Dogs - Mans Best Friend

A dog can be your best friend. It is important to bring your new puppy, as well as your older dog, to the hospital for annual vaccinations and health check- ups. Vaccinations are important because they will prevent many diseases. Preventing disease costs much less than treating the affects of a disease, and keeps your dog healthier and happier. Without a proper vaccination program, many dogs can contract a serious or even fatal disease. Vaccinations help prevent these diseases by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that help fight viruses and bacteria. The protection provided by a vaccine gradually declines after a pet is vaccinated, so it is important to obtain annual booster vaccinations for your pet. Nursing animals receive antibodies from their mother's colostrum (milk produced in the first 24-36 hours after the puppies are born) that aid in protection from disease during the first weeks of its life. However, these same antibodies can also decrease the effectiveness of a vaccine if a puppy is vaccinated to early. During the first few weeks of life, maternal antibodies gradually decrease, this is why we give a series of vaccinations from 6-20 weeks of age to stimulate the puppys' immune system to create its own antibodies against the pathogenic virus or bacteria. Puppies should be weaned and in good health before a vaccination program is started.

Canine Vaccinations given at Animal Care Hospital

Rabies: All warm blooded animals (dogs, cats, livestock, wild animals, and humans) can become infected with rabies. Mississippi State Law recomends the three-year rabies vaccine. In accordance with American Animal Hospital Association and the AVMA's National Rabies Council, we recommend annual rabies boosters due to the active cases of rabies that have been reported in Mississippi over the past 3-4 years. We use a three-year rabies vaccine (at no additional charge, opposed to the one year vaccine) to provide added protection of your dogs and cats, but still recommend annual boosters of both dogs and cats.

Hepatitis: This disease is spread primarily through infected urine by a virus (Adenovirus Type 2). The virus can attack organs throughout the body causing fever, eye damage, liver damage, diarrhea, respiratory problems and changes in the blood. Initial vaccination should be given at 6 weeks of age, boostered every 3-4 weeks until 16-20 weeks of age, then annually thereafter.

Distemper Virus: This virus can affect up to 75% of unprotected dogs, especially puppies. Signs may include diarrhea, fever, respiratory problems, seizures, muscular twitches, and discharge from the eyes and nose. Initial vaccination should be given at 6 weeks of age, boostered every 3-4 weeks until 16-20 weeks of age, then annually thereafter.

Leptospirosis: This bacteria can affect dogs of all ages, damaging liver, kidneys, and other major organs. Raccoons are a major source of spreading leptosporosis. Dogs infected can shed the bacteria for months after it has been sick. Other dogs and even humans can pick up the bacteria from the infected dog's urine so use gloves when handling urine and wash hands thoroughly afterward. Initial vaccination should be given at 6 weeks of age, boostered every 3-4 weeks until 16-20 weeks of age, then annually thereafter.

Parvo and Corona Virus: Parvovirus and coronavirus are the two main causes of viral diarrhea in dogs, especially puppies. It is very easily spread through vomitus and diarrhea, and can be fatal, especially in young puppies. Since Parvo Virus is so highly contagious, and can live in the environment for years, we recommend not walking you new puppy in ANY public area until after it has been fully vaccinated. Initial vaccination is given at 6 weeks of age, boostered every 3-4 weeks to 16-20 weeks of age, then annually. Some breeds of dogs (especially Rottweillers) are more susceptible than others, and may need more initial boosters.

Respiratory Disease: A wide variety of bacteria and viruses are involved with canine respiratory disease. The three most common are parainfluenza virus, adenovirus type 2, and Bordatella bronchiseptica bacteria. Vaccines against all three of these are available. The Bordatella vaccination is given at 6 weeks of age and boostered at 12-14 weeks, then annually thereafter.

Canine Influenza Virus: Canine Influenza Virus (or CIV) is a respiratory disease among canines that is highly contagious. Symptoms of CIV include coughing, sneezing, mild fever, nasal discharge, and decreased appetite. The virus is spread through the air, direct contact and on contaminated surfaces. This vaccination will not prevent the disease however it can reduce the symptoms. If you have any questions about this vaccine or the virus, please speak with Dr. Butler and staff at Animal Care Hospital.

General Information

Oral Disease: Periodontal disease is the most common disease in small animals with 65-85% of cats and dogs developing the problem by the time they are 3 years old. Unfortunately, dogs and cats do not brush their teeth daily, as humans do, which allows plaque to build up and form tartar on the teeth. Some individuals "crack off" the tartar from the teeth and advise owners the teeth are clean but this could not be further from the truth. The fact is it is not the tartar that is above the gum line that causes the problem, it is the tartar that cannot be "cracked off" BELOW the gum line that causes the loss supporting bone, gum tissue and the periodontal ligament. We recommend having your pets teeth professionally cleaned annually to keep them healthy.

Heartworm Disease/Nutrition/Fleas/Ticks: Dogs should be fed a quality dog food NOT people food. A fecal exam should be done on puppies at each visit and annually for older dogs to check for intestinal worms. Since roundworms and hookworms are contagious to people the CDC recommends deworming pets every 3 months. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and is very common among dogs. Heartworm disease, left untreated, can cause serious damage to the heart, lungs, and liver. It is very important to give your puppy and adult dog a monthly heartworm preventative to avoid contracting this potentially deadly but preventable disease. Fleas and ticks can cause itching, skin infections and spread disease that can be life threatening. Monthly preventatives are also available to control these parasites.

Spaying and/or Neutering: Spaying or neutering your pet early (prior to first heat cycle or marking territory) will prevent them from developing some types of cancer and from contracting certain diseases. It will also prevent the hassle of the heat cycles. Dogs usually have two heat cycles per year but cats (being induced ovulators) will have a heat cycle every 21 days. Spaying and neutering also lowers the excess population of cats and dogs.

Geriatrics: Older pets are prone to developing age related diseases. They can experience heart disease, arthritis, liver and kidney disease, endocrine diseases (hypothyroidism and cushings disease) and weight problems. It is particularly important that older dogs receive an annual geriatric exam in conjunction with their annual vaccinations.


406 E. Railroad Street
Long Beach, MS 39560
(228) 868-9479

Hospital Hours

Monday: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Tuesday: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Friday: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday: Closed


Until 10pm: Call (228) 234-8374
After 10pm: Call (228) 392-7474


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