How are we celebrating? By turning awareness into understanding! Vaccines are a pretty hot topic these days, but did you know that the first dog vaccine wasn’t developed until 1979? The combination of people and pets receiving immunizations has helped wipe out diseases like rabies nearly completely!

You’ve almost definitely heard of rabies. You know the telltale symptoms of foaming at the mouth, hydrophobia, and lockjaw.  It is the only vaccine required by law for both cats and dogs, since rabies is a “zoonosis,” or a disease that can pass from animals to humans.

What you may not be aware of is that there are other harmful diseases that your pet can pick up from the environment or other animals. In the veterinary world, vaccines fall into 2 distinct categories: core and non-core. Core vaccines are considered those that all pets, regardless of circumstances, should receive. Rabies is considered a core vaccine for both cats and dogs. The other core vaccines for dogs are canine distemper, parvovirus, and canine hepatitis, usually combined into a single vaccine (we call it DHPP; other clinics may refer to it as DAPP or DA2PPV). For cats, the core vaccines (aside from rabies) are considered to be feline panleukemia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and feline calicivirus, which are also combined into one immunization (FVRCP).

Non-core vaccines are those that are only given to animals who are at higher risk of infection, due to circumstances or geographical location. These are usually given to outside pets or pets in close proximity to other animals. Our clinic offers boarding and grooming services, and we require certain immunizations for those animals, since the kennel areas have so many animals in close proximity to each other. Cats are not required to have any non-core vaccines in order to board here with us. But we do require two additional non-core vaccines for dogs coming in for boarding, bathing and grooming at our facilities: bordetella and canine influenza.

Bordetella and the canine flu are both HIGHLY contagious airborne diseases that affect a dog’s respiratory system. The canine bordetella infection is caused by the same family of bacteria that causes whooping cough in humans. The canine flu comes from flu strains originally found in birds and horses. While neither of these sicknesses are fatal in themselves, they can cause secondary infections and complications. Just one bark or sneeze from an infected dog in our facilities could jeopardize dozens.It may sound overcautious to require these vaccines, but we have pledged to help keep hundreds of pets safe, not just yours.

Come check out our Thirty-Off Thursday special! Every Thursday in August, we will be offering a $30 discount on canine yearly wellness visits.

Vaccinate your petsso they can have their best shot at life!