COMMON PET QUESTIONS & BASIC CLIENT EDUCATION
What vaccines do my pets need?
Core/Required Vaccines for Dogs & Cats
Core vaccines are considered vital to all pets based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans.
For Dogs: Vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria. SEE DETAILED INFORMATION FOR CAT VACCINATIONS BELOW.
*** Dr. Marlon & Staff can help determine what vaccines are best for your pet(s) mainly based on your pet’s age, breed, environmental risk, cost-benefit based on other risk factors and a detailed assessment of even your pet’s type of fur coat, coat length, time of the year, heat, humidity, risk of vaccine reactions, other vaccinations being given that day, history of illness or any chronic medical conditions, and price.
What does DHPPV or DA2PPV even stand for?
--- The DHPPV/DA2PPV vaccination is for dogs only ---
DHPPV is a combination vaccine that provides your pet with protection against 4 common dog diseases.
The 1st disease we vaccinate against is Canine Distemper. This is a highly contagious viral disease that affects a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic and nervous systems. It is mainly spread through the air by contaminated respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing). It can also be spread by contact with any other bodily secretions from an infected animal (urine and feces for example). This disease can be fatal.
The 2nd disease is Canine Hepatitis. This disease is caused by an Adenovirus so you may see "A2" instead of "H" in the abbreviation. This virus is spread in a similar fashion to the distemper virus. Since this virus can live in the environment for a long time, you may bring the virus home to your dog without realizing it. This disease mainly affects the liver but it can also affect the kidneys and eyes.
Parainfluenza is a highly infectious virus that spreads quickly among dogs kept in close quarters and can seriously damage the respiratory system. This is part of the Kennel Cough Complex and is included in the DHPP vaccine as well as the Bordetella vaccine.
Parvo is a very common viral infection that usually strikes puppies less than a year of age and older, unvaccinated dogs. This virus is spread through direct contact with an infected dog's feces or vomit or you can bring it to your dog on your shoes. This virus can easily cause the death of an infected dog.
*** The DHPPV vaccine stimulates your pet's immune system so it will be much better prepared to protect your puppy/adult dog against these diseases and more. There is treatment for some of these diseases, but there are no guarantees of a successful outcomes, especially when something such as Parvovirus hits your puppy at an early age. The best way to protect your dog is to have him/her properly vaccinated by a veterinarian and when they are puppies...keep them away from all other puppies and potentially unvaccinated dogs until we are fully vaccinated and at least 5 months of age.
What is Kennel Cough? Is that the same thing as Bordetella?
NOTE: Bordetella (Kennel Cough) = Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis
= Bordetella Bronchiseptica + Adenovirus type-2 virus (CAV-2) + Parainfluenza Virus
Kennel Cough is a respiratory infection with clinical signs including "goose-honk" cough, nasal discharge and flu-like illness. Other symptoms include discharge from the eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing, lack of appetite, and lethargy. Although coughing may be mild, it may persist for several weeks. Kennel Cough is more technically known as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis. This term localizes the most common clinical sign, coughing, to the trachea (wind pipe) and bronchi (within the lungs). Several viruses and bacteria may cause it. These include the Adenovirus type-2 virus (CAV-2), the Parainfluenza virus, and the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. The infection spreads rapidly from dog to dog in close quarters, such as a boarding kennel. This is the origin of its name even though it is a co-infection of Bordetella and other bacteria/viruses…remember this never infects a dog alone and also has a very wide incubation period of between 1-30 days AND is the most HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS infection in dogs.
Immunity after natural infection with respiratory viruses, like Parainfluenza or bacteria like Bordetella, is neither solid nor long-lasting. We cannot expect vaccines to be much better. Therefore, a booster just before placing a dog in a boarding kennel is good insurance against disease. We advocate vaccinating against kennel cough every six months for dogs who are frequently boarded, groomed or are show dogs.
Rabies is a disease that can infect both animals and humans! For this reason, NC State Law requires that all pets receive routine Rabies vaccinations by a licensed veterinarian. Rabies almost always causes the person or animal that has it to die. It is passed on if the saliva from a rabid animal gets into an open wound or the body’s soft, damp areas (eyes, nose or mouth). This usually occurs through biting. If rabies enters the body, it attacks the brain and spinal cord. Once signs of the disease appear, the infected person or animal will usually die within days!
[Lepto = “Leptospirosis”] Vaccination
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread by contact with urine from an infected animal, including dogs, raccoons, squirrels and skunks. Leptospirosis is mainly found in the Northern areas of our country. Because your pet is highly unlikely to come in contact with “Lepto” we do not recommend vaccinations.
[Lyme Disease = “Borellia Burgdorferi”] Vaccination
Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that is becoming much more commonly diagnosed in our area. Lyme Disease in dogs in dogs is different than Lyme's Disease in humans, however, dogs can suffer from intermittent fevers, lethargy, anemia, lameness (that can switch legs), and even kidney failure that carries a very poor prognosis called “Lyme Nephritis.”
For Cats: Vaccines for panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat's lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency virus.
What does FVRCP/FVRCCP mean & why does my cat need it?
What vaccinations does my indoor/outdoor cat need vs. an indoor only cat?
F V R = “Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis” = a syndrome caused by “Herpesvirus”
C = Calicivirus
C = Chlamydia
P = Panleukopenia A.K.A Feline “Parvovirus”
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is triggered by the common feline herpes virus. Symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and drooling. Your cat's eyes may become crusted with mucous, and he or she may sleep much more and eat much less than normal. If left untreated this disease causes dehydration, starvation, and eventually, death.
Calicivirus has similar symptoms, affecting the respiratory system and also causing ulcers in the mouth. It can result in pneumonia if left untreated—kittens and senior cats are especially vulnerable.
Chlamydia Feline Chlamydophila (formerly Chlamydia) is caused by a bacteria known as Chlamydophila felis and primarily causes conjunctivitis, inflammation of the membrane lining the eyelid. It usually affects younger cats (under 10 weeks of age), but certainly can affect cats of any age and especially the conjunctiva of the eyes.
Panleukopenia is also known as distemper and is easily spread from one cat to another. Distemper is so common that nearly all cats—regardless of breed or living conditions—will be exposed to it in their lifetime. It’s especially common in kittens who have not yet been vaccinated against it, and symptoms include fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. This disease progresses rapidly and requires immediate medical attention. Without intervention, a cat can die within 12 hours of contracting the disease.
These three viruses can be contracted by cats at any age. Kittens should receive their first FVRCCP vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age, followed by three booster shots once a month. Adult cats should receive a booster once every year or two, according to your vet's recommendation. Adult cats with unknown vaccination records should receive a FVRCCP vaccination, plus a booster. Because FVRCCP is a live vaccine, it should not be given to pregnant cats.
Rarely, a cat may contract a disease from the vaccine or experience a side effect, such as fever or vomiting. These instances are an exception, and for the vast majority of cats FVRCCP will not only protect against rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia, and panleukopenia, but may also help fight off other viruses as well.