Vaccinating your pet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your animal companion has a long and healthy life. Below is a complete list of the vaccinations we administer at Del Valle Pet Hospital and additional information about their relevance to your pet’s health.
Canine Combination Vaccine: DHPP – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza
Canine distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza are all highly contagious diseases that can make your dog very ill, and in some cases be deadly if not treated. Distemper and parainfluenza are spread via air when an infected animal coughs or sneezes; hepatitis and parvovirus spread via urine and feces. In all cases, the virus can be shed by an infected dog for several months and both parvovirus and hepatitis can be spread indirectly through contact with virus-containing objects such as hands and equipment. It’s extremely important that all dogs—but especially young dogs and seniors—be vaccinated against these diseases.
Most dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated by law and because of that, this disease is not as widespread or common as it used to be. However, rabies is still very much a danger with a staggering 99.95% mortality rate, it is the deadliest disease in the world.
Rabies is a viral disease that is generally spread through saliva, with bites being the most common method of contagion. Rabies is also zoonotic — meaning it can be transmitted from one species to another and infect both animals and humans. The disease is treatable, but once symptoms appear, chances of survival become very slim.
Leptospirosis is a highly contagious illness spread through the urine of infected wildlife. But your dog doesn’t need to encounter wildlife to contract it; simply having contact with infected water, soil, or food is enough to make your dog very sick. Like rabies, “lepto” is zoonotic—which means if your dog catches it, the human members of your family could as well. This vaccination is highly recommended for any pet who spends time outdoors.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
This highly contagious airborne disease is similar to a human cold and is usually mild, though symptoms can persist for weeks. Like CIV, however, it can progress into something more serious illness in young and elderly dogs as well as those with existing lung or heart conditions. More importantly, it spreads quickly among dogs in confined areas such as boarding kennels and grooming salons and any pet whose lifestyle includes these activities should have the bordetella vaccine.
Canine Influenza (CIV)
In the past few years, two strains of CIV (H3N8 and H3N2) have made their way across the country, with significant outbreaks on the west coast and in midwestern states. Dogs are most contagious before they start to show symptoms, and because dogs have no natural immunity to this disease, any unvaccinated dog who comes into contact with the virus is likely to contract it.
CIV’s respiratory symptoms are often mistaken for kennel cough, and while most dogs will recover, life-threatening pneumonia can develop in elderly dogs and those with weakened immune systems due to existing lung and heart conditions. Dogs with these health issues as well as pets who travel often and frequently interact with other dogs in boarding kennels, doggie daycare, dog parks or grooming facilities should consider a CIV vaccination.
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks that can also affect humans. This disease is characterized by intermittent, recurrent lameness; fever; anorexia; lethargy; and sometimes swollen, painful joints. Lyme disease can eventually cause renal (kidney) failure and in those cases is generally fatal if not treated. Even if your outdoorsy pet is on tick prevention, he or she should be vaccinated against Lyme.
Vaccinating your pet stimulates your dog’s own immunity to the effects of a rattlesnake bite and will defend them against the dangerous effects of the venom following a bite. This greatly reduces the impact of a snake bite and decreases the chances of permanent damage to your pet. If you take your pet camping hiking, or into likely rattlesnake habitat, this vaccine is highly recommended. Keep in mind, however, that rattlesnake bites are a serious veterinary emergency, even if your pet has the vaccine.
Del Valle Pet Hospital uses only additive-free PureVax® brand vaccines formulated specifically for cats.
Feline Combination Vaccine: FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia
This core vaccination protects cats against a variety of common but serious diseases. Rhinotracheitis and calicivirus are upper respiratory illnesses contracted through exposure to sick animals and can be spread indirectly if a third party comes into contact with a sick cat and then pets an unvaccinated one. Panleukopenia is similar to parvovirus in dogs and is often deadly for kittens. All these diseases are completely preventable through vaccination.
Cats are more likely than any other pet to become infected with rabies. While many people believe indoor cats don’t need vaccinations for rabies or other diseases, the fact is indoor animals can be exposed to rabid wildlife that accidentally find their way indoors, or if the cat escapes outdoors. Once clinical symptoms start to occur, rabies is almost always fatal.
FeLV Feline Leukemia
Feline Leukemia is one of the leading causes of death in cats and causes cancer in about 20% of infected cats. What makes this disease so pernicious is that it is spread by contact with cats who appear healthy but are carriers of the virus. Even worse, it is incurable. Social grooming, shared litterboxes or food dishes are all opportunities for a cat to contract feline leukemia, and it is especially dangerous to kittens. Fortunately, vaccination has proven to be highly effective protection against this virus for cats.