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Things You Should Know

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Puppies, kittens, and foals need immunization booster series to establish effective protective immunity early in life. That immunity they receive from their mother's first milk is lost as early as six weeks (puppies and kittens) or three months (foals). Beginning a series of vaccinations at these ages is critical to prevent life-threatening disease, as well as beginning effective parasite control.

When your animal is sick, delaying treatment more than six or twelve hours may lead to complications which may prolong and increase the costs of treatment. The sooner an illness is treated effectively, the quicker the response to treatment, the shorter the course of treatment, and the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome. If you are uncertain, do not hesitate to call and talk to the doctor.

Because of the mild weather of the Gulf coast, parasite control is a year-round necessity. The only time there are no mosquitoes in Mobile County is when it snows. These pests carry heartworms, equine encephalitis virus, and West Nile virus. Animals are exposed to the infective forms of intestinal parasites on a continual basis.

Allergies (atopic skin disease) are genetic-based reactions to foreign proteins, particularly pollens, or insect saliva/bite, in the environment/air, and affect animals seasonally and in some cases year-round. Effective management of these conditions is frequently for the life of the animal and may vary with levels of exposure from year-to-year. Delay in controlling these reactions can lead to extensive hair loss, mutilation of skin from itching, and consequent infections and scarring of the skin. Food allergy reactions, irritating the feet and face, often enhance the atopy reaction and complicate its control.

Spaying or neutering your animal will often avert unwanted behavior and avoid any number of diseases and cancer processes as animals age. With fewer things to worry about, your animal will be a happier and more enjoyable companion.

Proper grooming will keep your animal's skin healthy and remove shed hair before it can become a problem. Of course, care of certain breeds requires regular professional grooming to avoid coat and skin complications, particularly ear infections.