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Vaccination Information

Vaccines stimulate antibody production and provide an immunity for many infectious diseases.  There are various vaccines available for pets, however, depending on health, age, and environment, not all vaccines may be appropriate for all pets. Most of the diseases that are listed below are uncommon due to strict vaccination protocols to prevent transmission and to protect the health of our pets. However, vaccinating our pets is necessary to keep them healthy, happy, and in most cases, is required by law.

Canine Vaccines 

Rabies - Rabies is a fatal virus that attacks the nervous system. It is zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Rabies is typically contracted from the bite of an infected animal, however, it can also be transmitted when the saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with the eyes, mouth, nose, or an open wound. Symptoms include aggression, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, paralysis and seizures. Once symptoms become apparent, the disease is almost always fatal.

Distemper - Canine distemper is a contagious disease that attacks the respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems of dogs. The virus is often found in wildlife and is most commonly spread through airborne exposure, however, it can also be transmitted through shared food or water bowls. Distemper is often fatal in dogs, but canines that do survive typically have permanent nervous system damage.

Hepatitis - Hepatitis is an infectious disease of the liver that is uncommon in the U.S. due to vaccination protocols. Outbreaks within wildlife populations continue the need for pets to be vaccinated. Symptoms include coagulation disorders, depression, decreased white blood cell count, and fever. It is spread through the ingestion of urine, feces, or saliva or an infected animal. Dogs that have been in infected with hepatitis can shed the disease for up to six months after treatment.

Parvovirus - Symptoms of parvovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite. It is transmitted by direct contact with an infected dog or from feces of an infected dog. The virus is resilient and can survive for long periods of time in various environments (hot, cold, dry, wet). Parvovirus is extremely contagious and most deaths occur within 48 to 72 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Parainfluenza - Sometimes confused with canine influenza (CI), parainfluenza is also a respiratory virus, but is unrelated to CI.  Parainfluenza is highly contagious and symptoms include fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, coughing, and decreased appetite.

Bordetella - Often known as “kennel cough,” the bordetella vaccine is often required in daycare, dog parks, and boarding facilities or where canines are in contact with other canines. Bordetella caused by a bacteria that leads to respiratory inflammation. Symptoms include coughing, lethargy, sneezing, decreased appetite, and fever. The vaccine is given either orally or intranasally (into the nose) and in our area, needs to be boostered every 6 months.

Leptospirosis - Leptospirosis is a disease found worldwide that causes kidney and liver disease in canines and wild animals. The disease causing bacteria lives in both water and soil. This disease is also zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Most commonly in our area, canines are exposed to leptospira from drinking from bodies of water (ponds, rivers, lakes, and even puddles). The disease originates from the urine of wild animals affected by the disease and it is spread further by rainfall.

Canine Influenza (CI) - Currently, there are two strains of canine influenza known within the U.S.: H3N2 and H3N8. Similarly with human strains, CI is able to mutate and create new strains. CI is typically transmitted from dog-to-dog contact through barking, sneezing, or coughing. However, CI is also able to live from 24 to 48 hours on objects (leashes, bowls, toys) that have come into contact with an infected dog. Humans can also infect other canines as well if they have come in contact with a CI infected canine via clothing or hands. CI is very contagious and the vaccination is often a requirement in boarding facilities, grooming facilities, and dog parks.

Lyme - Lyme is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can affect both pets and humans. Lyme disease is vector-borne, caused from the bite of an infected tick. The disease is difficult to detect and can cause many health issues such as lameness, joint swelling, fever, and decreased appetite. PetVets Animal Hospital carries the Lyme vaccine, however, due to the many other tick-borne diseases that our pets can acquire, we recommending using flea and tick preventatives such as collars, orals, or topical medications.

Feline Vaccines 

Rabies - Rabies is a fatal virus that attacks the nervous system. It is zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Rabies is typically contracted from the bite of an infected animal, however, it can also be transmitted when the saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with the eyes, mouth, nose, or an open wound. Symptoms include aggression, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, paralysis and seizures. Once symptoms become apparent, the disease is almost always fatal.

Rhinotracheitis - Rhinotracheitis is a contagious disease that causes cold-like symptoms; Sneezing, fever, loss of appetite, inflammation, and ulcers are seen in infected felines. It’s spread from direct contact from the eyes or nose of an infected cat, or from contaminated water or food bowls.

Calicivirus - Calicivirus is highly contagious and is spread by secretions from the nose, eyes, and saliva. Symptoms include respiratory infection, discharge from the nose and/or eyes, ulcers within the mouth, lethargy, excessive drooling, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes. However, symptoms may differ depending on the strain of the infection.

Panleukopenia - Also known as FP or feline distemper, this virus was previously the leading cause of death among cats. Due to vaccination protocols, FP is now an uncommon disease. FP attacks cells within the intestines, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. Infected felines shed the virus in their urine, feces, and mucus. The virus can live for up to a year in an environment, so cat-to-cat transmission is not always the source of infection. Symptoms include lethargy, depression, fever, decreased appetite, vomiting, and dehydration.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) - Although similar to HIV in humans, FIV is species specific and can only be transmitted to other felines. Cats infected by FIV have shorter lifespans with a median survival time of approximately 5 years. Typically, FIV is spread from the bite of an infected cat, but can also be passed from mother to her kittens. Symptoms include decreased appetite, diarrhea, poor coat (fur), gingivitis, stomatitis, and chronic or recurrent infections.

Feline leukemia (FeLV) - FeLV is an immune suppressing virus that is incurable. It is spread by saliva, urine, and blood from an infected cat via grooming, shared water or food dishes, and shared litter boxes. An infected pregnant or nursing cat can also pass on the virus to her kittens. Symptoms include anemia, chronic illness, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, weakness, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. Felines that carry the virus may be asymptomatic for years before illness occurs.

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Testimonial

The whole team is the jam! I have yet to find a vet that compares since I left Chicago. They took care of my pets through it all, are non-alarmist and are as good with people as they are with animals. I still try to pop in and say hi whenever I'm home. Highly recommend!

- Felicia R.
Oak Park, IL

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