Vaccinations are the number one way you can protect your beloved pet from serious infectious diseases. Not every pet requires the same series or frequency of vaccines, and it is important to discuss an appropriate vaccine protocol for your pet based on his or her breed, age, lifestyle and recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association.
Your pet's vaccine schedule will be balanced to provide needed protection while not over-vaccinating. Please contact us for more information about our customized vaccination protocols and why they are best for your pet.
Here are the vaccinations generally recommended with a brief description of the diseases they protect your pet from:
Rabies - Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely. Due to the human health risk, Louisiana (and most states) require this vaccination by law.
Distemper - A serious and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through airborne exposure (sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death.
There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures and more. If the animal survives the symptoms it is hoped that the dog's immune system will have a chance to fight it off. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months.
Hepatitis - Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
Parainfluenza - A highly contagious respiratory virus that is one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough.
Parvovirus - A highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies less than four months of age are at the most risk. The virus affects the gastrointestinal system and results in loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-to-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.
Corona Virus - This is a virus that usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but there is no drug that kills coronaviruses.
Leptospirosis - Unlike most diseases on this list, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better.
Lyme Disease - Lyme disease (or borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. Transmitted via ticks, an infected dog often starts limping, his lymph nodes swell, his temperature rises, and he stops eating. The disease can affect his heart, kidney, and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated. If diagnosed quickly, a course of antibiotics is extremely helpful, though relapses can occur months or even years later. Lyme disease is not common in our area however, if you travel with your dog, it is important to protect them.
Leukemia Virus (FeLV) - The leading viral killer of cats. The virus is spread in the saliva and nasal secretions of infected cats; infection is transmitted through prolonged contact with infected cats, bite wounds, and from an infected mother cat to her kittens. Disease caused by FeLV is very serious, and it is estimated that fewer than 20 percent of infected cats will survive more than three years after being infected. Anemia (a deficiency of oxygen-carrying red blood cells), cancer, and secondary infections resulting from immune deficiency are the most common consequences of infection.
Rhinotracheitis - 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.
Calicivirus - A common viral infectious respiratory disease, can also cause mouth sores resulting in severe oral pain. 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.
Panluekopenia - A severe, highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease of the gastrointestinal 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.