Some diseases can be fatal to dogs, and some can be transmitted to humans. Fortunately we have the ability to prevent many of these diseases by using very effective vaccines. In order to be effective, some vaccines need to be given as a series.
We offer and recommend the following vaccines for dogs: Distemper, Rabies, Leptospirosis (often called Lepto), Bordetella (Kennel Cough), Lyme, and Influenza (or Flu). The Distemper vaccine actually includes and will help protect your dog from four diseases: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.
The routine Distemper schedule for puppies is 6-8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks. Rabies vaccines are given at 12 to 16 weeks of age. Bordetella vaccines can be given as early as 8 weeks of age, and will be necessary if your dog is going to be around any other dogs. Boarding and grooming facilities, as well as daycare and training centers will almost always require this vaccine in addition to Rabies and Distemper. The remaining vaccines will be given on a schedule determined by one of our veterinarians. Your puppy’s vaccine schedule may vary somewhat depending on several factors, including breed, age, etc. If you have a puppy or a dog that has never had the Leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines, they will need to be given in a series of two injections. After the initial series, the vaccines will only need to be given annually; however, Rabies and Distemper vaccines only need to be given every three years.
The majority of people we speak with seem to be familiar with most of the vaccinations that we recommend, but many ask us about Leptospirosis. This potentially deadly, bacterial disease can be found in most animals, including livestock and wildlife. The bacteria are passed via the urine into water sources, where they reside. Your dog can become infected with Leptospirosis by drinking, swimming in, or walking through contaminated water. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through a cut in the skin or through mucous membranes. Most importantly, Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans.
The following vaccines are available and recommended for cats: Distemper (Panleukopenia), Leukemia, and Rabies. The Distemper series is ideally given at about 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. Upon completion of the initial series, Distemper vaccine is good for one year. Then it may be administered every three years thereafter. Rabies and Leukemia will need to be administered annually for felines.
For more information on vaccines, please ask one of our friendly staff members or stop in and pick up a brochure. We are here for you and your pets!