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General Information


A pet’s general good health can be ensured by routine vaccinations, regular check-ups by a veterinarian, and by avoiding exposure to animals infected by common diseases.

Why give your dog routine vaccinations?

Unless properly vaccinated, your dog is at risk of contracting one of several, possibly fatal, infectious diseases. Most common infectious diseases can be prevented by routine vaccination. We vaccinate our pets for the most important & common of these diseases in order to protect them. In fact, vaccines are usually effective in more than 95% of pets vaccinated. Additionally, routinely vaccinating your pet is often cheaper than paying for treating your sick pet later, and reduces virus transmission in the pet population.

Viral immunity in an adult pet can result from either: Vaccination; or... The pet already suffered from (and survived) the disease

Viral immunity in young animals: Newborn puppies receive protection from the mother’s milk (if mother was vaccinated). Newborn puppies must nurse within the first 12 hours to receive this protection. This protective type of milk is called colostrums.

After weaning, the natural immunity gradually disappears. Vaccinations must start at this time – we recommend 8 weeks, ideally. For more information, see our Vaccination Schedule for Puppies. If vaccines are given too early, protection from colostrum fights off the vaccine, and the vaccine does no good. If given vaccinations too late, the puppy may contract a disease.

Young animals' immune systems are immature, and not capable of developing long-lasting immunity until at least 16 weeks of age. Booster series for puppies, given every 3-4 weeks, are due to the developing nature of their immune system, and the interference from colostral antibodies.

Re-vaccinations: Pets should be vaccinated annually for most vaccines, after the initial booster series is administered to puppies. Some vaccines can be boostered every three (3) years. Remember that vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to fight off viruses. Boosters must be given for the immune system to make long-term protection, antibodies that stay around for long periods of time.

Please note: If a pet has never received a vaccine before, and is over 16 weeks old, it will need one additional dose in 3 to 4 weeks before starting on the annual or triennial schedule.

An annual visit to your veterinarian provides an opportunity for a routine health check as well as any re-vaccinations that are necessary. If, for any reason, your pet misses a vaccination which has been advised by your veterinary practice, contact them for advice as soon as possible.

Record of Vaccination: You will go home with a copy of your pet’s medical record each time you visit one of our clinics. On the reverse side of that medical record, you will find contact information along with other information about various services we provide. Always bring all medical records with you when you visit one of our clinics. If you do not have any prior medical records or vaccination records, it is OK. We will discuss your dog’s needs with you.

All dogs must be on leashes and cats in carriers.

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Canine Vaccines & Diseases


I. Rabies


Rabies is a fatal virus that affects the central nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. The virus is most common in dogs, bats, cats, and raccoons. It is spread by contact with saliva on an open wound of the skin. The virus causes behavior changes, seizures and death. Rabies vaccination is required by law. Rabies vaccinations should be given at 12 or 16 weeks (according to state law), boostered in 1 year, then boostered every 1 or 3 years depending on the vaccine used, and the state law. Luv My Pet, Inc. carries a 3-year approved Rabies vaccine only; but it must be given annually in some cases and in some geographic locations. Our staff will inform you when this applies.


Rabies, a polioencephalitis virus, is a fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. It is commonly spread by contact with saliva through bites or a break in the skin. There is no cure for the disease once the symptoms occur. Vaccination gives resistance from contracting rabies in case of exposure.

When a rabid animal bites another animal or a human, the virus particles are injected by the teeth through the skin. Once inside the new host, the virus travels toward the brain through the nerves and spinal cord. From the brain, the virus spreads to other parts of the body and gets into the saliva by entering the salivary glands.

The cycle of transmission is completed usually between two to six weeks, on average. Occasionally this cycle takes much longer (a feature of rabies), which has an impact on control procedures. Once the virus particles enter the saliva, the animal is in the terminal stage of the disease and usually dies within a few days.

Not all exposures to the rabies virus are a result of a bite from an animal exhibiting savage behavior. Humans have been exposed by coming into contact with saliva while examining the mouth of an animal not suspected of being rabid. This can happen when the animal, instead of behaving in the classical furious manner, progresses rapidly to a paralyzed state.

Rabies in humans can be prevented either by eliminating exposures to rabid animals, or in exposed persons, by prompt local wound treatment with appropriate passive and active immunization. The Rabies vaccination for pets is required by law because the disease can be transmitted to humans and is fatal.

Please NOTE: We have to see proof of prior rabies vaccination to issue a tag longer than one year. Proof means written documentation that the pet presented is the same pet, and has had a rabies vaccine given by a vet in the past. Without such documentation we can only mark a rabies vaccination as good for one year.

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II. 5 in 1 DHPP, and 6 in 1 - DHLPP

The 5 in 1 vaccination provides protection from Distemper, Hepatitis (Adenovirus type 2), Parainfluenza, & Parvovirus. The 6 in 1 vaccination provides protection against the aforementioned diseases, as well as against Leptospirosis. This vaccination is the most important vaccination and may start as early as 8 weeks in healthy dogs, boostered until 4 months old. See Puppy Vaccination Schedule. Below are descriptions of the diseases from which the 5 in1 (DHPP) vaccination protects puppies & dogs.

A. Distemper


This virus is part of what the DHPP, or 5 in 1 (or 6 in 1), vaccine fights. This is the "D" in DHPP, DHLPP, or the main part of the 5 in 1 and 6 in 1 vaccine. This is the most important vaccine a dog should get!!!!

Distemper is widespread, serious, often deadly, and can affect almost any carnivore, wild or domestic. Canine distemper is a contagious viral disease, seen most frequently in puppies 3 to 6 months old, but dogs of all ages are at risk..

Early signs of the disease are fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, conjunctivitis (runny eyes), and sometimes a nasal discharge.

As the disease progresses, symptoms include diarrhea, pneumonia, convulsions, and paralysis. Prevention by vaccination is recommended as the essential means of controlling canine distemper. Start vaccinating ideally at 8 weeks, then re-vaccinate every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks, then annual booster.


Called "The Great Masquerader", canine distemper disease can infect any organ system, but frequently attacks the nervous system. 90% of dogs that become infected will die. The disease is difficult to survive, since young puppies are most frequently infected. Thus, vaccination is essential.

B. Hepatitis


Another component of the 5 in 1 and 6 in 1, or DHPP/DHLPP vaccine. Infectious Canine Hepatitis is a contagious viral disease that affects the dog's liver, primarily. Early signs are similar to those seen in Distemper. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with urine from an infected dog. The canine strain of hepatitis does not cause hepatitis in humans.

This disease can cause fever, enlarged liver, pain, and even death. It can also cause respiratory tract illness. Vaccination with the Adenovirus Type 2 vaccine (CAV-2) is very effective in preventing this disease.


Adenovirus type 1 causes Hepatitis, but you never want to vaccinate with with the Adenovirus 1 (CAV-1) vaccine, which can cause severe side-effects (blue-eye, kidney infections). Adenovirus type 2 causes pneumonia. Respiratory tract illness caused by type 2 is spread by aerosol droplets. The vaccine (type 2, CAV-2) provides protection for both type 1 and type 2 infections. So Luv My Pet, Inc. uses this vaccine safely.

C. Leptospirosis


This is the final component of the 6 in 1, or DHLPP vaccine. (not included in the 5 in 1 – DHPP vaccine).

Leptospirosis is an infectious bacterial disease transmitted by contact with the urine of an infected dog, rat, or other wildlife. Infection occurs through oral mucous membranes, the cornea of the eye and the skin. The disease can produce very severe symptoms of high fever, depression, jaundice and internal bleeding, and eventual death. Recovered animals may suffer from chronic kidney disease.

Any dog that goes outside to use the bathroom, or has a chance to sniff puddles of water, can be at risk for Lepto, especially in areas with rodents and racoons. Unless your dog is allergic to the vaccine, it is recommended for most dogs over 3 months of age.


Leptospirosis can be spread from dogs to humans, so prevention of the disease in pets is of paramount importance. Dogs often become carriers and shedders of the bacterial organism, thus vaccination is a most important element in controlling the disease.

D. Parvovirus


Another part of the DHPP or DHLPP vaccines. (5 in 1 and 6 in 1) This virus causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and mainly infects puppies. Parvo is highly contagious and difficult to survive – dogs must be hospitalized to live. The bills can reach over $1,000 and the dog may still die. Vaccination is the safe and recommended preventative course of action.


Transmission of Parvovirus organisms occurs through the infected dog's feces and can be transported on the fur/hair or feet of infected dogs, on clothing and by contact with inanimate objects like food bowls and toys. The virus is particularly resistant and can persist in the environment for many months. Minimizing contact with other dogs and their stool and the use of a chlorine-based disinfectant can control the spread of the disease to some degree.

Parvovirus is highly contagious, and attacks rapidly dividing cells, most commonly intestinal cells, and sometimes the heart muscle cells as well. Because the intestinal cells are destroyed, nothing is able to be absorbed in the intestines, and violent, bloody diarrhea and vomiting results. Secondary endotoxic shock occurs, forming infection through the denuded intestinal tract. Dogs in this condition quickly dehydrate. Giving any food or medications by mouth to a dog infected with Parvovirus only worsens the situation, therefore parvoviral infections require hospital stays to receive intravenous medications and hydration. Even hospitalization and treatment does not ensure recovery from Parvovirus. Therefore, vaccination is recommended – ideally starting at 8 weeks old, vaccinating every 2-4 weeks until at least 16 week of age, then booster annually.

Note: Rottweillers & Dobermans have an immune system weakness for this virus and should get boostered up to 20 weeks of age.

E. Parainfluenza


Another part of the DHPP or DHLPP vaccines. (5 in 1 and 6 in 1)

Parainfluenza is a common, though highly contagious, viral upper respiratory disease. The signs may be very mild, but may progress if other conditions exist. Since signs are mild, the disease can be spread to other unprotected dogs without being readily noticed.


Transmitted by sneezing or coughing (nasal secretions by infected dogs), Parainfluenza contributes to upper respiratory disease and infection tracheobronchitis. The vaccine to protect against this disease is combined with other vaccines (in 5 and 6 in 1 vaccine) to offer broader protection. We recommend starting vaccination as early as 8 weeks old, vaccinating every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks old, then booster annually.

Possible side effects from the 5 in 1 (DHPP) include depression, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, muscle aches in some dogs. However, these side effects are transient.

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III. Coronavirus


Corona virus infection looks like and is similar to Parvo. It causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting. However, it is less severe than Parvo, and dogs can usually survive. Nevertheless, we still feel it is important to prevent this infection. Although dogs (usually) live through the painful effects of the infection, it still causes suffering for the dogs. Additionally, Corona can be transmitted to cats causing a fatal disease. Furthermore, the Corona Virus of some kind is also linked to human SARs (though not necessarily Canine Coronavirus). Puppies and old dogs are particularly at risk. The vaccine should be given starting at 8 weeks of age, boostered every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks old, then annual booster.


Coronavirus is extremely similar to Parvovirus, attacking the cells of the intestines. However, the intestinal cells are able to regenerate in fewer days when affected by Coronavirus than with infection from Parvovirus. Therefore, there is more likelihood of recovery from Coronavirus than there is from Parvo.

Corona Virus is often under-diagnosed, and there is no test to detect the virus. The clinical signs of Corona are diarrhea, vomiting, and depression. It is most commonly seen in young puppies. Treatment is symptomatic (supportive), and again requires hospitalization for intravenous medications and hydration. The virus is transmitted by contact with feces from an infected dog, or contaminated objects. Vaccination is the best method of ensuring protection from Coronavirus.

Coronavirus of dogs can infect cats and cause an FIP-like disease that is fatal. Coronavirus is the virus identified as causing human SARS after mutating from an animal species virus; however, you cannot contract SARs from a sick dog.

There are no real side effects from the Corona vaccine; possible mild fever, or depression

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IV. Bordetella


Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a bacterial agent that causes the respiratory disease, kennel cough. The kennel cough disease can also be caused by a lot of other viruses & bacteria. It is like the different strains of the flu. Specific types of infectious agents causing this disease are the viral agents Canine Adenovirus Type 1 and Type 2, and Canine Parainfluenza. These highly contagious airborne agents cause mild to severe inflammation of the trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Kennel cough is characterized by a harsh, chronic cough, as well as possible nasal discharge and sneezing. It is usually considered to be a self-limiting disease, unless pneumonia develops from secondary bacterial complications. The dry, non-productive cough may last for weeks to months after the resolution of the clinical disease due to the damage done to the trachea. Most boarding facilities require this vaccine; and dogs that live in shelters, pounds, or kennels should receive protection through vaccination.

Please note: This vaccine does not prevent a dog from acquiring Kennel Cough (the lay term for Bordetella-type respiratory syndromes); however, it does help prevent a dog from developing pneumonia from a case of Kennel Cough.


Bordetella is a bacteria that causes kennel cough. Vaccines do not protect against bacteria; rather, they stimulate immunity against viruses. This vaccine is actually an inactivated form of the bacteria that will stimulate enough immunity to reduce the severity of the disease. In short, the Bordetella vaccine aids in the prevention of the development of pneumonia caused by kennel cough. Therefore, vaccination is recommended.

There are 2 types of this vaccine: 1) Intranasal, which provides more immediate, local immunity. Dogs may sneeze or have a runny nose for a few days afterward. 2) Injectable, which provides longer lasting immunity, but takes longer to develop i mmunity. Dogs may get a mild fever or muscle aches after the vaccination.

The Intranasal Bordetella Vaccine requires only one dose in adult dogs, but immunity is only a couple months. Puppies should receive a booster every 2 to 4 weeks (starting at 8 weeks), until they reach 16 weeks old. But again, immunity is not long-lasting. The Injectable Bordetella Vaccine should be boostered as most, and will provide long-lasting immunity. However, there is a higher incidence of reactions and side-effects from this vaccine variety, and a slight sting upon injection.

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V. Canine Heartworm Disease


Heartworm disease can infect both cats and dogs. This disease is spread by mosquito bite. Heartworms are 12 inch worms that live in the heart and impede the heart’s functioning. Dogs can develop heart failure over several years and can die. For more information, please visit our Canine Heartworm page.


Protection from heartworms can be provided by a monthly, chewable pill, such as Interceptor or Heartgard. Dogs over 6 months of age must be tested for heartworms prior to starting the preventative. Adult dogs should be tested annually, even if they have not missed a single dose of preventative. Any dog that misses several months of preventative, should be tested before starting preventative again, and in 6 months.

Puppies should start preventative before 6 months old (8 weeks, ideally).

However, we do not require heartworm testing if puppy is under 6 months.

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Canine Diagnostic Testing


I. Canine Heartworm Testing

Luv My Pet offers Heartworm Testing for dogs. The veterinarian does this by collecting a blood sample. In some regions, the test may be performed immediately in the field while the customer waits for the result. If the test is performed in the field, an “Idexx snap test” is used. The snap test is an occult test for antigens in the blood that are only present if there are mature Heartworms in the dog’s heart.

Alternatively, in other regions, all blood samples collected in a weekend clinic may be sent to a lab at once for testing. In most regions, the lab is Idexx. The results of blood tests that are performed at a lab rather than immediately in the field are reported to the client by mail. Clients should be instructed that they will receive their test results within 7 – 10 working days.

All dogs must be tested annually to renew their prescription for heartworm prevention.

Dogs 6 months of age or younger do not need to be tested to begin heartworm preventative. Clients with puppies under 6 months of age should be informed of heartworm disease and prevention, and advised to purchase the first year’s supply of heartworm prevention medication.

Clients who purchase prevention at the time of testing must wait to administer any preventative until they receive a negative test result in the mail. If their dog should test positive for Heartworms (the dog has heartworm disease), they must seek heartworm treatment at the full service veterinary hospital of their choice. Begin administration of the purchased preventative only after heartworm treatment is completed, or under the supervision of the full service facility veterinarian. Heartworm prevention is a prescription item and cannot be returned due to pharmacy law.

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II. Fecal Test

A fecal test is performed with a stool sample, and is done for dogs as well as cats or ferrets. The test is for intestinal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms , and coccidia. Luv My Pet, Inc. will not collect the sample from the pet.

The type of fecal test performed is a fecal flotation test, and this checks for eggs of parasites. The type of egg present in the stool tells what parasites are present. The results reported to the pet owner include the type of parasite found.

Luv My Pet, Inc. will deworm an animal for hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. All other parasites that may be found on the fecal test require a special medication that will be recommended if required. The pet owner should then obtain that medication from the full service veterinary hospital of their choice.

A fecal test can be done on any animal of any age, but is especially important in young animals. Baby animals can be born with parasites (from their mother) and are much more susceptible to serious complications, including death, from a large infection of worms.

Please note: A fecal flotation test (the kind of test we do) will not diagnose tapeworms. An animal will be de-wormed for tapeworms when the owner sees them and informs us. Tapeworms appear as small, flat, "rice-like" worms that crawl out of the rectum, and are on the stool.

III. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick transmitted diseases in the world. It is caused by a spirochete (bacteria) species of the Borrelia burgdorferi group. Dominant clinical feature in dogs is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidney, and rarely heart or nervous system disease.

Symptoms and Types
Other symptoms associated with Lyme disease include:

  • Stiff walk with an arched back
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever, lack of appetite, and depression may accompany inflammation of the joints
  • Superficial lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen
  • Heart abnormalities are reported, but rare; they include complete heart block
  • Nervous system complications (rare)
Clinical signs may not appear for several months after a dog is infected with Lyme disease. In fact, many dogs fail to display any obvious clinical signs at all. When signs of infection are noted, they may include the following:

  • Lethargy (manifested as tiredness or exercise intolerance)
  • Fever
  • Painful joints
  • Loss of appetite
Treatment of Lyme disease generally consists of administration of antibiotics and (if necessary) other medications to temporarily help control joint pain and other clinical signs. Some dogs show dramatic improvement after only a few days of receiving antibiotics, but most veterinarians now recommend a 28- to 30-day course of treatment. Relapses are not uncommon, so pet owners are advised to monitor their dogs carefully for signs of illness.

We recommend the lyme vaccine to help prevent lyme disease.

IV. Heartworm & Tick Disease Testing (4DX)

Luv My Pet recommends the annual Heartworm & Tick Disease Test, also known as the 4DX Test for dogs, for vector-borne diseases. A vector-borne disease is one that results from an infection transmitted to humans and/or animals by blood-feeding anthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. Examples of vector-borne diseases include Bubonic Plague, Lyme Disease, and Malaria.

The 4DX tests for heartworms, lyme disease, anaplasma, & ehrlichia.

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Puppy Vaccination Schedule

While the following schedule of vaccinations for your new puppy is one that will be relevant to the vast majority of puppies that we see at our clinics, it can be adjusted based on your individual circumstances.

The schedule below will assume that you are brining your pet to us at a minimum of 8 weeks of age and that that pet has not had any vaccinations prior to today’s visit – or your first visit with us. IF your pet does not meet these criteria, please consult our staff at our clinic for the schedule of vaccinations you will need for your pet.

Our veterinarians recommend the following vaccination series for your puppy*:

Puppy 8 weeks
Luv My Puppy Pack

5 or 6 in 1 (distemper combo)


Round/Hookworm Dewormer


Puppy 12 weeks
Luv My Puppy Pack

5 or 6 in 1 (distemper combo)


Round/Hookworm Dewormer


Puppy 16 weeks
Luv My Dog Pack

5 or 6 in 1 (distemper combo)




* Please note: If your puppy is less than 15 lbs, on any one of these visits, the veterinarian may require you to "split" the number of vaccines your puppy gets into 2 different weeks. However, you will NOT have to pay more money – it will be the same cost and you will still get package pricing.

You can bring your pet into our clinics as early as 6 weeks; however, at that point, we can only give your puppy a dewormer.

We recommend starting the puppy with their first vaccinations at 8 weeks of age because this age is when the immunity they received from their mother is fading, thus leaving the puppy unprotected. Vaccines given prior to the maternal immunity wearing off will do no good. If we wait too long after the maternal immunity wears off, we are risking the unprotected baby puppy might be exposed to and contract a virus. Therefore, 8 weeks has been determined to be the appropriate age to start vaccinating the majority of puppies.

Package includes one of each item listed. Price listed does not include cost of boosters. After your puppy has finished its booster series, you may bring him/her back in one year to re-vaccinate. See General Information SectionRe-Vaccination

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Cat Vaccinations

See our information page devoted to Cat Vaccinations.

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*** The veterinarian may deem a pet medically ineligible for any or all products, vaccines, vaccine packages or other services.

***Any pet with a history of having an allergic reaction to vaccinations, for their safety, will not be serviced at our clinics.