Coming into warmer weather, we have a lot more people inquiring about vaccines: new pet owners, pet owners looking to get their babies up to date, and pet owners inquiring about vaccines that they do not yet know much about!
I wanted to give a little rundown for you all of the different types of vaccines offered, and which are "core" vaccines, vs. "lifestyle" vaccines.
Please leave a comment here, on our facebook page, or send us a message with any questions or comments you may have!
Dogs: Core Vaccines
First I will go into the "core" vaccines, which are Rabies and DA2PPV (often referred to as "Distemper" or "Distemper Parvo". These are the two core vaccines for dogs. Core vaccines are vaccinations which every dog should have, barring any health issues related to either vaccination. It is a provincial bylaw for dogs to be vaccinated for Rabies, and in order to licence your dog in Saint John, they are required to be up to date on their Distemper/Parvo, unless they have a written note from a veterinarian.
This is a fatal viral disease that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including cats, dogs and humans. It affects the central nervous system, and often first reveals itself through significant changes in an animal's behaviour, including sudden restlessness, aggression and fear.
Recommended for ALL DOGS.
DA2PPV (Distemper, Adenovirus type 1 and 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus):
- Distemper: Canine distemper is a systemic, very contagious, potentially fatal viral disease. It causes fever, runny nose, cough, and vomiting, progressing to twitching muscles or seizures. Can be carried by wild animals such as foxes, skunks, and racoons.
- Adenovirus 1 & 2: Canine Adenovirus Type 1 (CAV-1) is responsible for the development of canine hepatitis, a contagious, potentially fatal disease that affects the liver and other body organs; CAV-2 causes canine infectious laryngotracheitis. Young dogs, less than one year of age, are particularly susceptible. Symptoms of CAV-1 infection include fever, anorexia, lethargy, “hepatitis blue eye”, vomiting, diarrhea and possibly neurological disorders.
Canine Parainfluenza: causes contagious respiratory disease and is involved in opportunistic canine infections. Together with several other viruses and bacteria, CPiV is one component of infectious canine tracheobronchitis, also known as “kennel cough”. The main clinical sign is a dry, hacking cough.
Parvovirus: Parvoviral enteritis is an acute, potentially fatal disease of the immune system and gastrointestinal tract primarily, but the virus can cause further multisystemic disease. Although dogs of all ages are susceptible, puppies are more at risk. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever and dehydration. Since these symptoms can indicate other diseases as well, the veterinarian will confirm a diagnosis of parvoviral infection by doing a thorough work-up including diagnostic blood work.
DA2PPV is recommended for ALL DOGS
Dogs: Lifestyle Vaccines
Now we will go a little bit into the "lifestyle" vaccines, meaning vaccinations that are more applicable to dogs with certain lifestyles! More and more these are getting closer to needing to be considered "core" due to the prevalence of these pathogens, and the very active and outdoorsy lifestyles many of our furry family members are leading!
Bordetella: also known as “kennel cough”. Most commonly caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica. This vaccination can be very important for puppies, especially if they are going to be interacting with other dogs. It is good for older dogs who have had/shown symptoms of Kennel Cough, or dogs who are commonly being kennelled, or visiting dog parks.
Lyme disease: also known as Borreliosis, is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, and is transmitted by the black-legged tick (deer tick). The disease can affect both animals and humans. Symptoms include fever, which may become chronic, along with other signs such as loss of appetite, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes. Abnormal neurological, cardiac, kidney, and reproductive symptoms can also occur. This vaccination would be a good idea for dogs who are commonly in long grass, wooded areas, or anywhere they may pick up ticks. If deer are plentiful in your area, we highly recommend having your dog on a veterinary grade flea and tick medication, and having them up to date on their lyme disease vaccination for safety.
Leptospirosis: a contagious bacterial infection caused by organisms that can survive in stagnant surface water for extended periods. Animals and humans can become infected by ingesting contaminated feed or water. Symptoms include weakness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy and mild conjunctivitis in the early stage. Later stages of the disease are characterized by laboured breathing, increased thirst and urination, back pain, reluctance to move andA commonly encountered bacterial pathogen in the disease complex that often leads to clinical signs of respiratory disease in dogs. Jaundice, kidney and liver failure are the often fatal consequences of this disease. This vaccine is for your puddle-drinking dogs. Lepto is easy to prevent but very hard and extensive to treat. It is much easier to have your pup protected, then it is to treat them if they get it!
Cats: Core Vaccines:
First we will again go into the "core" vaccines, which are Rabies and FVRCP (often referred to as "Distemper" or "Distemper Parvo". Core vaccines are vaccinations which every cat should have, barring any health issues related to either vaccination. It is a provincial bylaw for companion animals to be vaccinated for Rabies. FVRCP is highly recommended due to how susceptible cats are to upper respiratory diseases.
Rabies: This is a fatal viral disease that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including cats, dogs and humans. It affects the central nervous system, and often first reveals itself through significant changes in an animal's behaviour, including sudden restlessness, aggression and fear. Spread by the bite of wild animals.
Recommended for ALL CATS.
FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis- Calicivirus- Panleukopenia):
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis: a syndrome characterized by sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, and coughing.
Feline Calicivirus: infection typically presents with a runny nose and moderate sneezing, but the presence of other viruses and bacteria can increase its severity. Painful oral lesions are also a common symptom seen with calicivirus infection. This very contagious, dangerous disease primarily affects the gastrointestinal system, causing fever, loss of appetite, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, hypothermia, and, even death.
Feline Panleukopenia: caused by parvovirus, affects cats and kittens, though mortality is higher in younger cats. Cats become infected when they ingest the contaminated feces of an infected cat, either directly or indirectly.
Recommended for ALL CATS (even indoor cats)
Cats: Lifestyle Vaccine
FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus): This virus is one of the most important causes of illness and death among cats, and is especially dangerous to young cats. It can cause cancer (lymphoma and leukemia) in infected cats, and contributes to other infectious diseases by suppressing the immune system and infecting the bone marrow. This vaccine is recommended for any cats that go outside, or may come in contact with outdoor cats, as it is spread through bodily fluids, including saliva. In our area, we are seeing quite an increase in this disease. It is highly recommended to have any cats who go outdoor to be vaccinated for this!
There you have it folks! A little rundown on vaccination, which will hopefully answer any questions you may have :) But if you have any more questions, never hesitate to send us a message or give us a call!