Vaccine FAQs

Canine Influenza Vaccination: Canine influenza is a non-core vaccination which should only be used in dogs at risk of exposure. The vaccination may be particularly helpful in shelter or kennel situations. Canine influenza, also known as “dog flu,” is caused by type A influenza virus designated as subtype H3N8. Recently, a new vaccination against canine influenza was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for conditional licensure.

Symptoms of Canine Influenza:

Canine influenza affects the respiratory tract of infected dogs. First diagnosed in 2004 in greyhound kennels, the virus has now been recognized in several pounds, shelters and veterinary hospitals in Colorado.

Canine influenza normally causes mild respiratory symptoms which are frequently confused with those of kennel cough. However, in a small minority of cases, pneumonia becomes a complicating factor, and there have been deaths associated with canine influenza infection

Canine Influenza: The vaccine for canine influenza does not actually prevent infection with canine influenza. According to Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, the manufacturer of the vaccine, the vaccine “has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence and severity of lung lesions, as well as the duration of coughing and viral shedding.” Canine vaccinations are normally classified by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) as core or non-core vaccines. The canine influenza vaccine is classified as a non-core vaccine, indicating that the vaccine should only be considered for those dogs who are likely to be exposed to the canine influenza virus. In determining whether the vaccination is important, we will be happy to discuss it with you on a case by case basis.

Rabies: Of all animal disease, rabies is probably the most feared. The rabies virus attacks the brain and is always fatal. Most pets are exposed to rabies by bites from wild animals particularly skunks, raccoons, bats, and foxes. The disease can be transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected pet. Vaccination of all dogs and cats is the effective means of control.

Canine Distemper: This highly contagious viral disease is found wherever dogs are found. It affects the respiratory and nervous system and is often fatal. Primary vaccinations should be given at 6 to 12 weeks of age since dogs often contract the disease at an early age.

Canine Parvovirus (CPV): This contagious viral disease usually causes severe diarrhea and vomiting in dogs of all ages but is especially deadly in puppies.

Canine Parainfluenza: This viral respiratory disease is often partly responsible for “kennel cough” in dogs. Infection can be severe in younger puppies. Parainfluenza protection is often included in distemper-parvo vaccines.

Canine Adenovirus Type 1 and Type 2: Canine Adenovirus Type 1 infection causes infectious hepatitis which may lead to severe kidney damage. Type 2 can be a complicating factor in kennel cough. Vaccinations are available that protect against both types of adenovirus.

Canine Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease carried by many wild animals. A dog can contract the disease from infected animals or by drinking contaminated water. Yearly vaccination limits your dog’s chances of acquiring the disease.

Canine Bordatella: Frequently involved in kennel cough complex, this bacterial infection may occur simultaneously with distemper, adenovirus type 2 infection parainfluenza and other respiratory infections.

Canine/Feline Giardiasis: Giardiasis in dogs, cats, and humans is caused by a waterborne parasite called Giardia lamblia. The parasite we found in untreated water, i.e. puddles, ponds, and creek. Symptoms included severe diarrhea, weight loss, fever, dehydration, and nausea.

Feline Panleukopenia: Feline Panleukopenia, sometimes called “feline distemper,” causes severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. It is the most widespread disease of cats and causes high death loss especially among kittens. The disease is caused by a virus and is highly contagious.

Feline Rhinotracheitis: Rhinotracheitis infection is a widespread respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is most severe in small kittens and can cause profuse discharge from the eyes and nose.

Feline Calicivirus: Calicivirus infection causes a variety of symptoms including fever, excess salivation and mouth or tongue ulcers. It is usually less fatal than Rhinotracheitis of Panleukopenia.

Feline Pneumonitis: Respiratory infection with symptoms resembling feline viral Rhinotracheitis. The disease is caused by the organism Chlamydia psittaci and can be complicated by associated bacteria infections.

Feline Leukemia: Feline leukemia is a form of cancer in cats which is usually fatal. The disease, caused by a virus, can lead to tumor growth nearly anywhere in the body as well as variety symptoms. Infected cats are unable to resist other diseases and may die from associated infections. Testing for the disease is recommended before initiating a vaccination program.

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