Vaccinations are divided into two main categories, core and noncore.
Core vaccinations are immunizations in which all dogs and puppies should receive. For dogs, the core vaccinations include the DAPP (described below) and Rabies.
Noncore vaccines are immunizations given on a case by case basis based on the risk your pet has for a certain communicable disease. Examples of noncore vaccines for dogs include Bordetella, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Lyme Disease.
DAPP (Canine Parvo-Distemper Vaccine)
DAPP stands for distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza and parvovirus. This vaccine is often called the 5 in 1 or 4 in 1 because it has more than one component to the vaccine.
Distemper in dogs is caused by a virus that can be found throughout the world. When contracted by an unvaccinated dog, it can cause serious illness, including neurologic damage and even death.
Adenovirus, also a virus as the name implies, if contracted can cause hepatitis and acute liver failure.
Parainfluenza, also a virus common in our environment, can cause symptoms similar to flu in people including high fever, respiratory discharge, and pneumonia.
Parvovirus is extremely common and can be extremely deadly. The virus survives well in even harsh conditions and when contracted, particularly in puppies, can wreak havoc on the g/i tract causing severe vomiting, diarrhea, and inevitably dehydration and death if not treated aggressively.
It is very important for puppies to receive this vaccination every 3-4 weeks as directed by your veterinarian. The standard of care for this vaccination is as follows: begin at 6-8 weeks, booster at 10-12 weeks and then booster again at 14-16 weeks. Puppies are very susceptible to viruses such as parvo and distemper, so it is always best to keep your puppy away from other unvaccinated dogs and away from areas that unknown dogs frequent until the vaccine series is complete.
After the series of booster vaccines, the vaccine expires one year after the last vaccine is given and expires 3 years after each subsequent vaccine is given. Due to this, we require previous vaccine history in order to document the DAPP vaccine as a 3-year vaccine. This is standard vaccine protocol, the vaccination itself is the same vaccine for each pet regardless of size or age.
Rabies is caused by a virus and although we do not hear about it as much today as we did 50 years ago, it still exists due to an active reservoir in wild animals. Rabies when acquired is fatal and it can be a serious public health concern for other animals as well as for people. For that reason, it is required by law that all domestic dogs be vaccinated after 12 weeks of age. The vaccine is repeated at 1 year and then every 3 years thereafter. After your pet is vaccinated for rabies, a certificate will be issued stating your pet’s current vaccination status which will be required for your county registration. Strict adherence to rabies regulations and widespread rabies immunizations are the reason we don’t hear much about rabies these days.
Bordetella is a bacterial respiratory infection that can be the cause of some more severe forms of “kennel cough”. All puppies should be vaccinated for bordetella as well as dogs that are at risk of contraction due to activities such as boarding, grooming, or visits to places that other dogs frequent such as dog parks or dog day camps.
“Kennel Cough” is in general a generic term that basically means that your dog has an infectious respiratory infection that is causing a cough. The correct terminology for this is Infectious Tracheobronchitis (ITB). Saying that your dog has “Kennel Cough” is kind of like you saying that you have a cold, what you actually have could be any number of bacterial or viral infections any one of which is causing respiratory symptoms such as cough. People inevitably say “My dog can’t have kennel cough, he or she has been vaccinated for bordetella”, well as we have just learned only some cases of ITB are caused by bordetella, and therefore it is entirely probable that your pet can still have ITB. It’s always best to see your veterinarian to have them sort out what condition your pet has and the best way to treat it.
Remember, if your pet has kennel cough, they can be extremely contagious to other dogs. It is recommended that your dog be isolated from other dogs until he or she can see a veterinarian. Most likely your pet will go home with an antibiotic and sometimes a cough suppressant. If kennel cough is left untreated, it can in some cases progress to pneumonia. You shouldn’t ignore a persistent cough, it’s always safest to just have it seen by your veterinarian.
The bordetella vaccine can be given orally, nasally or with an injection. The very first bordetella vaccine is oftentimes given again 4 weeks later (booster) and then expires after one year, but some boarding facilities may require a bordetella vaccine every six months. We may request previous vaccine history so we can document your dog’s vaccine history properly, and not need to repeat any booster vaccines that have already been performed. This is standard vaccine protocol, the vaccination itself is the same vaccine for each pet regardless of size or age.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can cause kidney as well as liver damage to affected pets. It is usually transmitted from contact with contaminated water or urine. In Arizona, being the dry climate that it is, leptospirosis, or “lepto”, just isn’t as common as it is in other parts of the world. If your dog travels up north where water is more plentiful and/or travels out of state, then it is recommended to vaccinate against leptospirosis. However, incidence has been on the rise in Arizona, so it is best to vaccinate against leptospirosis. If your pet frequents areas where other dogs congregate, such as boarding, grooming, dog parks, or dog day camps your dog may be at risk for leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis is concerning because it can be transmitted to other species, including humans. Common signs and symptoms of leptospirosis infection are fever, loss of appetite, frequent urination, lethargy, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and skin).
It is always best to consult a veterinarian if you are concerned your pet is ill and very important to wash your hands after handling urine or feces.
The initial leptospirosis vaccine requires a booster in 2-4 weeks, and then the vaccine is repeated annually. We may request previous vaccine history so we can document your dog’s vaccine history properly, and not need to repeat any booster vaccines. This is standard vaccine protocol, the vaccination itself is the same vaccine for each pet regardless of size or age.
Canine Influenza (CIV) is a viral infection that infects the respiratory tract of pets and can cause serious illness in affected dogs. Canine influenza has been an emerging infectious disease over the past 10-15 years and outbreaks in certain parts of the U.S. have resulted in significant illness and sometimes death in infected individuals.
The initial CIV vaccine is repeated at 4 weeks, and then annually thereafter. We may request previous vaccine history so we can document your dog’s vaccine history properly, and not need to repeat any booster vaccines. This is standard vaccine protocol, the vaccination itself is the same vaccine for each pet regardless of size or age.
FCRP (Feline Distemper Vaccine)
The FCRP vaccine is a combination vaccine meaning that it is composed of more than one infectious disease component. The FCRP components are Feline Calici, Rhinotracheitis (Herpes Virus), and Panleukopenia
Feline Rhinotracheitis is caused by the feline herpes virus type-1. It causes ocular and nasal infections that can sometimes become chronic or severe if left untreated. Not to worry, you won’t contract “Herpes” from your cat, as the virus is species specific and only infects felines.
Feline Calici Virus can cause severe respiratory infections in cats that can sometimes progress to pneumonia. Calici is also a common cause of painful ulcers on the tongue, lips and palate and is seen more commonly in catteries, or multiple cat households.
Feline Panleukopenia (Panleuk) is very similar to parvo virus in dogs. It attacks a cat’s immune system and as the name implies causes dangerously low white blood cell counts which limits an infected individual’s ability to fight off infections from other invaders. It causes severe debilitating illness in cats and is extremely contagious between individuals. It has a very high death rate when contracted and is best prevented with appropriate vaccinations.
The FCRP vaccine is accomplished with a set of three vaccinations beginning at 6-8 weeks, with a booster given at10-12 weeks, and again at 14-16 weeks. The vaccine is given again at one year after the third booster and then once every 3 years. This vaccine is very important even in adult cats. Due to this, we require previous vaccine history in order to document the FRCP vaccine as a 3-year vaccine. This is standard vaccine protocol, the vaccination itself is the same vaccine for each pet regardless of size or age.
Rabies infection in cats as it is in dogs is caused by a virus and is a serious public health concern. If acquired, this disease is fatal. Rabies vaccination in cats is not required by law in Arizona. However, due to the seriousness of possible infection and danger it can impose on the community, rabies is considered a core vaccination in cats. It is given at 12-16 weeks of age initially, repeated at 1 year and then given once every 3 years.
Feline Leukemia is caused by a viral infection in cats that can be particularly debilitating and deadly. The virus does not persist well in the environment and because of this requires close contact with an infected individual. Feline leukemia is considered a non-core vaccination in cats meaning not all cats are at risk of infection and therefore not all cats need to be vaccinated for the disease. Cats that frequent the outdoors or have contact with other unknown cats, or cats that live with infected individuals should be vaccinated for feline leukemia.
Feline leukemia requires an initial vaccination followed by a booster vaccination in 4 weeks. The vaccine is then given annually. Feline leukemia is considered a core vaccine for kittens by the American Veterinary Medical Association and non-core for adults. This variation in core vs non-core status is due to the fact that lifestyle (indoor-outdoor) is commonly not determined in kittens as it is in adults. It’s best to have them protected initially and then reevaluate the protocol as the cat matures to determine if they are still at risk of infection for feline leukemia. We may request previous vaccine history so we can document your cat’s vaccine history properly, and not need to repeat any booster vaccines. This is standard vaccine protocol, the vaccination itself is the same vaccine for each pet regardless of size or age.
• Cat Vaccines
• Dog Vaccines
• Rabies Vaccines
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