Prolong Your Dog's Life

Associates Animal Hospital provides a full range of preventive care services to help your dog live a longer, happier life and to increase the odds of detecting problems early, before they become severe and costly.

Our veterinarians make their annual preventive care recommendations based on the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). We then customize our recommendations based on your dog's hereditary factors, age, medical history and lifestyle.

Annual preventive care for dogs typically includes:

  • dr-susan-gillham-dvm-dog-bennyAt least one annual Physical Examination at which time our veterinarians will take a complete medical history, make nutrition recommendations, assess behavior, and review any known medical conditions.

    During the exam our doctors will perform a:
    • Ear and Eye Examination
    • Cardiopulmonary (Heart and Lung) analysis
    • Temperature Reading
    • Abdominal Palpation
    • Dental Exam
    • Dermatological Exam
    • Musculoskeletal Evaluation
  • Vaccines based on your dog's lifestyle and/or breed. Core Vaccines include Rabies,* Distemper† and Leptospirosis.‡ Our veterinarians may also recommend additional vaccines such as Lyme, Bordetella (Kennel Cough) and Canine Influenza.

  • Parasite Control Products to control parasites such as heartworms, intestinal parasites (such as round worms), fleas and ticks. Controlling these parasites helps protect your dog and your family members from easily transmitted parasites.

  • Diagnostic Testing to confirm the absence of heartworms or other internal parasites and early disease screening tests to help identify any internal issues which cannot be detected during a thorough physical exam. We recommend an annual fecal exam as well as a blood test for Lyme disease.

  • Your veterinarian will also discuss other services, such as dental care or microchipping that will benefit your dog's overall health and wellbeing and advise you on any questions you might have regarding your dog's health.

*Rabies Vaccination Schedule for Dogs — Every dog living in Massachusetts must be vaccinated according to state law. Massachusetts requires that every dog starting between the age of 12 weeks and 6 months receive a Rabies vaccination. A booster vaccination must be given within 365 days of the initial vaccine. Rabies vaccines boosted prior to the expiration date will receive a 3 year certificate and then will be required to receive a Rabies vaccine every 3 years. Dogs missing their annual deadline will receive a 1 year certificate. Any dog presenting to the hospital with a wound of unknown origin, that has an expired Rabies Certificate, must be reported to the town for a rabies quarantine.

Distemper Vaccination for Dogs — The Distemper vaccine is actually four vaccines in one. The Distemper vaccine (DHPP) that we use protects dogs against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and the Parvo virus. We recommend these vaccines for puppies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks and then at the next annual examination. Once the pet has received the first annual booster, the vaccine can be given every third year during an exam.

‡Leptospirosis Vaccination for Dogs — The Leptospirosis vaccine is recommended as a yearly vaccination. There has been a high incidence of the disease in this area. The vaccine we use protects the pet against four strains of Leptospirosis, a spirochete bacteria that causes liver and kidney disease. This disease is zoonotic, which means that people can get it from their pets. It is transmitted through urine and lives well in a moist environment. We recommend that dogs receive this vaccine at 20 and 24 weeks and then annually as part of the annual examination.