months. However, the efficacy and length of usefulness of Seresto collars are decreased if the animal swims regularly, as it is a topical preventative that will wash off. Simparica Trio is equivalent to both Credelio and Interceptor Plus combined, in terms of prevention and cost. Please don't hesitate to ask us an questions you might have about which to choose, we're happy to help!
Due to the dangers of treating a heartworm-positive dog, Newbury Vet Clinic requires a 10-minute heartworm test before providing Simparica Trio or Interceptor if the dog has not been on heartworm preventative before or their monthly preventative has not been given regularly. We also require a routine heartworm screening every 3 years for dogs that are regularly on preventative, as no preventative is 100% effective and we want to make sure they are healthy. If the dog has ever tested positive for heartworms, it will need to be on preventatives for the rest of its life, due to the risk of recrudescence (parasite may be dormant in body and cause illness again if dog becomes immunocompromised/stressed).
Typically, dogs are on flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives year-round, or during the warm months of the year. It is the owner's choice which approach to take, but Newbury Vet recommends staying on all preventatives year-round (or at least March-November). In warmer years, staying on preventative during the winter can help prevent possible infection if there happens to be a period of time warm enough (over 40 degrees) that fleas, ticks, and heartworm are alive and in their infective form. Ultimately, the decision is based on how much risk of infection you consider acceptable.
Catego, Profender, and Seresto collars are used topically and absorbed through the cat's skin. If you are using a Seresto collar for either dogs or cats, please ensure that it is tight enough (you should be able to fit two fingers under it, but there should not visibly be space between it and the neck of the cat) or it will not work properly. Learn more
Annual Exams - Are they necessary?
We require annual wellness exams for several reasons: primarily, we use them as a way to ensure that pets are healthy, and to track age, growth, and any existing medical conditions. Pets are often very skilled at hiding signs of illness or injury from humans, and annual vet wellness exams are a good way to ensure that no invisible illness is affecting your pet. Additionally, there are increased chances of some illnesses as pets age, and while they may seem to be healthy in their daily activities, it is important to be aware of the potential for certain illnesses and catch them early - this is generally accomplished with diagnostic testing and physical examination by a veterinarian.
At Newbury Vet Clinic, we require that we have seen your pet in the last year for an appointment (including wellness, specialty, sick, or limited exams) before we do surgery or urgent medical care. This is because the annual exams give us a baseline of your pet's health that we can then compare against their presentation at a sick appointment. Without up-to-date previous health information, we are unable to accurately assess your pet's condition because every pet has individual health benchmarks and needs. Additionally, annual exams maintain the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) guidelines set forth by the state to ensure that veterinarians are suitably knowledgeable about the health of the patient to make well-informed medical decisions that are safe for them.
What should I consider an emergency?
Where Can I go for urgent & Emergency care?
There are a number of symptoms that are considered emergencies:
For NVC clients, the closest facilities are:
LAVES ..................................................................... phone: (855) 265-5533
address: 59 West Main Street, Littleton, NH 03561
SAVES ..................................................................... phone: (603) 306-0007
address: 63 Evans Dr., Lebanon, NH 03766
CAVES ..................................................................... phone: (603) 227-1199
address: 1 Intervale Road, Concord, NH, 03301
BEVS ....................................................................... phone: (802) 863-2387
address: 1417 Marshall Ave, Williston, VT 05495
WhEre should I take a stray animal that I found?
If you've found and caught a stray dog or cat, the first thing to do is call your local animal control. Each state and town will have different rules as to getting it medical care or shelter, and the animal control officer can inform you as to the next steps to take.
Newbury Vet Clinic is unfortunately not able to provide care to stray animals until they have been processed through animal control. If you are concerned that the animal may need immediate life-saving care, feel free to call us and we can direct you to the appropriate local facility.
North Haverhill NH Animal Control
Bradford VT Animal Control Officer: Glen Godfrey 802-757-3603
FEcal & Urine samples - When, why, and how?
Fecal samples can be a very useful tool for veterinarians in a number of situations: gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, reduced or increased appetite, and a number of other common issues can be understood medically through analysis of the pets' feces. Generally, fecal samples are checked when parasites are suspected, but this process is also helpful in finding some bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illness (ex. salmonella, giardia, E. coli). Many organisms are zoonotic, meaning they can be passed to humans from dogs and cats. Children and immuno-compromised adults are at the greatest risk, and we want to keep everyone healthy. Good hygiene and proper disposal of fecal material is usually enough to prevent zoonotic transfer of parasites, but we definitely recommend bringing in a fecal sample if your dog or cat has been having any of the symptoms listed above, so that we can treat them and alert you to any potential risks of pet-human transmission.
To collect a sample, simply pick up a portion of your pets stool and deliver it to us as soon as you can. If you cannot get in to us until the next day, you can either store the sample in the fridge overnight (24 hrs max.) or collect a fresh sample in the morning. Any container is fine, as long as it is contained during handling!
Urine samples are a diagnostic tool used to help detect certain diseases and illnesses (ex. kidney disease, diabetes), as well as bacterial presence in the urinary system, such as seen with a bladder infection. Your veterinarian may ask for you to bring in a urine sample if your pet seems to be urinating or drinking more often or in smaller amounts, seems uncomfortable or painful while urinating; the urine seems discolored (greenish, red-tinged) or strong-smelling, or they are licking their genitals more than usual grooming. Inappropriate urination (cats peeing outside the litter box, dogs peeing in the house or on furniture) can also be a sign that they have a urinary tract infection, though it can also be behavioral. Urine samples are a great way to determine which is affecting your pet.
To collect a urine sample from a dog, take them out to pee on leash, and hold a container under their flow of urine when they urinate. We are happy to send you home with a urine collection cup upon request, but any lidded container works. We highly prefer that the sample you collect for analysis is the first pee in the morning, as it is the best for diagnostics.
To collect a urine sample from a cat, the easiest approach is to replace their regular litter with dried, unpopped popcorn kernels. While it is still enough like litter for the cat to be comfortable urinating in the box, the non-absorbent nature of the kernels makes it easy to tip the box and drain the urine into a container. Make sure you get it from the right cat - in a multi-cat household, it may be easiest to put the cat you're concerned about in a separate room with a box until you can get a sample.
What Dog & cat food brands do you recommend?
Along with many other veterinary professionals, the vets here at NVC recommend several science-proven, nutritionally-balanced pet food brands.
For both dogs and cats, we recommend Hill's (specifically ScienceDiet), Purina (ProPlan and Veterinary Diet), and Royal Canin (Veterinary Diet). If these options do not work with you and your pet for any reason, please consult with our vets and they would be happy to work with you to find another diet and/or food that will work for you!
For raw diets, we suggest researching prescription raw diets that are nutritionally balanced by researchers and undergo strict quality control during manufacture. If you are set on using a home-cooked diet, we highly recommend using balanceit.com and talking with your vet before starting it to ensure that your diet is meeting your pet's nutritional needs.
Note: cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are physiologically unable to live on a vegan diet - their bodies are made to extract their necessary nutrients from meat, and vegetables or meat-substitutes cannot be metabolized (digested and turned into energy) by them.
What does my pet need when boarding at nvc?
While we recommend you bring their food and a toy, we do not require anything other than medications and the animal itself. We provide food and water bowls, bedding, and food if you do not bring your own.
If you are interested, there are a number of services that we can perform while your dog is in boarding. These include - but are not limited to - exams, vaccines, nail trims & anal glands, and ear cleaning/treatments. If you would like a specific service done during your pet's stay, please call ahead to ask whether it can be done.
What are Normal Vital signs & how Do i measure them?
surgery Recovery - What should I watch-out for?
how Do i trim my pet's nails at-home?
Why does NVC recommend bloodwork before anesthesia?
WHy is veterinary care so expensive?
do I have to give the whole course of antibiotics if my pet IS doing better?
The simple answer is: Yes.
While giving antibiotics to a pet is often an incredibly frustrating process (trust us, we understand the struggle!), it is necessary to give all the antibiotics prescribed. Though your pet may seem to get completely better before their medication is finished, there can actually be infection-causing agents still living and reproducing in their body that just aren't causing any obvious signs. This is because the first few doses of an antibiotic kill off the most susceptible bacteria, after which point the slightly more resistant bacteria will die off, and so on until all the bacteria have been eliminated. Ending a course of antibiotics early leaves the potential for the toughest bacteria to reproduce and cause more infection in your pet's body. When this happens, the most antibiotic-resistant bacteria that create the second wave of infection are even more difficult to eliminate with antibiotics, and treatment takes even longer. It also increases the chance that antibiotic-resistant bacteria can grow and reproduce, which can mean a significantly worse prognosis for your pet and any other pet that those bacteria may infect.
Dental Cleanings - who needs them, when To get Them, and why
Allergies in Dogs & Cats
How Do I remove Skunk odor from my pet?
Below is a home recipe for skunk odor removal that the staff at NVC swear by. We also offer a product called Skunk-Off for sale in the clinic if you are interested, but we find that this recipe often does the trick! For the record, tomato sauce, perfumes/air fresheners, and citrus don't usually work to remove the smell, only temporarily mask it. If you would prefer not to use hydrogen peroxide on your pet, you can bath the animal with a mixture of vinegar and dish soap - however, it's not nearly as effective as the recipe below.
1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon dish detergent (Dawn is recommended, as it is gentle on skin)
Instructions: Mix together thoroughly (it may bubble, that's okay!). Spread generously over DRY hair-coat of pet. Let sit until dry (you can let them run around in the yard to help it dry faster, as long as they don't rub it off). Rinse with warm water, and repeat as necessary.
Note: best applied to the face/head region when it is a thick paste, as there is less chance of them getting it in their eyes/nose.
This recipe should not be used for clothing, as it has the potential to bleach it.