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Why Vaccinate Your Pet

Why Vaccinate Your Pet
November 1, 2022
By Clinton Kay, DVM

Vaccines are designed to protect animals against bacterial and viral diseases. The duration of immunity may vary due to many factors. After establishing sound immunity during the first month of a pet's life, we at SoBo Animal Hospital assess your pet's risk factors and will recommend an appropriate health care plan with the judicious use of vaccines as necessary.

Common diseases we vaccinate against include:

Rabies: Rabies is on the rise in Colorado. While bats have been a traditional carrier in Boulder County (over 20 cases a year), in 2012 a rabid Bison was found outside Ft. Collins, and skunks are increasingly more infected. Colorado law requires cats and dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is a fatal viral infection of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals including humans. There is no cure, and vaccination is the only protection. Most transmissions occur from the bite of a contaminated animal.

Feline Panleukopenia: also known as feline distemper, this is a highly contagious virus, easily transmitted from cat to cat, and can be fatal, causing severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.

Feline Respiratory Disease Complex: often caused by multiple viruses and bacteria, this is highly contagious from cat to cat and is widespread.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV): a form of cancer, this is a highly contagious virus and is one of the leading killers of cats. A blood test may be necessary before vaccinations. Affected cats are immuno-compromised and subject to other infections that can be fatal.

Canine Distemper: affects the respiratory and nervous systems, is contagious, and can be deadly to dogs. Raccoons can be carriers and cases have been found in Boulder.

Canine Leptospirosis: a bacterium that initially affects the kidneys and may lead to fatalities. The bacteria are carried mainly by wild animals, particularly raccoons. There have been several reported cases in Boulder County.

Bordetella: a key contributor, along with Parainfluenza, to Kennel Cough. This is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs that causes a persistent, dry, hacking cough.

Canine Parvovirus: highly contagious, life-threatening viral intestinal infection in dogs.