It is recommended that your pet be seen by a veterinarian annually, even if there are not any obvious health concerns. If a vaccination is needed, that can be done during a well-pet visit.
NOTE: never allow your pet or any family member to be vaccinated while there is any kind of illness happening.
When vaccinating, less is better.
It is not uncommon for pets to be over-vaccinated by well-meaning practitioners who do not recognize that annual vaccinations are unnecessary to maintain immunity. Also, they may not recognize that vaccinations, while they do a good job of protecting from acute diseases they’re designed to prevent, often lead to chronic disease. That is exacerbated when the vaccinations are repeated necessarily. Puppies may often be vaccinated too young and too often by non-veterinarian breeders who are not well-versed in immunology. Most state laws require vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies far more frequently than biologically necessary to maintain immunity.
We vaccinate against the diseases your pet is likely encounter in day-to-day life. Here in Berkeley Springs, WV the major diseases are parvovirus and rabies. We vaccinate puppies against parvovirus infection beginning at age 10-12 weeks, and repeat once 4 to 6 weeks later, if at all. Rabies vaccinations in WV are required, in dogs and cats, to be repeated one year after the first vaccination, and every three years thereafter. Dr. Doyle began practicing here in 1991 and has seen zero cases of distemper since that time, so there is no need to vaccinate against distemper. If you are traveling to a distemper-endemic region, please talk to us about vaccination (also flu and other diseases).
If there is concern about repeating vaccinations, we can do a test called a titer to determine whether the pet has antibodies circulating in the blood.
Because of the serious pet overpopulation epidemic, we do spay (ovariohysterectomy) and neuter (castration) of cats and dogs, which renders them unable to reproduce. Those are elective surgeries done on healthy animals. Usually the pet goes home the same day.
Due to the limited number of veterinary homeopaths, it is quite possible that you do not live close enough to AnimaliA, or any other such doctor, to bring your pet. In that case, Dr. Doyle offers telephone consultations for homeopathic treatment and nutritional advice. You will still need to maintain your relationship with your local veterinarian so that if any assessment or diagnostics are needed, you can access those services. Just as for office visits, we will need the records from any veterinarians who have seen your pet previously.
Dr. Doyle’s assistant Gina is a professional pet groomer and provides grooming services at AnimaliA Veterinary Care.