Every pet’s immunization needs may vary according to the many different diseases prevalent in its environment and the relevance of those diseases to its individual wellness. Your veterinarian will help you evaluate these risks and address your pet’s Vaccination needs.
Nervous System Diseases
Rabies: Rabies is a fatal viral disease of all mammals including dogs, cats, livestock, and humans. Infected wildlife and unvaccinated animals are the sources of this virus. Rabies is a major health hazard so it is extremely important that your pet is vaccinated against it. In many cases vaccination is required by municipal law and for travel outside Canada.
Distemper: Vaccination against distemper virus is essential for all dogs. Nearly every dog will be exposed to distemper virus in its lifetime and when infection occurs it is often fatal. Distemper virus attacks many body organs in addition to the nervous system. Symptoms include listlessness, fever, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and discharge from the eyes and nose. In its final stage, it may cause convulsions and paralysis. Death may occur one to three weeks after infection.
Contagious Respiratory Disease
Canine-Cough: Several types of bacteria and viruses are known to cause infection and inflammation of the lungs and respiratory passages of dogs. Primary among these are adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. The stress associated with boarding and increased exposure to these organisms commonly result in “Kennel-Cough” in susceptible dogs.
Parvovirus: This highly contagious and debilitating virus is spread through an infected fecal material. It is very hardly virus and can survive outside its host’s body in the environment for extended periods. In severe cases, it can lead to shock and death. Vaccination against parvovirus is extremely important for all dogs.
Coronavirus: Canine coronavirus can cause serious disease leading to death when it strikes in tandem with parvovirus. Puppies are particularly susceptible to severe symptoms. Infected dogs shed the virus into the environment via their feces.
Giardia: Giardia is the most common waterborne parasite in North America. Virtually all mammals, including dogs, cats, and humans, are susceptible to Giardia infection. Surface water contaminated by the fecal material of infected wildlife, birds, and livestock are thought to be the primary source of this organism. Giardia can infect your pet when it comes in contact and drinks from contaminated puddles, ponds, ditches or streams. This protozoan parasite is very resistant to cold temperatures. Allergic symptoms in infected individuals have been associated with Giardia.
Lyme Disease: The bacteria which causes Lyme disease of dogs and humans is carried by species of ticks commonly found in some regions of Canada. Lyme disease is very difficult to diagnose due to the long incubation period and vague arthritic, flu-like symptoms which may accompany it. Lyme causing bacteria damage many different organs as the disease progresses including the liver, heart, nervous system and kidneys. Infective ticks as small as the head of a pin may inhabit urban and rural lawns and gardens as wells as fields and forests. Cool, wet weather in the spring and fall increases your pet’s risk of contracting Lyme disease.
Infectious Disease of the Liver and Kidneys
Hepatitis: The Hepatitis virus is spread between dogs by contact with urine, feces and other secretions from infected animals. The liver is the primary organ affected and death is possible in severe cases.
Leptospirosis: Lepto is a serious bacterial disease of mammals including dogs and humans. Many organs may be attacked by the leptospira bacteria, however, the liver and/or Kidney are the most frequently affected. Symptoms of the disease may include fever, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, coughing, and increased urination. Diagnosis can be difficult and if left untreated, death may occur. Leptospira bacteria are harboured in the bodies of wildlife, rodents, and livestock and are expressed in the urine of infected animals. Any surface water which becomes contaminated by this urine represents a source of infection to your pet. Increased rainfall may elevate your pet’s risk of contracting leptospirosis.