Rabies- Rabies is a zoonotic virus which is spread through bites from an infected animal. There is no treatment for Rabies and it is fatal. Because Rabies is such a serious disease and can affect humans, there are very strict laws regarding when and how often your pet should be vaccinated and what happens if your pet is bitten by another animal or if your pet bites another animal or a person. If this happens, we are required to inform animal control and they will be checking in with you and inform you of what steps need to be taken to protect your pet and your family. The Rabies vaccine is required by law for all cats and dogs regardless of whether or not they go outside. The vaccine is first given to your pet when he is 3 months. The vaccine is then given again after 9-12 months, if given within that time, it will then be good for 3 years.
Distemper- The Distemper vaccine (aka DHPPa or DAPPv) is a combination vaccine that includes Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2 (hepatitis), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. This is most common vaccine given to puppies. These viruses can all cause severe disease in dogs, especially young puppies. Distemper, Adenovirus and Parainfluenza can all cause serious respiratory illness, while Parvovirus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and without intensive veterinary care is almost always fatal. Most puppies have already started their distemper series before going home with you, it can be started at 6 weeks old and is a series of at least 2 shots given 2-4 weeks apart. The Distemper vaccine we carry is then boosted at 1 year and then every 3 years. Lyme- Lyme disease is spread by ticks and is very common in our area. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms ranging from none at all to life threatening kidney damage. Often the only symptom is a shifting leg lameness, one day your dog is limping on one leg and then the next he is limping on another. The Lyme vaccine is around 86% effective, this means that even with the vaccine, your dog can still become infected with Lyme, however the symptoms tend to be less severe. We highly recommend having your dog vaccinated against Lyme if he will be spending any time outside. As more and more people are vaccinating their dogs against Lyme, we have seen much fewer serious infections. The Lyme disease vaccine can be started when your dog is 9 weeks old and is a series of 2 shots and then it is boosted yearly.
Leptospirosis- Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is found in stagnant water. It is most commonly spread through the urine of wildlife and can affect dogs and humans. Lepto can cause life threatening liver and kidney damage and can lead to death if not caught early. We highly recommend vaccinating your dog for Leptospirosis if he will be spending time outdoors especially since you can get it from your dog. The Lepto vaccine can be given when your dog is 8 weeks old and is a series of 2 shots given 2-4 weeks apart and then boosted yearly.
Kennel Cough (Canine Parainfluenza- Bordetella bronchiseptica)- Kennel cough is basically the canine version of a cold. It can be caused by a bacteria or a virus. Most cases of kennel cough are mild and don’t required any treatment, sometimes it can be more severe and require antibiotics, and in severe cases, it can cause pneumonia. Dogs can become infected when in close contact with other dogs, for example, at kennels, groomers, training classes, and play groups. Most kennels, groomers, and training facilities will require your dog to be vaccinated against Kennel cough yearly, some require it every 6 months. Similar to human flu vaccines, dogs may still become infected with kennel cough even if they are vaccinated, however, the vaccine will typically keep the symptoms from become severe. If your dog is diagnosed with kennel cough, it is very important to keep him or her isolated from other dogs to prevent it from spreading. The vaccine can be given at 3 weeks old and then boosted yearly, or every 6 months as required.
Canine Influenza: Canine influenza is a virus that can cause severe respiratory symptoms, pneumonia, and can be fatal if left untreated. This is a highly contagious virus and can spread very quickly through kennels. Several years ago there was a large outbreak of canine influenza. We don’t see it very often anymore, however some kennels do require dogs to be vaccinated for it in order to board there. We recommend it for dogs who are boarded frequently or go places with lots of other dogs. This vaccine can be started when your dog is 7 weeks old and is a series of 2 shots given 2-4 weeks apart then boosted yearly.
Feline Distemper- Feline Distemper vaccine (aka FVRCP) is a combination vaccine which protects against Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici Virus, and Panleukopenia. These viruses can cause severe respiratory disease, vomiting, and diarrhea and can be fatal. These are highly contagious and we recommend vaccinating all cats regardless of indoor or outdoor status. The Feline Distemper vaccine can be started at 8 weeks of age and is a series of 2 shots given 3-4 weeks apart. The vaccine we carry only needs to be boosted every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia- The Feline Leukemia Vaccine (aka FeLV) is recommended for cats that are going to be going outside. Feline Leukemia is a virus that is spread through fighting and grooming, it can also be passed from a mother to a kitten in utero. This virus suppresses the immune system which can increase your cat’s risk of serious illness from other viruses and bacteria. We often recommend testing new kittens for FeLV and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) before introducing them to other cats in your house, they should also be tested if you are planning on them being indoor/outdoor cats to prevent spread to other cats in your neighborhood. If you plan to keep your cat indoors, then her risk of contracting Feline Leukemia is minimal and therefore she would not need to be vaccinated. This vaccine can be given at 9 weeks old and is a series of 2 shots and then boosted every 2 years.