In our last post, we discussed vaccinations every healthy dog and puppy should have – rabies, distemper, adenovirus and parvo virus. In this post, we will go over vaccinations that are also valuable in preventing disease, but are not needed by every dog in every situation. Discuss each vaccination with your pets’ veterinarian. Depending on your individual dogs, where you live and what their lifestyles are, they may or may not be helpful in your pets’ preventative care plan.
Kennel Cough – Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most common infectious agent in canine infectious tracheobronchitis, more commonly known as kennel cough, an upper respiratory disease of dogs. Bordetella is a bacterial agent. Other infectious agents are also commonly involved in kennel cough, so vaccination against the disease is helpful, but not 100% protective. People are uncommonly affected.
Often parainfluenza – a virus that can contribute to kennel cough – is also included in the kennel cough vaccination. Parainfluenza is also sometimes included in combination vaccinations against distemper, adenovirus and parvo.
Kennel cough is treatable, and usually does not progress beyond a severe upper respiratory disease, but it is uncomfortable and contagious, so I recommend all puppies and dogs at high risk be vaccinated.
This vaccine should be considered for any puppy or dog who will be in close quarters with other dogs for an extended period of time. Consider this vaccination for dogs being groomed, boarded or in classes or play groups with other dogs.
The kennel cough vaccination comes in injectable and intranasal form, and is usually given as a single vaccination or series of two vaccinations two to four weeks apart to puppies or previously unvaccinated dogs, and then every six months or yearly. Immunity takes about a week to fully develop, so make sure your pet is vaccinated at least a full week before he or she will be with other dogs if at all possible.
Leptospirosis – This is a bacterial disease that most commonly affects the urinary system and liver. It is contagious to dogs, people and most other mammals through contact with infected urine. It is often found in sources of common drinking water where affected dogs or wild life have urinated. It is a treatable disease, but can be very serious and even fatal. There are several “serovars” or varieties of the leptospira bacterium, and the vaccination that is specifically made to immunize against four of the serovars cross-protects against most of them, and is the vaccination that is recommended.
Dogs who live in or travel to areas that have leptospirosis and may come in contact with the infectious agent should be vaccinated. The vaccination is given as a series of two vaccinations two to four weeks apart to puppies or previously unvaccinated dogs, and then once a year.
Canine Influenza was first recognized in 2005. It causes a severe upper respiratory disease in dogs that may progress to pneumonia. It is treated with supportive care. Most dogs who have been infected with canine influenza have survived, but it does have the potential to be fatal. Your veterinary team members are the experts of all contagious diseases present in your area, and canine influenza is no exception. If your dog is at risk, he or she should be vaccinated yearly.
Lyme Disease is a bacterial disease spread mainly by the deer tick. It is a very serious disease that affects the immune system, joints and other systems of dogs. It is not zoonotic, that is, people can not contract the disease from animals, but people are succeptable to lyme disease and also contract the infection from ticks. The disease is similar but not identical in people and dogs, and every individual may react differently to infection, with a possible range of very mild to very severe symptoms.
Dogs and puppies who live in or travel to areas in which lyme disease is found and may come in contact with ticks should be vaccinated. The vaccination is given as a series of two vaccinations two to four weeks apart to puppies or previously unvaccinated dogs, and then once a year.
If you have specific questions about whether your dogs should receive any of these vaccinations, your veterinarian is an expert on your pets AND your area AND these diseases, and would love to help you tailor your pets’ vaccination plan to their exact needs. We live for this stuff! Please do not make any vaccination decisions without the input of your pets’ Real Life veterinarian. He or she is a wonderful resource for all things Dog, and is in the unique position to give you accurate and knowledgeable information about your personal pets.
If you have general questions or comments about vaccinations and the diseases they help prevent, let’s talk about all of that here!
What vaccinations does your pets’ preventative care plans include? How did you and your veterinary team formulate a plan? What are the diseases that are problematic in your area? How has your pet’s lifestyle affected your vaccination choices?