After-Hours or Weekend Emergencies
When veterinary care is needed after business hours, please call or take your pet directly to:
Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital
5818 Maplecrest Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
P: (260) 426-1062
F: (260) 485-0130
Appointments are available Monday – Friday. Please call us at (260) 637-5932 to set up an appointment that is convenient with your schedule.
Payment is required at the time service is rendered. For your convenience, we accept cash, check, and most credit cards. We are also pleased to accept Care Credit, which enables clients to provide care to pets in urgent situations despite financial constraints. For more information, please click here.
Vaccines are an important part of your dog or cat’s health care plan. Vaccines, along with wellness exams and parasite prevention products, help keep your pet healthy by preventing serious diseases.
Description of Vaccines
Rabies vaccine. The first rabies shot your pet receives (pet must be 12 weeks old) is good for one year. Subsequent Rabies vaccinations last either 1 or 3 years. We will discuss the rabies vaccine options with you during your pet’s annual wellness exam.
DHLPP vaccine. This is a "5-way" canine vaccine that vaccinates against canine distemper, parainfluenza, parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis. Distemper and parvovirus infections can be fatal, especially in puppies. It is therefore important to begin vaccines as early as 6 weeks old and provide “booster” vaccines every 3-4 weeks until puppies reach 16-20 weeks old. Adult dogs are then vaccinated every 1-3 years.
DHPP vaccine. This vaccine protects against all of the same diseases above except leptospirosis. Leptospirosa is an organism carried by wild animals that can be dangerous for both animals and humans. We recommend vaccinating all dogs against leptospirosa unless it is their first vaccine, they are very small or have a history of an allergic reaction to vaccination.
FVRCP Vaccine. This is a "3-way" feline vaccine that vaccinates against feline distemper (aka panleukopenia), rhinotrachetitis, and calici virus. Kittens can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks and receive "booster" vaccines every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Adult cats are then vaccinated every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia Vaccine. Feline Leukemia Vaccine is recommended for all kittens and for adult cats that go outdoors or interact with other household cats that go outdoors. We will discuss our recommendations regarding this vaccine at your cat’s annual visit.
Bordetella. Also known as "kennel cough", we recommend a series of two vaccinations 4 weeks apart then annually thereafter for dogs, if their life style requires it.
Canine Flu. A vaccination is available for canine influenza if your pet is likely to be exposed.
Heartworm Prevention. Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes which can be fatal if untreated. We recommend your dog and cat be on year-round heartworm prevention starting at your puppy’s or kitten’s first visit. Your dog will need to be tested with a simple blood test for heartworm disease.
Flea and Tick Control. In most instances, we recommend using flea/tick prevention all year around. We can discuss your pet’s potential exposure and options for treatment and prevention.
When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?
We generally recommend that you have your pet spayed or neutered at 4-6 months of age. This recommendation provides the best protection for your pet. There are still benefits to having a pet spayed or neutered at advanced ages as well, just be sure to disclose the pet’s age and general health status when scheduling an appointment.
When does my pet need blood work?
We recommend annual blood work for every apparently healthy adult patient and more frequent blood work for some individual pets based on age, health status, and current medications. Regular lab testing helps detect diseases early, before clinical signs develop. In many situations, early detection is essential for effective treatment. The type of blood work will be determined specifically for each pet depending on his or her individual needs. This is convenient to do at the time of the annual heartworm test, but can be done at any time of year. We may also recommend blood work prior to some anesthetic and diagnostic procedures.
How many months should my pet be on Heartworm prevention medication?
We recommend that your pet be on heartworm prevention for the entire year. It is administered one time per month either by pill or by topical application. Depending on the specific product you choose for your pet, heartworm prevention medication can prevent other parasite infestations including internal parasites (intestinal parasites) and external parasites (fleas and ticks). Some of these parasites can be communicated to people! A simple blood test will get your pet started.
Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?
Dogs could get sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or death) if placed on heartworm prevention when they have heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round, there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. ALL companies will guarantee their product if you use the heartworm prevention year round and are performing an annual heartworm test.
My pet never goes outside so does it really need heartworm prevention? Yes! Heartworm disease is transmitted through mosquito bites and mosquitoes often get inside houses.
Doesn’t the fecal sample test for heartworms?
No. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. A simple blood test will confirm whether or not your dog has heartworm disease.
How can I prevent fleas?
There are many medications available for the treatment and prevention of fleas. We always recommend that you use products purchased from veterinary clinics which has the manufacturers guarantee. Some over-the-counter products can cause severe adverse reactions or even death. Medications are now available in a combined form for fleas and monthly heartworm medication. Although fleas are more prevalent in summer months, they are seen all year in the south.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme is a disease transmitted by ticks. It is a chronic illness that can lead to kidney failure, arthritis, neurological disease and some forms of heart disease in dogs. The vaccine is recommended for all dogs and puppies that are potentially exposed to ticks. This includes nearly all dogs in southern New England. This includes dogs that spend time outdoors in wooded or grassy areas, such as dog parks, campgrounds, hunting fields/meadows/ponds, and/or dogs that visit Lyme-endemic areas of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic or upper Midwest.
What is kennel cough?
Canine Bordetella is a respiratory disease called Infectious Tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). It is easily transmitted through the air. It is a viral infection complicated by bacteria. Both intranasal and injectable vaccines are available.
What is Lepto?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. It is spread by wildlife (raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, opossums, squirrels and rats) and domestic animals. It can be passed to people. Canine Lepto has risen dramatically in recent years. Infected animals shed Lepto bacteria in the urine. To prevent Lepto in your dog, discourage your pet from drinking standing water and vaccinate yearly.
Why does my pet need a dental cleaning and how often should this be done?
We believe an annual professional dental exam is necessary to treat and maintain your dog and cat’s healthy teeth and gums. As your pet ages or his or her health needs change, advanced dental care may be required. Your pet's teeth and mouth should be examined by us on a regular basis. Dental disease involves more than just bad breath. When bacteria irritate the gum line, the gums become inflamed (gingivitis or gum disease). Left untreated, this leads to periodontal disease, which causes loss of the bone/support structure of the tooth and subsequent loose teeth. In addition, the bacteria are released into the blood stream, increasing the chance of systemic infections which can cause harm to organs such as the heart, liver, or kidneys.
How often your pet needs his/her teeth professionally cleaned depends on many factors. Your pet's teeth and mouth should be examined on a regular basis to detect disease. If you notice bad breath, decreased appetite, abnormal chewing, increased drooling or signs of mouth pain, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out tooth root abscess or other dental disease.
Do I need to brush my pet’s teeth at home?
Yes. Proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog and cat. Home dental care for companion animals should start early, even before the adult teeth erupt. It is best if owners brush their dogs and cats teeth frequently. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many options for dental home care. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water additives, sealants and dental treats should be considered.
How do I know if my pet is in pain?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell! If you are not sure, but suspect your pet may be hurting or is just not acting right, call to have an examination. Some signs of pain, such as limping or whimpering, are obvious. Other signs are more subtle and can include not eating, a change in behavior or normal habits, being more tired or having less energy. Of course, these symptoms can be caused by many problems! Therefore an examination by a veterinarian is important to help determine what may be wrong.