Vaccinating Your Pet
They are safe and extremely effective against deadly diseases such as Rabies, Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Feline Panleukopenia Virus, and many others.
Recent improvements with vaccines allow us to further tailor the schedule to your pet’s individual needs. Yearly boosters for all vaccinations are no longer necessary.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines contain viruses or bacteria that have been altered so they don’t cause disease. When your pet is vaccinated, the immune system produces antibodies that act against the viruses or bacteria that cause the disease.
Later, if your pet is exposed to that disease, these antibodies quickly destroy the diseasecausing agent. In other words, your pet is protected against many serious/deadly contagious preventable diseases.
Why Does My Pet Need a “Booster”?
The protection provided by a vaccine gradually declines after a pet is vaccinated. That’s why appropriately timed booster vaccination along with the annual health check‐up is always needed.
Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
The decision to vaccinate depends on a number of factors such as age, overall health, and risk of exposure to the disease.
We can help advise you on the proper vaccination protocol to match your pet’s needs. Contact us now.
Kennel Cough Vaccination for Dogs
Kennel cough describes a contagious respiratory infection in dogs, characterized by the sudden onset of a severe cough.
Kennel cough is exceptionally contagious, spread by dog-to-dog or airborne contact.
The risk of exposure increases for dogs:
- In boarding kennels
- In grooming salons
- In pet shops
- In humane societies
- Who meet other dogs on walks, especially in leash-free areas
Signs of kennel cough:
- Severe honking cough
- Possibly with eye and nasal discharge
- Possibly episodes of retching after coughing
- Possibly decreased appetite, lethargy, and/or fever
Signs of kennel cough develop about 4 to 7 days after contact with dogs shedding the virus and bacteria.
This vaccination is different from others. It is given intra-nasally (drops in the nose) to provide specific local protection at the location where infection could be introduced.
The kennel cough vaccine is extremely effective in preventing the disease. It can be given to puppies at 8 to 12 weeks of age and should be repeated at least yearly. For dogs in high risk situations (e.g. regulars at boarding kennels, dog shows, etc.), we recommend a vaccine every 6 months.
If kennel cough is left untreated, dogs may go on to develop pneumonia. As a result, we may dispense antibiotics to dogs we suspect have the disease, since pneumonia can be life-threatening – especially in a very young or old dog.
Leptospirosis Vaccination for Dogs
Leptospirosis (Lepto) is a disease that has been around for a long time. It is a bacterial infection, primarily of raccoons, skunks, rats, farm animals, and dogs. The bacteria can also pass to people.
The bacteria are passed through urine. Raccoon and skunk urine is found in standing water, leaves, mud, and so on. If a dog drinks or licks at these areas and the Lepto bacteria are present, the bacteria are likely to be transmitted. Given our close contact with our dogs in our homes, the bacteria can then pass readily from dogs to people.
Due to the large numbers of raccoons and skunks living in urban areas, new strains of Lepto have emerged and the incidence of the disease has increased.
Signs of Lepto:
- Sudden onset of lethargy
- Increased drinking and urinating
- Loss of appetite
- Neurological signs
These signs can appear in a variety of combinations, which can make diagnosis difficult. If left untreated, Lepto can result in death.
Our Lepto vaccine protects against the newer strains of Lepto we have been seeing in Canada. The vaccine is recommended by respected veterinary microbiologists, who are not associated with the vaccine manufacturer.
We strongly recommend vaccinating dogs against this contagious and potentially deadly disease. The initial vaccine can be done at the time of their regular physical examination with a booster vaccine 3 to 4 weeks later. Vaccination in subsequent years is done once yearly, in conjunction with your dog’s annual check-up