All About Pet Vaccines

We know that no pet owner is excited about having needles stuck in their precious dogs and cats. Between the pain they might feel, the difficultly of coming to the vet, or the cost, it can sometimes seem easier to just skip on vaccines. But this is an irresponsible and potentially very dangerous short cut. Pet vaccines can save your pet’s life. They’re an important and necessary part of pet care.

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At the Animal Clinic of Woodruff, we administer vaccines only when we feel they are needed. On this page, you’ll find more information about which diseases the vaccines prevent and which kinds of dogs and cats will most likely need one.

H3n2 Vaccine – This vaccine protects dogs from current strains of the canine influenza virus. Read all about canine influenza on our blog. If pets are social, attend dog shows and/or will be boarded, we recommend that they receive the flu vaccine.

Lyme Disease Vaccine for Dogs Lyme disease (Borreliosis) is caused by a bacteria transmitted by tick bites. Infected ticks are much more common in the Northwest and Upper Midwest states, so dogs who travel to these areas should be vaccinated. Hunting dogs and those who spend a lot of times outdoors in tall grass and other areas where ticks are numerous should also talk to our vets about vaccination. (Dogs should also be regularly treated with tick-repelling medications/treatments). Dogs who contract Lyme disease usually show fever, lameness, swollen joints, and lethargy, and some develop kidney disease and heart problems.

Leptospirosis – Also known as the “lepto” vaccine, this vaccine prevents Leptospirosis, a disease caused by being infected with the Leptospira bacteria. Dogs who play in still/stagnant water or roam freely around water are most at risk. Read our blog all about leptospirosis.

Parvo - Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious and dangerous virus in dogs. It causes extreme intestinal distress, and, though rare, can also cause heart problems, especially in young puppies. The disease is spread by infected dog’s feces; another dog who sniffs the poop or even comes in contact with the ground around it, or by poop tracked in by others, can contract the disease. Cleaning products do not kill this virus. The only way to keep your dog safe is a regular vaccination protocol. Learn more about parvo here, and read the schedule for puppy parvo vaccines here.

Rabies – Rabies vaccinations are not just important for your pets’ health – they’re required by law. Rabies is a severe, incurable viral infection in pets that affects their brains and nervous systems. Cats and dogs can get rabies via contact with saliva of infected animals, often foxes, raccoons, skunks and bats. If your pet is bitten by or comes in contact with a wild animal and is not vaccinated, contact Animal Clinic of Woodruff immediately. Due to the awful consequences of this disease, rabies vaccinations are a must. Kittens and puppies are vaccinated for rabies at 15 weeks old, and rabies vaccine is required every year for the rest of the pet’s life.

Canine Tracheobronchitis (Kennel Cough) – More commonly known as kennel cough or bordetella, infectious tracheobronchitis is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs. The disease is caused by various airborne bacteria and viruses that spread from dog to dog, so it most often affects dogs who are regularly boarded, visit dog parks, or otherwise spend time near other dogs. Not all dogs need this vaccine; we recommend bordetella vaccinations, which are administered as a squirt in the nose, for social dogs and any dogs who will be boarded. Read more about the bordetella vaccines here

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) - FeLV is a retrovirus that affects kittens and cats. It is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats, and kittens are more susceptible. Cats who should get vaccinated include those who spend time outside, are boarded, or spend time with other cats who may be infected. Kittens should all be vaccinated.  Read more about Feline Leukemia and its traits here

Rattlesnake Vaccine (Cortalus Atrox Toxoid) – This vaccine provides dogs with some protection against some types of snake bites. It was developed for Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, but may provide cross protection from other types of rattlesnakes and related venomous snakes, such as Copperheads. The vaccine is recommended for outdoor, sporting dogs, or dogs who travel regularly to places where these snakes live. Learn more about the rattlesnake vaccine here.

Pets need vaccines throughout their lives, but especially when young.

The complete schedule of vaccinations for puppies can be found on the Puppy Care & Vaccines Page.

The complete schedule of vaccinations for kittens can be found on our Kitten Care & Vaccinations Page.

Many dogs and cats need vaccines throughout their entire lives. Make sure to schedule well-pet visits with our veterinarians to ensure your dog is protected.

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