Prevent Disease with Pet Vaccinations
Just like humans, dogs and cats can be at risk for a number of viruses and diseases—some of which can be very serious or even fatal. Many of these illnesses can be transferred from pets to humans, making them even more dangerous. The good news is that you can protect your pet with vaccinations. Vaccinating your pet is one of the best ways to keep them healthy and prevent illnesses through every life stage. That’s why we recommend that pet vaccines be included with all of our patients’ wellness regimen. Here at Affordable Pet Care Northwest in San Antonio, we offer more than a dozen vaccines to meet the lifestyle needs of all of our canine and feline patients.
How Do Pet Vaccines Work?
A pet vaccine works the same way that a human vaccine works. It contains antigens, which are substances (foreign bodies) that stimulate the body to produce antibodies against it. These antigens mimic a certain virus or disease, but without causing the full symptoms. As a result of the production of antibodies, the immune system is more equipped to fight off the real virus or disease, if a pet is ever exposed to it. These antibodies weaken over time, so vaccines need to be updated on a regular basis.
Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
At the very least, we recommend a series of core vaccines. Core pet vaccines are those that are universally recommended for dogs and cats, regardless of how high their risk of exposure is. These vaccines are recommended because they protect against very serious illnesses. Some of the core vaccines we offer include:
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Canine distemper
- Feline distemper
- Canine hepatitis
There are also non-core vaccines available for dogs and cats. These vaccines are not essential for a pet’s health, and they’re based on a pet’s risk of exposure/lifestyle. Some of the non-core pet vaccines we offer include:
- Canine Bordetella (kennel cough)
- Canine Lyme
- Canine influenza*
- Feline leukemia
- Feline chlamydia
*Due to the canine influenza outbreak that has been taking place throughout the country, we recommend that our canine patients receive the canine influenza vaccine to stay healthy. Canine flu (or CIV) is very contagious and can live on surfaces (like clothing) for up to 48 hours. Some dogs that have been infected may not show any symptoms, which include nasal and ocular discharge, coughing, lethargy, and an elevated temperature. Let us know right away if your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms.
We can determine which vaccines your pet needs after conducting a comprehensive wellness exam and asking you questions regarding their lifestyle. We’ll also customize a vaccination schedule, since pet vaccines need to be updated every 1-3 years to be effective. Just call 210-684-2273.
Canine parvovirus, or “parvo,” is a highly contagious disease that can spread easily among dogs either via contact with feces from infected animals, or even from contaminated surfaces. We often see puppies coming in with parvo in the early spring, and would like to remind all new pet owners to have their puppies vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent this disease. Symptoms of parvo include lethargy, fever, vomiting, and severe, bloody diarrhea. Unvaccinated dogs and puppies under four months old are especially vulnerable to parvo. This disease can be fatal within 48 to 72 hours of clinical signs becoming apparent. If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, contact us right away.