Vaccines are a very important part of your dog’s preventative healthcare plan, especially in puppies. Vaccines are essential in preventing multiple serious (and potentially fatal) diseases. At the Fenelon Animal Clinic we use the most recent research and guidelines to individually tailor your dog’s vaccination schedule according to his or her risks. Some dogs need more vaccines than others because they engage in “risky” canine behavior!
CORE Vaccines: Canine Distemper, Parvovirus, Rabies
CORE vaccines are those which prevent the most serious and common diseases. All dogs, regardless of lifestyle, should be vaccinated with core vaccines. All three of these diseases- distemper, parvo, and rabies- cause major illness and/or death in infected dogs.
Canine distemper virus can cause gastrointestinal signs, severe respiratory disease, and/or neurologic signs such as seizures. It can be fatal in all 3 disease manifestations. There is no cure, we just try to treat the symptoms.
Canine parvovirus causes severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. It also suppresses the immune system which often leads to sepsis(infection within the blood stream) and death. The mortality rate for infected puppies is high and treatment can be very costly. Distemper and parvo vaccines are given in a combination vaccine (which also includes protection for Adenovirus Type 2 and Parainfluenza). You will hear us refer to this vaccine as DAPP. It is given starting at 6-8 weeks of age. Puppies require a total of 3 boosters given 3-4 weeks apart. A booster is administered again 1 year later. In the following years, it is possible to get your dog on a schedule in which this vaccine is only required every 3 years (please ask us for details). It is of the utmost importance to follow the vaccination schedule as any missed vaccinations leave your dog at risk.
The last core vaccine is Rabies. By law, all dogs must be vaccinated for rabies. We first give rabies at 12-16 weeks of age. If a booster is given on time one year later, it may then be administered every 3 years. There may be serious legal consequences for dogs who are not current on their rabies vaccine if they bite a human. Please be safe and keep your dog up to date on their rabies vaccine.
NON-CORE Vaccines: Bordetella, Leptospirosis and Lyme
The NON-CORE vaccines are not necessarily required for every dog. These vaccines are administered based on your pet's individual lifestyle and risks.
Bordetella is also often referred to as “kennel cough.” There are over 12 different causes of kennel cough in dogs. We have a vaccine against the most common and severe of them. Although most other vaccines are aimed at preventing infection, the goal of vaccinating dogs against kennel cough is to reduce the severity of clinical signs if they do become infected. Therefore, vaccinated dogs *can* get kennel cough, but the symptoms are usually milder in vaccinated dogs. Any dog that is exposed to other dogs in environments such as boarding kennels, grooming facilities, dog parks, etc. is at risk. Our vaccine is intra-nasal and is given once yearly.
Leptospirosis is becoming increasingly common in many areas of Ontario and can cause liver and kidney failure. Leptospirosis is a bacteria carried in the kidneys and urine of skunks, raccoons and other rodents. Drinking standing water such as ponds and puddles is one of the highest risk factors for dogs . This vaccine is initially given twice, 3-4 weeks apart and then yearly.
Lyme disease is caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi which is transmitted by infected ticks. Infected dogs are at risk of developing lyme disease which can cause fever, joint pain and kidney damage. This vaccine is initially given twice, 3-4 weeks apart and then yearly.
The CORE Vaccines: FVRCP, Rabies
The feline CORE vaccines are for diseases that are both common and serious enough that every cat needs them to protect themselves as well as the other cats around them.
All four of these diseases: feline herpesvirus-1, calicivirus, panelukopenia, and rabies, cause major illness and/or death in infected cats. In the clinic you will hear us discuss the FVRCP vaccine as a core vaccine for all cats.
This is a combination vaccine which includes protection for feline viral rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpesvirus-1 or FVH-1), calicivirus and panleukopenia. Each of these viruses are discussed in more detail below.
We vaccinate all kittens with FVRCP, starting at 6-8 weeks of age. They receive the FVRCP vaccine a total of 3 times, given every 3-4 weeks. This vaccine is repeated 1 year later, and then every 3 years thereafter. Adult cats receiving this vaccine for the first time will initially require 2 vaccinations, 3-4 weeks apart and will receive it again 1 year later (they can then be vaccinated every 3 years if this schedule is followed properly).
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpesvirus-1 or FVH-1) is a virus affecting cats and is the most common cause of lifelong recurrent respiratory disease. Calicivirus is a much more severe upper respiratory disease in cats, causing painful open sores in the mouth, corneal ulcers which can lead to blindness, and sometimes sloughing of the skin. Paneluekopenia is also known as feline distemper and is caused by a parvovirus (the feline equivalent of canine parvovirus), however it is not contagious to dogs and vice versa. It causes the same symptoms as canine parvovirus- severe vomiting and diarrhea. It also causes decreased white blood cells which are essential for fighting the secondary bacterial infections which occur with this type of virus. It can also attack a cat’s nervous system causing tremors and seizures. Like canine parvovirus it is impossible to prevent a cat from exposure to this disease so vaccination provides essential protection from becoming infected.
Rabies is the other core vaccine in cats. By law, all cats must be up to date on the rabies vaccine. We first vaccinate kittens for rabies at 12-16 weeks of age. It is then given yearly in cats. There may be serious legal consequences for cats who are not current on their rabies vaccine if they bite a human. Please be safe and keep your cat up to date on their rabies vaccine.
The Non-Core Feline Vaccine: FeLV
Feline Leukemia Virus is an immunosuppressive virus that is spread by the saliva of infected cats. It can also be spread from mother cats to kittens in the womb or after birth in her milk. Most cats who are infected at a young age succumb to the disease within a few years. We recommend the FeLV vaccine to any cat who has access to other cats, especially those who go outside (and would be at a higher risk of interacting with unvaccinated cats).
If you have any questions about vaccines and your pet, please call the clinic and we would be happy to help!
Declawing (onychectomy) is a procedure which involves surgically amputating the third phalange (toe bone) of each digit on the front (and sometimes rear) feet. It is equivalent to amputating the human finger at the last knuckle.
It is important to keep in mind that although it can be frustrating, scratching objects is a completely normal behaviour for cats to exhibit. Cats use scratching as a way of marking their territory as well as cleaning and sharpening their claws. Unfortunately for us, this means cats often perform this behaviour on our furniture and carpets.
Historically, declawing has been a common solution to the scratching problem; however, research into the implications of this elective surgical procedure raises several animal welfare concerns. These concerns include (but are not limited to): surgical complications, effective postoperative pain control, behavioural changes and the potential for chronic pain. Both the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) have released position statements indicating they oppose the “elective and non-therapeutic Partial Digital Amputation (PDA), commonly known as declawing or onychectomy, of domestic cats.” In keeping with these recommendations, we do not currently offer elective declawing procedures. However; if you have a kitten or cat that is exhibiting destructive scratching behaviours we would be happy to discuss alternative solutions. You can read more about some of the other options for dealing with scratching below.
Alternatives to Declawing
Echinococcus is a tapeworm that has been getting some attention in the news lately for its increasing prevalence in wild canids (coyotes and foxes).
This tapeworm can be transferred to your pet in 2 different ways: from consuming infected feces or from consuming infected small mammals such as mice and voles.
This type of parasite unfortunately can be deadly and can also be transmitted to humans via their infected pet. There are medications that can help reduce the risk of infection in your pet and transmission to people, but the best prevention is to limit your pets ability and access to consume infected feces or animals.
To learn more about this parasite here is a link to an information sheet from the University of Guelph
Worms and germs blog is not affiliated with Farrell Veterinary PC
There are a vast number of diets available and many different view points on what equals the best nutrition for your pet and all of this information can be quiet overwhelming . We have put together a few key points and links to helpful info sheets to hopefully help facilitate your decision.
One of the most helpful way to decide whether a particular food is a good choice for your pet or not is if it follows WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) guidelines. The WSAVA is an association of over 200 000 veterinary professionals whose main goals are to provide the highest level of care and to advance the health and welfare of all companion animals.
One of the main points that WSAVA stresses is that you are able to identify the manufacturer and a contact number. This allows for you to be able to ask some important key questions.
In addition all foods should have an AAFCO statement on the label to ensure that the food is complete and balanced to be fed full time to a pet.
Below is a link to the full WSAVA guidelines for selecting a pet food for a full and detailed description of their recommendations.
There are also many myths and misconceptions circulating about commerical pet foods. Below are a few links from WSAVA outlining a few of the most common misconceptions and some methods to help you direct your own nutrition research.
Savvy Dog Owners Guide to Nutrition on the Internet
Savvy Cat Owner's Guide to Nutrition on the Internet
With the recent legalisation of cannabis in Canada the possibility of your pet getting exposed has just greatly increased. The link below details what signs to look out for in your pet if you are concerned about possible ingestion.
Leptospirosis or Lepto for short is a bacteria that is transferred from infected to animals (usually rodents) to our pets. Our pets can be infected by ingesting the organsism from the environment- usually from standing water.
Veterinarypartner.com is not affiliated with Farrell Veterinary PC
Lyme disease is becoming increasingly more prevalent in our area as the tick population increases. Here is a link to an educational article about Lyme disease and your pet.
Veterinarypartner.com is not affiliated with Farrell Veterinary PC
Your veterinarian may have mentioned looking for an AAFCO label on your pet food. Here is a link to an educational article on what AAFCO stands for and why we are looking for it on our pet's food bag.
VeterinaryPartner.com is not affiliated with Farrell Veterinary PC.
Instead of a standard needle and syringe to administer insulin, your veterinarian may have offered an injection pen for you and your pet. Here is a video on how to use the Caninsulin VetPen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlt6GpUHMgw
Reverse Sneezing can look quite alarming in your pet. It usually presents as a strange honking sound and what looks like respiratory distress. Reverse sneezing is a benign condition however startling it may look. It is caused by irritation in the back of the nose and soft palate causing spasms. Here is a link to a video to demonstrate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMwbkggmZwU
Farrell Veterinary Professional Corp
Fenelon Animal Clinic: 474 County Rd 121, Fenelon Falls, ON
Victoria Vet Services: 86 Russell St W Lindsay, ON
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