Vaccinations

Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats

Vet holding cat

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Good pet health starts with making sure your dog or cat is up to date with his or her vaccinations! Depending on the laws where you live, your veterinarian will let you know which vaccinations your pet absolutely MUST have. These are called "core vaccinations."

Core vaccinations usually include:

FOR DOGS
Canine parvovirus
Canine distemper
Canine hepatitis
Rabies Core Vaccinations for Dog
FOR CATS
Feline distemper (panleukopenia)
Feline calcivirus
Feline herpes virus type I (rhinotracheitis)
Rabies Core Vaccinations for Cat

Ask your veterinarian about additional vaccination options which protect your pet from serious illness. Read about the following vaccination options to determine whether your pet is at risk based on its lifestyle and where you live:

Most important additional vaccination options include:

Canine Cough (kennel cough) and Canine Influenza

Canine cough and canine influenza are two different diseases, which, for most dogs, result in similar symptoms of respiratory disease (sneezing, coughing, runny nose). In some cases, pneumonia and other serious symptoms can occur.

Canine Cough Risk Factors

Is your dog at risk?

Your dog is at higher risk if it comes into contact with other dogs. Ask yourself whether your dog:

  • Is boarded during vacation
  • Attends Doggie Daycare
  • Visits dog parks
  • Goes to puppy class or group training sessions
  • Attends dog sporting events or dog shows
  • Visits the groomer or pet store

If the answer to at least one of the above questions is "Yes," talk to your veterinarian about getting your dog vaccinated against canine cough and canine influenza.

Leptospirosis

This disease can affect both dogs and people, mostly from sharing the same environment. Leptospira bacteria, the cause of this disease, are shed in the environment by wildlife. With the urbanization of rural areas, leptospirosis is on the rise. The disease is also found in major cities where it is transmitted by rat urine. Leptospirosis is a serious disease that, untreated, can be life threatening.

Canine Cough Risk Factors

Is your dog at risk?

Your dog is at higher risk if it swims or drinks from water that could have been contaminated by the urine of wildlife or rats. Ask yourself whether you and your dog:

  • Share the backyard with wildlife (raccoons, opossums, skunks, fox, deer, etc)
  • Live near water – swamps, streams, lakes, drainage ditches, ponds, stagnant pools of water, ocean
  • Live in an area with heavy rainfall (puddles) or areas with frequent flooding
  • Live in an urban setting where garbage can attract rats
  • Live in a setting where dogs can have contact with farm animals
  • Herd livestock together

If the answer to at least one of the above questions is "Yes," talk to your veterinarian about getting your dog vaccinated against leptospirosis.

Vaccines are currently available to protect your dog from the 4 most common serovars of leptospira.

Protect Against Leptospirosis

things you can do to protect
your dog from leptospirosis

  1. Drain areas of standing water on your property.
  2. Don't let your dog swim or play in slow-moving creeks or water sources where wild animals also swim.
  3. Keep rodents (rats, mice, and other pests) under control.
  4. Be aware of changes in your dog’s health or behavior. Watch for signs of leptospirosis (fever, loss of energy or appetite, vomiting, dehydration, jaundice). If you see any of these, contact your veterinarian right away.
  5. Vaccinate your dog against leptospirosis.

Lyme disease

This bacterial infection is transmitted by deer ticks and is on the rise. With the migration of white-tailed deer that carry the ticks, Lyme disease spreads to new areas. Symptoms usually include arthritis, lameness, and fever. The Lyme organism can also lead to heart disease, central nervous system disorders, or even fatal kidney disease.

Canine Cough Risk Factors

Is your dog at risk?

Ask yourself whether you and your dog:

  • Live in or travel to one of these regions: Northeast, Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest

If you live in or travel to those "Lyme" regions, you should talk to your veterinarian about Lyme disease testing and vaccination.

In addition to vaccinating your dog, you should also consider getting your dog an oral tick control product, spot-on tick control product, or tick collar.

Find out more about the disease risks in your area.

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

This is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats. FeLV weakens a cat’s immune system so it is more likely to get other infections, and it can cause cancer or various blood disorders. FeLV is carried in saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces, or blood of infected cats. Some common means of infection include:

  • Mutual grooming
  • Shared food or water dishes
  • Bite wounds, or fighting with other cats
  • Kittens can also get FeLV from an infected mother

Coughing and sneezing by infected cats, or even contaminated hands, clothing, and surfaces could infect your pet.

Feline Leukemia Risk Factors

Is your cat at risk?
Your cat is at higher risk if:

  • It is still a kitten
  • It goes outdoors, even just once in a while
  • It is exposed to new cats, or has close contact with other cats
  • It is boarded or groomed
  • It visits cat shows
  • Your household has multiple cats

Talk to your veterinarian about FeLV testing and vaccination if one or more of the above conditions applies to your cat.

Bacterial upper respiratory infections

Bordetella and Chlamydia are highly infectious bacteria that can cause respiratory symptoms and/or runny eyes in cats. If left untreated, serious symptoms such as pneumonia might occur. Coughing and sneezing by infected cats, or even hands, clothing, and surfaces contaminated by bordetella and/or chlamydia can infect your pet.

Feline Leukemia Risk Factors

Is your cat at risk?
Your cat is at higher risk if:

  • Spends time at a boarding facility
  • Comes into contact with other cats that might have been infected elsewhere (farm, shelter, pet shop, multi-cat household)
  • Lives in a multi-cat household, or is frequently introduced to new cats
  • Experiences a lot of stress

Ask your veterinarian about vaccinations against feline upper respiratory infections if one or more of the above conditions applies to your cat(s).

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