Vaccinations are important because all dogs are at risk of exposure to various infectious diseases, some of which are life-threatening. Others, such as rabies and leptosporosis also pose a public health risk.
- Vaccinating your dog to prevent common diseases supports the first goal of medicine: disease prevention.
- Prevention of these diseases is more beneficial to your pet than treating the disease once it occurs.
- Preventative vaccination is one of the most reliable and cost-effective methods of health care available to you (the pet owner).
Your dog’s individual vaccine protocol will be determined by us during his or her annual exam. Frequency of re-vaccination is dependent on your pet’s lifestyle, age and risk of exposure to various diseases.
We understand that many pet parents are concerned with the potential risks associated with vaccines. We consider the benefits of regular vaccination to far outweigh the relatively small risk of vaccine-related adverse effects. Some dogs are affected by vaccine related allergic reactions. If this were to happen to your dog we are able to treat the symptoms after they occur, and pre-treat in the future to avoid further complications during annual exams.
We recommend a specific set of vaccines for your dog if you live in Southern Ohio. As usual, rabies is a required (by law) vaccine for all dogs. Next on the list is a distemper/ parvovirus/ corona virus combination vaccine. Distemper is a widespread virus that causes high mortality in dogs. Exposure is considered inevitable in a dog’s lifetime, so we include this vaccine in our core vaccine protocol.
We also include parvovirus and corona virus in our core vaccines. Both are viruses that cause intestinal disease that can produce diarrhea and vomiting, and can range from mild to severe infections. Un-vaccinated dogs and young puppies are at the greatest risk. Severe cases can be fatal due to dehydration and loss of appetite. Both parvo and corona are easily spread because of the large volume of virus in feces, which contaminates the environment and is readily spread from one animal to another.
The last vaccine we recommend for all dogs is bordetella. Our bordetella vaccine is actually a 3-way vaccine that also includes adenovirus-type 2 and parainfluenza. Bordetella, adenovirus and parainfluenza cause infectious respiratory disease and all three are easily transmitted via air and direct contact between dogs. Upper respiratory disease can limit the dog’s activity and progress to pneumonia, which can be life-threatening. We highly recommend this vaccine if your dog spends any time with other dogs, boards, gets groomed, or visits the veterinarian.
Lastly, we vaccinate for leptospirosis. We do not recommend this vaccine for all dogs, but only dogs that live in an area that is also frequented by wildlife (e.g. deer, raccoons, possum, etc.). Lepto is a bacterial infection resulting from the contact with the urine of infected wildlife, contaminated water or food. Leptospira bacteria infect the kidneys and liver of your dog. This can cause fever, depression and generalized pain. Lepto can be transmitted to humans by contact through the mucous membranes or breaks in the skin.
As always, if you have any concerns regarding your pet’s health or well-being do not hesitate to call. We would love to see you both for a wellness visit (and maybe even some vaccines)!