KELOWNA VETERINARY HOSPITAL, Ltd.

1955 Kent Rd. Kelowna, BC, V1Y 7S6

telephone: 250-860-2408

  Staff 

Frequently Asked Questions

What vaccinations does my puppy/kitten need, how many, and when?

Your puppy and kitten need their first set of vaccinations at around 8 weeks of age (7-9 weeks). Your puppy needs a second set at 12 weeks, and a final set after 16 weeks. You kitten needs a final set after 12 weeks of age. Your kitten will be vaccinated against rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia, and leukemia. Your puppy will be vaccinated against parvo virus, hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis. There is also an optional bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination that can be given at 12 weeks of age and an optional rabies vaccination that can be given at 16 weeks of age.

Why are the vaccinations repeated?

Puppies and kittens take in antibodies from their mothers before they are born and while they are nursing. These antibodies protect the puppy or kittten while they are very young, in case they come into contact with any of these diseases. However, as the puppy ages this immunity wears off. Vaccinations are given to stimulate the puppy or kitten to form their own antibodies In some young animals, the amount of antibody they receive from the mother wears off really early and this is why we do the first vaccination at 7-9 weeks. However, sometimes the mothers antibodies last longer and fight the vaccination before the puppy's or kitten's immune system kicks in. This is why we repeat the vaccination, to ensure the pups or kittens own antibodies are formed. We don't know which animals fall into which category, and it is different between different litters and even between babies in the same litter. So we follow this schedule to ensure they are protected from exposure.

What vaccinations does my adult pet need?

Your adult dog absolutely needs his or her first set of adult vaccinations one year after their last puppy or kitten vaccination. We recommend that you continue to vaccinate your pet every year, as some animals do not form long lasting immunity.

When is it ok to take my new puppy to the dog park?

We recommend waiting until your puppy has had their second vaccination (at 12 weeks) before exposing them to strange dogs. However, socializing your puppy at an early age is also very important, so if you have friends with dogs that you know are protected it is advisable to arrange play-dates so your puppy gets used to other animals.

At what age can my puppy or kitten be spayed or neutered?

Your puppy or kitten can be altered (fixed) anytime after the last set of puppy or kitten vaccinations

How long will it take my pet to recover from the surgery?

A younger pet generally recovers from surgery faster than an older one. However, as we keep your pet in hospital the night following the surgery they are generally mostly recovered when you pick them up. If you have any questions or concerns when you take your pet home, do not hesitate to phone the clinic. (250-860-2408).

Why must my pet stay two nights in the hospital for a routine spay/neuter?

Your pet spends the night before the surgery in the hospital. This gives your pet a chance to adapt to new surroundings, allows us to assess them both when they come in and first thing in the morning, and decreases the level of stress they feel from having you withhold their breakfast then taking them on a car ride and leaving them in a strange place, immediately before being anaesthetized. We keep them the night following surgery to ensure adequate recovery from the anaesthetic agents, we again are able to assess them for the whole day and again first thing in the morning, and you don't have the stress of worrying about a sleepy uncomfortable pet.

What is heartworm and why do I have to give my dog prevention every spring?

Heartworm is a parasite that is carried by mosquitoes. The adult is about 8-10 inches long and is about as thick as a piece of string. A mosquitoe will bite an infected dog and take in the microfilariae (a larvae that is in the blood stream). The microfilaria then develops in the mosquito for a period of time and when the mosquito bites another dog it transfers the larvae into the new dog. These larvae migrate through the blood stream until they reach the heart and vessels that lead to the lungs. Here they grow into adult worms.In the Okanagan we give your dog preventative medication that kills any new larvae that may be transferred by the mosquito, thus preventing it from becoming adult worms. There are two options for the preventative medication: a monthly pill for six months or an injection that lasts for the season.

I have heard of people that can come to your house and clean your pets teeth. Why do you give them an anaesthetic to perform dental procedures in the hospital?

A proper cleaning and polishing of your pets teeth involves scraping tartar off from under the gum line, and off the insides of the teeth. As well, teeth must be polished to ensure any scratches are buffed out to prevent a rough surface which will increase the formation of tartar after the cleaning is done. An animal that is awake is unlikely to hold still to ensure adequate removal of tartar, or to accept the buzzing and tingling of the tooth polisher in their mouth.

Do you board animals at the hospital?

Yes we do. We have facilities for both dogs and cats. We have staff that work at the clinic every day of the year, including every weekend and holiday.

Is it ever safe to give my pet human pain killers?

It is never advisable to give your pets any medication that is not directly prescribed for them or without first consulting a veterinarian. Following surgery, your pet will have had an injectable form of a pain killer and giving other pain killers at home can interact and cause serious side effects.