Here is some helpful information to aid in understanding pet vaccinations and the diseases they help prevent and control:
Rabies is an acute and deadly disease caused by a viral infection of the central nervous system. The rabies virus is most often spread by a bite and saliva from an infected (rabid) animal (e.g., bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, ferrets, cats, or dogs).
Rabies vaccine is a vaccine used to control rabies. Rabies can be prevented by vaccination, both in humans and other animals.
Boredatella and Canine Influenza both present with mild too severe bronchitis and can progress without treatment to pneumonia. These are diseases contracted from other dogs especially in environments with hoigh population density (kennels,training facilities, dog shows, etc.). They are airbourne diseases and easily spread. Vaccines are similar to the human flu vaccine - typically they do not prevent the disease entirely but reduce the severity of the disease and make complications less likely.
Lyme Disease is transmitted by ticks and is predominantly in the northeast and midwest. We have ticks in this area that can carry the Lyme organism but incidences are very low. This disease causes arthrities and can cause behavioral changes, kidney failure, and neurologic disease in the chronic stage.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (people and animals can get from one another) that is spread via infected urine primarly. Rodents, deer and livestock are considered the most likelysources of the organism. This is a very aggressive diesease that can cause kideny failure, liver failure, abortions, and is often fatal. Vaccinations are variable in efficancy with the different strains and are not considered 100% protective.
What does my Puppy or Dog need?
It can be hard to decipher all the conflicting information out there about vaccinations especially when new information is constantly emerging and changing recommended protocols. The consensus amongst veterinary professionals at this time is that NO ONE protocol fits every situation. There are vaccinations that every dog/puppy needs which we call Core vaccinations and there are vaccinations that only some dogs and puppies need based on lifestyle which we consider Non-Core.
Please review this information, ask questions to clarify if needed, and then decide what you would like for your puppy or dog to receive. Once you have decided please check the vaccinations wanted on the well pet form you will begiven when you come in for your appointment.
Rabies vacination is mandated by law, thus, there is no flexibility on when it is given or how often it needs to be given. In this county and state - the minimum age it can be given is 3 months the next booster is given a year after the first, and then every 1-3 years thereafter. A 3 year vaccine can only be given as a booster to a current vaccine.
Distemper-Parvo-Hepatitis, DHPP sometimes called a (5 way) is a combination vaccine that protects against the most common viral diseases that dogs and puppies get. These start at 6-8 weeks of age, and are given every 3 weeks with the last one at a minimum age of 14 weeks, and boostered a year later. After that boosters are given every 1-3 years. A 3 year vaccine can only be given as a booster to a current vaccine.
To determine if you cainine needs any of the non-core vaccines we must first answer a couple questions about the lifestyle of the animal.
Is your pet likely to be boaded, go to doggie daycare, go to training classes in an indoor facility, go to indoor dog shows, or otherwise engage in activities where lots of dogs are present in a relatively small, confined area? If you answer yes to any of these then your pet needs the Bordatella (kennel cough) vaccine.
Is your pet likely to be boarded in a facility that requires the Canine influenza vaccine? Is your pet likely to be exposed to dogs from out of state especially retired racing dogs? Is your pet likely to be exposed to shelter dogs(ie. do you foster or visit the shelter regularly, etc)? If you answered yes to any of these questions then your pet needs the Cainine Influenza vaccine.
Is your pet likely to travel regularly or move to the northeast or midwest in the next year? DO you find a lot of ticks on this pet or other pets in the same environment? If you answered yes to either of these questions your pet needs the Lyme vaccine.
Is your pet likely to travel or workin areas with less than idel sanitation (ie search and rescue dogs)? Does your pet regularly drink from swampy water or stagnant water? Will your pet likely have contact with wildlife or livestock? Are there rodents (mice, squirrls) or oppossums regularly in the environment? If you answered yes to any of these questions your pet needs the Leptospirosis vaccine.
Heartworms are carried by mosquitos and this area has a very high misquito population that is active all year long. Given the serious nature of heartworm disease we strongly recommend annual heartworm testing and will not sell prevention unless the dog has had a heartworm test within the past 12 month.
A fecal examination checks for intestinal parasites and bacteria. We are a subtropical climate and parasites abound in this environment. We recommend semiannual fecal checks for adults and for puppies at their first visit and anytime they have loose or soft feces. We routinely deworm puppies and deworm adults as needed. Most heartworm preventions protect against intestinal parasites as well.
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