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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.
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 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?
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
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
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.
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.
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 is a bacteria that can cause kennel cough. There are bacterins available to help prevent it.
All About Vaccines- What are they for?
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 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.