The importance of vaccinating your pets

Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets. Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help him live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines. Vaccination is a procedure that has risks and benefits that must be weighed for every pet relative to his lifestyle and health. Your veterinarian can determine a vaccination regime that will provide the safest and best protection for your individual animal.

Vaccinations for Your Dog

  • Leptospirosis. This bacterial infection is most prevalent in moist climates where there are areas of standing or slow-moving water. This disease can also be spread from animals to humans.
  • Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP). Commonly called the “distemper shot.”
  • Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection. Although rabies is rare, the vaccine is a precaution in preventing the spread of rabies if a dog is ever to bite.
  • Bordetella commonly called “kennel cough”. The bordetella virus causes an extremely contagious upper respiratory infection. Your veterinarian may recommend this vaccine before your dog goes to a dog park, groomer, boarding kennel, doggie daycare or dog show.
  • Lyme Disease. A bacterial infection carried by ticks, this disease is extremely prevalent in certain parts of the country in particular, the east and west coast.

Vaccines for Your Cat

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). Commonly called the “distemper” shot, this combination vaccine protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia (sometimes called “feline distemper”).
  • Feline Leukemia (Felv). Felv is a viral infection that is only transmitted through close contact.
  • Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that causes severe conjunctivitis, and the vaccination for it is often included in the distemper combination vaccine (making it an FVRCP-C).
  • Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection.

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