Commonly Administered Vaccinations

Thu July 19th, 2012 @ 12:07 pm
  • Distemper
  • Parvo Virus
  • Corona Adeno Virus
  • Rabies
  • Parainfluenza Leptospirosis
  • Bordatella
  • Lyme

WHY SO MANY VACCINATIONS?

We vaccinate our pets far more frequently than we ever vaccinate ourselves. Why? A great deal of the problems center around our pet’s lifestyles. They are often sticking their noses into things and places and eating anything they can, that can serve as reservoirs for many common infectious diseases. Some infectious diseases are hearty and easily survive in the environment while others die easily and need very specific conditions to survive and be transmitted. Our pets are at risk and as their stewards we should offer them what protection we can. Puppies receive antibodies, which provide immunity, from their mother while growing in the uterus and in the first milk, colostrum, when they are born. Under most circumstances, we cannot vaccinate pregnant dogs due to safety concerns for the developing fetus. Antibodies transferred from the mother to the puppies have a limited life span and as they wane, the puppy’s immune system matures and is able to respond to challenges from the environment.

Vaccination series are designed with the above mentioned in mind. We often do not know the im- mune status of the mother, we do not know if the puppy received colostrum and we do not know how long the immunity which has been transferred will last It is important to realize the potential vulner- ability which the young animal faces. That is why we vaccinate so often, it is imperative that the young puppies receive the vaccines up to four or five months because, regardless of the maternal immunity received, the puppy’s immune system still needs to be stimulated.

INTERNAL PARASITES

In our area the two most commonly diagnosed internal parasites are roundworms and tapeworms. There are a multitude of other internal parasites which our animals are susceptible to but, they are found less frequently. Clinical signs can include, failure to thrive, poor coat, poor utilization of nutrients in food, diarrhea, vomiting and even intestinal obstruction. The most common way to see worms is by checking their stool. Tapeworms are long and flat while roundworms are short and round.

ROUNDWORM

These worms are highly adaptable in puppies and kittens.. They can encyst in the mother’s muscles, recognize the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and travel across the placenta into the developing fetus and into the milk sacks. Infection can also occur by ingesting contaminated stools.

A fecal exam can confirm the presence of eggs. The deworming medications commonly prescribed are safe and work well. Remember: Good sanitation is the best preventive medicine.

TAPEWORM

These worm are an entirely different sort of worm. The life cycle revolves around the flea. The tapeworm larvae are In the flea, when our pets groom themselves and swallow an Infected flea, the adrift worm will develop In the Inte ifinis. The medication for eliminating the tapeworm is a prescrip- tion item only. Many of the over the counter dewormers are misleading. They say aides the removal of tapeworms.

HEART WORM

Heart worm is a blood parasite of mammals. The life cycle involves mosquitoes. The mosquito carries the larva which is transmitted into the skin of a host animal. The larvae migrate through the skin and into the bloodstream, eventually leading to the pulmonary artery of the heart. The time from infection until the adult worms are mature and able to reproduce takes six months. The medication is also a prescription only item.

PROTOZOAL PARASITES

Commonly seen parasites are glardia and coccidia, these are a public health concern because they can potentially infect people. Transmission occurs by Ingestion of fecal material contaminated with the parasites. These parasites can be seen on examination of your pet’s stool.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ON THESE PARASITES PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON EXTERNAL PARASITES.

Our young pets appear to be more susceptible to some commonly seen external parasites, although they can and will take a foothold on any of our pets. The ones below are especially common.

FLEAS

Fleas are by far the most common and disturbing, there are no easy answers. Our understanding of the flea life cycle has grown and become clear enough to be able to make some general recommendations.

ALWAYS READ PRODUCT LABELS CAREFULLY AND COMPLETELY. USING INAPPROPRIATE PRODUCTS ON ANIMALS CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS ILLNESS AND EVEN DEATH.

The flea life cycle includes, eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult, the adult portion of the life cycle is spent almost entirely on the dog or cat where it feeds, breeds, and lays eggs. The egg rolls off the host and continues its development in the environment, some pets may develop skin allergies, itching, scal-ing, and even dermatitis, which is associated with the flea bite. The degree to which animals react to the bites is directly proportional to the flea burden, there are several products available for use, dips, powders, shampoo’s, and now once a month drops behind the head and tail. Be aware no matter how well you protect your pets, if the yard they are kept in is infested with fleas you are on an uphill battle. There is now a product available through your vet that can be applied to your pet that will sterilize the fleas and thus they cannot reproduce.

EAR MITES

Ear mites are more often seen in cats but, dogs can also become hosts. The entire life cycle of the mite is spent in the ear canal. Ear mite infections have a characteristic discharge containing adult mites and their eggs. Two treatments are available: topical medication which is administered daily for up to one month or injectable medication.

SKIN MITES

Skin mites can be of various species. Some are a public health concern because humans are susceptible to infestations. The most common mite is a Sarcoptes Scabeii, found on the neck, head, and ears. It is associated with extreme itching. Often there is significant hair loss. It can be extremely difficult to get a positive diagnosis because the mites live so deeply in the, skin. Skin scraping is the usual diagnostic tool. Demodes is the second most common mite, this is usually associated with patches of hair loss, often the head and neck, but does not cause itching. It is usually treated with topical medication or through a series of dips. Stress on the animal can cause mite infestations.

TICKS

For those pets that have a high tick burden, we have traditionally recommended dips to aid in repelling them. New products in the form of collars are being introduced which may prove ef- fective in preventing the tick from attaching. The new collars contain Amitraz. Lyme disease is a growing concern and there is now a vaccination available for your dog. No one likes to deal with ticks. They attach themselves to places where pets cannot readily get to and sucks blood from the host. If you find a tick, there are several ways to get rid of them. Apply Vaseline to their protruding end, they breathe here, once their air is cut off they will back out of the host. They also have tick removers available at pet stores. Make sure you remove the head as it can cause an infection.