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Let’s talk about vaccines…

Author: Sally Mullen - Practice Manager

Many serious infectious diseases of cats and dogs can be controlled by vaccination.  Even indoor cats and dogs with limited direct contact with other dogs can be exposed to viral diseases carried in the air, in dust, or on clothing.  This being said each pet is unique and the vaccinations our Veterinarians will recommend will depend on many things including your pets age, life style, previous vaccines, and of course the area in which they live. Below is a general overview of the vaccinations for cats and dogs, for more information contact us at 410-360-7297 (PAWS)
For your Cat:
CORE VACCINES:
Feline Distemper Combination Vaccine:
Feline Panleukopenia, also known as “cat distemper” is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in young cats. It is easily transmitted from cat to cat. Signs include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Upper respiratory infections are easily spread from cat to cat by sneezing, etc. Even a stray cat that seems outwardly to be healthy may be a “carrier” infecting your pet, even through a screen window. Protection from all the above diseases are included in one injectable vaccination. A series of the initial injection is necessary to build the antibody protection needed to help your cat develop a high degree of immunity against these diseases.
Rabies Vaccines:
Rabies is a fatal viral infection of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Cats have outnumbered dogs in reported cases since 1981. Rabies is a public health hazard and personal risk to you therefore it is required by Maryland State Law and County Regulations for all cats, dogs, and ferrets. It is transmitted through the bite or contact with saliva of an infected animal. Even indoor cats may be infected through contact with a carrier such as a bat in a basement, garage, or attic. There is no cure! Vaccination is very important for your safety, as well as the safety of your pet.
LIFE STYLE SPECIFIC VACCINES:
Feline Leukemia vaccines:
Feline Leukemia is a cancer-causing virus that often suppresses the ability to fight other infections. Kittens can be born with the virus or can contract it through sharing food or water dishes, mutual grooming or bite wounds from other cats. Once contracted, cats with leukemia virus usually die within 6-12 months as there is no successful treatment for hit virus.. Feline Leukemia is not transmissible to humans or dogs.
For your Dog:

CORE VACCINES:
Distemper (DHPP) Combination Vaccine:
Distemper virus is one of the two most important diseases of dogs. It is very widespread, and nearly every dog will be exposed to distemper within the first year of life in our area. 

Infectious Canine hepatitis affects the dog’s liver, and is spread through an infected dog’s urine Puppies are at the most risk with this disease.
Parvovirus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog’s feces. A dog that recovers from the disease, remains a “carrier” spreading the virus in its bowel movements for 3-6 months. Dogs remain susceptible to Parvovirus infection until TWO WEEKS AFTER THE LAST INJECTION in the vaccination series.
Rabies Vaccine:
Rabies is a FATAL INFECTION of the nervous system that attacks all warm blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious dog. Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners. Maryland State Law and Anne Arundel County require vaccination against rabies, and most veterinarians recommend vaccination for all dogs and cats, regardless of state law. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even dogs kept indoors can come in contact with a rabies carrier such as a bat, in a basement, garage, or attic. Because there is no cure for rabies, vaccination is your pet’s only protection.

REGIONALLY RECOMMENDED VACCINES: 
Lyme Vaccine:
Lyme is spread by the attachment of infected ticks on an animal. Pets that are most at risk, are dogs that walk in wooded and tall grassy areas including area parks, or travel in places where wild animals frequent. In Pasadena, it is very common to have ticks in your own backyard or on the many recreational sports fields where kids and pets commonly visit.

Leptospirosis Vaccine:
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found worldwide in soil and water including puddles, creeks and streams. There are many strains of Leptospira bacteria that can cause disease and they are shed through the urine of wild animals. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people.

LIFE STYLE SPECIFIC VACCINES:
Bordatella vaccine:
Kennel cough or Bordatella, technically known as “tracheobronchitis,” it is an upper respiratory infection, which often lasts several weeks and is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS. This not only effects pets who stay in boarding kennels, but any dog that is exposed to other dogs for example: at the groomer, dog park, during neighborhood walks, etc.  If your dog is social, this vaccine is necessary!
Canine Influenza:
Canine influenza virus causes an acute respiratory infection in dogs. However, unlike human influenza, CIV is not a "seasonal" flu – infections can occur year-round. Canine influenza virus infection often resembles the illness associated with canine infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough") however symptoms can progress from a simple cough to a life threatening pneumonia. 

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