Puppies and Kittens oh my!
Can you believe that Christmas has come and gone already and we are now firmly entrenched in the year 2020?
We hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and we know at least some of you have a new little furry member of the family. Okay, now is the time to be honest, you love those sweet faces, but you are overwhelmed too right? There are so many things to get figured out…house training, litter box training, diet, etc. Deep breath, you’ll figure it all out, I promise! (Remember my adventures with Koa? ??? Lol, sure you do!)
Let’s take this one step at a time and discuss vaccine schedules for puppies and kittens. But first, let’s discuss what we are vaccinating against, and then we will go over the timing for you. Let’s start with puppies:
A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden.
There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures and more. If the animal survives the symptoms, it is hoped that the dog’s immune system will have a chance to fight it off. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months.
Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
One of several viruses that can contribute to kennel cough.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies less than four months of age are at the most risk to contract it. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-to-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.
Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough results from inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections, such as Bordetella and canine parainfluenza, and often involves multiple infections simultaneously. Usually, the disease is mild, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing; sometimes it’s severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite. In rare cases, it can be deadly. It is easily spread between dogs kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels. Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a dog more comfortable.
Unlike most diseases on this list, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely. Rabies vaccination is the only vaccination required by law in Ontario
Generally we like to vaccinate with the following schedule:
8 Weeks - DHPP (Distemper Hepatitis Parainfluenza Parvo)
12 Weeks – DHPP second booster
16 Weeks – DHPP third booster and rabies
If you choose to vaccinate for Bordatella and Leptospirosis vaccines we will discuss these separately on an individual basis.
And that takes care of the puppies! Next blog, we will go over kitten vaccines and schedules.
And an FYI, if you do have a new baby, check out our puppy kitten wellness plans that can help budget for all the vaccines and much more! https://www.pineridgevet.com/puppy-kitten-wellness-exams