Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital
3106 Early Street
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: 404.812.9880  /  Fax: (404) 812-1818
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We are open Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, and Saturday 8am-12pm.

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As the weather gets nicer and begs more outdoor activity with your pet, it is important to understand the risks of ticks.

Ticks bites on both pets and humans can lead to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever--which cause very dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms such as anemia, arthritis and even paralysis.  Ticks are therefore something to be understood and avoided.  Here are some facts about ticks as they affect your fur baby.

Ticks are ectoparasites, which means they live by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. They attach by inserting their mouthparts into the skin. Many ticks additionally secrete a sticky substance that keeps them attached.   The places where ticks attach can become red and irritated, which is easier to spot on a human than it is on an animal with fur.

Prevention

The best way to prevent ticks from attaching to your pet is to keep them inside and on leash when they are outside.  Regardless (because even animals who stay indoors can get ticks that come in via other animals or humans)—we recommend a prescription medicine regimen to prevent both ticks and fleas in your animal.  

If your dog runs free in your yard and you have woods, try to create a landscape buffer such as gravel or mulch to separate the lawn from the more tick-friendly wooded area.  

Treat the garden areas with a pet-safe insecticide. Same with the inside of your home--treat your carpeting, furniture and walls with an eco-friendly tick preventative.

Removal

After all your attempts to prevent ticks from biting your animal, you may find a tick.  There is a right way and a wrong way to get rid of ticks. 

Don’t just pull them out by hand or try to burn them.   Instead, use fine-tipped tweezers placed close to the skin. Carefully pinch the tick's head with the tweezers, and without twisting, pull it straight out.   Be careful not to crush or squeeze the tick's body, which can accidentally cause the tick’s bacteria-filled blood to get into your pet’s bloodstream.

Once the tick has been removed, place it in a jar of insecticide or rubbing alcohol.

Do not flush the tick down the toilet or sink, as they can survive water.

Because ticks can carry so many diseases, protect yourself from contact by wearing gloves and thoroughly wash your hands after you're finished

After removal, clean the area of the bite with an antiseptic. The bite area may itch, causing your pet to scratch or chew at it, so continue to monitor the area to make sure it doesn’t become infected or abscessed.

Lastly, continue to monitor your pet after you remove a tick from their skin--as symptoms of tick-borne diseases may not show up for several days or weeks.  Stay on the lookout for fever, loss of appetite, lethargy or any stiffness in the limbs.

If you have any concerns, please call us.

PHAH referral programREFER A FRIEND! The Referral Program at PHAH

There is no greater compliment to our practice than you recommending us to someone you know. We welcome the opportunity to provide referred clients the same quality medical care and customer service that you have come to expect from us.

Referrals are our most valuable resource for growing this practice, and we are proud that the majority of our clients came through a referral from a friend. As an expression of our appreciation for referrals we will apply a $50 credit to your PHAH account when a friend or family member becomes a new patient in our practice as a result of your referral!

Thanks for your vote of confidence!

50 dollar billAll of your friends at
Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital

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Vaccine schedules can be complicated and confusing and many options for vaccines depend on the lifestyle of your dog and on any medical problems as well. Below is a typical Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital Dog Vaccination Schedule, but this is subject to change from year to year depending on what is going on with your dog.

Our vaccines schedule is based on a series of vaccines every three weeks to match protection with the drop of maternal antibodies. It is typically a 3 to 4 set series depending on at what age the vaccines are started.

Vaccine 6 weeks 9 weeks 12 weeks 15 weeks

*DHPP
(Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvo)

Yes Yes Yes Yes
*Rabies       Yes
Bordetella   Yes    
Leptospirosis (in combo with DHPP)     Yes Yes
Intestinal Parasite exam (fecal) Yes     Yes if previous results were positive

*Core vaccines – These are the two core vaccines that we feel all pets should receive:

  1. DHPP (which is a combination vaccine of distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvo)
  2. Rabies

Non–core vaccines – These three vaccines are based on lifestyle and exposure:

  1. Leptospirosis we will try to give to most dogs because this is a disease that they can give to humans. It is only considered non-core because some of parts of the country do not have Leptospirosis. However, Atlanta does have Leptospirosis.
  2. Bordetella
  3. Influenza

Adult dogs are moved to DHPP every 3 years after the age of one year old. Bordetella is done every 6 months for those dogs boarding and grooming.

What diseases do these vaccines treat?

  1. Distemper (the D in DHPP) - This disease is a paramyxovirus, which is similar to human measles.  It can cause fever, poor appetite, pneumonia and can continue on to cause neurologic symptoms (which can be permanent) and death.  It is transmitted mainly through saliva but can be potentially transmitted through any secretion. 
  2. Hepatitis (the H in DHPP) - This disease is caused by an adenovirus.  It primarily causes liver failure but can also affect the eyes and kidneys.  The symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, changes in the cornea of the eye and even death.  It is transmitted by bodily fluids, especially nasal discharge and urine.
  3. Parainfluenza (the first P in DHPP) - The parainfluenza virus is one of several agents that can be part of the tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) disease.  This virus causes mild disease unless combined with another virus or the Bordetella bacteria.  It causes a dry hacking cough and watery nasal discharge but can progress to pneumonia.  If left untreated it can even cause death. It is transmitted by saliva and nasal discharge.
  4. Parvo (the second P in DHPP) - This virus can cause severe, bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and frequently death.  It is transmitted through the feces.  This virus is very hardy and can live in the environment for months under the right conditions. 
  5. Leptospirosis (the L in DHLPP or it can be given alone) - This is a bacteria that is found in many types of outdoor environments.  There are over 200+ strains for this bacteria.  The vaccine does not cross-protect (basically each strain needs its own vaccine).  The symptoms can be kidney or liver failure, severe lethargy, fever, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and increased drinking/urination.  Permanent kidney damage or death can also occur.  It is transmitted through urine, with contaminated water a likely source. This can be transmitted from dogs to humans; therefore it is considered a zoonotic disease.
  6. Bordetella (also known as Kennel Cough) - This disease is usually caused by more than one virus and/or bacteria.  Usually Bordetella bacteria and Parainfluenza virus are the main culprits. However, Herpes virus, Distemper and several other viruses can also be involved.  The disease is spread by nasal discharge or fomites. This vaccine goes into the nose instead of being injected under the skin.
  7. Rabies – this is our only vaccine that is regulated by the state and county. Rabies is a very serious disease transmitted by saliva either by bite wounds or saliva contact with open wounds.  Incubation from time of exposure to symptoms is usually 3-6 weeks in the dog but can be as long as 6 months.  It attacks brain cells and causes neurologic symptoms. Once an animal gets rabies it is always fatal.  Vaccination for rabies is required by state law for dogs and in many communities keeping cats up-to-date with their rabies vaccine is also required. There is a 1-year and a 3-year vaccine. It will depend on the county in which you are living to which one the county requires.
  8. Influenza (H3N8) – This vaccine works for this strain of Influenza only. Our current outbreak is related to the H3N2 strain and therefore this vaccine is only recommended for those boarding facilities that are requiring it.

Cat vaccines can be very confusing and the recommended schedule is based on the lifestyle of the cat. Cats that are kept indoors only do not require as many vaccines as those who go outside. The vaccine schedule can vary depending on each individual cat but here is our basic routine at Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital. They begin at 8 weeks.

Vaccine 8 weeks 12 weeks 16 weeks
FVRCP Yes Yes Yes
FELV   Yes Yes
Rabies     Yes
Intestinal parasite exam (fecal) Yes   Yes if positive before

Which diseases do these vaccines treat?

  1. Rhinotracheitis (the R in FVRCP) - This is a herpes virus and is part of the "Upper Respiratory Complex".  It can cause fever, anorexia, sneezing, discharge from the nose and/or eyes and coughing. This virus will remain in a cat’s body for the rest of its life and later cause disease of the cornea or reoccurrence of other symptoms.  
  2. Calici (the C in FVRCP) - This is a calicivirus and is another part of the "Upper Respiratory Complex".  It can cause fever and ulcers on the tongue and mouth.
  3. Panleukopenia (the P in FVRCP) - Also referred to as "Feline Distemper", this disease is caused by a parvovirus.  This virus causes a significant decrease in white blood cells which are needed to fight off infection.  It can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia and fever.  Cats that survive usually don't have any lasting problems. The virus is highly contagious and vaccination is an effective prevention.
  4. Feline Leukemia - The FELV vaccine is given at 12 weeks, boostered at 16 weeks and then boostered yearly as indicated. The Feline Leukemia virus affects the cat's bone marrow and therefore its ability to fight off infection. It can cause weight loss, gingivitis/stomatitis, lethargy, chronic infections (especially upper respiratory infections), fever and in some cases even lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes).  It is important to let us know whether or not your cat is going to be indoor or outdoor.  There is a 1 in 10,000 chance your cat will get an aggressive sarcoma tumor at the vaccine site.  If your cat is indoor-only, then there is a much less chance of getting FELV than the cancerous tumor.  Therefore this vaccine is NOT recommended for strictly indoor cats. If you are unsure, please discuss it with us. However, this vaccine is recommended for kittens because they have the highest chance of escaping your house and are also the most susceptible to FELV at a young age. Many times we do not continue this vaccine after their kitten vaccines.
  5. Rabies – this is our only vaccine that is regulated by the state and county. Rabies is a very serious disease transmitted by saliva either by bite wounds or saliva contact with open wounds.  Incubation from time of exposure to symptoms is usually 3-6 weeks but can be as long as 6 months.  It attacks brain cells and causes neurologic symptoms. Once an animal gets rabies it is always fatal.  Vaccination for rabies is required by state law for dogs and in many communities keeping cats up to date with the rabies vaccine is also required.

 

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