Providing Comprehensive and Compassionate Veterinary Care Since 1988
For Appointment Call: (508) 336-3381

Wellness & Prevention

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Wellness Examination

Examinations are a vital component of “preventative medicine” for your pet. The goal of preventative medicine at BCVH is to detect and treat illnesses and diseases at its early stages so that its more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense and better success. That old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true in veterinary medicine as well.

Our veterinarians recommend semi-annual examinations. At  your pet’s examination, your pet will receive a thorough evaluation of all body systems. Conducting a full body examination allows our veterinarians to find common abnormalities such as dental disease, skin issues, weight issues, heart murmurs, arthritis, and flea and tick infestations. Some of these examples have the potential to cause discomfort, disease, and can potentially be zoonotic where it can be transmitted to you, the owner.

Once your pet receives its thorough examination, our veterinarians will discuss the performance of lab tests to evaluate your pet’s organ function and health.  The lab work that is recommended to you on behalf of your pet is specifically determined by your pet’s age, breed, lifestyle, pre-existing conditions, and or new findings on physical exam.

After evaluating all physical and laboratory findings, your veterinarian will administer all state required vaccinations and any other additional vaccines based on your pet’s lifestyle.  Also, our veterinarian will also discuss any changes needed in your pet’s diet, lifestyle, medications, vaccinations,  or any behavioral issues.

Vaccination Schedules

Vaccinations are an important aspect of an animal’s health. They help build immunity to infectious diseases and protect the lives of our beloved pets. At BCVH, we work closely with our clients in determining which vaccinations their pet should receive based on its age, breed, environmental risk, and lifestyle.  Below is a description of the vaccinations that could be recommended for your pets, as well as our standard vaccination protocols.

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Canine Patients:

Rabies – a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals. Rabies is transmitted through saliva and blood (bites most commonly) and can be transmitted humans. Massachusetts and Rhode Island law requires protection against the rabies virus through the rabies vaccine. The state laws determine the guidelines and frequency. The initial vaccine is given at at least 12 weeks of age and is good for 1 year. The vaccine is then boostered within 9-12 months in order to qualify for a 3-year vaccine. Massachusetts and Rhode Island rabies vaccine protocols are slightly different, after the dog has qualified for their first 3-year vaccine, the requirements are:

  • Massachusetts: “Once a 3-year, always a 3-year” – As long as your dog’s booster is given within 9-12 months from the initial 1-year vaccine, your dog’s subsequent rabies vaccines will always qualify for a 3-year Massachusetts vaccine and certificate.
  • Rhode Island: In order to qualify for a 3-year Rhode Island vaccine and certificate, your dog’s rabies vaccine must always be boostered prior to the previous rabies vaccine’s expiration date.

DHPP – the components of this vaccination are recommended for all puppies. The DA2PP vaccine is a combination vaccine that protects against the following:

    D – distemper; a contagious, viral disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. Puppies ages 3-6 months are extremely susceptible to infection and once infected, this virus contributes toward a high mortality rate.

     H – infectious Canine Hepatitis, also known as adenovirus type 1, which is a virus that is transmitted via the urina, feces or saliva of infected animals.  It can affect the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs. It causes fever, depression, low white blood cell counts and prolonged bleeding times.

     P – parvovirus; a highly contagious virus that has a high mortality rate when left untreated. Signs include lethargy, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, which causes dehydration.

     P – Parainfluenza; a contagious respiratory infection that is seen in areas with high dog populations, such as boarding kennels, dog parks and pet stores, but it is highly contagious to any dog of any age. Signs of Parainfluenza include coughing, fever, eye and nasal discharge.

Leptospirosis – a zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans) bacterial disease that is carried by wild animals and is shed through urine. Leptospirosis can be fatal and causes liver and kidney disease as well as being dangerous to the humans that the pet comes in contact with.

Bordetella “Kennel Cough” – a co-infection of a respiratory virus and a bacterial infection that is highly contagious and air-bourne. Although this infection rarely leads to death, it can lead to pneumonia. The vaccine can prevent breakouts of the infection and help the disease be very self-limiting. This vaccine is recommended for any dog that will be in contact with other dogs, especially dogs who visit dog parks, doggie daycare, grooming and boarding facilities. This also applies to dogs that take part in agility, performance events and dog shows.

Canine Influenza “Dog Flu” – Respiratory infection caused by the H3N8 canine influenza virus. This virus presents with signs and symptoms similar to those seen in kennel cough, such as coughing, fever, lethargy, nasal and eye discharge and in severe cases, pneumonia and even death.  This vaccine is recommended for any dog whose lifestyle is in high dog populations, such as daycare, boarding facilities and dog parks. This also applies to dogs that take part in performance events and dog shows. The initial series is two vaccines 3-4 weeks apart followed by annual boosters.

Lyme  – caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. The major vector of Lyme disease in the Northeastern U.S. is the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Lyme disease affects a variety of species, including dogs, cats and people. Up to 95 percent of dogs infected with B. burgdorferi do not develop symptoms (people are much more likely to become ill with Lyme disease). Common symptoms when they do arise, cause fever, inappetence, swollen/painful joints, lameness (limping which may be mild at first, then worsen, and may also shift from one leg to another) and or lethargy. Lyme disease in serious instances can cause kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure. The lyme vaccine is highly recommended in the Northeastern U.S. to all dogs, as Lyme disease is very prevalent in our area. The initial series is two vaccines 3-4 weeks apart followed by annual boosters.

Puppy vaccination schedule:

Da2PP – 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 1 year of age
Leptospirosis – 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 1 year of age
Bordetella – 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 1 year of age
Lyme – 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 1 year of age
Rabies – 14 weeks, 1 year of age

 

For our adult dogs, after they have received appropriate puppy vaccination, have the following schedule:
Adult dog vaccination schedule:

Da2PP – every 3 years after 2 years of age
Leptospirosis – yearly
Bordetella – every 6 – 12 months if needed dependent upon lifestyle
Lyme – yearly
Rabies – every 3 years

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Feline Patients:

Rabies – a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals. Rabies is transmitted through saliva and blood (bites most commonly) and can be transmitted humans. Massachusetts and Rhode Island law requires protection against the rabies virus through the rabies vaccine. The state laws determine the guidelines and frequency. The initial vaccine is given at at least 12 weeks of age and is good for 1 year. The vaccine is then boostered within 9-12 months in order to qualify for a 3-year vaccine. Massachusetts and Rhode Island rabies vaccine protocols are slightly different, after the dog has qualified for their first 3-year vaccine, the requirements are:

  • Massachusetts: “Once a 3-year, always a 3-year” – As long as your cat’s booster is given within 9-12 months from the initial 1-year vaccine, your cat’s subsequent rabies vaccines will always qualify for a 3-year Massachusetts vaccine and certificate.
  • Rhode Island: In order to qualify for a 3-year Rhode Island vaccine and certificate, your cat’s rabies vaccine must always be boostered prior to the previous rabies vaccine’s expiration date.

FVRCP – this is a combination vaccine that is recommended for all cats and protects against the following viruses listed below. The 2-vaccine series starts at  8 weeks or older and is boostered in 3-4 weeks.

FVR – protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis; a respiratory infection that is caused by the herpes 1 virus, known as Feline Herpes Virus. This infection is very contagious from cat to cat via the air or contaminated objects. It is not usually fatal, but will either smolder as a chronic disease or lay dormant in the nerves of the upper respiratory passages with intermittent flare-ups.

 C – calicivirus; causes a highly contagious upper respiratory infection similar to FVR. This infection commonly causes oral ulcers and cats infected may remain as carries who shed the virus, infecting other cats.

P – panleukopenia virus (feline distemper); a severe, extremely contagious infection (similar to Parvovirus in dogs) that can be fatal. It causes fever, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) – a contagious disease that causes immunosuppression and is one of the leading infectious causes of death in cats. Transmitted from cat to cat through saliva, therefore any cat that may be exposed to stray or infected cats should get the feline leukemia vaccination; for indoor only cats that have no risk exposure to other cats – this vaccination is not necessary. It is recommended that any FeLV-infected cat be refrained from going outside to limit the spread of the virus. The initial 2-vaccine series is given at 12 weeks of age and  is 3-4 weeks apart followed by annual boosters. FeLV/FIV testing should be done prior to vaccination (12 weeks of age).

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – Virus transmitted through either infected saliva into bite wounds or maternally during gestation.  Infected cats may appear normal for years. However, infection eventually leads to immune deficiency that may hinder the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections. It is recommended that any FIV cat be refrained from going outside to limit the spread of the virus. There is no longer  a vaccine to protect against FIV, although an FIV positive cat can live more many years. FelV/FIV testing should be done at 12 weeks of age.

FeLV/FIV TestingTesting should be performed prior to vaccinating for FeLV, at approximately 12 weeks of age. It is important to acknowledge that any test done prior to 1 year of age can result in a false negative, therefore testing is recommended again once cats are over 1 year.

Kitten vaccination schedule:

FVRCP – 8 weeks, 12 weeks of age
FeLV – 12 weeks, 16 weeks, and 1 year of age if needed (dependent on lifestyle)
Rabies – 12 weeks, 1 year of age

Adult vaccination schedule:

FVRCP – every 3 years after 2 years of age
FeLV – yearly if needed (dependent on lifestyle)
Rabies – every 3 years

 

Hours and Location

Hours of operation:

M, W, F   – 8:00am to 6:00pm
Tu, Th    – 8:00am to 8:00pm
Saturday – 8:00am to 4:00pm
Sunday   – Closed

We are closed on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 2:00pm to 4:00pm for staff meetings.

We are located at:

288 Fall River Ave
Seekonk, MA 02771

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Products and Offers

Vectra 3D for Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Protection! For a healthy and happy dog, it's not enough to just kill parasites. It's important to repel them as well—so the dangerous vectors never get a chance to bite and transmit diseases.

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Offer: Buy 6 doses, get 3 more mailed to you for free!

Heartgard Plus is the most recommended heartworm disease preventative for dogs, and it helps to control hookworms and roundworms too.

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Offer: Buy 12 doses for a $12 rebate, buy 6 to 12 doses of Heartgard with 6 to 12 doses of Nexgard for a $15 to $50 rebate!

Nexgard is a chewable flea and tick preventative ideal for dogs with sensitive skin or other topical application concerns.

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Offer: Buy 6 to 12 doses of NexGard with 6 to 12 doses of Heartgard for a $15 to $50 rebate!

Seresto Collars for additional flea and tick protection up to 8 months!

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Client Reviews

If you’d like to leave us a review please click the stars below. We appreciate your feedback!


I have just moved my pug and other family members. Millie needed her nails clipped. She gets very stressed out during this routine procedure. The old vet had three people restraining her and they always drew blood. At Bristol the staff became concerned and they held her for few hours while carefully clipping her nails and ensuring her well being. In a follow up visit she seemed happy to be there.

I have been going to Bristol County for almost eleven years. Dr. Ripp and Dr. Richards and the entire team have always been caring, professional, and provide exceptional care to our dogs. I always appreciate the quick return phone calls if I have asked a question and the personal care of speaking to either Dr. Ripp or Dr. Richards when bloodwork comes back (even on a Saturday!). Maddie & Jeter are not afraid of the vet because of the wonderful care and love they receive from everyone here. I wouldn’t take my dogs anyplace else!


I have used this vet as far back as I can remember. The staff is extremely kind. They know their job inside and out! I highly recommend anyone seeking a vet should call and try them out for yourself. GREAT!


Everyone who works at Bristol County is so nice. You can tell they hire people who enjoy and love animals. I always appreciate the care that both my dogs receive from the vets at Bristol County. Dr. Ripp and Dr. Richards and their assistants are wonderful. I always feel they listen to me and provide excellent feedback. Thank you to the entire staff at Bristol County!


Great care for your pets from a caring staff and top notch management! Any issues taken to management are taken seriously and quickly resolved, all in addition to skilled doctors and techs.


Dr. Richards puts my furry friend at ease. She understands Sunshine and works with her temperament instead of resorting to restraining her in a towel. It makes the visit much less stressful for both of us!


One can find only the highest level of care and professionalism at BCVH!


All of the folks at this facility have and continue to provide the best care for our much loved feline family members. I never feel rushed when I bring Katie in for her visit. Treatment plans are explained thoroughly as well as the costs. I ALWAYS feel that WE have made the best choice for our pet.


Always a pleasant experience even when my cat is costing me money. That speaks volumes about the care they provide for our furry little family member.