Sylvan Veterinary Hospital

3520 Roselle Ave.
Modesto, CA 95357
get directions

(209) 551–4527
Hablamos Español

Puppy & Kitten Wellness:
Getting Off to a Healthy Start

puppy and kitten wellness

There’s nothing quite like the joy that comes from watching a puppy or kitten. Everything is new to them, and they can’t wait to explore it all! We are always happy to welcome new puppy and kitten patients and look forward to working with you to ensure that your new furry friend has a lifetime of wellness.

Introductory Check-up

Your new puppy or kitten’s first check-up should take place as soon as possible after arriving at your home. Typically, this is between 6–8 weeks of age. You’ll want to bring any medical records you received, as well as information about your new pet’s current diet and a list of any questions you may have for our veterinarians.

During this initial exam, your puppy or kitten will receive a general wellness check-up. Our veterinarians will be looking at your pet’s:

  • Heart rate and rhythm to ensure they are regular and no murmur is present
  • Lungs to make sure they are healthy and clear of fluid
  • Mouth, teeth, gums, and overall bite to see if there are any irregularities
  • Eyes and ears to ensure they are clear of infection
  • Abdominal cavity to examine major organs for abnormalities
  • Overall body condition, including muscles, coat, and weight, to confirm there are no signs of potential illness or malnutrition
  • Skin and fur to be sure that he or she is free from fleas and potential dermatological issues


Because puppies and kittens are typically born with intestinal parasite infections acquired from their mothers, it’s essential that they be dewormed during their initial check-ups. This is especially important because some of the parasites they carry—such as roundworms—are zoonotic, meaning they are transmittable to humans.

Since deworming medications are only effective at killing adult worms, our veterinarians will continue to deworm your new pet at subsequent check-ups to make sure that he or she is parasite-free. Once your puppy or kitten reaches 16–18 weeks of age, our veterinarians will discuss additional steps you can take to protect your new pet, including heartworm, flea, and tick prevention.

Pet Nutrition Counseling

Puppies and kittens need the proper blend of nutrients so they will grow up to be healthy and strong. Our veterinarians will carefully review your new pet’s diet to make sure that he or she is obtaining the nutrition and calories needed to maintain good health. Large breed dogs have different requirements than their smaller counterparts, so we will work with you to ensure that your puppy is fed accordingly.

Pet Dental Care

Did you know that more than 70% of adult dogs and cats over the age of 3 exhibit symptoms of oral disease? That’s why it’s so important to start taking care of your pet’s teeth from a young age. Getting your pet used to having his or her teeth brushed now will make future dental care much easier. In addition, we can recommend chews that will help fight plaque while also giving your teething pet something appropriate to chomp.

Spay or Neuter Procedures

We recommend that puppies and kittens be spayed or neutered between 6–10 months of age. For females, it is best to spay before their first heat, as this significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer. For males, it is helpful to neuter before they begin exhibiting secondary sexual behaviors, such as marking.

We are pleased to be one of the few veterinary hospitals in the state of California to offer laparoscopic spay surgeries. Our talented surgeons have successfully performed more than 2,000 of these procedures. Because this operation is conducted through two incisions that are each the size of a standard writing pen, tissue damage and post-surgical pain are dramatically reduced. In addition, the recovery time for your pet is a mere 1–2 days, rather than 1–2 weeks!


Thanks to microchips, we recover 1–2 dogs each month at Sylvan Veterinary Hospital. If your pet were to accidentally get out or wander off, microchipping is the best way to ensure that he or she is returned to you. Shelters scan every animal they receive to see whether a microchip is present. This technology can be a real lifesaver.

Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinations help puppies and kittens to build essential immunities to prevent disease. Here is the immunization schedule our veterinarians recommend:

Core Dog Vaccines

During the first visit, your puppy will receive the DHPP vaccine, which protects against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, and parvovirus. Parvovirus is the most deadly disease facing puppies in the Modesto, California area. We use a high titer parvo vaccine because it produces a quicker and more complete immune response. At this visit, your puppy will also be given a comprehensive physical exam by one of our veterinarians.

At the second appointment, your puppy will obtain a DHPP booster and a bordetella (“kennel cough”) vaccination. Because dogs travel so much these days, whether it’s to the groomer, the dog park, doggy daycare, and so on, it’s a good idea to protect them from this upper respiratory disease.

During the third visit, DHPP and bordetella boosters will be administered.

At the fourth appointment, which typically takes place between 16–18 weeks of age, your puppy will receive his or her rabies vaccination. Our veterinarians will also conduct a fecal check and a complete wellness exam.

Optional Dog Vaccines

If your puppy will be taken hunting or is likely to make frequent trips to the mountains, our veterinarians may recommend leptospirosis and Lyme disease vaccines.

Cat Vaccines

During your kitten’s initial visit, he or she will be tested for the feline leukemia virus. In addition, the RCCP vaccine will be administered to protect against rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia, and panleukopenia. Your kitten will also be given a comprehensive physical exam by one of our veterinarians.

At the second appointment, your kitten will receive a RCCP booster. If your kitten will come into contact with other felines, a feline leukemia vaccine will be given as well.

During the third visit, your kitten will obtain RCCP and feline leukemia boosters.

At the fourth appointment, your kitten will receive his or her rabies shot and be given a complete wellness and fecal exam.

Puppy & Kitten Discount Plans—Please ask us about our basic and comprehensive puppy and kitten plans. Purchasing a comprehensive plan will provide you savings on vaccinations, flea and heartworm preventive, and spay or neuter surgery, as well as a complimentary microchip! This is just one of the ways that Sylvan Veterinary Hospital strives to make quality wellness care affordable for Modesto area families. Please contact us to learn more.

Pet Health
Puppy & Kitten Wellness
Senior Pet Care
Flea & Tick Prevention
Pet Health Library

AAHA accreditedAmerican Animal Hospital Association’s process of accreditation is similar to what human hospitals go through.

Fear Free Certified

Request an Appointment

Just wanted to let you know that Allie is doing great after Lap Spay on 4-10-12. Took her one day and she was back to normal. What a great way to get a dog spayed- I will recommend it to all my friends. Here is a photo of Allie that I took yesterday in our pasture with California Poppies. I thought it was cute! Thanks again!!
Karin Wickstrom

I have been taking my Beagle, Destiny, to Sylvan Vet for the last 10 years. She has had many medical problems throughout her life. There were times that I didn’t think she was going to pull though, yet, with wonderful Veterinarians like Dr. Tiffany Cardoza and Dr. Kipp Magnussen, she is still here with me today. I am grateful for their expertise in knowing exactly what she needs and for their compassion towards the both of us, in our hour of need. We are very blessed to know that compassionate help is always there. My deepest thanks and appreciation.
DeAnna Bingham

Sylvan Veterinary Hospital has been an important part of our family’s life for several years now. Most recently they helped to preserve our pug Sweetie’s vision with a new surgery technique. Everyone in the hospital works diligently to serve our needs. There is open communication with the front office staff, the technicians and the doctors whenever necessary. Our concerns and questions are always addressed quickly and the doctors are always available to us whenever needed.
Roger and Diane

What a great neighborhood veterinary clinic! I love the convenient hours and boarding facility. They have a nice, friendly staff and team of doctors who involve me in making the right choice for my pet.
Karin Mcknight

I can’t say enough about the miraculous results you can get from laser therapy. I used it for my puppy’s foot wound that wouldn’t hold stitches. The wound was completely closed in three treatments-without a scar! Also, this pup has elbow dysplasia and laser has helped him quickly regain soundness when he played too roughly. And the best part- it’s not expensive. I’m a tried-and-true believer of this technology.
Lee Nudo and Jagger La Grange, CA

Eleven years ago, Dr. Kipp Magnussen saved the life of my young kitten and I was genuinely impressed with his compassion and competence. Over the years I have been extremely happy with the care all the vets and vet techs have provided for my various dogs and cats. In addition, it is a mark of commitment to the highest standards of quality medical care that Sylvan Vet is accredited through the AAHA. I continue to highly recommend this clinic.
Page Riskin, MD

We have been a client of Sylvan Vet for the past 20 years. Just recently, Bodie, our Chocolate Lab experienced a wound to his back that was quite serious. After two months of patience, determination and constant care by Dr. Kipp Magnussen, Bodie has been nursed back to health. Kipp's staff has become family to us. Each and every one of them is kind, friendly and compassionate! Bodie just celebrated his tenth Birthday and is even swimming again. Thank you Sylvan Vet!!
Anita Bauer

I love the doctors and staff at Sylvan Veterinary Hospital for the care and compassion they have given my dogs over the years. From luxating patella surgery to nail cleaning, the care level is the highest. I would recommend them to any and all pet owners.
Pat Osdahl