National Immunization Month

Vaccines not only protect your pet from potentially deadly illnesses, they also protect your family. Some diseases such as rabies and leptospirosis, are zoonotic—which means they can be passed to humans.

While there are many different types of vaccines, they all work by preparing your pet’s body to defend itself against a virus or bacteria that causes disease. They do this by imitating an infection, causing the body to produce disease-fighting antibodies. Once the imitation infection goes away, your pet’s body will remember how to fight that disease in the future. Some of the more important vaccinations for pets include:

DA2PP—Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus
Canine distemper is a highly contagious illness that resembles measles for humans, while adenovirus-2 and parainfluenza are related to kennel cough. Parvovirus has a high mortality rate and can survive in an infected area for up to a year.

Prevention of this deadly disease is not only extremely important for dogs and cats, it is a legal requirement—and for good reason. With a 99.95% mortality rate, it remains one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

Canine Influenza
CIV is a contagious disease with symptoms that are similar to the human flu including cough, runny nose and fever. The most common clinical sign of canine influenza is a cough that is unresponsive to antibiotics or cough suppressant therapy and lasts for 10–21 days.

If you have a dog that loves to go on adventures, or even one that spends a lot of time outdoors in a yard where there’s wildlife, then a leptospirosis vaccination is important. This disease is transmitted through direct contact with contaminated urine, water or soil and can make your pet and family very sick.

This is another vaccination you should seriously consider—and may be required—if your dog is a social butterfly. Bordetella causes inflammation of the upper respiratory system which leads to coughing and illness, ultimately exposing your pet to secondary infections.

FIV—Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
FIV is most commonly transmitted through wounds accrued from biting and fighting. There is no cure for FIV, so the best way to avoid it for your cat is by proper prevention.

FeLV—Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline leukemia virus is commonly transmitted when cats groom each other or share a water bowl. The disease can target your cat’s white blood cells, making your feline more vulnerable to serious illness.

Want to know more? Click on the name of the vaccine and get detailed information from the pet resources section of the Garden Oaks website. To update your pet’s vaccinations, make an appointment online or contact us.