Wellness & Routine
Vaccines are very important to prevent disease. They help your pet to build immunity so they can fight off illness if they are exposed to the disease. They also decrease the overall amount of disease in a population. Vaccines are separated in to two categories, core and non-core vaccines. Core means these vaccines are highly recommended/required for your pet. Non-core vaccines should be given to pets that may be exposed to a certain disease, these pets are considered ďat riskĒ and benefit from the additional protection.
**However, to protect your pet and others facilities such as boarding, grooming, dog parks and day cares may require vaccines that are not considered core for all household pets.
What are the diseases we are vaccinating for?
- DHPP (DA2PP) Vaccine includes:
- Distemper virus- - a highly contagious virus that is spread by respiratory secretions (sneezing and coughing) causing severe respiratory and neurologic disease. This disease is often deadly, and even dogs that survive may have life long severe clinical signs.
- Adenovirus virus (hepatitis virus)- a virus that causes a disease called infectious canine hepatitis. This virus is also spread by secretions from the mouth and nose. This virus attacks many organs in the body, primarily the liver and kidneys. This disease can be deadly, and vaccinations create a strong immunity and are very effective in preventing the disease.
- Parainfluenza virus- - A virus spread by respiratory secretions causing flu-like signs and sickness.
- Parvo virus- a common and highly contagious, stable virus that is spread by fecal-oral route. This means any place an infected dog defecates can store this virus. When another dog sniffs or walks through an infected area, they can pick up the virus. The virus can also be spread by people and insects. This virus causes SEVERE illness, and can be deadly. Common signs include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, severe lethargy (weakness), loss of appetite and death. Vaccinations create a strong immunity and are very effective in preventing the disease.
- Rabies virus-a deadly, contagious virus that is spread mostly in saliva by a bite from an infected animal. It can also be spread in urine and other secretions. This virus can infect all mammals, including people, and vaccination has been key in drastically decreasing this horrible disease. Rabies always results in death. Rabies causes neurologic signs, such as abnormal behavior, lethargy, and seizures. It also causes aggression, excessive salivation, severe whole body muscular contractions.
- Non-Core Vaccines
- Bordetella (kennel cough)**- This is a highly contagious bacteria that is a key component in an upper respiratory tract infection, most commonly called kennel cough. It is spread in respiratory secretions, and the most common sign is coughing. It can also cause nasal discharge, lethargy, and fever.
- Leptovirus- This is a disease that effects many animals, including people. It is caused by bacteria called Leptospira interrogans, which has many different strains called serovars. It is spread in the urine of infected animals and other animals then get the disease by contact with contaminated water. This disease causes severe kidney and or liver damage, and while treatable, can cause kidney failure and death. Not all animals will get sick from the bacteria, these animals are called carriers and live with the bacteria, but spread it to other animals that may then get sick. There is a vaccine that is not considered core in our region, but may be indicated for pets that travel or spend lots of time near bodies of water, such as when camping or hiking.
- Lyme- This disease is caused by a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi, and is passed to animals and people by ticks. The disease most commonly causes swollen joints, pain, limping, fever, lethargy, and decreased appetite. This disease is not yet common in our area, but is indicated for pets that travel, particularly to the east and west coast.
- Rattlesnake vaccine
- FVRCP Vaccine:
- Rhinotracheitis and calici virus- These are two highly contagious, and common causes of upper respiratory infections in cats.
- Panleukopenia virus- This virus is highly contagious, and is spread in many bodily fluids. It is passed by direct contact with infected animals, or anywhere an infected animal has been. This virus is deadly and causes many signs including birth defects, lethargy, decreased white cell production, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, fever, and more. Not all infected cats develop clinical signs, which mean they can be carriers. Vaccination creates a strong immunity and is very important to prevent the disease.
- Rabies virus**- a deadly, contagious virus that is spread mostly in saliva by a bite from an infected animal. It can also be spread in urine and other secretions. This virus can infect all mammals, including people, and vaccination has been key in drastically decreasing this horrible disease. Rabies causes neurologic signs, such as abnormal behavior, lethargy, and seizures. It also causes aggression, excessive salivation, severe whole body muscular contractions, and death.
- Non-Core Vaccines
- FeLV (for outdoor cats or cats exposed to outdoor cats)- This is a virus that is passed in saliva and other bodily fluids, so cats that fight or share bowls with an infected cat can develop the disease. This is why outdoor cats are at a higher risk of contracting the disease and should be vaccinated. It can also be passed from mother to kitten. This disease attacks many different cell types in a cats body, causing a weak immune system and neoplastic (cancer) disease. Common signs include weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, fluid in the chest, and much more.
- Distemper virus- a highly contagious virus that is spread by respiratory secretions (sneezing and coughing) causing severe respiratory and neurologic disease. This disease can be deadly, and vaccinations create a strong immunity and are very important to prevent the disease. Ferrets can get this from infected dogs.
- Non-Core Vaccines
- Rabies virus**- - a deadly, contagious virus that is spread mostly in saliva by a bite from an infected animal. It can also be spread in urine and other secretions. This virus can infect all mammals, including people, and vaccination has been key in drastically decreasing this horrible disease. Rabies causes neurologic signs, such as abnormal behavior, lethargy, and seizures. It also causes aggression, excessive salivation, severe whole body muscular contractions, and death.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why vaccinate?
Vaccines are substances that stimulate the production of antibodies and memory cells to provide immunity against one or several diseases. Immunity is when your petís immune system has developed to fight off certain diseases. Vaccines allow the immune system to learn to fight disease by providing a substance that is similar to, or is a very small piece of the disease. Once the immune system sees this, it will begin to build-up cells that remember what this is, and how best to quickly rid the body of it. When we give a booster vaccine, it provides an early reminder to the immune system. The immune system will then create the strongest, fastest response that it can to provide good immunity for your pet in the future. Vaccinations are hugely important in the prevention of disease, and prevention is the best medicine.
- How many boosters does my pet need?
This depend on how old your pet is and if they have already received any vaccines. For puppies and kittens, vaccinations are started when they are between 6-8 weeks of age and then given every 3 weeks until they are 16 weeks or older. This is why you may have heard that puppies and kittens need a series of 4-5 vaccines. Once this series is completed, pets will need yearly revaccination (booster) along with their yearly examination. If your pet is not a puppy or kitten, but has not had any vaccinations yet, your pet will need an initial vaccine and a booster 3 weeks later. After that, vaccines are given yearly along with an examination.
- Why do puppies and kittens needs so many vaccines?
When a puppy or kitten drinks milk from its mother for the first time the consume colostrum. If the mother has been vaccinated, or exposed to disease and survived, her colostrum has some antibodies that can provide some protection for the puppies and kittens. These antibodies donít stay in the pet forever though, and start to decline somewhere between 10-16 weeks of age. The reason we give a series of vaccines to puppies and kittens is because sometimes the mothersí antibodies will attack the vaccine first, so the pet cannot build-up the memory to fight the disease. So we give multiple boosters to make sure your pet will have a chance to start some immunity, and ultimately provide strong, longer acting protection.
- Why yearly revaccinations (boosters)?
In most properly vaccinated dogs, the immunity should last more than a year, and often several years. However, immunity does decline with time. Essentially the immune system forgets about the threat. To maintain the best immunity we recommended vaccinating your pet yearly to remind the immune system of the disease and keep your pet safe and protected.
- Should we vaccinate my pet if he/she is sick?
It is important that an animal is healthy when vaccinated, to ensure proper development of immunity. We may recommend waiting until your pet is well before administering vaccinations.
- Will vaccination make my pet sick?
Some pets may feel tired for a day and/or develop a bump at the vaccination site for 1-2 weeks; these are considered normal reactions. In rare instances, a pet may be allergic to a vaccination and have more severe reactions. Signs of this include lethargy, vomiting, facial swelling, and less commonly difficulty breathing, and shock. If you see any of these signs that may indicate your pet is having a severe reaction, please call us immediately.