bengal cat getting vaccinated at veterinary animal hospital

We all want our furry family members to be healthy and live long, happy lives. Thankfully, with proactive pet wellness care and modern veterinary medicine, Parkside Animal Hospital is more equipped than ever to deliver on this. Keep reading to learn about pet vaccines and what role they play in keeping your beloved four-legged family safe and healthy. 

Why Vaccinate?

Our veterinary staff agrees that almost all pets can benefit from at least some vaccinations. There are a few good reasons for this: 

  • Some animal diseases are zoonotic diseases and can have an effect on human health. Rabies, for instance, is a disease that any mammal can contract and pass on to different species. It can kill both humans and animals. For the safety of your pet, your family, and any person that may ever come into contact with your pet, we recommend rabies vaccination for nearly all dogs and cats.
  • Many diseases that we vaccinate against are very serious or deadly for infected pets. Canine parvovirus, feline panleukopenia, feline leukemia, and rabies are devastating. Vaccinating against these diseases could very well save your pet’s life.
  • Some diseases are not generally deadly, but can be costly and inconvenient. Kennel cough and viral feline upper respiratory infections are very contagious and can be difficult to control. Although vaccinations are not always entirely effective at completely eliminating infection, they often lessen the severity and duration of symptoms.

Pet Vaccines You Should Know About

Not all pets need all vaccinations. We are careful about assessing each pet and their particular risk factors before recommending specific vaccinations. 

Core vaccinations are those that are recommended for most pets. These include: 

  • RabiesMost of Ontario legally requires all dogs and cats over three months of age be vaccinated against rabies. The human health risk associated with this disease makes this a very important vaccination
  • Canine distemper combination vaccineThis vaccine contains protection against four diseases, which include canine distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. These are very contagious diseases and a serious risk for dogs. 
  • Feline distemper combination vaccineThis combination vaccine protects cats against three serious diseases. These include feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (distemper). 

We may also recommend other non-core vaccines for your pet based on their risk factors. 

Kennel cough, which can be caused by a bacteria called Bordetella, is an often very contagious disease that can lead to upper respiratory infections. Dogs who may be exposed to other pets at the groomer, boarding kennel, training classes, or dog park likely should be vaccinated.

Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease contracted through urine or urine-contaminated water. Dogs who contract leptospirosis experience serious kidney and liver failure. Lepto is a zoonotic disease and can also be transmitted to humans. Any dog who might share space with rodents or other wildlife indoors or out should be vaccinated where possible. 

Lyme Disease is a tick-borne disease that can cause fever, joint pain, and, in severe instances, kidney complications. Dogs who have exposure to ticks may benefit from  vaccination against this disease.

Canine Influenza, or the doggy flu, is a disease that can cause upper respiratory symptoms. While not usually fatal, it can cause serious disease and is easily spread in kennel-type environments.

Feline Leukemia is a serious and contagious viral disease in cats. A cat who is infected will experience immunosuppression and eventual tumor formation. Cats who go outdoors, live in households with other infected cats, or are under two years of age are at highest risk.

Pet vaccines are a powerful tool in our arsenal for promoting pet health and wellness. Not sure what your pet needs or what they are due to receive? Don’t hesitate to give us a call to find out. Keeping animals healthy is what we are all about, and we are more than happy to help.