Dogs and cats often become infected with certain diseases that can be easily prevented. That is why it is important for them to receive their complete puppy/kitten vaccination series and then continue to receive yearly boosters of those vaccinations throughout their adult life. Our standard annual vaccine protocol for adult dogs includes Rabies, DAP+4L and Bordetella. Adult cats should receive Rabies, FeLV and FVRCP.
The vaccination protocol for puppies and kittens is outlined below.
8 weeks: DAP (Distemper-Adenovirus-Parvovirus)
12 weeks: DAP+4L (Distemper-Adenovirus-Parvovirus and Leptospirosis) and Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
16 weeks: DAP+4L booster and Rabies
8 weeks: FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis-Calicivirus-Panleukopenia)
12 weeks: FVRCP + FeLV (Feline Leukemia)
16 weeks: FVRCP + FeLV booster and Rabies
Rabies is a virus that is spread through the saliva of infected animals. Dogs and cats can contract it through bite wounds or when saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with an open cut or mucous membranes. The most common symptom of infection include neurologic signs, such as behavior changes, disorientation or inability to walk. Foaming at the mouth sometimes occurs if the virus causes paralysis of the jaw and throat muscles.
Canine parvovirus is very contagious and primarily affects unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated puppies or young adult dogs. It is transmitted when an unvaccinated dog comes into contact with the feces (stool) of an infected dog. Parvo can even be carried on shoes and clothing and can survive for several months in contaminated soil. The symptoms of parvo include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea with or without blood, loss of appetite, and dehydration.
Canine distemper is a virus that is spread through the air when an infected dog coughs or sneezes. It can attack the respiratory, gastrointestinal or nervous system. The symptoms of distemper can include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and thick yellow discharge from the eyes or nose.
Canine adenovirus is also known as infectious canine hepatitis. It is spread directly through infected respiratory discharge or by contact with contaminated urine or feces. The symptoms of adenovirus can include lethargy, a dry cough, hacking, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a very contagious respiratory disease that is usually spread through the air. It is most commonly contracted at boarding facilities and causes inflammation of the trachea. The most common symptom of Bordetella is a loud, honking cough, but dogs can also experience gagging and nasal discharge. Severe infections can lead to pneumonia.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is spread through urine of livestock, wild animals and rodents. Some of the common animals that can spread leptospirosis include skunks, opossum, raccoons and mice. Dogs can contract it through contact with contaminated water or soil. The symptoms are flu-like such as vomiting and diarrhea and it can cause liver and kidney failure. Every dog is at risk of becoming infected with leptospirosis, even dogs that are indoors most of the time.
Feline leukemia is a disease that is spread through close social contact between cats. Saliva is the main mode of transmission, but the virus can also be spread through blood, urine, stool, nasal discharge and mother's milk. It cannot be transmitted to people or other animals and it only lives a few hours outside the cat's body. The symptoms can include lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite/weight loss, pale gums, and many more. Cats infected with leukemia can spread it to other cats, so cats with the disease should not be allowed to roam outside.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpesvirus)
Feline viral rhinotracheitis is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the nose and trachea. It is spread through direct contact with contaminated discharge from the eyes and nose of an infected cat. The disease can also be spread through contact with contaminated objects. Signs of the disease include sneezing and discharge from the eyes and nose. Many cats infected with herpesvirus are lifelong carriers of the virus and can experience flare-ups throughout their lives, especially after stressful situations.
Calicivirus causes upper respiratory infections. It is transmitted through direct contact with infected discharge from the eyes and nose of an infected cat. Anything that a cat sneezes on will contain the virus for several days after the initial contamination. The symptoms of Calicivirus include sneezing, ocular and nasal discharge, pneumonia, or sores in the mouth.
Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious infection that is very similar to parvovirus in dogs. It is transmitted directly and can affect the gastrointestinal, immune, and nervous systems. The symptoms of panleukopenia can include lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea and loss of appetite.