At Arbor Hills Veterinary Clinic, cat and dog vaccinations are a part of life. They are necessary to keep our pets healthy so they can live a long and happy life with us! A few simple vaccinations a year keep our pets from getting diseases that may harm them (or even kill them). Why wouldn’t you want to vaccinate your pet, yourself and your home from these awful diseases?

When you come in for an appointment, it is important to discuss vaccinations with our friendly veterinarians and staff. It is essential to discuss your pet’s lifestyle with our staff so, together, you can decide whether your pet needs more than just the essential vaccinations to stay healthy. We offer many other vaccinations for at-risk pets so that all pets can life as healthy as possible!

It is our goal at Arbor Hills Veterinary Clinic to keep our pets healthy as possible by vaccinating them! Be sure to contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your pets’ vaccination. Our very knowledgeable staff will be delighted to answer any of your questions or concerns that you may have!

Canine Vaccines:

Rabies Vaccine – Rabies is a disease that can infect both animals and humans. For this reason, MI State Law requires that all pets receive routine Rabies vaccinations by a licensed veterinarian. Rabies almost always causes the person or animal that has it to die. It is passed on if the saliva from a rabid animal gets into an open wound or the body’s soft, damp areas (eyes, nose or mouth). This usually occurs through biting. If rabies enters the body, it attacks the brain and spinal cord. Once signs of the disease appear, the infected person or animal will usually die within days!

DHPPv (Canine Distemper D, Canine Hepatitis H/A2, Parainfluenza P, Parvo P, Vaccine V) – The 1st disease we vaccinate against is Canine Distemper. This is a highly contagious viral disease that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic and nervous systems. It is mainly spread through the air by contaminated respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing). It can also be spread by contact with any other bodily secretions from an infected animal (urine and feces for example). This disease can be fatal. And no, it does not have anything to do with your pets’ temperament.

The 2nd disease is Canine Hepatitis. This disease is caused by an Adenovirus so you may see “A2” instead of “H” in the abbreviation.  This virus is spread in a similar fashion to the distemper virus. Since this virus can live in the environment for a long time, you may bring the virus home to your dog without realizing it. This disease mainly affects the liver but it can also affect the kidneys and eyes. Parainfluenza is a highly infectious virus that spreads quickly among dogs kept in close quarters and can seriously damage the respiratory system. This is part of the Kennel Cough Complex and is included in the DHPP vaccine as well as the Bordetella vaccine.

Parvo is a very common viral infection that usually strikes puppies less than a year of age and older, unvaccinated dogs. This virus is spread through direct contact with an infected dog’s feces or vomit or you can bring it to your dog on your shoes.  This virus can easily cause the death of an infected dog.

Leptospirosis Vaccine – Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (that which can infect both animals and humans), which propagates via the urine of infected animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Leptospira bacteria are able to survive in water or soil for a period of weeks to months with excretion of bacteria into the environment by infected animals varying greatly, occurring either continuously or periodically over a few months to several years. Leptospirosis can be carried by wild rodents, raccoons, skunks, opossums; and livestock, including cattle and swine. Leptospirosis can be acquired directly, by contact with the urine of an infected animal, or through contaminated water, due to the bacteria’s subsistence in surface waters such as of swamps, streams, or rivers. In dogs, leptospirosis can cause fever, stiffness, severe weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, and diarrhea in early stages of infection; and anorexia, signs of depression, and respiratory impairment as the disease progresses, while in severe cases the disease can impair renal function or cause infertility.

Bordetella / Kennel Cough / Infectious Canine Tracheitis Vaccine – This is a respiratory infection with clinical signs including “goose-honk” cough, nasal discharge and flu-like illness. Other symptoms include discharge from the eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing, lack of appetite, and lethargy. Although coughing may be mild, it may persist for several weeks.  Kennel Cough is more technically known as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis. This term localizes the most common clinical sign, coughing, to the trachea (wind pipe) and bronchi (within the lungs). Several viruses and bacteria may cause it. These include the adenovirus type-2 virus (CAV-2), the Parainfluenza virus, and the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. The infection spreads rapidly from dog to dog in close quarters, such as a boarding kennel. This is the origin of its name. Immunity after natural infection with respiratory viruses, like Parainfluenza or bacteria like Bordetella, is neither solid nor long-lasting.

Canine Influenza Bivalent Vaccine – “Dog flu” is the common name for canine influenza, a highly contagious and quite serious respiratory disease that can affect dogs and sometimes cats, but never humans (human strains of flu are a different virus). Like the human strain of influenza, dog flu can change each year, so it’s important to track the strains of flu and the outbreak range to know if your dog may be at risk. Currently there are two main strains of canine influenza, H3N8 as well as the more recent H3N2. Our Bivalent Vaccine covers both strains. If your dog goes on trips, attends dog shows, socializes at dog parks or grooming facilities, is ever boarded, or shares space with other dogs who do these activities, then you should consider getting the canine flu vaccine at Arbor Hills Veterinary Clinic. Vaccines include two initial sets of vaccines followed by an annual booster. Some boarding facilities require the flu vaccine, so make sure you make an appointment for your dog’s canine influenza bivalent vaccine well in advance of holiday boarding time. Furthermore, if your dog starts showing signs of having the flu, such as coughing, thick nasal discharge (runny nose), running a fever, reduced appetite, or eye discharge, please make an appointment with a veterinarian. Your dog may have the flu or may have other diseases with similar symptoms that need immediate treatment. You will need to keep your dog isolated from other dogs and let the sickness run its course for 2-3 weeks. Canine Influenza is a disease that’s reported to the state of Michigan.

Lyme Vaccine – Lyme disease can cause transitory fever, anorexia (lack of appetite), and arthritis (painful and swollen joints) and generalized weakness or lethargy. In severe cases, kidney damage has been known to occur. In most cases, symptoms take between two- and six-months following infection to manifest. Once a patient is infected with this disease, we highly recommend bloodwork called Lyme Quant C6 Antibody Test for us to know the severity of the infection, as well as a Super Chem/CBC/SDMA/T4 Body Function send out to a lab to make sure the kidneys and other organ functions haven’t been affected by the disease. Then once we have the results from both of those blood works, we can determine the best course of action to take in treating the disease. Lyme disease (or Lyme borreliosis) is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, and is transmitted via the bite of an infected black-legged tick. The disease takes its name from the town of Lyme, Connecticut; where an epidemic of arthritis occurred in the mid-1970’s.

Feline Vaccines:

Rabies Vaccine – Rabies is a disease that can infect both animals and humans. For this reason, MI State Law requires that all pets receive routine Rabies Vaccinations by a licensed veterinarian. Rabies almost always causes the person or animal that has it to die. It is passed on if the saliva from a rabid animal gets into an open wound or the body’s soft, damp areas (eyes, nose or mouth). This usually occurs through biting. If rabies enters the body, it attacks the brain and spinal cord. Once signs of the disease appear, the infected person or animal will usually die within days!

FVRCP Vaccine – The FVRCP vaccine is an extremely effective way to protect your kitty against 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (that’s the FVR part of the vaccine name), Feline Calicivirus (represented by the C), and Feline Panleukopenia (the P at the end of the vaccine name).

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR, feline herpesvirus type 1, or FHV-1) is believed to be responsible for up to 80-90% of all infectious upper respiratory diseases in our feline friends. This disease can affect your cat’s nose and windpipe as well as causing problems during pregnancy. Symptoms of FVR include fever, sneezing, inflamed eyes and nose, and discharge from nose and eyes. In healthy adult cats these symptoms may be mild and begin to clear-up after about 5-10 days, however in more severe cases symptoms of FVR can last for 6 weeks or longer. In kittens, senior cats, and immune-compromised cats’ symptoms of FHV-1 may persist and worsen, leading to depression, loss of appetite, severe weight loss, and sores inside of your cat’s mouth. Bacterial infections often occur in cats that are already ill with feline viral rhinotracheitis. Even after the symptoms of FVR have cleared up the virus remains dormant in your cat’s body and can flare up repeatedly over your kitty’s lifetime.

Feline Calicivirus (FCV) this virus is a major cause of upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats.

Symptoms of feline calicivirus (FCV) include nasal congestion, sneezing, eye inflammation, and clear or yellow discharge from the infected cat’s nose or eyes. Some cats will also develop painful ulcers on their tongue, palate, lips or nose due to FCV. Often cats infected with feline calicivirus suffer from loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, squinting and lethargy. It’s important to note that there are a number of different strains of FCV, some produce fluid buildup in the lungs (pneumonia), and still others lead to symptoms such as fever, joint pain and lameness.

Feline Panleukopenia (FPL) is an extremely common and serious virus in cats that causes damage to bone marrow, lymph nodes and the cells lining your cat’s intestines. Symptoms of FPL include depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, severe diarrhea, nasal discharge, and dehydration. Cats infected with FPL frequently develop secondary infections as well, due to the weakened state of their immune systems. Although this disease can attack cats of any age it is often fatal in kittens.  There are currently no medications available to kill the virus that causes FPL so treating cats with feline panleukopenia involves symptoms such as dehydration and shock through intravenous fluid therapy and intensive nursing care.

Feline Leukemia Vaccine – Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a virus that infects only cats. It depresses the immune system and cats tend to remain infected for life. FeLV is an important cause of anemia in cats and can cause several types of cancers. It is found worldwide and is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids (such as from a bite), but it can also be transmitted from mother to kitten.

There is no treatment to eliminate the FeLV virus from the body and the disease is ultimately fatal. Therefore, preventing FeLV infection through vaccination is highly recommended. Special blood tests have been developed to detect the presence of the virus in a cat’s blood. In general, these tests are very reliable, although rarely, a false positive result can occur. In some situations, it may be necessary to confirm infection by repeating blood testing or through different types of testing. Does my cat need to have a blood test before vaccination? For the majority of cats, a blood test is highly recommended prior to vaccination to determine whether a cat has been infected with the FeLV virus. If your cat tests positive for FeLV, there is no benefit in administering the vaccine, as it will not offer any protection against the virus.