Why Pet Vaccinations are Important for Companion Animal Health

Without vaccines, dogs and cats are much more vulnerable to disease, and there are a variety that can infect your pet. Some of the most dangerous diseases include rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, and heartworm disease. Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic offers the highest-quality vaccines and tailored vaccination plans to combat these diseases and keep pets healthy for life.

Contact us today to get your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations!

How Frequently Should My Pet be Vaccinated?

How often you vaccinate your pet is critical to protecting them from diseases throughout their life. We pay close attention to the latest research and AAHA guidelines regarding pet vaccinations to ensure that we’re vaccinating our patients properly. Since some vaccines last longer than a year, we can alter your pet’s vaccine schedule to suit.

Additional factors that will determine your pet’s schedule include:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Size
  • Overall health
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle
  • Travel

Whether or not your pet receives yearly vaccinations, they still need yearly exams to evaluate their health and screen for illness.

Cat on a leash: Vaccinations in Elkhorn
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“We have been clients for over 12 years and the doctors have seen us through the best of times- bringing new pets into our lives, and the worst- when it was time to say goodbye...and everything in between like bug bites, surgery, vaccinations, etc. We are always treated with respect and kindness. And, so are our dogs!”

- Diane L.

“We have been clients for over 12 years and the doctors have seen us through the best of times- bringing new pets into our lives, and the worst- when it was time to say goodbye...and everything in between like bug bites, surgery, vaccinations, etc. We are always treated with respect and kindness. And, so are our dogs!”

- Diane L.

“We have been clients for over 12 years and the doctors have seen us through the best of times- bringing new pets into our lives, and the worst- when it was time to say goodbye...and everything in between like bug bites, surgery, vaccinations, etc. We are always treated with respect and kindness. And, so are our dogs!”

- Diane L.

Common Diseases Affecting Dogs and Cats

To reduce the risk of infection and the spread of disease, we can immunize dogs and cats against the following diseases. Many vaccines we offer are combo vaccines, which means that they protect your pet against several diseases at once. This helps to prevent over-vaccinating.

Dogs

Rabies

Rabies is a lethal viral disease that attacks the central nervous system. Signs of rabies include fever, paralysis, foaming at the mouth, seizures, and an inability to swallow.

Distemper

Like rabies, distemper is often fatal. In dogs, this disease affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Early signs include watery discharge from the eyes, fever, nasal discharge, coughing, and lethargy.

Parvovirus

Parvo is an extremely serious illness that mostly affects puppies and unvaccinated dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, and lethargy.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis affects the liver, kidneys, lungs, blood vessel lining, and other organs. Clinical signs include fever, an increased heart rate, loss of appetite, eye and nose inflammation, and excessive thirst.

Parainfluenza

This highly contagious respiratory virus can be a health risk for dogs in shelters, boarding kennels, daycare programs, and grooming salons. Clinical signs include a dry or a moist cough, low fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

Canine Influenza

This airborne virus has two strains; H3N8 and H3N2. Also very contagious, CIV causes chronic coughing, fever, and discharge from the eyes and nose.

Leptospirosis

Lepto is a bacterial infection found in lakes, streams, puddles, and damp soil. Infected animals shed this bacteria in their urine and saliva. Infection is likely to occur if the bacteria enter the bloodstream through a tiny break in the skin or through your dog's mucous membranes. Lepto is also a zoonotic disease, which means animals can pass the disease on to humans. Symptoms may include lethargy, excessive drinking and urinating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Bordetella

Also known as kennel cough, Bordetella is an upper respiratory infection commonly spread among dogs in kennels, shelters, dog parks, grooming salons, and other places where multiple dogs may come into contact with one another.

Lyme Disease

The most harmful tick-borne disease, Lyme disease causes swelling of the joints which leads to lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and lethargy. Clinical illness usually takes several months to develop.

Cats

Feline panleukopenia

FP is a viral disease caused by the feline parvovirus. Kittens are most at risk of a severe infection, which is characterized by a lack of appetite, a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, and dehydration.

Feline rhinotracheitis

Known as FVR for short, this upper respiratory infection is caused by the feline herpesvirus and can result in severe bouts of sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, and conjunctivitis.

Calicivirus

Another respiratory infection affecting cats, calicivirus can be spread via direct contact with the nose or eyes of an infected cat, or with objects that may have been contaminated when a cat sneezed or licked it (food and water bowls, toys, etc).

Feline Leukemia

This retrovirus can be fatal for cats that are unprotected yet spend much of their days outdoors, where they may encounter an infected cat. Leukemia can be spread via blood, saliva, or urine. Common signs of infection include lethargy, diarrhea, fever, progressive weakness, difficulty breathing, and pale gums (anemia).

Prevention Keeps Pets Healthier

While many diseases are treatable if they’re detected early, treatment may not fully restore your pet’s health. Furthermore, illness can place a lot of stress on your pet (and you) and can be very costly to treat. Increasing your pet’s immunity with routine vaccinations can help them avoid illness altogether and enjoy many more years with your family.

If you have questions about vaccinating your pet, call (262) 723-2644 today!

Woman scratching dog's chin: Vaccinations in Elkhorn
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Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic