Adding Pet Vaccines to your Back-to-School Checklist
By Veronica Sallisky
It’s August, and that means children going back to school! Included in the back to school rush is the kiddos getting vaccinated for the next grade, but are your pets also up to date on vaccines? It is so easy these days to get busy and put your furry children on the back burner, but vaccines are so pertinent to your pets’ health. It’s one of the easiest things we can do! Yearly visits to the veterinary office will ensure a clean bill of health and also make sure your pet is current on everything it needs.
For your sweet canine friend: DA2PPV, Bordetella, and Rabies are the core vaccines that they need to stay healthy. DA2PPV is essential for all puppies in a series of at least 3 vaccines because it protects your pet from potentially fatal respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases including Distemper, Adenovirus 1 & 2, Parvo, and Parainfluenza.
All pets that go outside are at risk for these diseases, so it is VERY important that your pet is protected. Bordetella can be given every 6 months to yearly depending on your pet’s social butterfly status. This vaccine will protect your pet from different strains of respiratory viruses- like a human flu shot. If your pet is going to go on walks or mingle with other pets you should consider this vaccine yearly. For those pups that go to the groomer, boarding facility, or the dog park you may want to get this vaccine every 6 months since these are social environments where pets can carry illness. If your pet is going to travel or spend a lot of time out in the woods, there are other vaccines that would be beneficial for your pet to receive- just ask your Vet. These vaccines along with yearly heartworm testing, monthly heartworm and flea prevention, and proper deworming will ensure that you pooch lives a longer and healthier life!
For your sassy feline friend: FVRCP, FELV, and Rabies are the core vaccines that they need to stay healthy. FVRCP is very important in growing kittens – FVRCP needs to be boostered 3 times and then yearly as they get older. This vaccine will protect them from feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia which are potentially fatal respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses. All cats are at risk for these viruses whether indoors or outdoors. FELV is a vaccine that protects against feline leukemia which is spread between cats through saliva or blood.
Cats in multiple cat households that are unvaccinated, or outdoor cats are very susceptible to getting feline leukemia which will alter their immune system and make it hard for them to fight off simple illnesses. Testing is available for feline leukemia and feline aids- which can be done at your vet clinic in about 10 minutes. Knowing the status of your kitty can ensure that we vaccinate appropriately and make sure that they aren’t spreading it to any other cats. If you want your cat to live out a fulfilling 9 lives, make sure he or she is vaccinated and on their monthly flea and heartworm prevention!
Everyone is very familiar with the importance of guarding against rabies. But why does the county require it by law??
Rabies is a 100% fatal virus that is zoonotic- meaning that it affects animals as well as people. Although you may not hear about it as much these days, we have already had 2 positive cases for rabies in Polk County in 2018. Signs of rabies include aggression, muscle spasms, vomiting, delirium, and seizures. If you see an animal showing any of these symptoms you should contact animal control right away. Vaccines are available for your pets lasting 1 year and 3 years. To protect your pet, protect yourself, and to keep Sheriff Grady Judd happy, please make sure your pet is up to date on its rabies vaccine!
All the sicknesses mentioned above may not sound familiar to you, but it is because of herd immunity. The more pets that are vaccinated and healthy, the less we must worry! By bringing your animal in for yearly veterinary visits, you can learn more about how to protect your furry friends. Vaccine packages can start as low as $30 and just take a small portion of your time. So, this month as you get your kids off to school, make sure to stop by our Wellness Wagon or call the clinic to get your fur babies the care they deserve!