We hear the word “vaccines” and we’re not sure what to think. Are they necessary? How important are they? The short answers are, “YES” and “VERY.” The longer answer is — well, it depends on what disease we’re vaccinating against. Here’s a list of diseases and their severity. Keep in mind that your veterinarian is looking out for the best interest of your pups by recommending they get ALL these vaccinations. We don’t want to see them sick and in pain any more than you do, so whatever we can recommend to prevent illnesses, we will.
CANINE “CORE” VACCINES
Rabies: about this disease — it’s horrible, almost always fatal (unless treated before symptoms begin), and it’s transmittable to humans. This vaccination is required by law. End of discussion.
Parvovirus: “Parvo” is a dreaded word in any vet clinic — it attacks a dog’s digestive tract, is highly contagious, and often fatal. Some symptoms are treatable, but the disease itself isn’t.
Leptospirosis: “Lepto” is another dreaded word in any vet clinic. Not only can this disease be passed to humans (giving them flu-like symptoms), it can also cause severe distress in dogs and is sometimes fatal.
Distemper: thankfully, we don’t see much of this disease because of how effective the vaccine is against it, but this disease attacks the nervous system and is often fatal.
CANINE “NON-CORE” VACCINES
Influenza: the flu is typically not fatal unless we’re working with an immunocompromised pet/puppy/older dog. That being said, it’s still miserable for your pup.
Kennel Cough: this disease is HIGHLY contagious and causes a significant amount of lung irritation in dogs. It’s also transmittable to humans, although transmission isn’t common.
So these are the diseases we vaccinate against, but how are they transmitted? Multiple ways. From ground that’s infected with viruses to urine and feces infected with bacteria (just waiting to be sniffed by your pup!) to saliva/nasal discharge/coughing, there are many ways of transmission. The bottom line is, the more we can prevent the spread of these diseases, the healthier and happier (and alive!) our little furry family members will be and the less possibility of a pandemic. So don’t wait. Vaccinate.