Feb 05 2015

Vaccines…What you Need to Know

So, you know that your pet is due for vaccines, but you aren’t sure which ones would be best. The following information may be helpful to know what to expect when you bring your dog or cat in for his/her vaccine appointment.

kitten

All Cats: These are the core vaccines, recommended for all cats, regardless of their environment.

  • Feline “Distemper Combo”: Feline Panleukopenia is the cat form of Distemper and is often fatal to cats. This virus is highly contagious and survives for a long time in the environment. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calicivirus are both viral infections that cause upper respiratory illness in cats and are highly contagious.
    • As a kitten, your pet will get a series of 4 of these vaccines, once every three weeks, starting at 6 weeks of age.
    • At the first yearly visit, cats will receive a 2-year vaccine, in order to stagger administration of this vaccine with the rabies vaccine.
    • As long as your cat’s vaccines are kept up to date, we can give a 3-year vaccine each time after that.
  • Rabies: This is a viral disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals, including humans. Rabies affects the nervous system and is always fatal. It is transmitted by bite wounds or by exposure of wounds to infected saliva.
    • As a kitten, your pet will receive a 1-year vaccine at 15 weeks of age, or at the final kitten visit
    • As long as your cat’s vaccines are kept up to date, we can give a 3-year vaccine each time after the initial 1-year vaccine.

catOutdoor or Indoor/Outdoor Cats: These are the vaccines that we recommend for cats that spend any amount of time outdoors or have any exposure to cats of unknown vaccine status. We typically recommend a Feline Leukemia and FIV test prior to starting these vaccines.

  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV): This is a high-mortality virus that causes suppression of the immune system, making cats more susceptible to other diseases or infections, including cancer. This is transmitted by direct contact with infected cats or with contaminated food dishes or litter boxes.
    • As a kitten, your pet will receive a series of 2 of these vaccines, 3 weeks apart. Usually given at the 3rd and 4th kitten visits.
    • After the initial series, FeLV is a yearly vaccine.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): This virus affects the immune system, much like HIV in humans. FIV positive cats are very susceptible to infections and cancers. FIV is transmitted from cat to cat by fighting (biting and scratching). There is no cure for FIV, but it cannot be transmitted from cats to humans.
    • As a kitten, your pet will receive a series of 3 of these vaccines, once every 3 weeks.
    • After the initial series, FIV is a yearly vaccine.

dog needleAll Dogs: These are the core vaccines, recommended for all dogs, regardless of their environment.

  • Canine “Distemper Combo”: Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus, Canine Parainfluenza and Canine Parvovirus
    • As a puppy, your pet will get a series of 4 of these vaccines, once every three weeks, starting at 6 weeks of age.
    • At the first yearly visit, dogs will receive a 2-year vaccine, in order to stagger administration of this vaccine with the rabies vaccine.
    • As long as your dog’s vaccines are kept up to date, we can give a 3-year vaccine each time after that.
  • Rabies: This is a viral disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals, including humans. Rabies affects the nervous system and is always fatal. It is transmitted by bite wounds or by exposure of wounds to infected saliva.
    • As a puppy, your pet will receive a 1-year vaccine at 15 weeks of age, or at the final puppy visit
    • As long as your dog’s vaccines are kept up to date, we can give a 3-year vaccine each time after the initial 1-year vaccine.
  • Leptospirosis: This is a bacterial disease that can affect the liver and kidneys. Dogs can catch “Lepto” from exposure to infected livestock or wildlife urine, or standing water. It can be fatal in severe cases and is transmissible to humans.
    • As a puppy, your pet will receive a series of 2 of these vaccines, 3 weeks apart. Usually given at the 3rd and 4th puppy visits.
    • After the initial series, Lepto is a yearly vaccine.

dogDogs (elective vaccines): these vaccines are recommended for some dogs based on their lifestyle.

  • Bordatella bronchiseptica: Also known as “Kennel Cough” is a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system in dogs. It is highly contagious and easily transmitted among non-vaccinated dogs. This is recommended for any dog that will be potentially exposed to other dogs of unknown vaccine status. Many groomers and boarding facilities (including Appalachian Animal Hospital), require patients to have a current Bordatella vaccine.
    • The Bordatella vaccine in an oral vaccination, given once every 6 months.
  • Canine Influenza: This is a contagious viral disease, similar to the human flu. Symptoms include: cough, sneezing, runny nose, fever, loss of appetite and loss of energy. This vaccine is recommended for any dog that will be potentially exposed to infected dogs, especially in areas where dogs gather (dog parks, boarding kennels and grooming facilities).
    • The Flu vaccine is a yearly injection.
  • Lyme: Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that can cause fever, joint pain/swelling, loss of appetite, decreased energy level and arthritis. In more severe cases, it can even lead to heart, kidney or neurological problems. This vaccine is recommended for any dog that is exposed to ticks, lives in or near a wooded area or travels to an area of high risk for Lyme disease (the northeast part of the country is the highest risk).
    • The Lyme vaccine is a yearly injection.
    • You can also help to reduce your dog’s risk of contracting Lyme disease by using a recommended tick preventative.

We would be glad for our doctors to evaluate your pet and plan the best preventative vaccines for their environment and lifestyle.

amellor | Oliver's Blog

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