A righteous man has regard for the life of his pet. Proverbs 12:10

Veterinary Clinic,

Call now 905-669-9758

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Serving the community for over 37 years

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Thornhill

Simpson

FAQS

Vaccinations

1. Why should I have my puppy/kitten vaccinated?

 

 Puppies and kittens have some natural immunity to disease that is passed to them by their mothers. This immunity last for several weeks, but then starts to decrease, vaccines are given to boost their immunity against the various diseases that make them ill. A vaccination protocol should be implemented by 8 weeks of age, any earlier and the antibodies from the mother will render the vaccine useless. The vaccines are repeated at 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age, or at least every 4 weeks from the time of the first vaccine. At the time of the final booster the pet is old enough to receive the rabies vaccine.

 

2. What vaccines does my pet need?

 

 In Dogs:

The Core vaccines, the ones that are necessary to maintain proper health, are Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Hepatitis as well as Rabies.

Non Core vaccines are: Leptospirosis and Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

In Cats:

The Core vaccines are Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus) and Calicivirus, as well as Rabies

Non Core vaccines are: Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Although Leukemia is a non core vaccine it is highly recommended that you vaccinate for this virus if your cat goes outside.

 

3. Why do I need to vaccinate my pet yearly?

 

 Most vaccines manufactured have proof of efficacy (how effective they are) for one year. Which means your pet is protected from the illness vaccinated against, for approximately 1 year. There are vaccines for that have been labelled for 3 years, e.g. Rabies. When used the pet does not need to be revaccinated until the third year. As each pet ‘s immune system is individual, they may have immunity that last for the year (or 3 in the case of the Rabies vaccine) or maybe less, it is recommended to maintain annual vaccination of these illnesses. Titres can be used to confirm immunity but most clients find this cost prohibitive to have blood drawn yearly and have individual titres for each disease confirmed.

An annual examination of your pet should be done, just like with ourselves, to help you catch illnesses before they become to sever. Remember, our pets are aging faster than we are and something that might take a year to develop in us may only take a few months in them.

 

4. Can I vaccinate my cat for leukemia without testing first?

 

 While it is always a good idea to check before vaccinating your pet, to make sure they do not have the disease, you can vaccinate your pet if you are fairly confident your pet has not had any exposure to the virus prior to vaccination. If you’re pet is already positive for leukemia there is no point in vaccinating your pet as the vaccine will be useless.

 

5. My cat never goes outside; do I still need to get him/her vaccinated?

 

 While Rabies vaccine is required by law, you can discuss with your veterinarian whether other vaccines are needed. Keep in mind that while you’re pet does not go outside, you do and you can bring home viruses on your shoes and clothing. It is cheaper to vaccinate and prevent the disease then to treat your pet for it, and the outcome may not always be a happy one.

 

6. What is rabies?

 

 Rabies is a disease that is transmitted through saliva of an infected animal through bite wounds; this is a very serious virus as it can be given to humans (zoonotic). Once bitten the virus travels to the spinal cord and then to the brain, this causes swelling in the brain and within 10 days of infecting the brain the animal dies. There is no treatment for this disease. Signs of infection begin with abnormal behaviour which progress to hyperactivity, this may include aggressive, vicious behaviour and biting (this is known as “furious” rabies) or it may cause paralysis affecting normal leg movement and facial muscles; including the ability to swallow (“dumb” rabies). Dogs are more likely to have the “furious” form and cats to have the “dumb” form.

Rabies is frequently found in raccoons, skunks and bats. As exposure to these animals are fairly regular, even with animals that are kept indoors only, it is a mandatory vaccine that should be given every year ( if the vaccine used is a 1 year one) or every 3 years (if vaccine is a 3 year product).

 

7. What are the symptoms of a dog/cat with rabies?

 

 Signs of infection begin with abnormal behaviour which progress to hyperactivity, this may include aggressive, vicious behaviour and biting (this is known as “furious” rabies) or it may cause paralysis affecting normal leg movement and facial muscles; including the ability to swallow (“dumb” rabies). Dogs are more likely to have the “furious” form and cats to have the “dumb” form.

 

8. What is canine distemper?

 

 Distemper is a highly contagious disease that when contracted by a puppy is not easily treated. Clinical signs may include; nasal discharge, coughing, vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration and seizures

 

9. What is canine kennel cough?

 

 Kennel cough is caused by a bacterium. As the name suggests it causes coughing in the pet which becomes worse when the pet lies down to rest. Most owners notice that their sleep is being disturbed by the coughing that their pet is doing. Pets most commonly pick up kennel cough when they go for grooming or boarding. All groomers and kennels require that your pet be vaccinated before they enter their facilities. Annual and biannual vaccination maybe needed depending on the patients risk and frequency of potential exposures.

 

10. What is canine kennel cough?

 

 Kennel cough is caused by a bacterium. As the name suggests it causes coughing in the pet which becomes worse when the pet lies down to rest. Most owners notice that their sleep is being disturbed by the coughing that their pet is doing. Pets most commonly pick up kennel cough when they go for grooming or boarding. All groomers and kennels require that your pet be vaccinated before they enter their facilities. Annual and biannual vaccination maybe needed depending on the patients risk and frequency of potential exposures.

 

11. What is canine parvovirus?

 

 Parvovirus causes vomiting and diarrhea (this may be foul smelling and bloody), fever and severe dehydration. It is highly contagious and resilient in the environment. Because of how resilient it can be inadvertently brought home on shoes and clothing even animals that are strictly indoors can be exposed to this deadly disease.

 

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