At Metrotown Animal Hospital We Treat Your Pets Like The Valued Family Member They Are
Depend on Us for Veterinary Vaccination in Burnaby
Vaccinations are essential for your pet's continued good health as they can prevent a great variety of serious illnesses. Associate with us for veterinary vaccination in Burnaby. We assess each pet's lifestyle, age and history to determine the best vaccine protocol. Get in touch with us to schedule your pet's vaccination shots.
Why is Vaccination Important?
Similar to human vaccinations, pet vaccinations are equally important for pets. They help to create natural antibodies against common but deadly diseases. Vaccination can help to protect and prolong the life of your pet. Diseases can easily be contracted as they are present out there in the wildlife. Taking early action by vaccinating your pets can greatly affect the spread and infection of such diseases.
Before the days of effective vaccines, dogs routinely died from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and complications of upper respiratory infections. Current vaccination programs protect our dogs from these and the threat of rabies.
Despite the well-known benefits of vaccination, the practice of annual vaccination of mature dogs is a matter of healthy debate. Some veterinarians believe that annual revaccination is an important and critical part of preventive health care.
Others suggest that there is little scientific information to suggest that annual revaccination of older dogs is necessary for some diseases. There is insufficient information regarding the duration of immunity beyond a year.
Certainly, routine vaccinations are essential for the prevention of infectious diseases in puppies. Puppies receive immunity against infectious disease from their mother's milk; however, this protection begins to disappear between 6 and 20 weeks of age.
To protect puppies during this critical time, a well-researched approach is taken: a series of vaccines is given every 3-4 weeks until the chance of contracting an infectious disease is very low. The typical vaccine is a "combination" that protects against canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus, parainfluenza and canine parvovirus (the four viruses are commonly abbreviated DHPP).
Many veterinarians also recommend incorporating leptospirosis in the vaccination series. Rabies vaccines are given between 16 and 26 weeks of age in most provinces (governed by law). All vaccines require booster shots given one year later.
The protective effect of vaccinations for bacterial infections (e.g. bordetella and leptospirosis) typically does not persist for more than a year, making yearly (and occasionally more frequent) booster vaccines advisable. If your adult dog has an adverse reaction to the vaccine (fever, vomiting, shaking, facial swelling or hives), discuss the risk of annual revaccination with your veterinarian.
In puppies 4 to 20 weeks of age, a series of vaccines is recommended. These should begin between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Typically the last vaccination is given between 14 and 16 weeks of age. The vaccine should protect against canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus, parainfluenza and canine parvovirus.
If the risk of kennel cough is great, a vaccine against bordetella is recommended. Rabies vaccine should be given in accordance with the laws, usually between 16 and 26 weeks of age. Other vaccinations that are sometimes given by your veterinarian include coronavirus, Lyme and giardia. These are not routinely given to every animal, and their use should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Specific vaccine requirements for individual dogs should be discussed with your veterinarian. The most appropriate vaccination program for your pet should be followed. Here is a guide to the diseases for which your pup will need vaccines:
Distemper is a contagious viral disease that affects the respiratory and nervous system of dogs. Distemper does not cause "bad temper." It is a serious illness that is almost always fatal.
Hepatitis is a viral infectious disease that affects the liver and eyes and may cause reproductive problems. Hepatitis is not contagious to people.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infectious disease that causes severe liver and kidney damage and may also affect humans.
Parainfluenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease that may spread quickly from dog to dog.
Bordetella is one of the bacterial causes of "kennel cough." Signs like a honking cough during the night can be stressful for the dog as well as the owner.
Parvovirus is one of the most serious contagious diseases for puppies. Parvovirus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea while suppressing the immune system and may be fatal even if treated. After the initial vaccination series, a blood test can be done to ensure adequate protection. Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers and pit bulls seem to be more susceptible than other breeds.
Rabies is a serious public health concern because the virus is carried by mammals, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs and cats and can be transmitted to humans. The virus is spread through wounds via the saliva of a rabid animal and causes symptoms such as overly vicious or timid behaviour, lack of coordination and difficulty swallowing. Once these symptoms appear, the disease is fatal. While there is an effective post-exposure treatment for humans, there is none for animals.
Vaccinations have saved the lives of millions of cats. Before the days of effective vaccines, cats routinely died from panleukopenia ("feline distemper") and complications of upper respiratory (herpesvirus, calicivirus) infections. Newer vaccines are available to protect against feline leukemia virus infection, feline infectious peritonitis virus and other infections. Current vaccination programs also protect our cats (and us) from the threat of rabies.
All kittens should receive FVRCP, which is feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia and panleukopenia, the so-called "4-in-1" upper respiratory/feline distemper vaccine. Additional vaccines include FELV, or feline leukemia virus vaccine, and rabies vaccine. For kittens between 6 and 20 weeks of age, a series of vaccines is recommended.
The first set of vaccines should be given when the kitten is 6-8 weeks old, and continue every 3 to 4 weeks until the chance of contracting an infectious disease is very low (typically the last "shot" is given between 16 and 18 weeks of age).
A kitten may be lethargic for 1-2 days and show decreased appetite after the vaccinations. Occasionally, tumor development can be triggered by vaccination. It should be understood that, with very rare exceptions, the benefit of protection from disease by the vaccine far outweighs the chance of tumour development.