Pet Wellness at Our Animal Care Center

Let Us Be Your Animal Hospital in Springfield, MO 

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We love all animals, and we know you love your pets, too. We want to help encourage that relationship by providing the best health care for your four-legged family members. Our highest goal at is to be the best vets in Springfield, MO, keeping your pet healthy throughout all life stages.

Do you know that many pets die needlessly every year because they have not been vaccinated appropriately?

Vaccinations are a very important part of preventing disease in pets, so during an exam we ask specific questions about each pet’s lifestyle in order to formulate a vaccine protocol to fit each specific pet. We do want to provide immunity to life threatening viral and bacterial infections -- but we don’t want to over-vaccinate. 

Canine Vaccines

 Rabies Vaccine

This vaccine is required by law, so ALL pets must be vaccinated for rabies, which has a high human health risk. The first vaccine has a one-year duration, and then we can vaccinate every 3 years.

Distemper/Parvovirus Vaccine

This combination vaccine protects against Parvovirus and Distemper -- common, contagious, and potentially fatal illnesses. Parvo causes vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration, and sometimes septicemia. Distemper causes respiratory symptoms and can lead to seizures and death. All puppies need 3-4 boosters of this vaccine until 16 weeks old, then once at 16-18 months, and then every 3 years.

Leptospirosis

This bacterial infection is spread by wildlife (raccoons, possums, etc) and can cause liver or kidney failure. Any dog that goes outside where wildlife may visit --even your backyard--is at risk. Initially, it is given as a series of 2 boosters, 3-4 weeks apart, then yearly.

Bordetella

 Commonly known as “Kennel Cough”, this viral/bacterial combination causes upper respiratory symptoms,  is very contagious, and can be transmitted without direct contact with an infected pet. All puppies and dogs should be vaccinated yearly if they are exposed to other dogs (boarding, grooming, dog parks, trips to the pet store, etc.) We use an intranasal vaccine for quickest immunity. If you are boarding your pet, vaccinate them at least 72 hours in advance for best immunity.

Feline Vaccines

Rabies Vaccine

We use PureVax Rabies vaccine, a highly purified, non-adjuvanted vaccine developed just for kittens and cats. This vaccine is considered safer and reduces risk of vaccine reaction as well as Fibrosarcoma, associated with adjuvanted vaccines. ALL cats should be vaccinated for rabies. This vaccine is given to kittens as early as 8 weeks, and then yearly.

  FVRCP Vaccine

This is a combination vaccine designed to protect cats from common, very contagious upper respiratory infections. Kittens are given a series of 3-4 boosters until 16 old, then once at 16-18 months, and then every 3 years.

Feline Leukemia Vaccine

This virus depressed the immune system, and can cause lymphoma and early death. It's spread from mother cat to kitten, or by bodily fluids (social grooming, shared food/water bowls, bite wounds and common litter boxes.) Kittens are especially susceptible to this virus. We use  PureVax, a non-adjuvanted, high potency, pure vaccine to prevent reactions to the vaccine. All kittens get a series of 2 boosters, 3-4 weeks apart. Adult cats are evaluated for risk of infection and if necessary this vaccine is given yearly. If your cat goes outside AT ALL (even if monitored closely) he need to be vaccinated.

Common Vaccine Questions

 What about vaccines given by my breeder?

We have plenty of breeders in our area. Some do a very good job; many do not. There is simply no way for us to evaluate the quality of the vaccines given by breeder. Was the vaccine handled appropriately and was it refrigerated? Was administration sterile and in the correct location? Was it given at the right time? 

To be sure your pet is protected, it's often safer to start over on immunizations. We only accept vaccines given by a veterinarian as proof of previous vaccines.

What about inside only cats? Do they really need vaccines?

YES!  We've heard too many stories about indoor cats that slipped out unexpectedly and are now at risk of infection with viruses that could place their health, AND YOUR health, at risk. Recently, we heard of a cat catching a bat that had entered the house. The bat was positive for rabies, and the cat had to be quarantined. Protect your pet with safe, potent vaccines!

Parasite Control 

We need to protect our dogs and cats against common parasites found in our part of the country. Prevention is easy and inexpensive. Treating an infected pet can be costly, and much harder on you and the pet!

Intestinal parasites:

Intestinal parasites are common and can be transmitted from mother dog to puppies even before they are born. Parasites are found in soil and contaminated water, and can be transmitted if your pet eats feces or mice. The worms cause mild GI signs, dehydration, anemia, and even death in puppies.

Common intestinal parasites include:

  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Whipworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Coccidia
  • Giardia


We test all new pets on initial exam and treat appropriately. A yearly stool check is needed to ensure your pet is parasite free.

Heartworms

These internal parasites, transmitted by mosquitoes, live in the heart and pulmonary arteries. If left untreated, heartworm leads to heart failure and death. All dogs and cats in our area need monthly heartworm prevention, year 'round. While it can be treated, it is much easier, safer and cheaper to prevent this disease than treat it. All patients are required to have a yearly examination, and dogs must have an annual heartworm test to be eligible for refill.

Fleas

Peak flea months here are August - October, but we see fleas on pets EVERY day of the year! Don’t be fooled into thinking your pets can’t get fleas. It is much easier to prevent a flea infestation than to try to rid your home and pets of fleas once they've come inside. Fleas also carry disease to our dogs and cats – and us.

We can prescribe several safe, effective products to prevent and clear flea infestations for your pets.  Yes, over-the-counter products are cheaper but not nearly as effective, and sometimes dangerous to you pet. We also have some wonderful combination heartworm and flea control products  that make it more convenient for you each month. Ask us for flea control tips.

Ticks

Ticks can spread disease to your pet and to you, so always remove ticks immediately when found. We recommend using a topical tick control once monthly during peak tick season (usually early spring and cooler fall months). For more information on parasites and how to prevent them, visit: www.petsandparasites.org

Nutrition

It's true: Pet nutrition has a direct correlation to his lifespan and quality of life.  Good nutrition is so important it is now considered the 5th vital sign.

We want to give you the knowledge to make good decisions a bout feeding your pet. People often rely on the suggestions of the local pet store employees, but pet food is a HUGE market and many companies promote trendy marketing schemes which are not necessarily the best for pets.

We take your pet’s health needs into account before making an educated recommendation. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult or senior dogs. Certain health issues -- kidney disease, arthritis, dermatology, gastrointestinal disorders, thyroid, age-related brain changes -- can be helped with prescription foods. The foods we recommend must have scientific research, feeding trials and easily obtainable data to back up their claims. We've acquired extensive knowledge about how nutrition affects your pet’s health -- in fact, all our staff members have completed the Veterinary Nutritional Advocate training. Please ask us for a pet food recommendation for your pet’s heath. 

Behavior Consultation

Behavior problems are the number one reason pets are relinquished to a shelter or are re-homed. We can provide specific tips on behavior issues from potty training to old age-related behavior problems. We also refer some of our clients to Stan Murray with Bark Busters who can provide in-home training services for behavior problems that require more time. His direct number is 417-300-9772. For more information please see: www.BarkBusters.com

Spaying & Neutering

We recommend all pets be spayed and neutered for a variety of reasons. First, pet overpopulation is an issue right here in Southwest Missouri. How many pets are abandoned or euthanized because they are unwanted? It is our community’s responsibility to do the right thing and stop this problem.

Second, there are health benefits: A female dog allowed to go through 2 heat cycles has a  26% chance of developing breast cancer as she ages. If spayed before her first cycle she has a less than 0.05% chance. And male dogs are at a higher risk for testicular cancer as they age.

Third, there are behavior benefits. Without a sex drive, your pets are less likely to try to escape the yard or dash out the door. Pets are also less likely to be territorial or aggressive. For more information about the spay/neuter procedure, please visit Your Pet’s Surgery.

Microchipping

With  a small microchip under the skin, your pet has permanent identification. If your pet slips his collar and no tags are in sight, the microchip is there as backup. We have reunited many lost pets with their owners -- even some that were here on vacation but lived out of the area. Microchipping is quick, easy and about the same cost as a vaccine. We recommend ALL pets be microchipped.

Questions? Get in touch.

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