Preventive Health Care

Two cute tabby kittens

Your pets health care needs change with age. The following are age appropriate care recommendations for cats and dogs:

  • Kitten and Puppy Exams (at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old):
    • Physical examination, check congenital defects.
    • Vaccinations at each visit.
    • Fecal examination for intestinal parasites (worms).
    • Worming medication and ear mite treatment.
    • Heartworm [2] prevention started monthly.
    • FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) screening for kittens.
    • FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) screening for kittens.
    • External parasite [3] check for mites, fleas and ticks & treatment.
    • Nutrition, behavior consultation and puppy kindergarten class.
  • Six Months of Age:
    • Spay or neuter [1].
    • Hip dysplasia screening for large breed dogs.
    • Check for retained deciduous (baby) teeth (extract if found).
    • Fluoride tooth protection recommended.
    • Microchip Identificationt recommended.
    • Obedience training class recommended.
  • Annually:
    • Physical Examination, Body Condition Score, Nutrition Consult.
    • Vaccinations as recommended for dogs [4] and cats [5].
    • Dental examination and professional scaling, polishing and flouride treatment.
    • Fecal examination for internal parasites [3] (worms, giardia, coccidia).
    • Heartworm [2] testing and monthly prevention (Triheart, Heartgaurd).
    • Bood testing for tick diseases- Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Erhlichia.
    • Flea and tick prevention applied monthly (Frontline) for disease prevention.
  • Middle Years: (five, six and seven years):
    • Annual blood test to screen for diabetes, kidney and liver disease.
    • Annual urinalysis and ERD test (early kidney disease detection).
    • Annual dental scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment.
  • Senior Care (eight + years) - Early disease detection tests:
    • Complete blood count, full blood chemistry profile, thyroid hormone test
    • Blood pressure check, glaucoma screening, urinalysis.
    • Chest x-rays and EKG recommended for heart disease screening
    • Abdomen X-rays for early cancer detection.
    • Arthritis check and pain medication as needed.

Additional information:

  • [1] Spay or Neuter :
    • Spaying females prior to their first heat reduces their risk of mammary cancer.
    • Males neutered by 7 months prevents urine marking, prostate and testicular cancer.
  • [2] Heartworm:
    • A mosquito transmitted parasite grows into a 12" worm in the heart of dogs and cats.
    • Annual blood testing and monthly medication will prevent this serious disease.
  • [3] Parasites:
    • Fecal examinations detect intestinal parasites and are recommended for all dogs and cats annually. Hookworms and Roundworms are transmissible to people, so it is important to keep your pets free of these parasites with a monthly preventative medication and pick up all fecal material in your yard.
    • Safe and effective topical products such as Frontline Plus protect your pet from fleas and ticks and from the serious diseases they transmit such as Lyme disease..
  • [4] Recommended Vaccinations for dogs:
    • DHPP - (Distemper-Hepatitis-Parvo-Parainfluenza virus vaccine) protects against four serious canine viral infections. The initial vaccination series is given at 8,12 and 16 weeks of age and then as recommended.
    • Rabies - Protects against a fatal virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. It is given at 16 weeks, one year, then every third year.
    • Lyme - A bacterial infection transmitted by deer ticks which causes joint pain, high fever, loss of appetite and kidney infections.
    • Leptospirosis - A bacterial infection spread by infected urine of wild animals which causes serious liver and kidney infection.
    • Bordetella - A bacterial infection causing tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). It is recommended annually.
  • [5] Recommended Vaccinations for Cats:
    • RCP - (Rhinotracheites-Calici-Panluekopenia virus vaccine) protects cats against three serious infectious diseases. The initial vaccination series is given at 8,12 and 16 weeks of age and then as recommended.
    • Rabies - Protects against a fatal virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Is given at 16 weeks, one year, then every third year.
    • FeLV - (Feline Leukemia Virus)-Is a fatal viral infection transmitted through direct association with an infected cats saliva. Vaccinate outdoor cats at 12 and 16 weeks of age and then annually.


Companion Animal Hospital | 1321 Duckwood Drive, Eagan, Minnesota 55123 | (651)456-5665
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