Preventive Health Cares

Your dog will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause diseases, some of them serious and life threatening. You know your dog better than any one, it can't let you know what's wrong if it isn't feeling well. Many canine diseases can be prevented, treated, or controlled. You & your veterinarian together can develop a comprehensive, ongoing health program for your best friend.


Rabies is a generally fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can infect all warm-blooded animals. The disease is zoonotic, which means it can be transmitted to humans bitten by an infected animal. People exposed to rabies must undergo aa post exposure treatment.

Signs: Changes in behavior that can include uncharacteristic restlessness, aggressiveness, agitation, shyness, and paralysis.

Prevention: Vaccination by your veterinarian.

Canine Parvovirus or "Parvo"
Parvo is an acute, potentially fatal disease of the gastrointestinal tract and, less commonly, the heart muscle. Although dogs of all ages are susceptible, puppies are more at risk.

Signs:  Vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever and dehydration. Since these symptoms can indicate other diseases as well, the veterinarian will confirm a diagnosis of parvoviral infection by examining the feces.

Prevention: Vaccination.

Canine Coronavirus
Coronavirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease affecting dogs at any age. Show dogs and dogs in boarding kennels are most susceptible. Though the symptoms are less severe in adult dogs than in puppies.

Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever and depression. Signs are more dramatic if other infections, such as parvovirus, are present too.

Prevention: Vaccination and extra caution in high-risk environments such as dog shows and boarding kennels.

Canine Distemper
Canine distemper, also known as hardpad disease, is a systemic, very contagious, potentially fatal viral disease.

Signs: Fever, runny nose, cough, and vomiting, progressing to twitching muscles or seizures.

Prevention:  Vaccination.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH)
Infectious Canine Hepatitis, or ICH, is a contagious viral disease that can damage a dog's liver, kidneys, spleen, and lungs. ICH ranges from mild to severe and can be fatal in puppies.

Signs: Fever, diarrhea, thirst, loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes and nose, respiratory distress, and, in some cases, abdominal pain may be present in some cases.

Prevention:  Vaccination.

Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough or infectious tracheobronchitis, is an extremely contagious infection of the upper respiratory tract. Contributing infectious agents, either acting alone or in combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza virus and canine adenovirus. Kennel cough can spread rapidly among susceptible animals in an enviroment such as a boarding kennel. Though the disease is generally mild it can be serious or even fatal in puppies and can cause chronic bronchitis in older dogs and dogs with other illnesses.

Signs:  Harsh dry coughing followed by retching and gagging. In more severe cases kennel cough can be present along with a systemic infection such as distemper.

Prevention:  Vaccination.

Canine Parainfluenza
Canine parainfluenza is a chronic, viral contagious respiratory disease that is involved in opportunistic canine infections.

Signs: Cough, nasal congestion.

Prevention: Vaccination.

Leptospirosis is a contagious bacterial infection caused by organisms that can survive in surface waters for extended periods. Animals and humans can become infected by coming into contact with the urine of infected animals or, in the case of animals, by ingesting urine-contaminated feed or water. Brown rats and other dogs are the primary sources of infection in dogs.

Signs:  Sudden slight weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and mild conjunctivitis in the early stage. Labored breathing, strong thirst, back pain, abrasion-like patches in the mouth in later stages.

Prevention: Vaccination and rodent control. Antibiotics are used to treat the disease.

Lyme disease
Lyme disease, also known as Borreliosis, is a tick-borne disease of animals, including humans, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi.

Signs:  Fever which may become chronic along with other signs such as loss of appetite, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes. Neurological, cardiac, kidney, and reproductive symptoms can also occur.

Prevention:  Vaccination. Antibiotics can be useful in treating canine Lyme disease.

Fleas and Flea Infestation
Fleas are common parasites. These tiny pests can hop onto your dog unobserved to feed on its blood and lay eggs, beginning another generation. Fleas can make life miserable for people and dogs alike, disrupting your household with a nasty cycle of biting and scratching. Flea trasmit tapworm and certain disease.

Signs:  Flea bites cause itching and may cause inflammation of the skin called Flea Allergy Dermatiis (FAD). You should also look for signs of such as black specs on your dog or in your dog's bed. Also, your dog may become nervous or annoyed and will scratch excessively if infested with fleas.

Prevention: Use of an approved product like Advantage, Advantix & FRONTLINE Plus (fipronil/(S)-methroprene) will kill fleas that are already on a dog and prevent fleas from reinfesting your animal. Once a flea infestation is serious, a number of control measures may be required, including the use of appropriate flea control products in indoor and outdoor pet areas, frequent cleaning of pet bedding and blankets, vacuuming, and sanitizing.

Ticks and Tick-Borne Disease
Ticks are ectoparasites, that attach themselves to a host animal (including humans) to feed on the animal's blood. Ticks may carry serious, even fatal, diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis.

Signs:  Symptoms of tick-borne diseases include fever, lameness, loss of appetite, sudden onset of pain in your pet's legs or body, arthritis or swelling in your dog's joints, lethargy or depression and a cough.

Prevention:  Use of a tick-killing product like FRONTLINE Plus as directed.

Heartworm Disease
The parasitic worm responsible for heartworm disease  is called Dirofilaria immitis. The life cycle of the heartworm begins when a mosquito bites and feeds on the blood of an infected dog that is carrying tiny immature heartworms, called microfilariae, in its blood. The mosquito takes in the immature heartworms when it feeds. During the next two-to-three weeks, the larvae develop into the infective stage within the mosquito. When the mosquito feeds again, it can transmit infective larvae to a healthy dog. The larvae enter the dog's body through the mosquitos bite wound , migrate through its tissues, and develop over the next few months, eventually reaching the dog’s heart and lungs. Heartworms may be present in the heart and lungs approximately four months after initial infection. Once in the dog’s heart, the worms may grow to between 7 and 11 inches in length. and cause significant damage to the heart and lungs. If left untreated, heartworm disease may result in death. After adult heartworms mate and produce immature heartworms an infected dog which is bitten by an uninfected mosquito will transmit microfilariae to the mosquito, beginning the cycle again.

Signs:  Dogs in the early stages of heartworm disease may not show any symptoms of illness at all. But as the disease progresses, an infected animal may cough and exhibit intolerance for exercise, and, in severe cases, may die suddenly.

Prevention:  Use of a heartworm prevention product like HEARTGARD Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) as directed will kill any immature heartworms before they have the chance to mature and cause heartworm disease. Once a dog has heartworm, treatment can be difficult. 

 Intestinal Parasites                                                                                                                                                 Intestinal parasites are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, coccidia,& giardia.

Signs:  Coughing, gagging, vomiting, diarrhea (bloody diarrhea in hookworm & coccidia)& weak

Prevention: Sanitations, regular deworming and flea control for tapeworms.

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6909 Norwood Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32208
Telephone #: 904-764-9559 
Fax #: 904-764-5049
Emergency #: 904-764-9559, 904-399-8800
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