What are we Vaccinating Against?
This is a very common question that pet owners have when we rattle off the vaccines that your cat or dog needs. Vaccines are an important part of your pet’s preventative health care. Understanding what we are vaccinating for and why will help you make the best decisions for your pet’s care.
Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats
Rabies: Rabies is a virus that is transmitted by saliva, generally a bite. All cats and dogs should be vaccinated for rabies. Bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Minnesota. Since bats can come into the house, even indoor only cats can get exposed to the virus.
Vaccination for Dogs
Canine DHPP Vaccine (Sometimes just called the “distemper vaccine”, this vaccine actually immunizes again 4 different viruses; distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvo)
Distemper: The distemper virus causes a respiratory illness like influenza, wit some brain effects that can trigger seizures.
Hepatitis: The hepatitis virus causes a liver disease similar to Hepatitis C in humans.
Parainfluenza: The parainfluenza virus produces a respiratory infection which can lead to pneumonia.
Parvo: The parvo virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, wipes out infection fighting cells, and causes dehydration and shock.
Leptospirosis: This bacteria can cause liver and kidney failure.
Lyme: This bacteria primarily causes joint disease, but can also affect the heart and kidneys.
Vaccinations for Cats
Feline PRC Vaccine (Sometimes just called the “distemper vaccine”, this vaccine actually immunizes against 3 difference viruses; panleukopenia, rhinotracheaitis and calici).
Panleukopenia: This is the feline distemper virus. This virus acts like the parvo virus in dogs. The primary symptom is vomiting and diarrhea and it can wipe out the cells that fight infections.
Rhinotracheitis: This virus causes upper respiratory infections in cats.
Calici: This virus causes upper respiratory infections in cats.
Feline Leukemia: This virus affects the cat’s immune system causing susceptibility to disease.