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Canine Infectious Diseases & Vaccinations
Since its devastating worldwide appearance in 1978, most dog owners have heard of parvovirus. It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog's feces. Signs include vomiting, fever, depression, and diarrhea, which often may contain large amounts of blood. There is another form where the virus attacks the heart muscle causing a heart failure and death. Without supportive care treatment the fatality rate is very high in puppies under 4-6 months of age. With supportive care, the fatality rate among puppies is reduced, however many still die from this disease. A dog that recovers from the disease remains a "carrier" spreading the virus in its bowel movements for 1-3 months.
Dogs remain susceptible to Parvovirus infection until two weeks after the last vaccination in the series - at or after 16 weeks of age. This is the most serious and fatal infectious disease we see in puppies today.
Distemper is one of the most important infectious diseases of puppies - second only to Parvovirus. It is fairly widespread and in our area many puppies may be exposed to distemper within the first year of life. It begins as a respiratory disease, once the virus enters the nervous system, convulsions, twitches, or partial paralysis become evident. Signs include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, fever, and discharge from the eyes and/or nose. It is spread through all body secretions and is highly contagious. There is no known 'cure' or reliable treatment other than supportive care for Distemper - It is generally fatal.
Hepatitis Virus (Adenovirus)
Canine hepatitis virus attacks the dog's liver. Spread through an infected dog's urine, exposure can mean anything from a mild infection to death. Puppies are at the most risk with this disease. Vaccination has controlled this disease for several years, making it rarely seen by the veterinarian today.
Parainfluenza is one of several upper respiratory infections contracted by dogs. It is one component out of approximately twenty viral and bacterial organisms that lead to the development of "Kennel Cough". Kennel Cough causes a hacking and gagging type of cough which can lead to secondary pneumonia in young puppies.
Corona virus is an intestinal infection resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and depression. It is appears to be quite contagious and potentially fatal if it leads to significant dehydration in puppies.
"Kennel Cough" is technically known as tracheobronchitis. It is an upper respiratory infection with the major sign being a persistent, dry, hacking cough. It often lasts several weeks and is highly contagious. It is caused by several viruses and bacteria, two of which - Parainfluenza and Bordetella - we routinely vaccinate for in puppies due to the risk of developing secondary pneumonia.
Rabies is a fatal infection of the nervous system that attacks all warmâ€‘blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious dog. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even dogs kept indoors can come in contact with a rabies carrier in a basement, garage, or attic. Because there is no cure for rabies, vaccination is your pet's only protection
Because Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners, North Carolina state law requires Rabies vaccination of all dogs and cats. Regulations require the first administration of the vaccine to be performed between 12 and 16 weeks of age.
"Lepto" is a bacterial infection that affects the dog's kidneys. It can reside as a lowâ€‘level infection for months or years, infecting other dogs while weakening your pet. The available Leptospirosis vaccines are somewhat controversial due to Immunology Scientists debate over how long (or short) they provide protection and whether these vaccines are more likely than other vaccinations in causing adverse reaction events.
Currently, we provide Leptospirosis vaccination on an individual case by case basis rather than administering it to all puppies. If you believe your puppy is likely to spend a significant amount of time outdoors - ie as a free roaming dog, will be hiking or backpacking with you, traveling in heavily wood areas or in streams, creeks or lakes - please inform the veterinarian of these activities..
Borellia Burgdorferi (Lyme)
'Lyme' disease is the popular name for the symptoms associated with the Borellia Burgdorferi organism transmitted by ticks. There is some debate within the veterinary professional community as to whether or not 'Lyme' disease is an actual clinical disease in the dog. In addition, as with the Leptospirosis vaccine, there is concern over whether Lyme vaccine is more likely than other vaccinations in causing adverse reaction effects. For these reasons, we currently provide Lyme vaccination on an individual case by case basis rather than administering it to all puppies and adult dogs.
Outdoor dogs, such as hunting dogs, free roaming or hiking companion dogs may be advised to receive this vaccine- please inform the veterinarian of these activities.