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All About Vaccines- What are they for? Vaccinations- CAT All cats should be vaccinated to prevent against harmful and potentially life-threatening diseases. The types of vaccines your cat should be given will vary based on the life style of your cat. If your cat lives in the house and does not come into contact with other cats, only the basic vaccines are necessary. If your cat spends time outside and around other cats, the proper precautions should be taken with the necessary vaccinations. Panleukopenia Virus The more common name for this virus is “distemper”. It is a highly contagious disease which is why vaccination is recommended. Symptoms include fever, seizures, loss of appetite, and possibly death. Kittens are born with a natural immunity for the first few weeks of their lives. Vaccinations should start at around 8 weeks old and there are series of about 3-4 follow-ups about 3-4 weeks apart. Your cat should also receive a vaccination every 1-3 years going forward. Please consult your veterinarian for your cat’s needs. Rhinotracheitis Caused by the herpes virus, Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory infection that is highly contagious. The infection could prove to be fatal in young kittens, so the vaccination is highly recommended. The vaccine lasts for about 3 years, so follow up vaccinations are necessary. Calicivirus Calicivirus is a virus that causes an upper respiratory infection. It is very contagious through contact with infected cats. Symptoms include fever, gum disease, mouth ulcers, sneezing, among others. More advanced forms of the virus are more severe and can cause fatality. Cats do not need to exhibit symptoms in order to transmit the disease to other cats. The contagious nature of this disease makes it important for your cat to receive a vaccination. All About Vaccines- What are they for? Chlamydiosis This disease is much more prevalent in cats that live in a multiple cat environment. The most obvious symptom is usually conjunctivitis, and the disease is carried in the eye discharge of infected cats. Adverse reactions to the chlamydiosis vaccine occur at a higher rate than most vaccines, so if you have an indoor cat it is usually not recommended. Speak with your vet if you have any questions about this vaccine. Rabies Rabies is a disease nearly everyone has heard of. It is contracted when an animal is bitten by another animal that has been infected. The disease is carried in the saliva. Rabies vaccinations are required in many states for cats. Even if you have an indoor cat, they should be vaccinated in case they get out, or by chance an animal were to get into your house. In nearly all cases, an animal will need to be put down if it has been infected with rabies. Feline Leukemia Virus This is another virus that is spread through direct contact with an infected cat. For this reason the vaccine is highly recommended for outdoor cats, or cats that are frequently in contact with other cats. Indoor, solitary cats should still be vaccinated to prevent against the potentially fatal virus, but are not at as high a risk to contract it. Like all vaccines, there are some potential side effects. A small percentage of cats developed cancerous sarcomas where they were injected with the vaccine. Have a conversation with your vet if you have any questions about the vaccine. Feline Infectious Peritonitis This is a disease that has no cure and is fatal in most instances. The good news is that for households with only 1 or 2 cats only 1 in 5000 cats are affected. The vaccine for this disease has not proven to be very effective to this point, so most cats will not require this vaccination. ***Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Chlamydiosis are contained in a single injection. ***Rabies, Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Infectious Peritonitis are individual injections. All About Vaccines- What are they for? Vaccinations - Dogs Distemper This is a viral disease that is easily spread through direct contact and contact with bodily fluids or contaminated food and water. Puppies are the most susceptible to the disease and also have the highest mortality rate from severe cases or complications from the disease. Vaccinations have proven to be effective, so it is important to have your puppy vaccinated. The disease can be treated if contracted, but requires quarantining your dog from other dogs for many months, and the disease can also result in some long term health problems. Adenovirus Type 2 This virus leads to the infection commonly known as “kennel cough” in dogs. It is very contagious, and is characterized by a hacking cough and a foamy white discharge. This vaccine is required in most areas. Parvovirus This disease is more commonly referred to as “parvo” and is one of the leading causes of viral infections in dogs. It is highly contagious and transmitted by direct or indirect contact with contaminated feces. There are cardiac and intestinal forms of the disease, both of which are fatal in most cases when left untreated. The vaccination is highly recommended and is given in a series of shots starting when the puppy is about 8 weeks old. Parainfluenza Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is a highly contagious respiratory virus and is one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough.1 Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection. CPIV is excreted from the respiratory tract of infected animals for up to 2 weeks after infection and is usually transmitted through the air.The virus spreads rapidly in kennels or shelters where large numbers of dogs are kept together. Bordetella Bordetella is a bacteria that can cause kennel cough. There are bacterins available to help prevent it. All About Vaccines- What are they for? Leptospirosis This disease brings on symptoms of fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and depression and it could lead to chronic kidney or liver disease. Although potentially severe, this disease is very uncommon in most areas. Depending on where you live this vaccination might not be necessary. Coronavirus Coronavirus is very similar to the intestinal form of parvovirus in its symptoms. It results in vomiting and diarrhea, mostly affecting puppies. The difference is that coronavirus, while still dangerous to your dog, is usually not fatal. For prevention keep your dog in clean conditions and be careful when around other dogs. Your dog can also be vaccinated for this disease, and it is usually good for their lifetime. Lyme Disease Lyme disease is transmitted from ticks. These small insects wooded areas and areas with tall, overgrown grass or brush. If you live in areas where these environments exist, it is smart to take proper precautions to prevent Lyme disease. If your dog does become ill with Lyme disease, you will notice that the dog will walk with a limp or favor the area where the tick has bitten it. The tick needs to be removed, and you should consult your vet for proper treatment. *** Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvo and Corona are all contained in a single vaccine. Leptospirosis can be added to this injection, or can be given separately. *** Bordatella, Lyme and Rabies are all individual vaccines.