Emergency care: When is it time to seek veterinary care?

Just like with people, animals can have medical emergencies. A physical accident or injury is always a reason to seek care. In critical situations, don’t wait! Stabilize your pet as quickly as possible and come in. If possible, have someone call ahead so we can begin to prepare any and all emergency supplies that may be needed to care for your injured pet. If you can’t call, don’t worry.

Our staff is highly trained for emergency situations and can quickly determine what your pet needs. Other medical situations that are considered emergencies include repeated vomiting, anaphylaxis, difficulty breathing, seizure activity and collapse are all serious situations and should be addressed immediately. Weight loss, anorexia, an increase in thirst and urination, changes in behavior and lethargy (among many others) may not necessarily be indicative of an “emergency,” but should still be evaluated as quickly as possible. Should you become concerned that your pet is in need of emergency veterinary services, call Ridgewood Animal Hospital immediately. Should you be in need of veterinary care after regular office hours, the voicemail will direct you to the nearest emergency clinic.

Vaccinations: how do I know what my dog needs?

As pet owners, we all want to do the absolute best for our pets. Keeping vaccinations up to date is one way to ensure that your cat or dog stays as healthy as possible. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) updates canine vaccination guidelines yearly. “Core” vaccinations are considered required for all patients, while the “non-core” are dependent on situations/locations/risks, and/or other variables. The core vaccinations as recommended by Ridgewood Animal Hospital for the Forest, Bedford, Lynchburg and surrounding Virginia areas are as follows:

Rabies: must be administered after 12 weeks of age. This vaccination is required by law. Initial vaccination is recognized for 1 year with subsequent vaccinations lasting 3 years.
DHPP: to protect against several common viral diseases that can be life threatening, including canine distemper and parvo viruses. Starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age and boosted every 3 to 4 weeks until one booster until 14 to 16 weeks of age respectively. 1 year initially, with subsequent vaccinations lasting 3 years.

Bordatella: a common respiratory virus spread from dog to dog. Given at 8 weeks of age and boosted in 3 to 4 weeks. Vaccination with an oral product does not require boosting. Vaccinate yearly afterwards.

Leptospirosis: a disease transmitted through contaminated water sources, which can result in fatal kidney failure. A 2 dose series, 3-4 weeks apart, starting no earlier than 12 weeks of age. Yearly vaccination follows.

Non-Core Vaccination (there are many of these but this lists only those we recommend)

Lyme disease: transmitted by ticks and frequently resulting in lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy and, if left untreated, kidney failure. A 2 shot series, 2 to 4 weeks apart and starting no earlier than 12 weeks of age, then yearly.

All Vaccination protocols are tailored to your specific pet. Please let us know if you have any questions.