Preventative Care and Pet Vaccinations

At Northlake Animal Hospital, we strongly believe in the advantages of preventative medicine vs reactionary medicine. Preventative care is simpler, cheaper, and safer for your pet than treating diseases once they transpire. Whether it’s pet vaccinations, parasite prevention and screening, or dental hygiene – preventative medicine is the most important medicine.

Pet Vaccinations

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Puppy & Kitten Vaccines
Puppies and kittens require a series of pet vaccinations beginning at 6-8 weeks of age. Due to their undeveloped immune system, puppies and kittens require several vaccine boosters to achieve proper immunity. To learn more about pet vaccinations for your new family member, please visit our kitten and puppy page.

Dog Vaccines
Vaccinations are an essential part of your dog’s overall health. Vaccinations for puppies start as early as 6-8 weeks of age and continue throughout your dog’s life. Northlake Animal Hospital recommends following the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines for core and non-core vaccines, but believe that each pet is unique. Pet vaccinations may be specifically tailored to your pet based on need and risk.

Vaccinations are an essential part of your dog’s overall health. Vaccinations for puppies start as early as 6-8 weeks of age and continue throughout your dog’s life. Northlake Animal Hospital recommends following the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines for core and non-core vaccines, but believe that each pet is unique. Pet vaccinations may be specifically tailored to your pet based on need and risk.


Cat Vaccines

Vaccinations are a necessary part of your cat’s health, and are recommended even for indoor-only cats. Vaccinations for cats start at 6-8 weeks of age and continue throughout your cat’s life. Northlake Animal Hospital recommends following the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) guidelines for core and non-core vaccines, but believe that each pet is unique. Pet vaccinations may be customized to your pet based on need and risk of exposure.

Core vaccinations for cats include panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus (rhinotracheitis) and rabies. A non-core (but recommended) vaccination for cats is the feline leukemia virus vaccine (FELV) – this is especially important for indoor/outdoor and outside cats.
Northlake Animal Hospital is proud to offer Purevax Feline Vaccines, a non-adjuvant line of vaccines for cats – as recommended by AAFP. We offer both the 1 and the 3-year Purevax rabies vaccines.


Heartworm Prevention

Heartworms are a possibly life-threatening parasite carried by mosquitoes. A single bite can infect your dog without proper preventative care. Heartworm Disease is unfortunately common in South Florida, where the sub-tropical climate allows mosquitoes to thrive year-round.

The good news is that heartworm disease can be easily prevented in your pet by affordable monthly heartworm preventatives. These preventatives are far cheaper and safer than the treatment for heartworms – which is extremely expensive and is a life-threatening process. We proudly carry Heartgard as our heartworm prevention, due to its safety and efficacy, but conveniently offer other heartworm preventatives through our easy to use and convenient online pharmacy.

For your pet’s safety, we require yearly testing for heartworm disease prior to refilling preventatives. Reach out to us today to schedule your pet’s annual heartworm test.

To learn more about heartworm disease, please visit the American Heartworm Society.


Intestinal Parasites

Regular intestinal parasite screenings are highly recommended for the pets of South Florida. We often see roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Your pet may pick up these parasites by eating grass and dirt, or catching lizards and bugs.

Popular symptoms of intestinal worms include weight loss, diarrhea, blood in the stools, vomiting, or seeing worms! These may look like thin white spaghetti (round or hook worms) or little cucumber seeds around the butt (tapeworms).

Remember, many of these parasites are zoonotic – meaning they can be transmitted to people! This is part of the reason that we highly recommend a fecal test 2x a year.
Consider signing up on our wellness plans as an easy way to stay on top of all your regular parasite screenings.


Flea and Tick Prevention

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Fleas and ticks are more than just a annoyance for dogs and cats. Fleas and ticks can cause severe anemia and carry deadly diseases that can be spread to people.

Fleas are a very common problem in South Florida, as they love high humidity levels and warm temperatures – making our climate the perfect environment for them. Dogs and cats often get fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. Sometimes they are even carried in on our shoes or clothing. Fleabites will usually cause itching for the host, but some dogs and cats may be hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva. For pets with flea hypersensitivity, the itching can be quite severe and often leads to hair-loss, skin inflammation and secondary skin infections.

Ticks are common parasites and are found all over the world, from the woods to city parks. Ticks transmit many serious diseases including Lyme disease, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to name a few. The risks to your pet can be minimized with proper prevention and annual screening tests (performed at the same time as your pet’s heartworm test). These screening tests are particularly important, as symptoms of these tick-borne diseases are often vague and hard to recognize until it’s too late.

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Dental Care

The oral health of your dog or cat can impact their overall health. Loose or damaged teeth can be uncomfortable and a disease of the mouth or gums can potentially spread to your pet’s other organs. We offer complete oral examinations for both cats and dogs. Our staff can perform teeth cleanings, polishing, digital dental X-rays, tooth extractions, and minor oral surgeries. Please visit our Dental Care page for more information.

We are also proud to offer wellness plans for your pets that include yearly dental cleanings. To learn more about how we can help keep your pet healthy and happy, please browse our site or give us a call today!

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