Why do we vaccinate dogs?
Dogs are very social creatures and often go out exploring in areas where other dogs frequent. Whether they interact directly with other dogs or not, they often visit the same toileting spots! There are a number of nasty diseases that we can prevent with vaccines to keep our best friends happy and healthy. Some of the common ones are:
• Canine distemper - A contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The virus initially attacks a dog’s tonsils and lymph nodes and replicates itself there for about one week. It then attacks the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems.
• Canine infectious hepatitis - a viral disease of that is caused by the canine adenovirus CAV-1, a type of DNA virus that causes upper respiratory tract infections. The virus begins by localizing in the tonsils around 4 to 8 days after nose and mouth exposure. It then spreads into the bloodstream.
• Canine parainfluenza - Influenza Type A (H3N8) a virus that causes dog flu. Symptoms include a cough that is typically moist and can have nasal discharge. Occasionally, it will be more of a dry cough. Pneumonia, specifically hemorrhagic pneumonia, can develop.
• Canine parvoviral enteritis - The canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral illness. The virus manifests itself in two different forms. The more common form is the intestinal form, which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite (anorexia). The less common form is the cardiac form, which attacks the heart muscles of very young puppies, often leading to death.
• Leptospirosis - Leptospires spread throughout the entire body, reproducing in the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, eyes, and reproductive system. Soon after initial infection, fever and bacterial infection of the blood develop. Dogs will typically come into contact with the leptospira bacteria in infected water, soil, or mud, while swimming, passing through, or drinking contaminated water, or from coming into contact with urine from an infected animal.
• Kennel Cough - a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs characterized by a harsh, retching cough.
What vaccines do we give and how often?
Puppies are vaccinated ideally at the ages of 8, 12 and 16 weeks old, then again at 1 year old.
Adult dogs are vaccinated every 3 years with Vanguard 5, and every year with Leptoguard and either Nobivac KC (intranasal) or Canigen (injectable).
Why do we vaccinate cats?
Cats are by nature, territorial. They are often allowed to wander outside and frequently come into contact with other neighborhood cats. Altercations are not uncommon between neighboring cats, even lovely cuddly ones! We can help to protect our quirky little friends from a number of nasty diseases such as:
• Feline viral rhinotracheitis - an upper respiratory infection of the nose and throat in cats. It is caused by, and also known as feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1)
• Respiratory disease caused by feline calicivirus - Feline calicivirus infection is a common respiratory disease in cats. The virus attacks the respiratory tract (lungs and nasal passages), the mouth - with ulceration of the tongue, the intestines, and the musculoskeletal system.
• Feline panleukopenia - Feline Panleukopenia virus (FPV), also commonly referred to as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease in the cat population. This virus affects the rapidly dividing blood cells in the body, primarily the cells in the intestinal tract, bone marrow, and in the stem cells of the developing foetus. Because the blood cells are under attack, this virus can lead to an anaemic condition, and it can open the body to infections from other illnesses – viral or bacterial.
• Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) - Immunodeficiency is the medical term used to describe the body’s inability to develop a normal immune response. As a result of immunodeficiency, most infected cats do not show clinical signs and have a normal life expectancy, however they are prone to developing other infections and certain types of cancer.
What vaccines do we give and how often?
Kittens are vaccinated ideally at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old, then again at 1 year old.
Adult cats are vaccinated with Felocell 3 every 3 years.
If a cat is older than 6 months, a blood test needs to be done before the FIV vaccination course can be commenced (this is separate from the Felocell 3 vaccination which covers the other diseases listed above). We need to be sure that the cat isn’t infected before being given the vaccination. The cat also needs to be micro-chipped and their FIV vaccination status recorded. This is because once they have been vaccinated, the FIV snap blood test will then produce a positive result due to the antibodies produced in order to make the vaccination effective. Because of this positive blood result, a microchip ensures there is no confusion if the cat ends up at a shelter or another vet clinic.
Fel-O-Vax (FIV vaccine) is done in kittens over 8 weeks old or adult cats as a set of three vaccinations, 2-4 weeks apart, and then a booster every year after that.
Please call us to book for your annual check-up or routine vaccinations today :)
Tags: Pet, Parvovirus, Puppy, Vaccination, Disease, Pet Health, Cat, Vet, Pet care, Veterinary Medicine, Cattery, Dog, Kitten