A Vaccination Program will be
tailored to your pet
and is dependent on the health of your new puppy or kitten, their age, their medical history, and their needs. Generally, vaccinations begin at 6 to 8 weeks of age and are repeated every 3 weeks until he has received two vaccinations after or three vaccines.
Pet vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats; even the ones that remain indoors most, if not all, of the time because they could still catch an airborne virus from outside at potty time or through an open window or door screen. More often than not, viruses are spread due to contact with other infected animals that are wild or whose owners did not elect to keep their pet vaccinations up to date. Given the violent and progressive nature of small-animal viruses, it is of the utmost importance to immunize your pet and opt to keep your kitty current with the latest cat vaccinations and your pooch up to date with his or her dog vaccination.
Protects from this bacterial disease that is spread through water sources with wildlife contamination, usually affecting the kidneys & liver. This may be included with the Distemper vaccine. Two initial boosters are needed, then an annual vaccine. More information
Protects from this tick-borne disease. Two initial boosters, followed by annual vaccines. Recommended depending on risk level. More information
Protects from this deadly virus. Generally done around 16 weeks of age. First vaccine is good for one year. Required for all dogs.
Helps protect from this contagious respiratory disease. Required for boarding and most grooming facilities. More information
Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats and humans. This being the case, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus.
Recommended for all kittens. Also for cats that spend time outdoors, and those that may come in contact with outdoor cats. More information
We recommend that every new kitten (or cat) be tested for these important viruses. Kittens can be infected from their mothers with these viruses which both have similarities to the HIV virus in people. Early testing can help you plan for a healthy life for your new kitten. Feline Aids information
- Mild disease – signs include fever, decreased appetite, depression and eye irritation/discharge.
- Severe disease – signs include fever, eye and nasal discharge (often green/ yellow), cough, depression, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
- Neurologic disease – Evident 1 to 3 weeks after recovery. Signs include seizures, pacing, circling, behavioral changes, change in gait, difficulty walking, partial/complete paralysis, and unusual movements.
- Cardiac Form (less than 8 weeks of age)– sudden death, crying, difficulty breathing, depression, weakness, poor appetite, and irregular heartbeat.
- Intestinal Form (any age, more severe in puppies) – Depression, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, low white blood cell count and diarrhea with or without blood.
- Stool Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.
- Two blood samples are collected (the first collected while the animal is sick and the second collected 3 weeks later) and sent out to the laboratory.
Leptospirosis (also called Lepto for short) can be an acute disaster of severe illness but most dogs survive their acute phase and are not diagnosed until they reach a more chronic stage. For example, the most common manifestation of leptospirosis-related kidney failure is excessive water consumption a week or two after an episode of unexplained fever.
How does my dog get it and what are the Symptoms?
Dogs become infected by the bacteria that causes the disease (leptospires) when abraded (irritated or cut) skin comes into contact with infected urine or with water contaminated with infected urine. Alternatively, bite wounds, exposure to reproductive secretions, and even consumption of infected tissues can transmit this infection. Leptospire organisms are able to survive for months in cool moist earth, assuming they do not actually freeze or become exposed to direct sunlight. Once they are in the soil, they readily wash into bodies of water, including puddles. Urine contamination usually comes from wildlife (especially rats and raccoons) but could come from infected dogs. Humans can be infected with as well. The organisms quickly spread through the bloodstream leading to fever, joint pain, and general malaise. The organism distributes to multiple organs and wreaks havoc. Which organs are most affected depends on the serovar of the organism, the immunity of the dog, and the age of the dog. The organism settles in the kidneys and begins to reproduce, leading to further inflammation and then kidney failure in 90 percent of patients (10-20% also have liver failure).
Typical Symptoms and Clinical Picture
- Fever, depression, loss of appetite, joint pain, nausea, excessive drinking, jaundice, excess bleeding brought on by low platelet count.
- Recovered animals can shed leptospires for months after recovery. Younger animals tend to be more severely affected than older animals.
- Most cases are diagnosed between July and December and involve large breed dogs in rural or suburban environments.
- There may be a genetic predisposition for infection in German Shepherd dogs.
About the bacteria
Leptospira organisms are spiral-shaped bacteria called, they have been sub-classified into smaller groups called SEROVARS. Over 250 serovars have been been named and at least 10 are important for pets. Vaccine for dogs, however, exists against only four serovars. Different serovars produce different types of disease and are in different geographical areas.
Leptospire organisms are difficult to detect; it turns out to be much more practical to look for antibodies made against the organisms with the idea being that if antibodies are present, so is the organism. The problem with this idea is that many dogs are vaccinated against leptospirosis, which means that they will have antibodies without infection. Vaccination status must be considered when antibody levels are tested.
Antibody levels are expressed as titers, which are ratios reflecting how much dilution of the sample is needed before it is too dilute to detect antibodies. For example, a titer of 1:32 means the serum diluted out 32 times still had detectable antibody. A titer of 1:32 may sound pretty high but it is actually pretty low; an MAT titer must be at least 1:800 to be considered positive.
· MAT Testing
The traditional blood test to detect antibodies against Leptospira interrogans sensu lato is the MAT test, which stands for microscopic agglutination testing. While a value of 1:800 or higher is supportive of a positive diagnosis, confirmation is not made until a second titer is run between 2 and 4 weeks and shows a four-fold increase. Vaccination may interfere with testing since obviously the entire point of vaccinating is to generate antibodies. If the dog has been vaccinated in the last 3 months, testing will be difficult to interpret; however, a single titer of 1:800 or higher against a serovar for which there is no vaccine is considered a positive result. Paired titers may not be practical as one may not want to wait 2 to 4 weeks to begin therapy so some judgment is necessary to consider the patient’s status versus how high the initial titer is and the patient’s vaccination status.
· ELISA Testing
Recently test kits for in-clinic use have become available and these are helpful in determining whether a titer is high from vaccination or from natural disease. It turns out that fresh infections produce a specific type of antibody called IgM, and an ELISA test is able to determine if a titer is high in the IgM category or in the more long-term IgG category. A high IgM titer indicates a new and active immune stimulation and, unless the dog was recently vaccinated, implies active infection.
· Other Tests
The PCR test, which detects even small amounts of leptospire DNA, is an excellent test if vaccination has been recent. PCR testing is becoming more common and may supplant the MAT test as a confirming test. The problem is that it will detect dead organisms, which can make it hard to interpret in a recovering patient.
· Urine may be submitted for what is called Darkfield microscopy. In this test, a dark background may offset the paler leptospire organisms rendering them visible. This sounds like a good way to make the diagnosis but the problems are:
1. The urine sample must be fresh and most animal hospitals do not have the capability to do dark field microscopy.
2. Leptospires are only shed in urine intermittently. The kidney may be biopsied and tissue stains may be used to detect leptospire organisms. Obviously this is an invasive procedure.
Fortunately, Leptospira is sensitive to penicillin, a readily available antibiotic. After penicillin has been used to stop leptospire reproduction and limit bloodstream infection, tetracycline derivatives (such as doxycycline) are used to clear leptospires from the kidneys. Leptospires are cleared from the blood within 24 hours of starting antibiotic treatment but it takes about a week for them to clear from the urine so it is important to wear gloves, goggles, etc. and be conscious of contamination.
Intravenous fluids are crucial to support blood flow through the damaged kidneys so that recovery is possible. Any areas at home that have been contaminated with urine should be disinfected with an iodine-based product and gloves should be warn while cleaning up any urine. Prognosis is guarded depending on the extent of organ damage with appropriate treatment 80-90 percent survival rates are reported.
Prevention against Leptospira is only available for the serovars called canicola, grippotyphosa, pomona and icterohaemorragiae. (Some vaccines cover all four serovars while others cover only two out of four.) As a result of long standing use of this vaccine, it is hard to assess how important it is to vaccinate against leptospirosis. (As you might imagine, most recent outbreaks involve serovars for which vaccination does not exist,which suggests that the vaccine is working.)
In the past, leptospirosis vaccine was felt to be associated with a higher chance of immunological vaccine reactions,but vaccines made from leptospires grown in protein-free media have made vaccination reaction far less likely. A recent study involving thousands of dogs and their vaccinations showed no increase in vaccine reaction risk with leptospirosis vaccination.
Vaccination will reduce the severity of disease but will not prevent infected dogs from becoming carriers.
Other important aspects of prevention include controlling rodents in the pet’s environment and removing standing water.
The Infection in Humans
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitor leptospirosis cases in people, it seems that one third come from contact with infected dogs and one third come from contact with rats (usually through field work). Recreational activities involving water and exposure to flood waters are also associated with human leptospirosis outbreaks. The same disease symptoms occur in humans as would be seen in dogs.
- A blood Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.
- A follow up blood test to the lab, which gives a numerical value to the infection allowing for more accurate information.
(Information taken from AVMA website) 8/2017
Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs. Influenza viruses are able to quickly change and give rise to new strains that can infect different species. At present, two strains of canine influenza virus have been identified in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. There is no evidence that either strain of canine influenza (H3N8, H3N2) can infect humans.
Canine H3N8 influenza was first identified in Florida in 2004 in racing greyhounds. It is thought this strain developed from an equine H3N8 influenza strain that jumped from horses to dogs. Since being detected in 2004, canine H3N8 influenza has been identified in dogs in most U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Canine H3N2 influenza was first identified in the United States in March 2015 following an outbreak of respiratory illness in dogs in the Chicago area. In May 2017, canine H3N2 influenza was diagnosed in dogs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois. This was the same strain of H3N2 involved in the 2015 outbreak in Chicago.
Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets from coughing, barking and sneezing. Dogs in close contact (kennels, groomers, day care, shelters) are at increased risk of infection. The virus can remain alive for up to 48 hours, and spread indirectly through objects (e.g., kennels, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) or people that have been in contact with infected dogs. It is important to clean and disinfect objects that have been in contact with an infected dog to avoid exposing other dogs to the virus. Likewise, people who have been in contact with an infected dog should wash their hands and clean their clothing to avoid spreading the virus.
H3N8 has an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, with clinical signs in most cases appearing 2 to 3 days after exposure. Dogs infected with H3N2 may start showing respiratory signs between 2 and 8 days after infection. Dogs are most contagious during the incubation period and shed the virus even though they are not showing clinical signs of illness. Some dogs may show no signs of illness, but have a subclinical infection and shed the virus.
Canine influenza virus infects and replicates inside cells in the respiratory tract causing an inflammatory response (rhinitis, tracheitis, bronchitis and bronchiolitis) resulting in death of the cells. This predisposes the respiratory tract to secondary bacterial infections that contribute to nasal discharge and coughing.
Virtually all dogs exposed to CI become infected, with approximately 80% developing clinical signs of disease. The approximately 20% of infected dogs that do not exhibit clinical signs of disease can still shed the virus and spread the infection.
The majority of infected dogs exhibit the mild form of canine influenza. The most common clinical sign is a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Affected dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry cough similar to that induced by kennel cough. Nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, lethargy and anorexia may also be observed. Many dogs develop a purulent nasal discharge and low fever (103-104oF). The nasal discharge is usually caused by secondary bacterial infections, including Pasteurella multocida and mycoplasma species.
Some dogs are more severely affected and exhibit clinical signs of pneumonia (diagnosed with chest x-rays), such as a high-grade fever (104°F to 106°F) and increased respiratory rate and effort. Although most dogs recover without incident, deaths due to H3N2 have been reported.
Canine influenza cannot be diagnosed solely by clinical signs (coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge) because these clinical signs also present with other canine respiratory illnesses. Tests are available to diagnose and identify the strain of canine influenza virus. Tests include: virus isolation, immunoassays to detect virus antigen, PCR to detect virus nucleic acid, and serology for antibodies specific to the virus.
Treatment for CI, as for most viral diseases, is largely supportive. Most dogs recover from canine influenza within 2-3 weeks. Secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia, dehydration, or other health factors may necessitate additional diagnostics and treatments including, but not limited to:
- Antimicrobials for known or suspected secondary bacterial infections.
- anti-inflammatory medications as needed to reduce fever and inflammation.
- Fluids to help correct dehydration or maintain hydration.
To prevent transmission of the virus, dogs infected with canine H3N2 influenza as well as other dogs in the household should be isolated for 4 weeks.
Canine influenza virus is not widespread in the dog population and many dogs have never been exposed to the virus. The morbidity rate (the number of exposed animals that develop disease) estimated at 80%. The mortality (death) rate is low; less than 10%. Deaths occur mainly in dogs with the severe form of disease.
- Adult cats are usually asymptomatic.
- Kittens develop fever, lethargy, stop eating, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
- Very early infections during pregnancy can lead to abortions and brain disorders.
- 40% of cats will be able to mount a defense against the virus and be protected.
- 30% of cats do not respond to the virus and become neither infected nor immune to it.
- 30% cats become persistently infected with the virus and are susceptible to associated disease including cancer. Associated diseases include:
- Cancer – Most commonly Lymphosarcoma (Lymph system cancer), Leukemia (bone marrow cancer).
- Bone Marrow Suppression – (decreased production of red and white blood cells).
- Others – kidney disease, reproductive disorders, Lymph node enlargement, bone abnormalities, urinary problems, and secondary bacterial infections.
- A Recombinant vaccine – is administered through air gun technology.
- Killed vaccine – is given by injection.
Feline Aids FIV
- Acute – Swollen lymph nodes, fever, diarrhea, anemia and malaise.
- Latent – Mild swelling of lymph nodes.
- Chronic – Mouth irritation, diarrhea, persistent upper respiratory infections, fevers of unknown origin, behavioral changes, seizures, dementia, and increased susceptibility to infections.
- A blood sample Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.
- The doctor may decide to send follow up tests to the lab, which are more specific.