Hello everyone, it’s that time again!! In this post we wanted to get the message out about vaccinations. Just like with our health and social wellbeing, it is so important that our animals are responsibly immunized for their own benefit. Whether it is for Distemper-Parvo, State and County requirements, or a particular vaccine that may be needed based on your pet's risk of infection, our Veterinarians wants you to be aware of some general info that could save your pets life.

If you have called or come into our clinic regarding a surgery appointment you know that we inevitably ask, “Is your animal up-to-date on all their shots, specifically their dhpp?” Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2- Parainfluenza- Parvovirus (DA2PP) affects dogs regardless of region, age, breed, and environment. It is a terribly contagious virus that presents flu like symptoms in the animal. Lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, high grade fever, and dehydration show up 24 to 48 hours after the animal becomes infected, though some cases have shown the viral incubation period can be a week or more. When an animal has begun to show symptoms a general course of action is to treat those symptoms and maintain until the virus has run its course. Treatment, at this point, is expensive and time consuming without a guarantee of survival. Untreated, the disease will almost certainly lead to the death of the animal. For our vets to perform procedures and keep the animal for observation in our clinic the medical director’s protocol says the animal must complete a booster series of 4 shots. Each 4 weeks apart. After bolstering your animal, the vaccine is renewed yearly. Though our protocol may seem inconvenient we must be vigilant and careful with the disease. Veterinary clinics, like human hospitals, can become an inviting place for disease. This disease is highly contagious and can linger up to a year without proper cleaning and disinfection. At Pet Doctor you can be sure that we take extremely conservative measures to ensure the safety of animals in our care. In conjunction with the vaccination protocol, our support staff continuously cleans every surface an animal may encounter throughout the course of business hours. Do yourself and your pet a favor, have them inoculated against this disease. It is so much easier on you and your pet if you come see us for a $12.00 DHPP vaccine instead of treating for the disease!

Pima County requires you to license your animal and one of the requirements to meet licensing guidelines is to have the animal vaccinated against rabies. The rabies vaccine is a perfect example of the beneficial effects that mass vaccinations can have on a population. Over the years, rabies has become a very rare disease in domestic animals. However, a case of the disease was just reported north of Phoenix in Sycamore Creek, so be vigilant! Despite this rare case, it is through efforts by the State and Veterinarians that animals stay protected against the disease. It is of utmost importance that we carry on the practice. Another vaccine that you will run into is the Bordetella vaccine, which is generally required if you are planning to have an animal boarded for any period of time. The Bordetella vaccine protects against what is essentially the canine cold. Coughing attacks and sniffling nose are symptoms of this virus and though in itself is relatively benign it can lead to pneumonia or worse respiratory illnesses.

We’ve focused on canine vaccinations so far but our feline companions also must be vaccinated. The standard shot protocol for cats at 8 weeks is administering the rabies vaccine and combo shot of Feline Leukemia and upper respiratory disease. Feline Leukemia (FeLV) has an 85% morbidity rate in otherwise healthy adult cats that are left untreated. The disease is transmitted by saliva or blood transmission between cats; note that the disease cannot be transmitted to dogs or humans. Symptoms can range from lethargy, pale gums, and diarrhea to seizures and secondary infections.

We hope you find these posts informative, they are meant to be a snapshot of the information our doctors want to convey. Preventative medicine is the best way to ensure your animals are as healthy as they can be. If you have further questions come in and talk to one of our veterinarians!