Our professional staff provides just what owners need to start a new puppy or kitten off on the right path for lifelong good health. We offer a comprehensive approach to preventing disease and maintaining your young pet’s well-being with wellness care programs tailored specifically to the needs of kittens and puppies.

Your Puppy or Kitten’s First Exam
When you bring a new pet into your family, it’s important to start thinking about a first visit to the vet. Puppies and kittens should be seen by a veterinarian for their first exam and evaluation as early as 6-8 weeks of age. The first exam will be the best opportunity to detect and prevent any potential problems that may pose a risk in the long term. We provide each pet with a thorough nose-to-tail examination to check for signs of parasites and health issues. We’ll also consult with you to identify and discuss any risks your new furry friend may face over his or her lifetime. This information will inform our recommendations about the best wellness care plan for your pet, including coat care, weight management, nutrition, and dental care and discuss the best plan for parasite testing, treatment, and prevention. Learn more about the importance of Parasite Prevention (link to PARASITE PREVENTION page).

Puppy and Kitten Vaccinations

Once we’ve gotten to know you and your pet, we’ll discuss the best preventative measures to fit your pet’s individual needs, starting with a recommended series of vaccines to stimulate and maintain a strong immune response against contagious and even potentially deadly diseases. Vaccinations will be spaced out over a series of visits to ensure effectiveness and minimal stress on your pet’s system.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Vaccine Protects Against 8 Weeks Old 11 Weeks Old 14 Weeks Old 16-17 Weeks Old Yearly
DHPP Distemper
Initial Dose Booster Booster Annual Dose Yes
Bordetella (optional) Kennel Cough Single Dose Yes
Lepto (optional) Leptospirosis Initial Dose Annual Dose Yes
Rabies 1-year Rabies Annual Dose Yes
Rabies 3-year Rabies Single Dose Every 3 Years

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

Vaccine Protects Against 8 Weeks Old 12 Weeks Old 16 Weeks Old Yearly
FVRCP Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus)
Panleukopenia (Distemper)
Initial Dose Booster Annual Dose Yes
FELV Feline Leukemia FELV/FIV Combo Test
Initial Dose
Annual Dose Yes
Rabies 1-year Rabies Annual Dose Yes

Vaccine Side Effects

Your pet may experience mild side effects of the vaccinations they received, including tenderness and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, or a mild fever. This is normal and the side effects are usually short-lived, lasting 24 hours or less. More moderate side effects are less common and can include vomiting, diarrhea and temporary loss of appetite. In rare instances, unexpected severe reactions can occur. If your dog or cat shows signs of facial swelling, hives, trouble breathing or shock after receiving his or her vaccinations, call us at the Black Creek Veterinary Hospital immediately at (904) 282-0499.

Spay & Neuter

At the time your pet receives his or her final vaccine boosters, we’ll discuss their spaying or neutering procedure. Spaying or neutering a cat or dog, commonly called “fixing”, is the process of surgically sterilizing them to extend their life expectancy by preventing unwanted pregnancies, disease and reproductive cancers. Having your pet fixed is an important decision that has many advantages that we discuss on our SURGERY page (link to SURGERY> SPAY & NEUTER).


You may also elect to have your pet microchipped using the Home Again pet recovery system. This procedure is highly recommended for any companion animal, and can spare you, your family, and your pet a lot of unwanted stress if they should ever run away. To learn more about how microchipping works and the benefits, we encourage you to visit https://www.homeagain.com/

Working with you at every step, the veterinarians of Black Creek Veterinary Hospital will craft a program of care that fits your animal to a T, and works to keep them healthy for years to come. Get in touch to make your pet an appointment today.