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August is National Immunization Awareness Month - Is Your Pet Vaccinated?

Just like people, vaccines make up an important part of your pet's overall health and wellbeing. There are several vaccines available for pets and it can be hard to determine which vaccines are best. Your veterinarian can help you determine what's best for your cat or dog and we've provided some information below to help you as well. 

Some people believe that if their pet never goes outside or leaves the house they do not need vaccines, which is not true. Many diseases your pet can come in to contact with are airborne and do not require direct contact with another pet. There are also viruses that can live in the environment for years - with one of the most common being the canine parvovirus.

There are what we refer to as a "core" set of vaccines - vaccines that all pets should receive no matter where they live. For dogs these are the Rabies vaccine and Distemper Parvo vaccine. For cats these are the Feline Rabies and FVRCP. Rabies is fatal once contracted and is spread through the saliva of infected animals. In dogs, Distemper Parvo is spread through contact with contaminated stool, environment, and people who have been exposed to the virus. The Bordatella vaccine - also known as the "kennel cough" vaccine - protects against an airborne virus that occurs when your dog comes in close contact with an infected dog. It is characterized by a persistant cough and is treatable but highly contagious. Most boarding and grooming facilities require this vaccination. 

The feline vaccine FVRCP stands for Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. Feline Rhinotraceitis usually presents as a severe upper respiratory infection and typically affects kittens and senior cats. The Calicivirus has several strains, each of which has a unique set of sypmtoms. Panleukopenia is similar to the Parvovirus in dogs and is highly contagious. 

For more information on what you can do to protect your pet contact our office at (217) 529-4211. We would be happy to discuss what is best for your pet!



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