Hello friends and clients. This is your receptionist Beth, back again this week to talk about Liberty Veterinary Hospital’s Puppy and Kitten Wellness Plans. Why vaccinate? Many serious pet diseases can be prevented by vaccinating. Even if your new pet is always kept indoors, they can still be exposed to viruses in the air or by infected soil and water when they go outside to play or potty (or accidentally escape).

One of the most common vaccines is against rabies, a fatal infection that attacks the nervous system of most mammals, including humans. According to the Ohio Department of Health’s website, “in the United States, more cats than dogs are reported as rabid, perhaps due to fewer cat vaccination laws, fewer leash laws and the roaming habits of cats”. By law, dogs AND cats are required to have up to date rabies vaccines in Butler, Warren, Hamilton, and Clermont Counties. There is no cure for rabies in pets, so the only way to protect them is through vaccination.

The upper respiratory disease called Kennel Cough is most often caused by the virus “Bordetella”, but is technically a combination of multiple viruses, including Parainfluenza & Adenovirus. Kennel Cough is usually associated with dogs, but cats can also be infected by the Bordetella virus. Kennel Cough can be carried home from dog parks, grooming facilities, or anywhere animals have been and passed on to your pets at home. Liberty Veterinary Hospital uses IntraTrac3 Kennel Cough vaccines to protect against all 3 major components, unlike other vaccines which only work against 1 of the 3 viruses.

DHPP for puppies and FVRCP for kittens are also crucial vaccines! DHPP stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus & Parainfluenza. Distemper is very wide spread and can be fatal with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. It is easily spread by dog urine, saliva, feces, blood, and even sneezing/coughing. Hepatitis is spread by dog urine, feces, or saliva, and affects the dog’s liver, possibly causing permanent and fatal damage. Parvo is spread by infected fecal material, & attacks a dog’s digestive system, causing the dog to essentially starve to death. The only cure for parvo is treating the symptoms, which is lengthy and expensive. Even with aggressive treatment, 50% of parvo positive dogs do not survive, so vaccination is essential.

FVRCP for cats protects against 3 respiratory diseases that are very easily spread by contact, sneezing, and/or touching infected objects. Rhinotracheitis & Calicivirus can lead to chronic intermittent symptoms thru the rest of a cat’s life, & Panleukopenia (also known as feline Distemper) can be up to 90% fatal.

Of all infectious diseases, Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is the most fatal. FeLV breaks down the cat’s ability to fight off simple infections of any sort, causing the cat to die of a disease that it would normally be able to resist. The FeLV vaccine is critical for outdoor cats, and recommended for indoor cats who may escape accidentally.

Vaccinations are inexpensive protection against costly treatment or premature death of your pet. Next week we will discuss why 6 month exams are so important!

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