The Ins and Outs of Puppy and Kitten Vaccines

Gray kitten in carrier

Our fur babies are important to us and, if you have a new puppy or kitten, we bet you are reveling in the joy and fun of it all. Of course you want to give your new pet a great start in life, and you and your veterinary healthcare team can make sure that happens. 

Puppy and kitten vaccines is the place to start. Androscoggin Animal Hospital shares some of the ins and outs of vaccines, why they are important, and a bit about how they work. 

Why a Series of Vaccines?

Vaccines are important at any age. Adult pets need to be protected from infectious disease just as puppies and kittens do. With adults, we vaccinate much less often, and we carefully balance what vaccines are needed based on age, breed, and how and where an adult pet is active

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Permanent ID: The Incredible Benefits of Pet Microchips

When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter or rescue, they are almost always microchipped. That’s because those of us in the veterinary field understand the incredible power of this tiny piece of technology to reunite lost pets with their loving families.

Studies show that 1 in 3 pets will go missing at some point in their lives. Out of the hundreds of thousands who wind up in animal shelters each year, many are never returned to their owners. 

Pet microchips are slowly turning this sad statistic around, one pet at a time.

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Meeting Your Cat’s Needs Can Reduce Destructive Feline Behaviors

Some cat owners hit the lottery with their cats. They are peaceful, loving, and agreeable when it comes to demanding the perfect balance of food and attention. Other cat owners wonder what they’re doing wrong when they see messes outside the litter box, shredded toilet paper, and couch cushions with claw marks all over them. The differences between certain feline behaviors can hinge on ensuring that all of their environmental needs are met.

Expressing Themselves

Contrary to popular belief, cats are incredibly social animals. Although they may prefer living with littermates, most cats are capable of coexisting with other pets and enjoy the company of their human family members.

Cats are also quite territorial, which can cause problems in some homes. With their highly developed senses of hearing and smell, cats can anticipate threats, and will fight tooth and claw to defend their territories. While it can sometimes be difficult to determine signs of stress or pain in cats, they do employ obvious responses to territorial threats, like hissing, yowling, puffing up, and tail thrashing.

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No Fear: How Our Fear Free Initiative Benefits Your Pet

For as long as we’ve been taking care of pets, making your pet’s visit a fear free experience has been a top priority. We care deeply about our pet patients, and helping them through a veterinary exam or treatment with as little stress and anxiety is important to us. A fear free experience at the vet also makes future vet visits easier on you!

Since the Fear Free initiative was launched in 2016, veterinary hospitals across the country have been participating in a certification program that trains veterinary teams how to provide a fear free experience for pets.

Androscoggin Veterinary Hospital is proud that our staff and doctors have undergone this special training to ensure that your pet’s visit is as stress free as possible.

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What All Dog Owners Need to Know About Canine Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis has been well documented over the last century. Despite our understanding, the disease continues to affect all mammals (although it’s rare in cats). Clusters or hotspots commonly occur outside of Maine, but canine leptospirosis is ubiquitous, and it’s a zoonotic disease. That’s why it remains an absolute priority that your dog – and the people around them – are protected from this bacterial infection.

In the Elements

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by numerous strains of the bacteria leptospira. Typically found in contaminated water or soil, leptospirosis can also be passed on through direct contact with an infected animal.

Cases of canine leptospirosis may result after drinking from a contaminated water source, like a puddle or a shared water bowl at the dog park. Urine from an infected animal can pass the disease, and a dog can pick up the bacteria from practically anything on the ground outside.

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A Heart To Heart: Heartworm Prevention in Pets

The winter thaw is on the horizon, and with that comes a whole host of creepy, crawly, and voraciously hungry bugs. Although we may all be looking forward to balmier weather, the mosquitoes that come with spring and summer are definitely not welcome! Not only are they annoying you, but they could pose a serious and deadly risk to your pets.

With their bite, mosquitoes can transmit a roundworm called heartworm that can cause shortness of breath, lethargy, collapse, exercise intolerance and even death in dogs and cats. Heartworm is found in all 50 states and year round – including Maine! So we thought it a prudent time to have a heart to heart about this health concern for our pets.

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Securing the Future with Pet Health Insurance

Our pets are a part of our family, and the unconditional love, devotion, and hours of joy and laughter they provide are simply irreplaceable. It’s no wonder that we go to extreme lengths to keep our furry friends healthy and prevent illnesses, and to treat them when they face illness or injury. Fortunately, advancements in veterinary medicine have allowed us to rise to the challenge. Pets can now receive a level of healthcare previously only reserved for humans.

While it’s wonderful to be able to offer your pet the best in veterinary care, the cost can be overwhelming especially when it is an unplanned expense. While a Petly Preventative Care Plan can help with the expense of yearly costs, more and more, clients are turning to pet health insurance as a way to offset the expense of life-saving medical care.

While pet health insurance is not the right choice for everyone, the team at Androscoggin Animal Hospital wants you to have all the facts so you can make the best decision for you and your pet.

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Androscoggin Animal Hospital Looks Back at Our Top Pet Care Blogs of 2018

If you’ve ever read one of our pet care blogs, you know that we always have an eye on pet safety. The prevention of illness or injury tops our list of priorities, and we want our valued community of pet owners to know that we’re always here to answer questions and address concerns. To that end, we’re proud to deliver relevant information to our clients each month in the form of our pet care blogs.  

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Winter Pet Safety Hazards: Keeping Your Pet Safe

Winter pet safety is important for cat health and dog health

Even the most conscientious pet owners sometimes make mistakes or overlook situations that might pose a risk to their pet’s safety. In the wintertime, these are mostly outdoor hazards which require awareness, preparation, and knowledge.

As the winter winds and snows comes whistling down, Androscoggin Animal Hospital provides you the resources you need for winter pet safety. If you have any concerns or questions about these tips, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your pet’s health and safety is our number one priority!

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A Cornucopia of Fall Pet Safety Tips

Fall pet safety keeps pets safe as the seasons change

While fall in New England is undeniably gorgeous, we think autumn in Maine takes the cake. The chilly mornings and changing leaves serve as beautiful backdrops for a multitude of fall activities, and taking in all that nature has to offer is on the agenda for many pet owners this time of year.

As always, your pet’s well being is our ongoing goal at Androscoggin Animal Hospital. Whether you’re hiking, hunting, or just relaxing in the backyard, be sure to keep these fall pet safety tips in mind.

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