With all the news about vaccinations (or lack of) and the recent measles outbreak, I was happy to be reminded that Watson’s vaccines were due. I’m well aware that dogs don’t get measles, but there are diseases that dogs get. As a pet parent I’m more than happy to give my dog the best protection modern medicine can offer.
There are two general groupings of vaccinations: those that target core diseases and those that target non-core diseases. Core diseases are the more contagious and severe diseases. These diseases are commonly fatal or extremely difficult to treat effectively. Core vaccinations provide long-term immunity, making most yearly vaccination unnecessary.
Core vaccines include canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus 1 infection and rabies. Check with your veterinarian for the schedule of vaccination because it differs for puppies and adult dogs.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be transmitted to humans from animals with potentially deadly results. I first learned about the devastating effect of rabies from seeing the movie“ Old Yeller.” It is a heartbreaking story and, quite frankly, it scared me to death. Of course it didn’t help that my brother covered his mouth with soap bubbles and chased me around acting goofy.
Non-core vaccinations, on the other hand, should be given only after risk of exposure, likelihood of infection and severity of disease are evaluated. Non-core vaccinations may include leptospirosis, Lyme disease, canine cough complex and canine influenza. These vaccines provide a shorter length of protective immunity, and dogs at risk for infections should be vaccinated according to your veterinarian’s instructions.
Another preventive measure that my veterinarian recommended for Watson is heartworm pills. Apparently, the mosquitoes that carry the heartworm larvae have arrived in Fallon. At one time, heartworm wasn’t an issue here, but there have been recent cases in town. The pills are chewable gummies that Watson eagerly gobbles down and are given once a month.
In cats, the suggested core vaccines are feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotrachecitis, feline calicivirus, and rabies. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends vaccinating cats every three years. Opinions vary on how often to vaccinate cats, so the best advice is to consult with your veterinarian and work out a schedule for your cat’s vaccinations.
The non-core vaccines include feline leukemia (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), bordetella and Chlamydophila. Your veterinarian is the best source of information on which of these vaccines your cat may need.
We live in such a wonderful time in medical history for animals and humans. It wasn’t too many years ago that we didn’t have antibiotics or modern drugs. That is the reason I’m thrilled that I can protect my very best friend with an inoculation and know that he’ll be immune to some of the nasty bugs in our environment. Watson was of course not thrilled with the shots but loved the treats. So for three years Watson is safe and I’m not sorry he got shot.
CAPS News and Events:
CAPS will be at Walmart on Feb. 14 with our Kissin’ Booth and the adorable Ki. It’s Valentine’s Day and Ki would love to be your Valentine. Come by and get a kiss from Ki.
CAPS has new designs of hoodies, shirts and other items. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and who wouldn’t love a new shirt?
Be sure to mark Saturday, May 9, on your calendars for our annual Bark in the Park 5K walk/run. Bark in the Park will be held at the fairgrounds. Watch this article for further information.
CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. Please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnv.org) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.
As a final note, CAPS is always in need of dog and cat food. You can drop it off at CAPS or send an email to me.
Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Please contact me at email@example.com.
Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.