At Orange Park Animal Hospital at Oakleaf, we naturally care for many sick pets from greater Jacksonville, Florida. Led by Dr. James Gillen, our office also emphasizes wellness. Of course, not every accident or illness can be prevented. But, many underlying conditions that lead to sickness in our pets can be avoided with preventative services.
Notably, vaccinations protect your pet from contagious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. They also help to control the spread of diseases to other pets, animals, and even people (in the case of zoonotic diseases).
A shot schedule for puppies is a good idea. It helps to get your new addition to the family off on the right paw! And we can easily integrate the administration of their recommended shots into ongoing “well” visits at our office.
Young pets, both puppies and kittens, do not have the benefit of a fully developed immune system. In turn, their bodies’ natural defenses are lacking. They need a helping hand in the form of a series of initial vaccines to protect them from harmful “invaders.” The first dose aids in “priming” your pup’s immune system. Then, “boosters” are introduced periodically to build up the antibodies or specialized disease-fighting proteins.
To begin with, puppies may be vaccinated every two to four weeks. The first series of vaccinations may begin as early as the six-week mark. As your pup ages, vaccinations may be administered every few years to protect from the potentially severe effects of certain pathogens and their associated diseases. Many factors, such as their age and overall health status, are accounted for as Dr. Gillen determines when and what shots to give. Additionally, certain vaccines may be administered with age to address specific risks presented by your pet’s lifestyle, environmental factors, and other considerations.
Certain core vaccines are generally recommended for all canines. They include those vaccines to protect against rabies and canine distemper virus, parvovirus, adenovirus, and parainfluenza virus. We can also discuss suitable “non-core vaccines” as needed.
Call (904) 560 8006 to find out more about the specific timing and vaccines that are best for your pup.
During your visit, we can also acquaint you with our affordable, in-house wellness plans for puppies – as well as for their kitten, cat, and adult dog friends!
Dr. James Gillen is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 12. He knew growing up he wanted to be a veterinarian because it brings together the two things he loves most – animals and people. He completed his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and afterwards worked as a veterinary technician, an SAT/ACT tutor, and a high school teacher before completing his veterinary degree at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019.
Dr. Gillen has special interests in dermatology and academia and co-authored two research papers in canine atopic dermatitis and Leishmaniasis. In his free time, Dr. Gillen enjoys anything involving the water (beach/pool, surfing, scuba diving), going to theme parks, exercise (weight lifting, running, biking, boxing), and science fiction books – among other genres. Dr Gillen lives with his wife and son, one dog, two cats, and a ball python.