Vaccine Risk Assessment
CORE VACCINES – These vaccines are considered vital to all canines based on a universal risk of exposure, the severity of disease, and the risk of transmission to other animals including human beings.
RABIES is a fatal, viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Most mammals are susceptible to this disease including humans. Vaccination is required by law in the state of Indiana.
DISTEMPER/HEPATITIS/PARAINFLUENZA/PARVO** are viral diseases that are commonly spread from dog to dog but can exist in wildlife as well. Distemper is a fatal viral illness with no direct treatment available. Hepatitis (Adenovirus 2) and Parainfluenza are both highly contagious upper respiratory illnesses. Parvovirus can be fatal and is very contagious to unvaccinated or under vaccinated dogs – mostly affecting puppies and senior pets.
LEPTOSPIROSIS** is a bacterial disease that can be found in most animals, including wildlife (deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and rodents) and other dogs. The bacteria are passed via the urine and are present in any stagnant surface water, most soil, and recreational sources, such as ponds and lakes. Leptospirosis is a contagious disease and can be transmitted from dog to dog and dog to human. If infected, these bacteria can be fatal.
It causes kidney and liver failure. Treatment includes several days of quarantined hospitalization, antibiotics, and supportive care.
NON-CORE VACCINES – Please determine your pet’s level of risk to these diseases, taking into account their lifestyle, current health status, and amount of close contact with other animals and humans. We will be happy to review this with you and discuss further at your appointment.
LYME DISEASE** is caused by bacteria that are transmitted through certain tick species, including the deer tick and western black legged tick. Your dog is at an increased risk of contracting Lyme disease if it spends time in wooded areas or low-growing grasslands, or spends time outdoors during peak tick season. Visits to Lyme endemic areas of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, or upper Midwest also put your dog at risk. If you have ever found a tick on your dog, vaccination is recommended. If infected, Lyme disease can cause joint swelling, lameness, fever, and kidney failure. It is thought that once your dog is infected, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to clear the bacteria from the body.
CANINE COUGH (Bordetella) is an upper respiratory disease similar to the common cold. The cough can be quite persistent and is usually of a dry hacking nature. This discomfort can last up to 12 weeks. Very young, older, or otherwise immunocompromised dogs are at a higher risk of developing a more severe form of canine cough. Your dog can catch this disease simply by coming into contact with dogs that have it, in such places as boarding kennels, grooming salons, local parks, or neighborhoods. Most kennels require vaccination against canine cough before admittance. The duration of vaccine is 12-14 months, but the recommendation with risk of increased contact is vaccinating every 6 months.
CANINE INFLUENZA** is an upper respiratory disease similar to the flu. The symptoms of canine influenza are similar to the human flu: cough, runny nose, and fever. It is easily transmitted through respiratory secretions (sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge). Dogs with influenza may develop pneumonia that might require hospitalization. Vaccination against canine flu should be considered for any at-risk breed, dogs with heart or respiratory conditions, dogs that travel or show, and those that have extensive contact with other dogs (boarding, grooming, training facilities, and dog parks).