Vaccinations are key to keeping your pet healthy and an important part of your pet's annual wellness exam. Vaccines protect against dangerous and possibly fatal diseases in both dogs and cats. We administer a series of vaccinations in your pets first year, to help it to build up an immunity against disease. We need to update those vaccines yearly, to keep your pet's immunity strong. Not all animals get the same vaccines every year, and dogs and cats get different vaccinations from each other.
Vaccines come in two types: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that every dog or cat needs to have every year. In fact, one core vaccine, the rabies vaccine, is required by law for all dogs and cats in the state of North Carolina and South Carolina. Non-core vaccines are those only needed by animals living in a certain environment or having a certain lifestyle. If you live near a wooded area and your cat will spend a lot of time roaming those woods, our CRAH veterinarians will likely administer a vaccine against Lyme disease. Dogs that are boarded in kennels, or that spend a lot of time with other dogs in dog parks, need an annual shot against bordetella, or kennel cough and canine Influenza or dog flu.
Why Rabies Pet Vaccinations Are Vital for Every Pet
Our CRAH veterinarian would like to stress the importance of getting rabies pet vaccinations for your pets. Even though rabies might seem as commonly discussed as years prior, this deadly viral disease is still prevalent in wild animals. If your pet contracts rabies, there is nothing our animal hospital can do to save him.
Rabies Pet Vaccinations Are a Crucial Part of Public Health
Rabies pet vaccinations are required by law in Carlolina States because this disease is contagious to humans. Rabies kills 55,000 people around the world every year. Every ten minutes, someone in the world dies of rabies.
Although we now have medical care that can prevent rabies transmission in people who are exposed, death will still occur if a person is exposed to rabies and does not seek treatment right away. You can be exposed to rabies if you are bitten by a rabid animal or have any other contact with the saliva of an animal with the disease.
Getting your pet vaccinated against rabies at our animal hospital protects him from contracting this disease. By extension, getting your pet vaccinated protects you, your family and your community from this deadly viral illness.
Rabies vaccinations are given in a single dose, at 16 wks of age for dogs and cats. There are two types of rabies vaccines used in animals; one is administered every year, while the other is administered every three years. You can discuss which type of vaccine is best for your pet when you bring him into Carmel Road Animal Hospital for his rabies vaccination.
When our CRAH veterinarian gives your pet his rabies shot, you will be provided with a rabies tag and proof of vaccination. If your pet is a dog, put the rabies tag on his collar with his other identification. If your pet is a cat, you may opt not to put the tag on his collar, especially if he is an indoor pet. Cats tend to lose (or remove) their collars and you may lose the rabies tag. Keep it in a safe place. Remember to keep your pet's rabies vaccination up-to-date. The health of our community and your pet depends on it.
Why Parvo Vaccinations are important for your pet
Canine parvovirus, or “parvo” as it is often called, is an extremely contagious viral infection that can survive for months in nature and on objects your dog comes into contact with on a daily basis: grass, pavement, carpeting, floors, dog toys, water and food bowls, etc. It is extremely difficult to avoid, and very hardy. Disinfection is difficult in most cases and impossible in others. If your pet is not protected from the virus by vaccinations, he or she runs a very high risk of catching, suffering from, and further spreading parvo to other canines. In fact, canine parvovirus can jump between dogs, foxes and wolves; but the same strain of the virus that infects these species usually does not infect humans or cats. Due to its highly contagious and severe nature, our veterinarian urges dog owners to be vigilant about making sure all pet vaccinations in Charlotte are up-to-date—especially for puppies and adolescent dogs.
Parvo Vaccinations at Carmel Road Animal Hospital
Canine parvovirus symptoms include severe diarrhea and vomiting (which can become bloody), and extreme lack of appetite. These symptoms can lead to depression, severe dehydration, and death. Parvo can also severely damage the heart muscle, particularly in puppies, leading to death or a lifetime of weakness and illness. Anytime you see these symptoms in your pet, you should bring your animal immediately to our animal hospital to be checked by our veterinarian. Parvo can be diagnosed using stool samples and blood tests.
Making sure your puppies are on schedule for their pet vaccinations is critical to avoiding parvo because young dogs are most susceptible to the virus. The good news is that the parvo vaccination has a great safety record—and a great record of helping young dogs build immunity to the disease. If you have recently adopted a puppy, call Carmel Road Animal Hospital right away to schedule your puppy's first wellness and vaccinations appointments.
The parvo vaccination is an integral part of the core vaccination schedule for all dogs. (Core vaccinations are the ones considered most essential by every veterinary clinic in Charlotte and across the nation). Our veterinarian administers 3 courses of DHPP shots (immunizing against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza) to puppies aged 8, 12, and 16 weeks. These shots boost your puppy’s immunity quickly as their immune system develops, so our Animal Hospital urges you to make sure your puppy gets these shots.
If your puppy or dog starts exhibiting parvo symptoms, call us right away. Your dog’s life will depend on intensive treatment at our animal hospital, especially for severe dehydration and cardiac symptoms.
Carmel Road Animal Hospital is ready to help your pet through any illness, but our biggest goal is helping pets avoid illness by taking preventative measures—like pet vaccinations. Call us today at 704-900-6039 for an appointment!
All dogs receive core vaccines every year, including:
- Adenovirus, type 1
Non-core vaccines can include parainfluenza, bordetella, Lyme disease, leptospirosis or canine influenza. Your dog may need the same non-core vaccines each year, or they can change if your life circumstances have changed.
Cats receive the following core vaccines every year:
- Feline distemper
- Feline herpesvirus
In addition, we'll check your cat for feline leukemia. If the test is negative, we may recomend the feline leukemia virus vaccine.
Vaccinations Through Your Pet's Life
Puppies and kittens have a natural immunity from disease as long as they're nursing from a mother with up-to-date vaccines. Parent dogs and cats pass their immunity down to their offspring through their milk. After a young dog or cat has been weaned, it needs to start receiving its first of a series of vaccinations. We recommend giving the first round at six to eight weeks of age. We'll schedule the rest of your pet's vaccinations throughout the next year, with a total of four rounds needed before your pet's first birthday.
Keep Up On Your Pets Vaccinations With Carmel Road Animal Hospital
Once your dog or cat reaches one year, it's considered an adult. Grown cats and dogs only need annual vaccinations to keep their immunity strong. It's important that you keep regular appointments for this, but barring accidents your pet won't need any more injections throughout the year.
Senior pets, those seven years and older, should visit our office at least twice a year, but they still get vaccinated only once a year.
If you have any questions about vaccinations, or to make an appointment for your pet, call Carmel Road Animal Hospital at 704-900-6039.