DHLPP: This vaccine is for canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis. These diseases are typically spread by dogs, foxes, coyotes, raccoons and rodents.
Rabies: This viral disease is fatal for dogs and cats. Rabies is almost always transmitted via the bite of a rabid animal (often a skunk, raccoon, fox or bat).
Bordetella: This vaccine is for an upper respiratory infection that is highly contagious between dogs.
FVRCP: This vaccine protects against rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia and panleukopenia which are transmitted by saliva, mucus and other secretions of acutely ill cats.
Feline Leukemia: The feline leukemia virus can infect cats by saliva or nasal discharge, biting, or sharing food and water dishes.
Rabies: Rabies is mainly transmitted through the bite wounds of infected mammals and is highly contagious.
We strongly recommend vaccinating puppies and kittens on a monthly basis for several diseases starting at 8 weeks of age and until they are at least sixteen weeks old. An annual protocol is recommended for our adult patients.
The "puppy" vaccine most commonly used is a combination vaccine that provides protection against canine distemper, canine viral hepatitis, canine parainfluenza virus, and canine parvo virus. For our adult dogs, this combination vaccine is usually recommended on an annual basis along with their annual check-up, heartworm/lyme test, and a fecal examination. The "kitten" vaccine is a combination of feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici virus, and panleukopenia virus. This combination vaccine is repeated monthly until approximately sixteen weeks of age, then is given annually as a booster. These recommendations are made based upon FDA approval for these vaccines and manufacturer's label instructions.
Dogs and cats are required by Georgia law to be vaccinated against rabies, a fatal viral disease that is transmissible to people. State law requires that rabies vaccinations be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Rabies vaccines administered to animals by breeders or private owners are not legally recognized. Unvaccinated animals that are exposed to known rabid animals are sometimes required to be euthanized. If not euthanized, they are subject to extended quarantine periods compared to properly vaccinated animals. Animals without proof of rabies vaccination by a veterinarian are considered unvaccinated. Keeping pets up-to-date on rabies vaccination is a very important part of pet ownership.
Most people are familiar with the term "kennel cough." This is a layterm which refers to a group of infectious diseases that lead to infectious tracheobronchitis. Infectious tracheobronchitis is basically an upper respiratory infection that is fairly common in dogs. It is somewhat similar to a cold in people. There are thirteen known agents that cause kennel cough. Some of these are bacteria and some are viruses. All are highly contagious among dogs. In general, viral kennel cough runs its course with no problems. In some dogs, the cough associated with this is severe enough to need cough medication for a few days.
Currently, we vaccinate against two agents known to cause kennel cough--bordetella, a bacterium, and parainfluenza, a virus. Parainfluenza virus is commonly vaccinated against as a part of the combination vaccine used for puppy series of vaccines and as an annual booster in adult dogs. Bordetella vaccine is considered optional. We recommend vaccination against bordetella for dogs commonly exposed to groups of dogs such as those attending obedience classes, those kenneled on a regular basis, and those who go to grooming facilities on a regular basis. Some grooming and most kennel facilities require bordetella vaccines for their customers' pets on an annual or bi-annual basis.
There are a few other optional vaccines available for your companions. The recommendation for these vaccinations depends on yours and your pets' lifestyle and exposure. A veterinarian will help you create a vaccine protocol for the individual pet with maximum protection.