Which vaccinations are right for my dog?
Vaccinations are often the primary reason why a pet is brought to the veterinarian. At the Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North we hope to break that tradition. We hope our clients will bring us their pets to keep them healthy and to discuss what their pets need. We strongly believe that there is no one size fits all approach to vaccinations. Vaccines are best prescribed based on lifestyle, age, and risk. The following vaccines are what we generally recommend, but the needs of your pet may alter these protocols.
***The first three vaccines listed below (distemper, adenovirus, and parvovirus) are given in the same syringe as a combination vaccine. The vaccine is manufactured in this way and is designed to provide maximum protection while cutting down on the total number or inoculations a puppy will receive.
Canine Distemper: Canine distemper is a virus similar to human measles. Contrary to popular belief, distemper does not make dogs more aggressive. In fact the disease is actually far worse than that. Dogs that contract distemper may experience fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal and ocular discharge, coughing, difficulty breathing, hardening of the nose and footpads, loss of enamel, seizures, loss of balance, disorientation, hysteria, and even death.
1. 50%-75% of dogs that contract distemper will die of the disease within 3 months.
2. The disease can affect dogs of all ages, but it is more deadly in the very young and the very old.
3. The virus is spread through oral and nasal secretions from infected dogs and wild carnivores.
4. Some dogs will appear healthy even though they are carriers of the disease. These dogs spread the virus to other dogs when they come in contact with them.
5. Recovered animals are not considered to be carriers of distemper.
6. The lucky dogs who survive distemper may suffer permanent damage to the enamel of their teeth.
7. The distemper vaccine provides excellent immunity against a very deadly disease. Because of this the Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North recommend vaccinating for distemper at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age, followed by a booster one year later. After the one year booster dogs may receive the vaccination once every 3 years.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus 1 / CAV-1): Infectious canine hepatitis is a serious liver disease caused by canine adenovirus 1. Infected dogs may experience depression, fever, uncontrolled bleeding, nasal and ocular discharge, vomiting, abdominal pain, fluid accumulation in the head, neck, limbs, and within the eye. Some dogs, especially young puppies, may die within a few hours of contracting the virus.
1. Domesticated dogs, coyotes, foxes, wolves, and bears are all susceptible to the virus.
2. The virus is passed amongst these animals via urine, saliva, and feces.
3. Dogs that recover from the virus can spread it in their urine for up to six months.
4. Because CAV-1 has so many potentially dire consequences the Animal Hospital of Chetek recommends vaccinating all puppies with a CAV-2 vaccine at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age followed by a booster one year later. Following the one year booster, dogs should be vaccinated every three years.
5. A CAV-2 (canine adenovirus 2) vaccine is used because the CAV-1 vaccine is known to cause ocular swelling ("blue eye"). The CAV-2 vaccine cross protects against CAV-1 extremely well. It also provides protection against CAV-1, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is one of several cause of kennel cough.
Canine Parvovirus : Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and deadly virus most commonly seen in puppies under 12 months old, though dogs of any age can become infected. Parvovirus attacks rapidly dividing cells in the body such as bone marrow cells and intestinal cells.
1. Parvovirus is carried into the environment in the feces of infected animals. Once in the environment parvovirus can survive for several months. It can even survive several disinfectants.
2. Many dogs with parvovirus may at first show no signs of illness. Once stressed (put in a new situation, encounter another illness) clinical disease may be triggered which can result in vomiting, tiredness, fever,
decreased appetite, and profound bloody diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration.
3. Between 20 and 50% percent of dogs that show signs related to parvovirus will die. Those that survive generally do so because of intensive medical treatment that often requires multiple nights at a 24 hour care
4. Because parvovirus is potentially deadly the Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North recommend vaccinating all puppies at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age.
5. Puppies thought to be at increased risk of contracting the disease may be vaccinated as early as 5 weeks of age.
Rabies Virus: Rabies is a 100% fatal disease in humans once signs appear. It is mainly transmitted through the bite wounds of infected mammals, but it may also be transmitted via scratches, or if the saliva of an infected animal makes contact with open skin. In Wisconsin rabies is mostly carried by bats, skunks, and cows (which usually contract the disease when they are bitten by bats or skunks), but foxes, raccoons, dogs, and cats are also known carriers.
1. Wisconsin state law requires all dogs to be rabies vaccinated by the time they are 20 weeks old. A booster is required to be given one year later, and then every one to three years (depending on which brand of rabies vaccination is used).
2. The Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North recommend vaccinating dogs for rabies at 16 weeks old.
3. The Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North use a 3 year rabies vaccination in dogs.
4. Because of the dangers rabies posses to humans, it IS NOT an optional vaccination at the Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North. We will not board, or perform surgeries on any animal that is not rabies vaccinated (unless they have a documented allergy to the vaccination).
5. If an animal that has not been rabies vaccinated happens to bite a human there is a chance the animal will have to be euthanized and have its head submitted for rabies testing. DO NOT let this happen to your pet, please keep up to date on rabies vaccinations.
Lyme: Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacterium is spread via tick bites and can cause tiredness, a lack of appetite, arthritis, and possibly fatal kidney damage. Signs of the disease usually appear 3-6 months after tick bites occur.
1. Lyme is not considered a core vaccine in most of the United States; however, in Northwest Wisconsin there are higher numbers of disease spreading ticks present. Because of this the Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North recommend the Lyme vaccine for almost all dogs.
2. While the vaccine is the best way to prevent Lyme disease, year round flea and tick prevention is still recommended as there is no vaccine to protect against other tick borne diseases such as Anaplasmosis.
3. Dogs that will receive the Lyme vaccine will be vaccinated at 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster at 16 weeks of age. A yearly booster should be given to all dogs with an increased risk of exposure.
Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus: The bacteria, bordetella bronchiseptica, and the parainfluenza virus are two of the most common causes of kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) in dogs. Infectious tracheobronchitis is a highly contagious, self limiting cough that most dogs will overcome without treatment in one to three weeks.
1. Vaccinating for these diseases is not required for all dogs as the disease is not deadly.
2. Many boarding facilities, including the Animal Hospital of Chetek, will require vaccinating for these two diseases because one infected animal can cause an entire kennel to break out in a cough.
3. Even though the cough is not life threatening, it is uncomfortable, and the sound is annoying to most pet owners. Because of this many kennels are very diligent about keeping the cough out of their kennels.
4. Kennels will vary on their vaccination requirements, and you should check with them months prior to boarding to find out their vaccination policy.
5. The Animal Hospital of Chetek requires all boarding dogs to be vaccinated for bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza within one year of boarding. If the boarding animal has not been vaccinated within the last year, a booster vaccination is required 1 week prior to boarding.
6. We recommend this vaccination to any dog that will be in contact with large groups of dogs, i.e. puppy training classes, boarding kennels, dog shows, and dog parks.
7. Puppies that are at high risk of exposure may be vaccinated as early as 3 weeks of age, and should receive a booster vaccination three to four weeks later for optimal protection.
8. Puppies vaccinated at 16 weeks of age or older will not require a booster vaccination unless required by the facility/event the puppy may be taken to.
9. At risk dogs should be vaccinated yearly, and one week prior to any event where exposure risks will be heightened.
10. The vaccine is available in intranasal drops (better protection), or it can be given just under the skin in dogs that will not tolerate the drops.
11. Some dogs will develop a mild cough for 3-10 days after vaccination.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is caused by the aquatic bacteria Leptospira interrogans. It is found throughout the world, but is most common around stagnant or slow moving water during warm weather. The exact prevalence of the disease is unknown around Barron County, but the chain of lakes is an area where the bacteria can thrive.
1. The bacteria can infect dogs, cattle, horses, pigs, raccoons, deer, and even humans.
2. German shepherd dogs appear to be most susceptible to infection.
3. Cats are very resistant to the disease.
4. Infected animals may experience fever, tiredness, arthritis, lack of appetite, tongue ulcerations, and renal (kidney) insufficiency which could lead to renal failure and death.
5. The disease is spread via urine of infected animals. Animals and humans contract leptospirosis when they ingest contaminated water, contaminated water gets in their eyes, or if they swim in contaminated water with open sores or cuts.
6. Some animals, such as vaccinated animals, may contract and spread the disease without showing any signs of illness.
7. There are over 200 serovars (strains) of Leptospira interrogans, unfortunately the available vaccine only protects against the four most common strains, and offers unknown protection against the others.
8. Vaccinated animals may still contract the disease, but will usually recover much faster from it versus unvaccinated animals.
9. The vaccine is known to cause the most vaccine reactions of any vaccine. Small and toy breed dogs appear to suffer the most vaccine reactions.
10. Because the vaccination does not offer a high level of protection and because it is associated with many vaccine reactions, it is NOT considered a core vaccine.
11. The Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North recommend the leptospirosis vaccination on a case by case basis. Large breed dogs that are often near slow moving or stagnant water are dogs we will most likely recommend this vaccine for.
Other Vaccinations: There are several other vaccines available that we do not generally recommend. These vaccines include: canine influenza virus, Crotalus atrox toxoid (rattlesnake venom vaccine), canine coronavirus, and Giardia lamblia. If you feel that your pet requires one or more of these vaccinations please feel free to discuss your concerns at your pet's next appointment.
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