Adopting a new kitten or puppy into your home is similar to bringing new baby home and introducing it to new surroundings, sounds, people in the home and pets. They are infants in their own world. We must make sure that common hazards in the home such as cleaning agents, insecticide baits/poisons electrical cords sharp objects and small objects that could be ingested are put out f harms way. Check for escape routes such as broken window screens that would need repair, doors that don't close properly. They will investigate their new world and find these very quickly, often when everyone else is asleep.
Kittens and puppies are typically 6 to 8 weeks of age when they are adopted into a new home. continue to use the same foods that they have been weaned on in order not to upset their digestive tract. If switching diets, do it gradually mixing new with old over a few days. This reduces the risk of shocking the system as digestion rely on bacteria in the intestines. Sudden changes in foods can kill off those digestive bacteria allowing bacterial overgrowth of unwanted bacteria that will cause tummy upsets and diarrhea. always keep fresh water down for them, and avoid adding any milk to their diet as their ability to digest lactose is less, thus creating diarrhea as well.
New kittens and puppies rely on antibodies that they absorbed from their moms colostrum in the first couple feedings as newborns. The amount and types of antibodies is directly related to the immune status of their mom. This is called " PASSIVE IMMUNITY ". If their mom is healthy has been adequately vaccinated she will be these excreting antibodies in her colostrum. Kittens and puppies rely on these antibodies for protection from disease in the first 10 weeks of their lives. Without them they become susceptible to diseases that often have nasty outcomes.
Non vaccinated moms will only produce antibodies to agents that they have had exposure to over their life but these may not be adequate for protection in your pets new world.
Diseases that kittens require are for upper respiratory viruses, intestinal virus and a blood cancer as well as Rabies.
Respiratory Viruses: Herpes, Calicivirus, Chlamydia.
Enteric Virus : Panleukopenia
Diseases that puppies should be immunized for are:
Multisystem disease: Canine Distemper and Lyme disease
Liver / Hepatitis : Adenovirus type 2
Enteric : Parvovirus
Respiratory: Parainfluenza and Bordetella
Vaccination schedules are timed in order to wake up your pets own immune system ( lymph nodes ) during the time that they still have protection from the passive immunity they received from the colostrum. this is called " ACTIVE IMMUNITY ". Once vaccinated through the first year of life your pet will require periodic vaccinations to maintain their immune system memory.
We recommend kittens and puppies to be vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks for their respiratory series. Kittens receive Leukemia at 12 and 16 weeks. Rabies at 16 weeks. Puppies receive DA2PP at 8, 12 and 16 weeks, Bordetella at 12 weeks, Lyme at 12 and 16 weeks, Leptospirosis at 12 and 16 weeks. Rabies at 16 weeks.
At Peterborough Pet Hospital we use Recombinant technology vaccines. These are pure form vaccines free of any preservatives and adjuvant. Vaccines are the single most effective thing that you can do to give your kitten or puppy a healthy start to life.
Animals metabolism is much faster than human and for this reason animals age much differently compared to us. Some say it is about 7 years to one of hours. Try not to draw parallels, thinks of the first year being up to teen years then they age up to their geriatric years that begin at around 7 years of their life.
We Taylor vaccines for our patients. We recommend antibody titer testing for those who want to reduce vaccination frequencies in later years of life. Vaccines work, hey do not cause disease. A small portion of any population may have an ADVERSE REACTION to a vaccine. This is not due to the vaccine. This is an individual genetics and how that individual reacts when exposed to certain things in their environment. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risk of these nasty diseases. These infections can linger for years in your pet causing health issues or may result in death from infection.
Lastly, your pet needs to be checked for PARASITES. Fecal examination involves looking for parasite eggs under a microscope. Kittens and Puppies become infected from the moms milk if the mom has not been routinely dewormed. The eggs are excreted in the mothers milk and develop in the infants digestive system. Fleas can also be picked up by newborns from the mom and the new environment. Once puppies and kittens are going outside they also run the risk of Ticks. There are a number of flea/tick preventive products on the market. Veterinary hospitals carry the newest and safest products available. Beware of over the counter products sold at numerous pets stores. cats are particularly susceptible to toxicities from certain flea/tick products. Heartworm disease is prevalent in the dog populations. It is transmitted by infected mosquitos. Dogs should be tested yearly for this disease by a simple blood test. Preventives are available in oral and topical formulations. we will help you select the best products for your pet. Dogs can also be tested for Lyme disease. A combination test " 4DX " is available for Heartworm and Lyme. These disease are real, and they are in your pets environment.
How the Aging Process Affects Your Cat
Visible Signs of Aging in Your Pet
Just like their human companions, cats experience a gradual decline in organ function as they age. These age-related changes include a natural slowing of the cat’s resting metabolic rate (RMR), resulting in a decrease in muscle and an increase in body fat, which also increases the likelihood of obesity. It is important for you to watch your cat’s intake, weight status and physical activity to help offset age-associated loss of muscle.
Remember that your aging pet has the same nutrient needs as during her earlier years. However, the quantities and the way in which they are provided may have to change. As his/her metabolism changes, select a diet that is less energy-dense, while still providing essential nutrients. Be aware of too high a Protein diet as your cat reaches 7 years of age.
A sure sign that your cat is entering old age is when she does not jump onto her favorite perch as easily, sleeps more and moves more slowly when awake. In addition, her skin loses its elasticity and becomes less pliable. The decrease in skin elasticity may result in areas of hair loss. Old age also brings a decrease in bone mass. This may be due, in part, to the inadequate absorption of calcium. The age for these developments is around 12 years in some cats. Arthritis commonly occurs in mature cats, too, and can be made worse by obesity. Some of this can be managed by proper nutrition, medical therapy and nutriceuticals.
Old age in general may result in a reduction in response to a cats surroundings and partial loss of vision, hearing and taste. To avoid startling your loving pet, it is a good idea to let your cat see your hand in front of her face before touching her and to call her name before approaching.
Special Dietary Needs for your Mature/Senior Cat
• Hairball Prevention – A mature cat can still develop hairballs and some may experience an increase in hairballs. To help minimize the development of hairballs, feed your cat a diet with a unique combination of beet pulp and cellulose fiber.
• Mature/Senior Cat Needs – Aging pets should be fed a diet with a higher percentage of calories from high-quality animal protein (NOT HIGH AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN) and with antioxidants and essential amino acids, like taurine, to help maintain healthy hearts, maintain muscle mass and immune function. A little less fat in the diet may also help mature cats if their diet remains rich in fish oils to promote overall health and a beautiful, shiny coat.
Special Dental Needs
Proper tooth and gum care is also important for older pets. Dry foods may assist in maintaining good dental and oral health care. You may also need to schedule regular appointments with your veterinarian to prevent dental scaling or periodontal disease. It is much easier on your pet to have regular dental cleanings than to wait for dental disease to occur requiring tooth extractions. Red gums at the gum-tooth margin are early warning signs. Tartar collecting on a tooth may indicate the tooth is painful and your cat does not want to chew with it. Ask us about our dental prevention package, we believe so strongly about your cats dental health our program is all year long.
Behavioral Changes in Your Aging Pet
One of the most noticeable changes in mature pets is their resistance to change in their daily routines, and older cats may become more finicky about their eating habits. With a decreased sense of smell and taste, it may be necessary to provide a food with a stronger smell and taste. Lower quality pet foods are not recommended for elderly pets because some of them may not have enough of the right nutrients. They often contain too high of a protein content and this adds stress to already aging kidneys. Ask us about your cats diet and our wellness geriatric blood screening. For many cats, using the proper diets we can add quality of life and age for your cat as he/she ages.
As your mature cat slows down, short, sustained periods of physical activity will help to enhance circulation, maintain muscle tone and prevent excess weight gain. The level and intensity should be adjusted to your pet’s medical condition. Encourage a healthy exercise routine by playing games with your cat for 15 to 30 minutes at least twice a day. We do not recommend that you exhaust your cat, they will let you know when enough is enough.