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Vaccinating your pets prevents many hard-to-treat diseases. For example, if your pet contracts rabies, there is simply no cure. Distemper can cause irreversible brain damage and parvo is usually fatal. Fortunately, our clinic offers pet vaccinations to protect your dog and cat from these diseases. 
                                                                       
                                                                     Dog Vaccines
                             The first 4 core vaccines listed are combined into one vaccine:

 

  •  Canine distemper is an extremely contagious viral disease. This disease is closes related to the virus that causes measles. Canine distemper spreads through the airs and attacks the tonsils and lymph nodes. The virus replicates in the body and attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, urogenital and nervous systems. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for canine distemper; however, some dogs are able to recover fully after receiving treatment for symptoms and constant care. After a dog has fully recovered, he/she will no longer carry or spread the disease.

  • Canine parvovirus (parvo) is extremely contagious and is contracted through the feces of an infected dog. Unfortunately, parvo often kills young puppies with poorly developed immune systems. Around 91% of untreated parvo cases result in death. The parvo vaccine is the only way to prevent a dog from contracting this virus.

  • Canine adenovirus type 1 causes canine hepatitis. Dogs who suffer from this virus experience swelling and cell damage in the liver, which can result in hemorrhage and death. This virus can be contracted through feces and urine of infected dogs.  The canine adenovirus type 2 is a relative of the hepatitis virus and is one of the causes of kennel cough. Once your dog receives the vaccine for this virus, the severity of it is limited so the chance of death is unlikely.

  • Parainfluenza, or canine influenza is highly contagious. Symptoms include: dry cough, fever, wheezing, difficulty breathing, runny nose, sneezing, pneumonia, reduced appetite, lethargy, eye inflammation, runny eyes and conjunctivitis.  Infection with this virus is serious, with a death rate approaching 50% in untreated dogs. The virus attacks the respiratory, digestive, and brain/nervous systems of dogs.

  • Rabies is a 100% fatal disease of mammals.  Since the rabies virus can be passed between animals and humans, the vaccine is required by law in all of Pennsylvania State. Vaccination is the only treatment available to prevent rabies which can be passed between wild animals to domesticated animals to humans. If your pet is unvaccinated and bites a human, your pet will be subject to quarantine or be euthanized, in order to obtain a brain tissue examination.

Owners are subject to a $300 fine in Pennsylvania for pets that are not vaccinated for Rabies.

Non-core vaccinations, listed below, are usually given to dogs that are routinely boarded or groomed, go to dog parks, or come in contact with wildlife or other dogs.

  • Lyme disease is spread through a tick bite. Symptoms don’t always appear for all dogs with Lyme disease although some will show swollen lymph nodes or lameness. If your dog does display symptoms of Lyme disease be sure to check her over for any ticks that may still be present. Untreated Lyme disease can cause extreme inflammation in your dog’s nervous system, heart and kidneys and potentially lead to death.  Currently, Pennsylvania has the highest amount of canine Lyme disease cases in the entire country.  Therefore, the Lyme vaccine is highly recommended. 

  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the pathogen Leptospira. Leptospirosis can affect canines and humans and can result in death in some cases. Dogs become infected with Leptospires (an organism that thrives in water) by consuming urine contaminated water or contact with infected urine. Leptospires use a dog’s kidneys to breed and continue living out their life cycle.  About 10% of Leptospirosis cases result in death from secondary complications.  

  • Bordatella, or kennel cough, is caused by bacteria and is spread through airborne contaminants. Bordatella is spread through exposure to infected dogs or the transfer of bacteria in food bowls, cages and water bowls. As bacteria multiplies it destroys the lining of the dog’s trachea, which results in a high pitch cough. Dogs may also gag and wretch as they cough.

 

                                                                                          Cat Vaccines

                           The first 3 core vaccines listed are combined into one vaccine:

  • Feline Rhinotracheitis virus is a viral infectious respiratory disease caused by feline herpesvirus type 1.
This virus is an extremely common cause of respiratory disease and often results in chronic, often life-long, infection with intermittent recurrences causing respiratory and sometimes eye disease.
It is spread easily through airborne respiratory secretions and direct contact with a carrier cat or contaminated objects. Unvaccinated cats are most susceptible as well as the very young and the very old.
  • Calicivirus is a common viral infectious respiratory disease that can also cause mouth sores resulting
     in severe oral pain. It is spread by direct contact with an infected cat or by contact with contaminated objects. The virus is very resistant to disinfectants and persists in the environment. Unvaccinated and inadequately vaccinated cats of all ages are at risk.

  • Panleukopenia is a severe, highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease of the gastointestinal tract, the  immune system and the nervous system. The disease is named for the characteristic severe decrease in white blood cells, the body’s defense against disease. The virus is very persistent in the environment. This virus spreads by direct contact with infected cats or by contact with viral particles in the environment. Unvaccinated and inadequately vaccinated cats of all ages are at risk.

Non-core vaccines, listed below are usually given to cats that go outdoors and are a higher risk of contracting these diseases.

  • Feline Leukemia Virus is a disease in cats that can cause anemia and lymphoma, among other illnesses. The virus can also suppress the cat's immune system affecting their ability to fight off bacteria.

FeLV positive cats may live many years in a healthy state. A little more than half of the cats that test positive for the virus develop antibodies and are able to fight it off. A little less than half of the adult cats that test positive for FeLV will succumb to the disease.  FeLV is commonly transmitted through saliva. Therefore mutual grooming, nose-to-nose contact, and shared food and water bowls can be sources of infection. It takes large amounts of virus to infect an adult cat, so usually prolonged contact or a bite is necessary for transmission. Vaccinating against FeLV helps to control the spread of the virus.

FeLV cats should be kept indoors, both to protect them from exposure to disease, and also to prevent them from spreading FeLV to other cats. Though it’s considered a non-core vaccine, this vaccine is highly recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners for all kittens.  Cats that might have any direct contact whatsoever with outside cats (even just sharing food or water bowls or the occasional escape) should be vaccinated annually against feline leukemia. We recommend that every cat be vaccinated at least once in its lifetime for FeLV, even if they are an indoor cat in a single-cat household. Indoor cats can escape or have direct contact with outdoor cats through window screens.

 

  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a slow virus that affects a cat's immune system over a period of years. FIV is a cat-only disease that cannot be spread to humans or other animals. FIV cats most often live long, healthy and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.

The disease has a wide range of effects. The cat can fight off the infection and become totally immune, can become a healthy carrier that never gets sick itself, or a mid-level case in which the cat has a compromised immune system.

FIV is not easily passed between cats. It cannot be spread casually – like in litter boxes, food and water bowls or when snuggling and playing. The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, in-utero from mother to offspring or penetrating bite wounds (typically associated with unneutered tom cats). A neutered cat in a home is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.

FIV-positive cats should be kept as healthy as possible feeding them a high quality diet. As with all cats, they should be kept indoors and free from stress. Treat any secondary problem, such as an upper respiratory infection, as soon as they arise.

 

It is important to remember that vaccination is a medical procedure and you should follow our instructions on how to monitor your pet for signs of a reaction. Although rare, they can occur.