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At Ark Animal Hospital and Eastgate Veterinary Clinic we tailor the vaccinations that your pet receives to your specific situation. Here are some of the things to think about and the different vaccinations that we offer.

  • What is your pet's risk of exposure to a disease?
  • What will happen if your pet gets the disease?
  • What are the risks of vaccination in my pet?

Dogs

DHPP A vaccination to protect your pet from Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvo viruses.

Recommendation: Every 3-4 weeks between the ages of 8 weeks until at least 16 weeks. Boost one year later, and then every three years.

Rabies A vaccination that is required by the state government for dogs and strongly recommended for cats. It protects pets, as well as your family, from infection of this deadly disease. Most rabies in Oregon is found in bats, however, it has been noted in almost every mammalian species.

Recommendation: At 16 week of age, 1 year later, then every 3 years.

Bordetella A vaccination to protect your pet from bacterial tracheobronchitis, an infection of the "wind pipe" (trachea) and bronchial tubes, more commonly known as kennel cough. This highly contagious sickness has both a viral and a bacterial component, resulting in a dry hacking cough which can last for six or more weeks. The vaccine does not 100% prevent your pet from becoming sick, though vaccinated pets contract a much less severe form that typically resolves without medication within 2-5 days. The vaccine can be given topically into the nostril or by injection under the skin. If given by injection a booster is needed in four weeks.

Recommendation: An initial immunization of intra nasal with a booster in 4 weeks and then yearly or once every six months depending on lifestyle.

Leptospirosis A bacteria that is carried by raccoons and small rodents. It is transmitted through the urine. If your pet is outside around puddles or other standing water, exposure is possible. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (transferrable to humans) through an infected dog's urine. The disease can cause kidney or liver failure in affected dogs and also people.

Recommendation: An initial immunization with an initial booster in 4 weeks and then yearly, preferably in late summer as this disease is typically seen in the fall.

Lyme A bacterial disease transmitted by the deer tick, affecting the joints of both humans and animals. This very debilitating disease should be vaccinated against where ticks are prevalent or if your dog is exposed to fields of tall grass or wooded areas.

Recommendation: An initial immunization with an initial booster in 4 weeks and then yearly.

Cats

FVRCP A vaccination for cats that helps protect them from three diseases: Feline respiratory disease (Rhinotracheitis and Calci virus) and Paneleukopenia which is also known as distemper. All are highly contagious viruses which are easily transmitted between cats and can be fatal. Vaccination is your pet's only protection.

Recommendation: Every 3-4 weeks between the ages of 8 weeks until at least 16 weeks. Boost one year later, and then every three years.

Rabies A vaccination that is strongly recommended for cats, considered a core vaccine. It protects pets as well as your family from infection with this deadly disease. Most rabies in Oregon is found in bats, although rabies has been noted in almost every mammalian species. An injured or sick bat looks like fun to a cat, but can be deadly if infected with the rabies virus.

Recommendation: At 16 weeks of age and 1 year later, then yearly.

FELV A vaccinatioin for cats to aid in prevention of Feline Leukemia Virus. Similar to AIDS virus, the FeLV virus severly compromises the immune system. This disease is easily transmitted from mother to newborn or can lay dormant in the cat for years before symptoms present.

Recommendation: To be given after a negative FeLV/FIV test. Two doses 4 weeks apart after 10 weeks of age, and then yearly.

FIV While available, we do not recommend vaccination your cat against FIV. The current vaccine causes a vaccinated cat to test positive for FIV and is not highly effective at preventing the infection. We then have an inability to diagnose a cat as being positive from infection with the actual virus, ultimately compromising the cat's immune system, or simply positive from receiving the vaccination with no negative effect on the cat's immune system.

Vaccine Reactions

What is "Vaccination?"
Immunizing pets against disease seems to be a simple process; pet owners may even take vaccinations for granted. It is probably the most common routine procedure performed in our veterinary clinics; it is also the one most prone to confusion and misconception.

In simplest terms, a vaccination stimulates your pet's immune system to protect itself against disease. When the antigen or infectious agent (or the vaccine) enters their body, it is recognized as foreign and antibodies are produced to bind to it and destroy it. Even though the invader is gone, the cells that manufactured the antibodies "remember" it and will respond more quickly the next time the same agent is confronted.

When vaccines were first being investigated, patients were actually given a less severe form of the disease or a related disease, with the idea that it was better to be a little bit sick now rather than a lot sicker later. Giving people cowpox to prevent smallpox was an early form of vaccination. Todays vaccines are attenuated (weakened), killed, or only pieces of the virus and don't actually transmit the disease.

No treatment is without risks, and vaccinations follow this rule.

Some animals (just like people) will have a systemic reaction, including a low-grade fever or muscle aches and pain after receiving a vaccination. This reaction is more common in young and toy breed dogs and causes them to eat less and sleep more for 24-48 hours. These signs are an indication that the body is recognizing and responding to the vaccination - an immune response is occurring. Rarely, dogs will have a more severe reaction, characterized by hives, swelling of the face, or even vomiting. This reaction may be prevented by giving antihistamine at the time of subsequent vaccinations. If your pet has had a vaccine reaction in the past, don't skip future vaccinations but do warn us so we can take steps to prevent a recurrence. Depending on the severity of the reaction, rarely a pet should never be vaccinated again - this is a decision to make together with your veterinarian.

No vaccination is ever 100% effective. It is possible your pet may be one whose body does not react to the vaccination like most do. A very low number of pets will not be protected even after proper vaccination from disease. As long as all the other dogs they are around are vaccinated and protected, then the exposure risk is low for them. Hopefully if you have a pet that did not respond to a vaccination, you will never know, but there is a very small chance that this will occur and you should be aware of that possibility.