Immunizing your dog is an important procedure that in most cases will provide protection against an illness that may be life threatening. Although most dogs do not react adversely to vaccination, some have had allergic or other systemic reactions after receiving a vaccine. Rarely, the allergic reaction can be so profound that it may be life threatening. Certain immune mediated diseases such as hemolytic anemia (anemia caused by red blood cell destruction), thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet numbers), and polyarthritis (joint inflammation and pain) in dogs may be triggered by the body’s immune response to a vaccine.
Vaccinating your pet should not be taken lightly. Failure to vaccinate could result in your pet contracting a serious preventable disease. However, unnecessary vaccinations should be avoided. A decision to vaccinate should only come after your dog’s age and the risk of exposure to disease are considered by you and your veterinarian. Vaccinations given at the appropriate age and at the appropriate intervals will greatly benefit your pet and protect it against some life threatening diseases.
The following vaccines listed are considered “core” and “non-core” by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. The University of California at Davis and North Carolina State University Colleges of Veterinary Medicine also recommend vaccine protocols that consider core and non-core vaccinations. All pets should receive core vaccinations with boosters at appropriate intervals to be determined by exposure risk related to your pet’s life style. Non-core vaccinations should not be used routinely and are only administered if your pet’s exposure risk warrants it.
Core vaccinations for dogs:
-Canine Distemper vaccine
Non-Core vaccinations for dogs:
Although, Bordetella vaccine is non-core, however risk of exposure is high for most pets. Pets pick up this upper respiratory infection frequently at dog parks, boarding facilities, grooming and at times, through brief meet and greet stops during routine walks.
Puppy vaccination series: Puppies receive a series of vaccinations at 3-4 weeks intervals in order to insure that they are developing a protective immune response on their own. Maternal antibodies derived from the first few days of milk while nursing their mother will give the puppy a temporary immunity that may interfere with development of a protective immune response to the vaccine. This temporary immunity when present will persist in some puppies for as long as 20 weeks.
"DA2PP" or "DHPP" (Distemper, Hepatitis/Adenovirus-2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) is started between 6-8 weeks of age.
Rabies Vaccination at 3-4 months.
Please review all of the statements that apply to your pet; __ always indoors, __ primarily indoors, __ equally indoors-outdoors, __ primarily outdoors, __ always outdoors __ visits a boarding kennel frequently, __ is groomed frequently, __ travels out of the immediate area, __ has exposure to wildlife (raccoons, opossums, skunks, snakes, etc.) __ (Has) __ (Has not) had a reaction to previous vaccinations. If occurred , describe reaction; __listlessness/fever, __ local tenderness/swelling, __ mild allergic reaction, __ severe allergic reaction, __ injection site abscess Your pet’s vaccinations are an important part of our overall wellness care program. Thank you for taking the time to review this information and for giving us valuable information about your pet’s life style so that we may tailor a vaccination program appropriate for your pet.
-FVRCP (feline panleukopenia/distemper), calicivirus and herpesvirus (feline viral rhinotracheitis)
Core vaccines are those vaccines which every cat should receive, regardless of exposure to other cats. These include distemper (feline panleukopenia), calicivirus and herpesvirus (feline viral rhinotracheitis). These are combined in the “feline distemper shot”, given as a series of vaccinations as a kitten then an “adult booster” a year later.
Rabies is also given to every cat. Kittens get one dose, then a booster a year later, and every 3 years afterwards.
Non-Core Vaccines are those vaccines which may or may not be necessary since the diseases they prevent occur sporadically or are more common in specific circumstances.
At Gateway Pet Hospital, we offer the feline leukemia vaccine as an optional vaccine for cats at risk. • Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a deadly virus that infects cats worldwide. It causes a variety of symptoms including cancers, anemia, and immunosuppression, leading to infections with other diseases. Early in the course of the disease, cats can have no symptoms for months to years, but can be infective to other cats. It cannot be transmitted to people and has no relation to leukemias that happen in people. However, cats that are immunosuppressed with the feline leukemia virus that develop secondary infections can sometimes pass those other infections onto people. Cats pick up the virus from direct contact with another infected cat, usually through grooming, biting, or sharing food or water dishes. It can also be passed from a mother cat to her kittens. Although young cats and kittens are most susceptible to the virus, adult cats can be infected as well. The feline leukemia vaccine is recommended for cats and kittens who will go outdoors, potentially contacting other cats who may be infected. It is also recommended for cats in multiple-cat households where the introduction of new cats is common, and for cats living with an FeLV-infected cat. All cats should be tested for FeLV prior to vaccination, since the vaccine will not provide protection if your cat has already been exposed. All new cats should be tested prior to bringing them into your household. If you have a kitten and are not sure it will be kept indoors, you should have the vaccine until you know for sure. The vaccine is given as a series of 2 shots, 3-4 weeks apart, and then an annual booster.
About Feline Leukemia Testing: All cats should be tested at least once in their lives for FeLV (feline leukemia) and FIV (feline AIDS). This is commonly referred to as the “combo test”. Both viruses are contagious to other cats, and if we know that your cat is positive we can make recommendations for his/her health as well as recommendations to reduce the risk of infection to other cats around him/her. It can take 3-4 months from the time of exposure before the infection will be detected by the test, so in general, cats coming from unknown backgrounds should be tested prior to bringing them into a household. If they will be housed indoors and not vaccinated, they should be retested 3-4 months later. Kittens should have an initial test, then retested when they are over 6 months old.
Risks of vaccinations:
In general, vaccines may cause localized pain or swelling, low grade transient fever. Allergic reactions such as swelling of lips and eyelids, and mild lethargy, are uncommon, however those are unpredictable. With any vaccine, anaphylaxis (a potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction) may occur. In cats, this is generally seen as severe vomiting and diarrhea or wheezing, usually within half an hour of receiving the vaccine. If this occurs, let us know immediately. While there is no direct cause and effect relationship between vaccinations and certain immune-mediated diseases, this continues to be investigated. It is normal to feel a small lump where the vaccine was given, but it should disappear. Let us know if it is still there a month after vaccination. In cats, there is another rare but serious reaction called a Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma. This is estimated to occur in 1-2 out of 10,000 cats, where a cancerous lump develops soon after or even several years after a vaccination, injection, or even trauma (not associated with a vaccine). The reason is unclear.