Vital Treatments for Your Pets
Just like humans, our pets can be affected by infectious diseases, some of which can be transferred to humans. As responsible pet owners who want to keep your animals safe and healthy, we highly recommend that you vaccinate them in line with current guidelines. Ultimately, vaccinations are key to keeping your pet safe and healthy and they are an important part of annual wellness exams.
Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens receive initial protection against infectious diseases from their mother’s milk as long as she has been regularly vaccinated. However, this protection only lasts for a few weeks, and your new addition will need to be vaccinated from an early age. Many puppies or kittens will go to their new homes having already received their first vaccinations but check with their former owner first. If they have not yet been vaccinated, we recommend getting their first vaccinations done as soon as possible.
As a guideline:
- Puppies should be vaccinated at 8 and then 10 weeks
- Kittens should be vaccinated at 9 and then 12 weeks
- Booster injections should be given 12 months from the initial vaccinations and annually thereafter
As required by state law, puppies and kittens will be given a Rabies vaccination between 4 to 6 months of age. A Rabies booster injection will then be given 12 months from the initial vaccination, and annually thereafter for cats and every 3 years for dogs.
If your dog is going to be spending time in kennels, dog parks, or the groomers, we recommend that they also be vaccinated against kennel cough.
Your canine friend should be routinely vaccinated against the following:
- Rabies – Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected animal. There is no treatment once the clinical signs of rabies appear. Once symptoms appear, it is nearly always fatal.
- Leptospirosis – A bacteria-based disease usually spread by infected water. It causes fever, lethargy, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and jaundice in your pet. Severe infections can cause organ failure and death. It can be treated by antibiotics, but the bacteria can be carried for months afterwards and their urine will remain a health hazard to both other animals and humans. Leptospirosis in humans can be fatal.
- Canine distemper virus – Spread by bodily fluid contact, there is no specific treatment for this virus. Those who survive commonly have neurological difficulties later in life. Symptoms include fever, coughing, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Canine parvovirus – Spread by contact with feces from infected dogs, it mainly affects puppies, but can also be seen in dogs that have not had regular booster vaccinations. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea and dehydration. Without treatment, 80% of dogs with parvovirus will die. Treatment has an approximately 85% success rate.
- Infectious canine hepatitis – Infection is passed via bodily fluid contamination, and the virus can survive in the environment for prolonged periods. There are two types of the virus, a kennel cough-type infection and a liver infection (hepatitis). Symptoms are almost identical to parvovirus. The symptoms can be treated rather than the main disease, but most dogs will survive.
Your feline friend should be routinely vaccinated against the following:
- Rabies – Same with dogs, rabies is just as harmful to cats and once symptoms appear, it can be fatal.
- Feline calicivirus – Commonly called ‘cat flu’ as its symptoms include sneezing, fever, discharge from the nose and eyes, and mouth ulcers. Spreads via cat-to-cat contact, airborne contact, or contamination of the living environment. Vaccination prevents some strains but not all.
- Feline herpes virus – Spread by the saliva or discharge from the nose and eyes in infected cats, it can also survive in its environment. Like feline calicivirus, it is a type of ‘cat flu’ and symptoms include fever, sneezing, conjunctivitis, and discharge from the eyes. Once a cat has had feline herpes, it is infected for life and may suffer recurrent flare-ups that are treated with antibiotics and eye drops.
- Feline infectious enteritis – Spread by the feces and urine of infected cats, this virus attacks their immune system, leaving the animal unable to fight infection. Pregnant cats can transmit the disease to their kittens while they are in the womb. Symptoms include fever, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
- Cats dubbed ‘at risk’ should also be vaccinated against feline leukemia virus – This disease is thought to spread only by very close contact to infected cats, such as milk from mother to kitten or bite wounds. It is much more common in city areas, and among un-neutered and stray cats. Multi-cat households also present a higher risk. The symptoms include poor body condition and coat, anorexia, diarrhea, and jaundice.
Call us today to schedule an appointment at (503) 246-3373 to keep your pets safe, happy, and healthy.
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