The Importance of Dog Vaccinations
What is a vaccination?
A vaccination, or immunization, is medicine’s way of helping an animal to protect itself against disease. This is called preventative medicine- you prevent the disease before it happens. Preventative medicine is our goal here at Animal Care Center. When you choose to have your pet vaccinated, you make it immune, or resistant, to certain diseases. Dog vaccinations stimulate the body to produce antibodies against a disease. The antibodies create immunity.
Why do animals need vaccinations?
To prevent your animal from contracting certain diseases, it must be vaccinated. We vaccinate to protect. Immunizations begin at an early age and are given in a series to ensure good protection. A young animal is not fully protected until it has completed the entire series of vaccinations; Adult animals need to be re-vaccinated to insure their immunity remains active.
Dog Diseases Vaccination Can Prevent:
Rabies is a virus which enters the body through a break in the skin- often a bite from an infected animal. It is fatal. Rabies is contagious to all land mammals, including humans. It is a very serious disease and should never be taken lightly. That’s why there is so much emphasis on rabies vaccinations. It is very important to keep your dog up to date on their rabies vaccination, as is required by Tennessee state law.
Canine Distemper, believe it or not, has nothing to do with the dog’s temper! Distemper is a highly contagious disease spread by direct contact with urine, feces, or secretions from infected dogs. It is fatal in over fifty percent of adult dogs and eighty percent of puppies who contract the virus.
Hepatitis is a viral infection of the liver. It is specific to the canine family, which means this particular virus is not contagious to humans. Dogs catch this disease by inhaling or licking the virus that is present in the urine, nasal and eye secretions of other infected dogs. Once a dog has become infected, there is no treatment that will destroy the virus. The best one can do is to support the dog with good nursing care, IV fluids and medicines to lighten the workload on the liver.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection. Dogs may lick the urine of an infected animal off the grass or soil, or drink from an infected puddle. There have been reports of house dogs contracting leptospirosis from licking the urine of infected mice that entered the house. It can cause permanent kidney damage and can be fatal if untreated. It is contagious to humans.
Parvovirus is an infection of a dog’s intestinal tract. It is often fatal and causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. It is transmitted by particles found in infected feces that are inhaled through the nose or mouth. These virus particles live in the environment for years, so nearly every dog will be exposed multiple times during its lifetime.
Parainfluenza causes an acute respiratory infection in dogs. However, unlike human influenza, it is not a seasonal flu – infections can occur year-round.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Bordetella (aka Kennel Cough) is a bacteria that can easily be transmitted through the air. The disease mostly affects dogs that are exposed to lots of other dogs. If your dog is boarded or groomed, you will most likely have to show proof of Kennel Cough vaccination.