What pet vaccinations does your furry friend need?

Author: Canadian Living


What pet vaccinations does your furry friend need?

This story was originally titled "Life Matters" in the February 2011 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

Vaccinations are key to your new puppy's or kitten's health. "All dogs and cats should receive these [core] vaccinations regularly, despite lifestyle and geographical considerations," says Dr. Doug Roberts, president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and a practising vet in Kentville, N.S. Here's what your furry friend needs.

Canine Distemper: This disease causes respiratory, digestive and nervous system issues in affected dogs, and the chronic form can lead to hard pad disease – a thickening of footpads and inflammation of the brain.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis: Spread through infected urine, this virus can cause liver failure, eye damage and respiratory problems – and in some cases can even be fatal.

Canine Parvovirus: Easily carried on everyday items such as shoes, and spread through infected feces, this disease damages the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to death within 72 hours.

Canine Parainfluenza Virus: Also known as kennel cough, this mild respiratory tract disease is spread among animals kept in close quarters (such as kennels and veterinary clinics). Inflammation can cause fatal pneumonia in puppies and chronic bronchitis in older dogs.

Feline Distemper: This potentially fatal disease can cause vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration, fever and sudden death. It's resistant to the environment and contaminates kennels, feeding dishes, litter boxes and other surfaces.

Herpes Virus Type 1: Spread through cat-to-cat contact and even when a cat sneezes, this disease infects the airways, causing runny eyes and nose, sneezing, mouth ulcers and sometimes poor appetite.

Rabies: This occurs in both cats and dogs and is almost always fatal. Rabid animals will either display a "dumb" form (weakness, listlessness and paralysis) or a "furious" form (abnormal aggression).

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What pet vaccinations does your furry friend need?