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Veterinary Vaccinations Protect Your Pet and The Whole Family
When vaccines are utilized properly, they can be an integral part of keeping our pets healthy and free from certain contagious, life threatening diseases. The most important part of any hospital’s vaccination protocol should not only be to protect the health of your pet long term, but also to provide for your pet's safety in administering the vaccinations that are recommended. Animal Hospital of Treasure Island only recommends the safest and therefore, highest quality vaccines currently available to the veterinary profession. While these vaccines cost more for the hospital to carry, we always put the well-being of your pet first.
Which Vaccines and How Often?
1) Rabies Vaccine - The rabies vaccines is required by law and each pet is required to be registered with a license for the county in which they live. A puppy can receive the vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age. The initial vaccination is good for one year. Each subsequent booster is administered every three years. Rabies is a fatal neurologic disease that can be transmitted to pets through the saliva of a bite from an infected animal. It is important to keep your pet up-to-date on Rabies vaccinations because people can become infected from the bite of an infected animal.
2) DA2PP - Although this vaccine is commonly referred to as the Distemper vaccine. it actually protects against more than one disease. A puppy can begin receiving the vaccine around 8 weeks of age. The puppy must then receive a booster every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. After the initial series of puppy shots, the vaccine is boostered in one year. Like the Rabies vaccine, the Distemper vaccine has been shown to provide protection for a number of years, so subsequent boosters can be administered every three years.
Lets break down the Distemper vaccine. The 'D' in DA2PP is for Distemper, a viral disease that can affect both young and old dogs. The 'A' is for Adenovirus, which is also known as Canine Infectious Hepatitis. The first 'P' stands for Parainfluenza, a highly contagious viral disease characterized by coughing, nasal discharge, fever, and lethargy. The last 'P' is for Parvovirus that causes severe diarrhea (and vomiting) usually in young dogs. It is spread through feces of infected animals and can be fatal. All of these contagious diseases are canine diseases and are not spread to people.
3) Bordatella - This vaccine is often inappropriately called the Kennel Cough Vaccine. In fact, the Bordatella Vaccine helps to protect against Bordatella bronchiseptica, which is one of a number of infectious agents that make up the disease known as "kennel cough complex". We recommend this vaccine be given as a puppy and then given every 6-12 months depending on the pet's lifestyle. Any pet that regularly is groomed, boarded, or goes to the dog park should get this vaccine.
4) Leptospirosis - Do your dogs go outside? If they do, they may be at risk for Leptospirosis. This is a zoonotic disease (can be transmitted to humans) caused by a bacteria. Leptospirosis can lead to liver and kidney failure. We used to think that only outdoor or working dogs in rural areas were at high-risk. The fact is that may dogs diagnosed with Leptospirosis are medium to small dogs that are mostly indoors. This vaccine is not considered a 'core' vaccine at this point, but it is STRONGLY recommended for this area.
1) Rabies - As with their canine counterpart, our feline friends should receive their first Rabies vaccine as a kitten between 14 and 16 weeks of age. The initial vaccine is good for one year, then each subsequent vaccine can be administered every one to three years.
2) FVRCP - This is often referred to as the feline distemper vaccine. It is also a vaccines that protects against multiple diseases. Kittens start this series of vaccines around 8 weeks old and receives a booster every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. This vaccine should be boostered annually.
'FVR' stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (which is caused by Herpesvirus). You may see sneezing with nasal discharge or ulcerations on the eye. 'C' is for Calcivirus which causes a disease, mostly in kittens, which can include fever, ulcerations in the mouth, and limping. 'P' stands for Panleukopenia which is a type of Parvovirus that attacks the bone marrow, gastrointestinal system, and lymph system.
3) FeLV - This vaccine protects against the Feline Leukemia Virus. A cat will receive an initial series as a kitten, then boostered yearly thereafter. The kitten is tested before starting the series to ensure that there is not an active Feline Leukemia Virus infection. This is an infection that is transmitted from cat to cat typically through bite wounds. An infection with this virus can have serious health implications as it can cause severe immune and bone marrow suppression and lead to cancers like Lymphoma. ANY cat that goes outdoors or even an indoor cat that has contact with outdoor cats should be considered at risk and be vaccinated.
Here at the Animal Hospital of Treasure Island we are trying to make our vaccination protocols as safe as possible and reduce risk of any potential side effects.
An adjuvant is a chemical, microbial constituent, or mammalian protein added to an inactivated viral or bacterial vaccine to enhance the immune response to a selected antigen i.e. make the vaccine more effective. The adjuvant may provoke tumor formation in genetically predisposed cats. The Animal Hospital of Treasure Island uses non-adjuvanted vaccines.
For more information please talk to our veterinarians and visit Vital Vaccinations: Feline Injection-Site Sarcomas or the AVMA