Exams and Vaccines

Doctor Consultation

Annual exams are a fundamental part of animal care. Whether your pet is sick or healthy, a visit with the doctor can provide us with the information we need to give them the best possible care. Though an exam is required with annual vaccines, we recommend a semi-
annual check-up for senior and geriatric pets. Exams are also recommended for new puppies or kittens, as well as adopted animals; these pets are both susceptible to and capable of carrying disease.
Do you know how old your pet is in "human years"? Use the Excel file to the left to find out if you have a teenager or a golden oldie! These distinctions are important when deciding what preventative care is best for your pet. Please continue to read about our services and health care recommendations by accessing our Services tab.

Along with exams and general preventative care, vaccines are essential to your pet's health. Our hospital offers vaccine packages for adult cats and dogs, as well as puppies and kittens. Younger animals and those without a vaccine history must be given two to three rounds of booster vaccines to cement their immunity. For more information on boostering your new pet, please read our species-specific pages under the Services section.

Here are some of the most common viruses and diseases we vaccinate against.

  • Rabies (dogs, cats, and ferrets)
    • Rabies is a fatal virus transmitted through bodily fluids, usually saliva from a bite. Symptoms can include either erratic/aggressive behavior or withdrawn/lethargic behavior, as well as foamy saliva. Because humans can be infected with the rabies virus, the state of Texas requires that all dogs and cats be up-to-date on their rabies vaccine. If you have a young animal that has not been vaccinated, do not leave them outside - a bite from an infected wildlife species will be fatal.
  • Distemper (dogs and ferrets)
    • This viral disease can prove to be a serious threat to young puppies and unvaccinated dogs, and is fatal to ferrets. It is spread through bodily fluids including mucus, urine, and feces, and is often marked by a high fever and lethargy followed by neurological symptoms in the later stages.
  • Hepatitis (dogs)
    • In dogs, the hepatitis vaccine actually protects against the adenovirus type-1, which causes hepatitis, or failure of the liver. This virus is spread through bodily fluid contact with an infected animal. Symptoms include lack of appetite and coughing, as well as a sensitive abdominal area and fever.
  • Parvo (dogs)
    • This virus is often fatal to small puppies without aggressive treatment. It causes severe diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration and decreased appetite. Over a span of only a day or two, this virus can endanger the lives of the animals it infects.
    • Treatment is very successful but it does take intensive care and support in the hospital for a high success rate.  Preventing disease is ideal.
  • Parainfluenza (dogs)
    • This "flu-like" disease is an intense upper respiratory infection, much like in humans, and is highly contagious. This flu-like disease combined with the secondary infections that often follow can be life-threatening. 
    • This disease is marked by a deep, hacking cough and often a significant nasal discharge.
  • Leptospirosis (dogs)
    • "Lepto" is a bacterial disease passed through the urine of infected animals, and can cause severe damage to the liver and kidneys if not treated or prevented properly. Dogs often become infected by ingesting the urine of infected wildlife, such as deer or raccoons, that may have strayed into their yard. Leptospirosis is transmissible to humans.
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica (dogs)
    • The bordetella vaccine is given to dogs to help prevent one of the most popular strains of bacteria that can result in "kennel cough". This condition often worsens to pneumonia. Along with coughing, symptoms can include sneezing and vomiting.
  • Canine Influenza H3N8 (dogs)
    • This strain of flu has been around since 2004 and was finally documented in San Antonio in 2011.  This virus causes flu symptoms just like in people and if combined with another viral or bacterial infection the illness associated with this virus can be very severe.
  • Rattlesnake vaccine (dogs)
    • This vaccine is an option for dogs at high risk for rattle snake bites! Though it does not make a bite harmless, it might counter some of the effects of the venom, buying you time to get your dog to the emergency room. To booster this vaccine, dogs will be given two vaccines a month apart; they will then be vaccinated yearly in the early spring.          
    • Snake training a dog is of great value to help teach them to avoid rattlesnakes.  Consider signing up for a class.
  • Rhinotracheitis (cats)
    • Also known as feline influenza, this virus causes severe upper respiratory symptoms and can be fatal to kittens as well as older cats. This virus is transmitted by air and by direct contact with infected bodily fluids. Bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, are a common result of rhinotracheitis.
  • Calicivirus (cats)
    • Like the influenza, this virus leads to upper respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, and can sometimes cause sores in the mouth and lameness. Though it is not often fatal, it should be treated as soon as possible as it is contagious to other cats.
  • Feline distemper
    • Also known as panleukopenia, this viral disease is often marked by bloody diarrhea and dehydration; it can be fatal if not promptly treated.
  • Feline leukemia
    • This virus causes immunosuppression in cats, opening the door for numerous infections and diseases. It is transmitted by contact with infected cats, or by the sharing of a food bowl or litter box with an infected cat.