Last month we talked about the “core” vaccines, this month we will be covering the “non-core” vaccines. There is one non-core vaccine for cats and 3 for dogs. Like last month we will start with cats first.
The only non-core vaccine for cats that we offer here is the Feline Leukemia vaccine. Leukemia is caused by a retrovirus and symptoms include immune suppression and the possibility of cancer. This disease appears in cats of any breed, gender and it is found worldwide. It usually affects cats that are between the ages of 1 and 6 years. Leukemia is seen more in cats that are allowed to go outside and those that are in multiple cat households and is spread normally through bites, saliva and from a pregnant mother to her kittens. This disease is found in Indiana and unfortunately there is no cure. There are a couple other non-core vaccines for cats, which are the FIV vaccine and the Feline Bordetella vaccine. We don’t offer these due to the fact that the FIV is not 100% effective, and may make the Leukemia/FIV tests not work properly, and the Feline Bordetella vaccine is not recommended for adult cats.
For the dogs we have 3 non-core vaccines. Bordetella, Leptospirosis and Lyme. We will start by talking about Bordetella, which is more commonly known as Kennel Cough. The Bordetella vaccine helps prevent an Infectious Tracheobronchitis, which is a highly contagious airborne disease. Dogs are at risk for this if they board, groom or are in any area where there are other dogs in an enclosed area like shelters. The typical sign of Bordetella is a dry hacking cough. Any dog can get it at any age, although younger dogs are more susceptible. This disease can be cured with an antibiotic, but the antibiotic is expensive.
The second vaccine for dogs is the Leptospirosis vaccine. This vaccine prevents the Leptospirosis bacteria, which is normally spread by bacteria in the urine being absorbed through mucous membranes. Not only can dogs get and pass this disease but if it often found in pigs, cattle and deer. Leptospirosis normally shows signs of renal or liver failure, or vasculitis. Leptospirosis is curable with several different medication options, and normally requires hospitalization for IV fluids to help stimulate the renal function.
And last, but not least, Lyme disease. This is spread the same way humans get it, by tick bites. The only way to keep your dog protected from getting Lyme disease is by vaccinating them for it. A common misconception is that by giving a flea and tick preventive it will prevent Lyme disease. Preventives like Frontline will not completely keep ticks off the dog and there is a chance for disease transmission. The tick can still get on the dog and bite him or her and that one bite can give a dog Lyme disease. Common signs of Lyme disease are a shifting lameness, which means that one day the front left leg is lame and the next day a different leg could be lame. Other signs include depression, anorexia or even neurological problems. Lyme disease can also be cured, but the medication can be very expensive.
Hopefully this information has been helpful, if you have any questions about your pets vaccinations please feel free to call our office, we would be glad to help. If you feel like your pet has exposure to any of the above disease but are not currently protected from them with the available vaccination call for an appointment, 765-436-2323.