Pet Vaccinations

For adult pets, we recommend vaccine appointments

annually.

Depending on your pet's age and vaccination history, your veterinarian might recommend a custom vaccination plan.

Pet vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats; even the ones that remain indoors most, if not all, of the time because they could still catch an airborne virus from outside at potty time or through an open window or door screen. More often than not, viruses are spread due to contact with other infected animals that are wild or whose owners did not elect to keep their pet vaccinations up to date. Given the violent and progressive nature of small-animal viruses, it is of the utmost importance to immunize your pet and opt to keep your kitty current with the latest cat vaccinations and your pooch up to date with his or her dog vaccination.

Dog Core Vaccinations

CORE vaccinations are those our doctors feel your dog must receive. These vaccines help prevent diseases that are considerably widespread, potentially fatal, and can easily be transmitted from one pet to another. These types of diseases are usually categorized as fatal or difficult to treat.

The DAPP dog vaccine provides protection against canine distemper, adenovirus, para-influenza and parvo. This immunization should be given to puppies at six to eight weeks old. To eliminate the possibility of maternal antibody competition, we recommend continuing the DAPP vaccination every three to four weeks until your pup has reached 16 weeks of age. We administer this dog vaccine one year after the last puppy shot is given and once every three years afterward.

Canine distemper is a serious and extremely contagious disease that infects the respiratory system, intestinal tract, and nervous system. Common signs that a dog has become infected are nasal and eye discharge, vomiting, coughing, and, in some cases, seizures. Although this disease does not guarantee 100% fatality like rabies, it does have a death rate as high as 75%. Dogs that survive often have lasting side effects, such as blindness or deafness.

Canine Parvovirus is currently the most common viral disease in dogs in the United States. Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that infects the GI system. Once the virus is contracted, it causes a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody feces. This disease has the potential to spread rapidly, and death can occur in only a few days.

It is by law that all domesticated dogs must be vaccinated against rabies when they receive their initial shots as puppies at or after 12 weeks of age. Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including dogs and humans. Therefore, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. An adult booster shot is given a year later and administered every three years afterward.

This zoonotic virus is almost 100% fatal in anyone who contracts it—dog, cat, fox, rodent, or human, and usually spread through the bite or scratch of an infected mammal. Once contracted, the viral disease invades the central nervous system, causing hallucinations, loss of coordination, paralysis, and, ultimately, death.

Leptospirosis, also known as lepto, is a bacterial disease that can affect both humans and pets. It occurs all over the world and leads to liver and kidney damage as well as death if left untreated. Humans and pets can get this bacterial infection by coming into contact with infected wild animals (e.g., opossums, skunks, raccoons and rodents), lepto-infested water or infected urine. Lepto is present in the city due to rodent (rat) population. Since this disease can harm animals and humans, we encourage dogs to receive this immunization via two initial doses three weeks apart, and then on a yearly basis.

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that is caused by the presence of bacteria. The bacteria are usually present in infected water or soil. The most common clinical signs of this disease that your dog may exhibit are vomiting, Diarrhea, lethargy, and, in severe cases, liver failure. This disease can be spread from dogs to humans.

Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a very common and contagious illness that affects the canine respiratory system. The bordetella dog vaccine is administered intranasally during the first puppy visit. An injectable vaccine is given three to four weeks after the intranasal dose, and then the vaccinations rotate between intranasal and injectable doses.

Bordetella causes inflammation in the trachea and bronchi. A dog can catch the disease merely by sniffing an infected dog. A dry hacking cough, sneezing, and nasal discharge are the most common clinical signs of Bordetella.

Dog Non-Core Vaccinations

Non-core vaccinations are categorized as optional vaccines. They are typically recommended by one of our doctors based on the risk of exposure your pup has based on interactions and geographic regions. These types of vaccinations are generally less effective than a core vaccine.

Lyme Disease is transmitted by ticks, just like it is to people; it makes dogs lethargic and lame, and if left untreated, can damage the kidneys. Lyme Disease is a little trickier to detect on dogs than it is on humans, for there is no visual aid such as the “bulls-eye rash” that occurs on human skin that can be spotted on the dog. Any dog that goes outside, especially in the PA area, is at risk.

Canine influenza (dog flu) is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV). The canine influenza virus is a highly contagious disease that causes a respiratory infection in dogs. Although most dogs will only experience a mild course of the disease, some dogs may develop a more serious form of infection, such as pneumonia.

The canine influenza virus is transmitted from one dog to another by aerosolized respiratory secretions from a dog coughing or sneezing. Or when a dog comes into physical contact with other infected dogs. It can also be transmitted if a dog touches or plays with objects touched by infected dogs (food bowls or toys, for example).

Humans can even transfer the virus between dogs from their hands or clothing if they contact an infected dog. Transmission happens wherever dogs have close contact with other dogs. Dogs in kennels, shelters, groomers, daycare, or at the dog park are at a higher risk of contracting canine influenza. Canine influenza can occur year-round.

The symptoms of canine influenza resemble those of kennel cough. Dogs infected with canine influenza develop coughing and sometimes a runny nose or thick nasal discharge. Other symptoms include fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and decreased appetite. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian, and avoid taking them anywhere (other than the veterinarian’s office) until they fully recover.

There is no specific cure for canine influenza, but treatment for the disease consists of supportive care and alleviation of its symptoms. Treatment typically involves preventing/controlling secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics while the disease runs its course. Animals that are more severely affected by the disease may also require hospitalization and intravenous fluid therapy.

Canine influenza is preventable by vaccination. It is recommended that your dog be vaccinated once a year with the flu vaccine that protects against both the H3N8 and H3N2 strains of canine influenza.

World of Animals (like most boarding kennels in the United States) requires your pup to be vaccinated from Bordetella and Canine Influenza before being admitted into our boarding facility; this is for your dog’s protection, as well as that of the other dogs staying in our facility.

Cat Vaccinations

The following vaccines each serve specific roles in protecting your cat’s health and happiness. Unfortunately, there are still many diseases which don’t have vaccines that can prevent them. Please have your cats evaluated by your veterinarian every year for the best healthcare possible.

Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats and humans. This being the case, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. Kittens receive this cat vaccine one time after they reach 12 weeks of age. Following the initial vaccine, adult pets receive the Purevax® form of this cat vaccination yearly for the most advanced safety and protection.

Rabies vaccination is mandatory for all pets under state law. All cats, even those that stay indoors, must be current on their rabies vaccination. If you do not bring in records showing that your cat is up to date on the rabies vaccine, we may need to re-vaccinate him or her. This law is set in place because the rabies virus is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be transmitted between animals and people. It is nearly always fatal in any creature infected with it—be that a wild animal, a pet, or a human being.

FVRCP cat vaccine is our “feline distemper” vaccination that protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici virus and panleukopenia. These diseases are highly contagious among cats and can have devastating effects on their respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Our feline patients should receive this cat shot when they are kittens, starting at six weeks of age. This cat vaccination should be given every three weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks old, as it will confidently ensure there is not any maternal antibody competition. Once the initial immunizations have been administered, we administer this cat vaccine one year after the last kitten shot is given and once every three years afterward.

Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus can both cause upper respiratory disease. The disease’s signs can range from mild nasal discharge to severe discharge, redness, tongue ulcers, and pain of the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Panleukopenia is also called feline parvovirus—attacking the rapidly dividing cells of the gastrointestinal system and the immune system. The disease causes immunocompromise, meaning the cat cannot fight off infections and inability to absorb nutrients. All of these viruses can lead to death. When your adult cat visits us, we will booster the FVRCP vaccine every year to ensure your cat stays immune and healthy.

FeLV (i.e., feline leukemia virus) is a deadly viral disease that wreaks havoc on affected cats’ immune systems and can lead to an array of cancerous conditions including leukemia. Because symptoms can remain hidden for months or even years in affected cats, many owners don’t realize there is a problem until it is too late and other cats in the household have already been exposed to the disease. For the best protection, our feline friends should start receiving this cat vaccination beginning at nine weeks of age. After the second set of immunizations is given, a booster is administered one year later, and then every three years afterward.

As terrifying as this disease sounds (and it is fatal), there is hope. Kittens and young cats primarily get the disease from their mother, grooming, or fighting—mostly among cats who go outdoors or multi-cat households. Vaccination against the disease can prevent transmission, and the disease has reduced in frequency due to immunization and identification efforts over the past years.

Any vomiting, swelling, or hives post-vaccination need to be seen back at the hospital ASAP. This is rare but can be a side-effect of vaccination. Pets with vaccine reactions can be pretreated before their next vaccine to prevent side effects.

Get the best care for your best friend.

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