An integral part of maintaining the health of your dog or cat is making sure they receive the proper vaccinations. Just like with humans, these vaccinations will help your pet’s immune system fight off organisms that cause diseases in their bodies. West Park Animal Hospital offers a host of important vaccinations for your cat or dog that will provide protection from several different medical conditions.
Factors Affecting Vaccination
Before you can determine which vaccinations your pet should receive, a number of different variables need to be considered. Not all cats or dogs need to receive a full set of vaccinations because they are not fully at risk. Some risk factors that may lead a veterinarian to recommend a vaccination include your pet’s age, medical history, environment, lifestyle, and likelihood of travel. For example, newborn puppies and kittens who are still nursing from their mother should receive antibodies from the milk and won’t need a vaccination right away. Once they grow to between six and eight weeks old, then your pet may start receiving them.
Vaccinations for Dogs
Dogs and cats should receive a different set of vaccinations that address certain medical conditions that affect their species specifically. Some of the core vaccinations for dogs include:
- Parvovirus: This contagious disease affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and can cause abdominal pain and bloating, fever or hypothermia, severe and bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. This disease acts quickly and can cause death two or three days following the initial symptoms.
- Distemper: This virus affects the respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems of your dog’s body. You may notice a pus-like discharge from your dog’s eyes, coughing, fever, and vomiting. Once the virus reaches the nervous system, your dog may start twitching and convulsing, or become completely paralyzed.
- Hepatitis: This disease causes inflammation of the liver. Your dog may experience cloudiness in its eyes, eye or nasal discharge, coughing, and decreased appetite.
- Rabies: Rabies affects a dog’s nervous system, making them fearful or aggressive. They may start drooling, have seizures, or become paralyzed. This disease can spread to humans easily through a bite from an infected animal.
Vaccinations for Cats
While cats and dogs share some similar required vaccinations, there are also some different diseases that affect cats, such as:
- Panleukopenia: Also called feline distemper, this disease is the leading cause of death among cats. Despite the common name, it is caused by a different virus than the one that impacts dogs. Panleukopenia causes damage to the cells in intestines, bone marrow, and lymph nodes.
- Calicivirus: This virus causes upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats. This can take the form of ulcers on your cat’s tongue and gums, as well as a hard palate, gums, lips, or nose.
- Herpevirus Type I – This disease can cause conjunctivitis and upper respiratory disease in cats of all ages. You may notice discharge from your cat’s eyes or nose if they have contracted herpevirus.
- Rabies: Like dogs, rabies will affect a cat’s nervous system and cause them to act strangely and experience convulsions or paralysis.
Protect Your Pets
Your pet is part of the family, and therefore deserves the same level of medical attention and care. At West Park Animal Hospital, our compassionate staff of experts is equipped to deliver a wide range of veterinary services for your cat or dog to keep them healthy. To make sure your cat or dog has the proper vaccinations they need, contact us to schedule an appointment today.
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