Vaccines prevent against diseases that can lead to emergency veterinary care and sometimes death in dogs and cats. Here are guidelines from Affordable Pet Hospital in Tampa, Florida when you board your dog with us.
Rabies – The rabies vaccine prevents against the rabies virus which is transmittable from animal-to-animal through saliva, body fluid, or blood and is also transferable to humans. Rabies is a fatal disease. Puppies need to get the rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age, and the first vaccine expires after 1 year, after that the vaccine expires every 3 years.
Bordetella – The bordetella vaccine prevents against the bordetalla bacteria, also called “kennel cough” which is an airborne, contagious upper respiratory infection. It is transferrable to other dogs through the air sneezing and coughing. The prevention of bordetella can be given intra-nasal or subcutaneously. The first vaccine is given at 8 weeks and is good for 6 months. Clinical signs are coughing and sneezing.
DAPPv – The DAPP vaccine is a combination vaccine that prevents against 4 viruses including the distemper and parvovirus. The clinical signs of the distemper virus clinical signs include runny nose, eye discharge, and fever. Adenovirus is a respiratory disease and clinical signs include fever, depression, loss of appetite, coughing, a tender abdomen – among others. The clinical signs of parainfluenza virus include coughing, fever, nasal discharge, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. The clinical signs of parvovirus include bloody diarrhea, lethargy, fever, vomiting, and weight loss. All of these are contagious to other dogs. This vaccine is typically boostered (given multiple times to build up immunity) three times; the first at 6 to 8 weeks of age, then every 3 weeks until 16 weeks, then annually.
Influenza – The influenza vaccine prevents against the influenza virus which is highly transmittable to other dogs through the air via sneezing and coughing, and clinical signs are coughing and sneezing. The influenza vaccine is boostered once, three weeks after the initial dose, then is given every year.
Other procedures/items required:
Heartworm test – Heartworm is a disease caused by infected mosquitoes that bite the dog or cat, and heartworms live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This is fatal to dogs if not treated. In Florida dogs are particularly susceptible due to the climate. Unfortunately, heartworm prevention is not available via a vaccine, therefore topical and oral preventatives are available, and it’s recommended that all dogs are on a heartworm preventative all year long. Many heartworm preventatives include flea and tick preventatives as well. Clinical signs of heartworm disease include cough, fatigue, resistance to exercise, weight loss, and increased appetite, among others.
Parasite check – A parasite check is required twice per year to test for common parasites in the intestine. A stool sample is required and can be tested for hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, espirometria, and coccidia. Some of these are transmittable to other pets and humans, and clinical signs may include distended stomach, weight loss, increased appetite, mucous, bloody, or abnormal stools, and others. Parasite tests are required every 6 months to year.
Every pet needs to have a health exam twice per year and annual blood work to detect diseases at an early stage. If your pet is experiencing any of the clinical signs of these diseases or viruses, or if your dog or cat requires vaccines, call Affordable Pet Hospital at 813-991-9898.