Kittens and puppies need a series of vaccinations starting at about 6 or 8 weeks of age until 16 weeks of age. Your veterinarian will advise you on the appropriate scheduling.
Pet owners should be aware that some diseases can be transmitted between animals and people. These are called zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases include:
- Bacterial infections, such as salmonellosis and leptospirosis
- Parasitic infections, such as roundworms and hookworms
- Fungal infections including ring worm
- Protozoal infections including cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, and most importantly toxoplasmosis
- Viral infections such as rabies
You are much more likely to contract diseases from other humans than you are from your pet. Good hygiene (handwashing) is the best method of reducing the risk of disease transmission. Always wash your hands after cleaning the litter box or picking up feces. For more information on zoonotic diseases and how to prevent them, visit our website at www.anticruelty.org/zoonotic.
All pets adopted from The Anti-Cruelty Society have a microchip,
a small, electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice implanted under
their skin. Each microchip has a unique identification number. If your pet gets lost, shelters and veterinary offices can scan your pet's body to locate the identification number of the chip and can contact the manufacturer to get your contact information. It is important that you update your information with the microchip company if you move.
We also recommend that all cats and dogs wear a collar with an identification tag. Even if your cat is an indoor only cat, they can slip out the door quickly. Two methods of identification are best in case one fails. It is also helpful to have a picture of you and your pet together, especially when trying to re-unite pets and their families after an emergency.
There are several factors such as age, weight, and activity level to consider when deciding on a proper diet for your pet. There are also many choices in the type of food (canned, dry, or semi-moist) and feeding regimen (free choice or meals). Your veterinarian can help you make the best decision for you and your pet.
The Anti-Cruelty Society provides all adopters with a small amount of food that your pet has been eating. It is okay to switch to a different type or brand of food but you should do so gradually. Start with about 25% new food and 75% old food for a few days, then 50/50 for a few days, 75/25 for a few days and then all new diet. Make sure your pet continues to eat during this transition, especially important in cats which can be finicky eaters.
Treats should be given in moderation. Your pet's nutrition should come from their high-quality pet food, not treats. Table scraps or other "people" food are not good for your pets.
You should always have your veterinarian's day and night contact information on hand so you are able to quickly reach them if there is a problem with your pet. Keep a leash or carrier handy if you need to take your pet to a veterinarian. Consider purchasing one of our Emergency Preparedness Kits, so you can keep all of you pet's records in one place for emergency purposes. For more information or to purchase one of our Emergency Preparedness Kits visit www.anticruelty.org/prepare.
All adopted dogs and cats from The Anti-Cruelty Society are examined by a veterinarian, monitored by staff daily, and are not showing any signs of disease at the time of adoption. Any known medical conditions are discussed with potential adopters. However, animals may be exposed and infected with a disease agent (virus, bacteria, etc.) and show no signs for several days.
Upper Respiratory Diseases
Anywhere animals come in close contact with one another, such as shelters, kennels, pet stores, or dog parks or shows, there is a likely to be exposure to viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections. In most cases these are mild and self-limiting, quite like human colds that we are all familiar with. Signs can appear up to 10 days after exposure and include sneezing, coughing, and clear discharge from the eyes and nose.
Vomiting and/or diarrhea are also not uncommon in a newly acquired pet. Stress such as riding in the car (maybe for the first time) and going to a new environment can cause minor and usually one time episodes of either vomiting or diarrhea. Sudden changes in diet can also lead to gastrointestinal upsets. The Anti-Cruelty Society sends home a small package of the food your pet is used to eating. Any diet changes should be made gradually to allow your pet to acclimate to the new food. Bacteria, viruses, or parasites can also cause vomiting and/or diarrhea.
When to Call Your Veterinarian
If your pet refuses to eat or drink, is lethargic (listless, inactive), has difficulty breathing, the discharge from the eyes or nose becomes heavier or changes in color from clear to yellow or green, or has multiple episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea, you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible. An offer of pet insurance is made at the time of adoption and we encourage you to read the policy and decide if it is right for you and your pet. We also offer free 15 day care post-adoption at our clinic to help you with these situations.
If you have any questions about your pet's health, don't hesitate to call your veterinarian or one of our veterinarians who are on duty 365 days a year at (312) 644-8338. Feel free to ask any questions you may have regarding your pet's signs or treatment. It is our priority that your new pet has a happy, healthy start in his or her new forever home.