Wellness Care for Dogs and Cats

Pets have different needs at each stage of life, from birth to adolescence to the senior years.

Our veterinarians are here to guide you through each period of development so your pet can live a happy and healthy life. Adapting recommendations to best fit your lifestyle and needs, we are invested in your pets living their best lives. We understand that a dog veterinarian is only as good as his or her ability to successfully prevent, diagnose and treat whatever ailment a dog may be facing. Equally as important is our ability to listen and communicate well with owners to make sure they understand their dog’s health concerns and how to make the best choices for their dog.

Visits to our practice begin with a veterinary technician taking thorough history of your pet. This includes learning about your pet’s diet, exercise, behavior, medications and supplements, and any medical concerns you may have about them. After reviewing your pet’s history, our veterinarian will do a comprehensive exam from nose to tail, checking everything in-between including teeth, eyes, ears, nose, coat, skin, paws, heart, lungs, and more.

At office visits, we also offer recommendations for:

  • diet, healthy weight, and exercise
  • nutritional supplements
  • vaccinations
  • parasite prevention (heartworm, flea, and tick)
  • behavior and training guidance
  • spay/neuter recommendations
  • dental hygiene

Care For Kittens and Cats

Starting out on the right track with your kitten can make a world of difference in their health throughout a lifetime. Our veterinarians can help you provide the best quality of life for your kitties.

Cat Care

Care For Puppies and Dogs

Pets are part of the family and regular visits to a veterinarian can help them grow strong and stay healthy so they remain part of your life for as long as possible.

Dog Care

Cat and Dog Vaccinations

Your pets are constantly exposed to viruses and other infectious agents that can make them sick. Vaccinations can protect them. We recommend vaccinating against:


Rabies is transmitted through bite wounds (or saliva transfer through open skin) from an infected animal. All mammalian (“warm-blooded”) animals are at risk of contracting rabies, and humans can be infected by contact with infected animals. Rabies causes severe neurologic disease and is always fatal, but it is 100% preventable by vaccination. Because of the risk of human exposure, rabies vaccination is legally required in all domestic animals. Fort Collins commonly has cases of rabies in domestic animals, so it is imperative to keep your cats and dogs up to date on this vaccine.


Parvovirus (“Parvo”) is an infection that causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms including bloody vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Parvo is prevalent in the urban environment and is highly contagious. Young dogs and puppies are especially vulnerable and can die from a parvo infection. We recommend a series of parvo vaccines in puppies and periodic boosters throughout life for adult dogs.


Symptoms of Distemper virus show in two separate stages. In the early stage, dogs and cats present with a combination of respiratory (coughing, pneumonia) and gastrointestinal (vomiting and diarrhea) symptoms. In the later stages, neurological symptoms may develop including dulled mentation, lethargy and seizures; however neurological symptoms are more common in dogs than in cats. Distemper is most common in puppies and kittens but can also infect adults. We recommend a series of distemper vaccines in puppies and kittens with periodic boosters throughout the adult life of dogs and cats.


Bordetella, more commonly referred to as “kennel cough,” is a respiratory infection in dogs only. It is extremely contagious and frequently shared amongst dogs gathered tightly, such as at dog parks, day care, boarding or grooming facilities, and even through fence lines. Bordetella is more common in puppies but is also seen in adult dogs, and in very severe cases can advance to pneumonia. We recommend this vaccine for puppies and yearly for adults. Some boarding facilities require vaccination every six months.


Leptospirosis is an infection found all over the world, including in Fort Collins. Leptospirosis is carried by most species of mammalian wildlife including squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, small rodents, and many others. These infected animals shed the leptospirosis organism in their urine, from which our domestic dogs can be infected – usually through eating or licking grass where wildlife has urinated, drinking out of ponds or rivers, or even from hunting and eating small rodents. Leptospirosis causes severe liver and kidney disease and is often fatal if undiagnosed and treated. Leptospirosis can also be passed to humans who come in contact with infected animals. We recommend a series of leptospirosis vaccines in puppies and periodic boosters throughout life for adult dogs.

Feline Leukemia

Leukemia in cats is caused by a virus that is blood-borne and is typically transmitted through bite wounds from infected cats. The virus can also be transmitted from queens to kittens during gestation and shortly after birth. Leukemia infection can show up years after infection and causes decreased immunity function, frequent, difficult-to-treat infections, and ultimately certain types of cancer, among other health problems. We recommend a series of Leukemia vaccines in kittens and yearly boosters throughout life for adult cats if their lifestyle continues to put them at risk (primarily this means outdoor cats, or indoor cats that live with outdoor cats).

Other Vaccines

There are several other vaccines available but are only recommended for a subset of pets. These include vaccines for giardia, Coronavirus, canine influenza H3N8, and rattlesnake venom. If you have questions or interest in these vaccines, please chat with one of our veterinarians and they’ll be happy to provide advice for your pet.

Risks Associated with Vaccination

Vaccines are designed to protect pets and people from certain infectious diseases. The vaccines stimulate the immune system to create this protection. Most dogs and cats have no reactions to vaccines, but in some cases a vaccine may produce a mild reaction including:

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Allergic reaction
  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Facial swelling and/or hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain, swelling, redness, scabbing, or hair loss around the injection site
  • Lameness
  • Collapse

We recommend you monitor your pet after any vaccines are given. These symptoms will subside within a short time, and can be mitigated with medication. That being said, the benefit of vaccination far outweighs the risk of disease. Vaccines save lives. In rare circumstances, more serious side effects can surface: seizures, difficulty breathing, collapse, immune disease, or injection site tumors.

If your pet has a vaccine reaction, please contact the clinic immediately. After hours, take your pet to an emergency veterinary hospital for evaluation. It’s also important to let your veterinarian know if your pet has had a vaccine reaction in the past. Discuss any concerns you have with your veterinarian before your pet is vaccinated.

It is best to schedule your pet’s appointment so that you can monitor him for any side effects following the administration of the vaccine. If you suspect your pet is having a reaction to a vaccine, call your veterinarian immediately.