in Rolling Meadows, IL
Many serious infectious diseases of cats and dogs can be controlled by vaccinations. Given the United States population of pet dogs and cats, your pet is quite likely to come in contact with an infectious disease at one time or another. Even indoor pets can be exposed to viral diseases carried in the air, in dust, or on clothing. Vaccinations are inexpensive protection against costly treatment or even the premature death of your dog or cat.
Rabies is a fatal infection of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious dog or wild animal, but cats have outnumbered dogs in reported cases since 1981.
Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners. Many states require vaccination against rabies, and Arlington Park Veterinary Hospital recommends vaccinations for all dogs and cats. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.
Because there is no cure for rabies, vaccination is your cat’s or dog’s only protection.
Feline Panleukopenia – also known as “cat distemper,” is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in young cats. It is easily transmitted from cat to cat.
Feline Respiratory Disease – includes several different infectious agents. They are all highly contagious and are widespread. High death rates occur in young cats and “old” cats. Upper respiratory infections are easily spread from cat to cat by sneezing, etc. Even a stray cat that seems outwardly to be healthy may be a “carrier” infecting your pet, even through a screen window.
Feline Leukemia – was unknown 20 years ago but is now considered to be the leading cause of death in cats. It is a cancer-causing virus that often suppresses the ability to fight other infections. Kittens can be born with the virus. Cats can have the leukemia virus for years before showing signs of the disease. Feline Leukemia is not transmissible to humans or dogs. There is no successful treatment once symptoms develop! All cats should be tested for Feline Leukemia.
Feline Bordetella – is a highly contagious bacterium that causes upper respiratory infection, which can lead to pneumonia and even death. Cats that have a strong potential for exposure to this infection are cats that come from shelters, wander up to your house, are taken to a groomer, or are boarded at a kennel.
Canine Distemper – is very widespread, and nearly every dog will be exposed to distemper within the first year of life. Once the virus enters the nervous system, convulsions, twitches, or partial paralysis become evident. Distemper is spread through all bodily secretions and is highly contagious.
Parvovirus – since its devastating worldwide appearance in 1978, most dog owners have heard of parvo. It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog’s feces. A dog that recovers from the disease remains a “carrier”, spreading the virus in its bowel movements for one to three months. Signs include vomiting, fever, depression, and diarrhea (which will often contain large amounts of blood). The younger the pet, the greater the chance of death. Dogs can remain susceptible to Parvovirus infection until two weeks after the last injection in the vaccination series.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis – affects a 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 of this disease. Vaccination has controlled this disease for several years, making it rarely seen by veterinarians today.
Canine Cough Complex (kennel cough or bordetella) – technically known as tracheobronchitis, it is an upper respiratory infection with the major sign being a persistent, dry, hacking cough. It may last several weeks and is highly contagious.
Lyme Disease – is a debilitating disease that affects the musculoskeletal system as well as other vital systems of the body. Lyme is spread by the attachment of infected ticks on an animal. Pets that are most at risk are dogs that walk in wooded and tall grassy areas or travel in places where wild animals (particularly deer) frequent.
Canine Influenza – just like the human flu, canine influenza is highly contagious. It is caused by a virus known as H3N8, which causes respiratory illness in dogs. The most common clinical sign is coughing; however, nasal discharge, lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite can also occur. The initial vaccine requires two doses, two to four weeks apart, followed by annual revaccination. If your dog is presently being vaccinated for kennel cough (Bordetella), it is a likely candidate for the canine influenza vaccine.
Leptospirosis – this bacterial infection causes liver and/or kidney failure in dogs and people. It is spread through the urine of small mammals and is especially prevalent in areas of standing water. This vaccine can be administered after your puppy is 12 weeks old and then repeated in three to four weeks. After this, it becomes an annual vaccine that can be combined with the distemper vaccine.