Indian Tree Animal Hospital

Preventative Care

At Indian Tree Animal Hospital, we look to the science-backed power of preventative care to achieve optimal wellness in pets. Whether you are a dog parent or cat parent, you can expect physical wellness examinations, vaccinations, parasite control, microchipping, and nutritional support to be discussed as part of your pet’s recommended preventative care plan.


Next to you and your family, your veterinarian is one of the most important people in your pet's life. You should identify a veterinarian for your new pet before you bring it home and arrange for a first appointment as soon as possible. The first vet visit gives you and your veterinarian an opportunity to establish your pet's baseline level of health and identify any potential long-term or chronic health problems. This visit can confirm the health status identified when you purchased your pet.

When you meet with the vet, be sure to discuss your daily care routines, home environment, any anticipated problems or concerns you may have, ask questions about any behaviors about which you need more information and your grooming preferences, particularly nail clipping. Your vet will examine your pet to ensure healthy bones, joints and muscles, and good heart, eye, ear and other organ functions. Bloodwork and other tests will be discussed at each visit when appropriate.

Your pet may experience some stress going to the vet. The best way to alleviate this is with positive reinforcement, attention and happy visits. Stop in at the vet's office with your dog a couple of times when it doesn't need to be examined so that your dog associates the clinic with positive experiences. Pet your pet and give him or her praise when they behave calmly and well at the vet's office. Take some treats to help keep your pet happy and to have staff give your pet. Fortunately, vet staff is experienced at handling pets of all sorts and will likely make your job much easier.

After the first visit and your pet's initial vaccinations, you should plan on getting your pet checked by the vet once a year. Some pets need more frequent exams or lab work depending on the age or presence of any diseases.


Your pet is bound to come in contact with an infectious disease at some point during their life. It’s an unavoidable truth. Pathogens are spread in the air, in the physical environment, and on our clothing. Therefore, even if your pet stays indoors, they can still be exposed to harmful viruses that can impact their health and quality of life. Fortunately, modern veterinary medicine makes it possible for us to keep dogs and cats safe from these once life-threatening diseases.

Properly administered vaccinations benefit your pet, you and your family, and the community in which you live. Here’s how:

  • Vaccinated pets are protected against preventable, and potentially life-threatening, diseases.
  • Vaccinated pets avoid costly (and potentially painful) treatments for preventable diseases.
  • Vaccinated pets are protected from wildlife that may spread debilitating diseases like Rabies.
  • Vaccinated pets minimize the spread of diseases between other pets and from pets to people.

At Indian Tree Animal Hospital, our veterinarians recommend core vaccines for all pets and non-core vaccines for some pets based on factors such as lifestyle, age, and risk of exposure. Your veterinarian will work with you to devise a vaccination protocol that will keep your pet fully protected and never over-vaccinated.

Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats we see. 

Core Canine Vaccines

  • Rabies Vaccine is required by law and protects your dog from contracting the deadly Rabies virus. Indian Tree Animal Hospital offers the option of a one-year or three-year Rabies vaccine.

  • DA2PPv Vaccine is a combination vaccine that protects dogs from four serious diseases including distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. 

Core Feline Vaccines

  • FVRCP Vaccine is a combination vaccine that protects cats from three life-threatening airborne viruses, including rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. 

  • Rabies Vaccine is required by law and protects your cat from contracting the deadly Rabies virus. Indian Tree Animal Hospital offers the option of a one-year or three-year Rabies vaccine.

Non-Core vaccines are recommended for pets based on factors such as age, lifestyle, current health status, and risk of exposure. 

Non-Core Canine Vaccines

  • Bordetella Vaccine protects against kennel cough, a serious and contagious upper respiratory viral infection that is passed from dog-to-dog. Administered every 6 months, we recommend the Bordetella vaccine to dogs that spend a lot of time with other dogs, stay at boarding facilities, and visit groomers.

  • Leptospirosis Vaccine prevents dogs from contracting Leptospirosis, a contagious bacterial disease that can be found in wildlife and livestock. Present in nearly every environmental setting – rural, suburban, and urban – dogs can become infected by drinking, swimming, or walking through water contaminated by the urine of wildlife including squirrels, rabbits, foxes, etc. Once infected, Leptospirosis can be passed to other dogs and produces symptoms including fever, vomiting, and liver and kidney failure. Additionally, Leptospirosis is Zoonotic and is highly-recommended for households with children. It can cause similar symptoms in humans. Puppies can receive their first vaccination at 12 weeks of age and should have a booster 3-4 weeks following, then annually. Adult dogs should receive vaccination annually.

  • Canine Influenza (CIV) Vaccine is a highly contagious viral infection transmitted by coughing, barking and sneezing. This vaccine is recommended for dogs who come into in close contact with infected dogs in places like kennels, groomers, and day care facilities. Canine influenza can also be spread indirectly through objects like food and water bowls, collars and even leashes, or people who have been in contact with infected dogs. Puppies can receive their first vaccination at 12 weeks of age and should have a booster 3-4 weeks following, then annually. Adult dogs should receive vaccination annually.

Non-Core Feline Vaccines

  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Vaccine protects cats from Feline Leukemia, a deadly viral infection that attacks the immune system and for which there is no treatment. The virus is spread from cat to cat by direct contact with blood, saliva, urine, etc. All cats should be tested for FeLV, and any cats going outside should be vaccinated. Kittens can receive their first vaccination at 12 weeks of age and should have a booster 3-4 weeks following, then annually. Adult cats should receive vaccination annually.

    Vaccines are essential in maintaining your pet’s health! If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s vaccine recommendations, or if you are unsure if your pet is up to date on their vaccines, please feel encouraged to have a discussion with your veterinarian.

    Parasite Control

    Ectoparasites (Fleas and Ticks)

    Fleas are external parasites that cause a skin allergy, a common skin disease for dogs and cats. Ticks latch on to the skin and burrow in to feed on blood. Both can be itching, annoying and unhealthy for your dog and you. Keeping your dog flea and tick free is easier today thanks to new products that can be applied or given orally once-a-month. However, you need to visually inspect your dog's skin for signs of fleas during daily grooming and check for ticks after returning from an area known to have them, like wooded camping sites.

    We develop programs for the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. We will review with you the best ways to control fleas in your house, in your yard and on your pet.

    Intestinal Parasites

    Dogs and cats also are commonly infected with intestinal parasites, some of which may be transmitted to people. This jeopardizes the health of pets and creates a significant risk to the public. We recommend semi-annual or annual fecal testing depending on your pet's lifestyle. In the event that your pet tests positive for these parasites, our team will discuss a plan of oral medications and treatments. Additionally, we are able to help prevent intestinal parasites with a monthly oral or topical medication.

    The public's exposure to zoonotic parasites is of a magnitude generally not recognized by veterinarians, physicians, or members of the general public. Three to six million people in the United States are infected with Toxocara larva migrans each year, and the overall seroprevalence ranges from an average of 3.5 percent to more than 23 percent in some areas. And while the prevalence of ascarids (Toxocara canis, T. cati) and hookworms (Ancylostom spp.) varies by locale, these parasites are present in virtually all regions of the United States, resulting in a relatively high infection rate in puppies and kittens.


    • Adult Heartworms live in the right side of the heart.
    • They are 6-14 inches long. Several hundred may be present in the dog!
    • Heartworms impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Serious damage may occur, even before outward clinical signs are detected by the owner.
    • Advanced signs include difficult breathing, coughing, tiring easily, listlessness, and loss of weight, and fainting.
    • Heartworms are found throughout the United States and Canada.
    • Heartworms can be prevented: We strongly recommend the new once per month heartworm preventives, which also aid in the prevention of other internal parasites. It should be given all year long.  We recommend routine testing for Heartworms once each year for all dogs!  There is also an injectable medication that prevents Heartworm for 12 months (all year long!) called ProHeart.  Ask us for more details.

    Mosquitoes Spread Heartworms:

    After ingesting blood from and infected dog, the Microfilaria (“baby” heartworms) is transmitted to another dog or cat when the mosquito bites it. Once the heartworms mature, they begin reproducing additional microfilaria. A mosquito must ingest the microfilaria before they can become infectious. The mosquito must then inject the heartworm larvae into the susceptible pet. It takes about 6 months for adult Heartworms to develop in a dog after an infected mosquito bites it. Heartworms occur in all breeds of dogs: large and small, shorthaired and longhaired, inside-dogs and outside-dogs. Heartworms also now are known to infect cats. Diagnosis of Heartworms is by blood test to detect the “baby” heartworms in the blood. A special test to detect “occult heartworm disease” is sometimes required when heartworms are suspected, even if the initial screening test is negative, because a small number of dogs may have adult heartworms but yet have no microfilaria in the bloodstream. Treatment is very successful when the disease is detected early. The adult worms are killed with an inject able drug given in a series of 2 injections. A few days later, the worms begin to die, and are carried by way of the bloodstream to the lungs where they lodge in small blood vessels. They slowly decompose and are absorbed by the body over a period of several months. Other injections are required to kill the microfilaria (baby heartworms) at a later time.

    Heartworms Can Be Prevented:

    We strongly recommend the new once/month heartworm preventives, which also aid in the prevention of other internal parasites. It should be given all year long routine testing for Heartworms once each year is suggested for all dogs! Reasons for this include:

    • The heartworm preventive medication may be vomited or spit out by your dog without your knowledge, thereby, exposing your pet to heartworm disease.
    • Either by accident or oversight, you may forget to give the monthly preventive.
    • None of the routine heartworm tests are able to detect immature or early heartworm infestation. Your dog may have had an undetectable infection at the time of his/her last heartworm test, and therefore, could have a dangerous infection. Heartworm preventives will prevent new infections of heartworms, but it cannot prevent the progress of pre-existing heartworm infection.

    Benefits of Year-Round Protection:

    • With the displacement of Hurricane Katrina dogs from New Orleans, we have seen an increase in dogs testing positive for heartworm even during the winter months.
    • Only one bite can infect your pet.
    • Eliminates the possibility of infection during the “off-season.” A year-round prevention program virtually eliminates the possibility of contracting heartworm disease because no “off-season” will exist. Mosquitoes can even survive the winter inside your home.
    • Convenience. It will be more convenient to “stay on schedule” to remind you to give the Heartworm prevention.
    • Provides protection for dogs that travel to warmer climates during the winter. Many areas of the country, such as the Southeast, has a year-round population of mosquitoes. This may pose a threat to any dog not on year-round heartworm preventive if they travel or reside in those areas of the country that have a long mosquito season.


    Accidents happen all too easily and quickly, even to the most conscientious pet owners. In fact, approximately 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen from their families each year. That’s a lot of pets! 

    For your pet’s safety and your peace of mind, we recommend all dogs and cats be microchipped as a part of essential preventative care. Because microchips maximize the likelihood of a lost pet returning home to his or her family, we recommend microchipping your pet sooner rather than later.

    Microchips are inserted subdermally between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to administering a vaccine and can conveniently be done during a routine appointment. Once the microchip has been inserted, it’s your responsibility to register your pet’s microchip in the national database with the unique serial number attached to the microchip and your current contact information.

    Importantly, to ensure your pet’s microchip is reliable for a lifetime, it’s critical that you update your contact information in the database should you ever change home addresses or phone numbers. Without current contact information registered, you will not be able to be contacted if your pet is found! 

    For the most comprehensive identification, Indian Tree Animal Hospital also recommends pet parents use breakaway collars and ID tags. While these forms of identification are not as foolproof as a microchip, they can help people identify your pet as a lost family pet who may need to be rescued.

    Join the Indian Tree Animal Hospital Family Today!

    Located in the Highlands neighborhood of Arvada, directly Northwest of Denver. We are right off of Wadsworth Blvd and W 80th Ave near the Indian Tree Golf Club and Shopping Mall.

    Phone: 303-420-4422

    • Monday:
    • Tuesday:
    • Wednesday:
    • Thursday:
    • Friday:
    • Saturday:
    • Sunday: