An appropriate vaccination protocol plays an important role in your pet’s long-term wellness. Vaccines contain small particles of the disease they should protect against, and work by stimulating the immune system to recognize the disease particles as a threat. Once the immune system mounts a disease response, it will remember this threat and be prepared to fight it again, if necessary.
Canine vaccinations and disease prevention
We recommend an annual C5 vaccination for your pooch. When we discuss your canine companion’s disease risk, we will talk about these preventable conditions:
- Parvovirus — Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious and potentially fatal disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract lining. Geraldton has been deemed a Parvo Hot-Spot and it is crucial that you vaccinate against this preventable disease. Infection can occur through direct or indirect contact with infected faeces or even soil that has previously had parvo-infected faeces present. Vomiting and bloody diarrhea are the two most common signs. A pet with parvovirus must be hospitalized to receive supportive care, with costs ranging between $2000 and $5000 with no guarantee for recovery.
- Distemper — A highly contagious and serious illness, distemper is caused by a virus that spreads through coughing, sneezing, and shared bowls, and it attacks the dog’s gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Since this virus affects so many canine body systems, signs are varied. Initially, discharge from the eyes appears, followed by fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, vomiting, and coughing. As the virus attacks the nervous system, neurological signs appear, such as circling movement, a head tilt, seizures, and paralysis. Canine distemper is often fatal, and even a dog who survives will likely suffer permanent neurological conditions.
- Hepatitis — This infectious viral disease, also called canine adenovirus, can range from mild to fatal, causing a wide variety of signs. A dog infected with hepatitis may exhibit fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, discharge from the eyes or nose, coughing, vomiting, bruising, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, jaundice, seizures, or a blue cloudy appearance to the eyes. This virus has no cure, so the only treatment is managing the symptoms until the virus runs its course.
- Parainfluenza and Bordetella (Commonly known as Canine Cough or Kennel Cough)— Easily spread through the air, these respiratory conditions are common in boarding or shelter situations where dogs are in close contact. Signs include a dry, hacking cough, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Eye drainage with conjunctivitis may also be seen in parainfluenza cases.
Feline vaccinations and disease prevention
Cats who venture outdoors require the extra protection of a more frequent deworming regimen and a wider array of vaccinations. For strictly indoor-only cats, we recommend an F3 vaccination (which covers the first 3 viruses listed below) and for any cat that heads outside, even briefly, we strongly recommend an F6 vaccination (which covers all of the viruses below)
- Rhinotracheitis and calicivirus — These two highly contagious diseases, which appear as upper respiratory illnesses, spread through sneezing and contact with contaminated items, such as clothing, bedding, or bowls. Sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, and conjunctivitis are the hallmarks of both viruses. Calicivirus also frequently causes oral ulcers and drooling.
- Feline infectious enteritis — This disease, which is also referred to as panleukopenia, feline parvovirus, or feline distemper, attacks the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow. Infected cats display bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and a decreased appetite. The disease rapidly spreads through unvaccinated cats, either directly from contact with infected felines or indirectly through clothing, bedding, bowls, or litter boxes.
- Chlamydophila — This bacterial infection attacks the eyes and causes severe conjunctivitis and discharge. The fragile bacteria does not last long in the environment and usually spreads through direct contact with an infected cat.
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) — Both viruses are spread through saliva and lead to immunosuppression. FIV usually requires a bite for transmission, while FeLV can be contracted through grooming, and sharing bowls and litter boxes. The most common disease signs include fever, lethargy, weight loss, and recurrent skin, respiratory, and intestinal problems.
If your pet is behind on her immunization schedule, or her lifestyle has changed and she requires more protection, schedule an appointment with us to booster her immunizations and keep her safe from harm.