Active Image Rabies is a serious viral disease seen in mammals that adversely affects the central nervous system, leading to death. Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is typically transmitted through bites from infected animals. The majority of reported cases involve wild animals like bats, raccoons and skunks, but domesticated animals like dogs and cats are also at risk. Humans are equally susceptible to the rabies virus if bitten by an infected animal. Once the symptoms have appeared, Rabies is nearly always fatal. Death usually occurs less than a week after the onset of signs. The rabies vaccination is required by law. Rabies should be given at 12-16 weeks, boostered in 1 year and then every 1 or 3 years depending on the lifestyle of the pet.
Leptospirosis is a potentially serious disease that affects dogs but can also infect a wide variety of domestic and wild animals as well as humans. The organism is usually spread through infected urine, but contaminated water or soil, reproductive secretions and even consumption of infected tissues can also transmit the infection. Introduction of the organism through skin wounds can also occur. Common carries of the organism include raccoon opossums, rodents, skunks and dogs. The leptospirosis organisms rapidly advance through the bloodstream leading to fever, joint pain and general malaise. Because the organism settles in the kidneys and actually reproduces there, inflammation and even kidney failure may develop. Unfortunately, liver failure is another possible complication. Kidney and liver failure both have fatal consequences.
DHPP is a combination of four vaccinations: distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus (a severe gastrointestinal virus that is highly fatal to dogs and puppies if not treated early) and parainfluenza. It’s give to puppies in a series of three or four vaccinations and then given every 1 or 3 years to adult dogs. Along with rabies, DHPP is considered a set of core vaccinations: those universally recommended for puppies no matter what their circumstance.
Bordetella is one of the causes of the canine upper respiratory disease, tracheobronchitis or “kennel cough.” It is a bacterial infection of the respiratory system of dogs characterized by severe coughing and gagging. It is a very contagious airborne disease. Most cases appear after contact with other dogs in kennels, grooming facilities and other places where dogs congregate. Occasionally dogs may develop pneumonia and become ill enough to require hospitalization.
Canine Influenza is a newly emerging infectious disease commonly referred to as “dog flu.” Just like human flu is among humans, canine influenza is highly contagious among dogs. In fact, unless a dog has already had the illness and recovered, virtually every dog exposed to the virus will become infected. This is because the virus is relatively new and dogs have no natural immunity to it. It is spread through direct contact (kissing, licking, nuzzling); through the air (coughing and sneezing) and via contaminated surfaces (such as when a person picks up the virus on their hands or clothing, then touches or pets a dog).
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. It is caused by a spirochete (bacteria). Dominant clinical features in dogs is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidney, and rarely heart or nervous system disease.
Rattlesnake vaccine is designed to reduce the likelihood of death, permanent injury, and severe pain caused by rattlesnake bites. The vaccine stimulates the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies against rattlesnake venom. These antibodies typically last for several months depending on the individual dog’s response to the vaccine. These antibodies can neutralize rattlesnake venom in a way very similar to antivenin. Dogs that are exposed to rattlesnakes whether at home, walking, hiking, camping, hunting or elsewhere would be a good candidate for the rattlesnake vaccination.
The FVRCP vaccination protects your cat against 3 contagious diseases. Kittens receive 4 FVRCP injections, starting at the age of 6-8 weeks. A booster shot is typically given annually. FVR=Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. This is a severe upper respiratory infection that is most dangerous to young kittens and older cats. The virus is extremely contagious to cats, and is caused by a feline herpes virus. FVR can leave some cats with permanent respiratory system and optical damage. C=Calcivirus. There are several different strains of calcivirus, causing a range of illness from mild infection to life threatening pneumonia. The more dangerous strains can be deadly to young kittens and older cats. Calcivirus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected cat or an infected item. A carrier cat can pass the virus on for up to one year. P=Panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper. Feline distemper is a highly contagious disease that moves quickly through the system.
FeLV (Feline Leukemia) is a very serious disease of the feline world. It is caused by a retrovirus that is spread from cat to cat by saliva, urine and respiratory secretions. This means that cats that share litter pans and feeding bowls, along with cats that fight, are at risk. Kittens born to mothers that have the virus may also be infected. Most cats that get exposed to the virus develop antibodies and are able to fight it off. This is especially true for cats that are free of parasites, are current on their routine vaccinations, and are fed a good diet. Cats that have minimal exposure to other cats are at significantly less risk of getting this disease. The disease caused by this virus is a form of cancer of the blood cells lymphocytes (a leukemia).