National Vaccination Awareness Month

vaccinationsAugust is National Vaccination Awareness month and in preparation for that, we’re talking about which vaccines we require for our Campers and why.

  • Rabies-Although it’s probably the vaccine that comes to mind first, perhaps you don’t know exactly what the Rabies disease is and how it affects your pet. Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of any warm-blooded animal. Rabies is an epidemic throughout the continental United States (did you know Hawaii is the only state that doesn’t have rabies?) and almost every state has laws requiring Rabies vaccines for cats and dogs. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, but it can also be transmitted through scratches and open wounds. Once contracted, Rabies can be fatal within five days, causing extreme changes in behavior, seizures and paralysis of the nerves, which leads to respiratory failure. Sounds horrible, right? We agree! That’s why for the safety of all of our Campers and their humans, we require the Rabies vaccine for any dog who comes to Camp.
  • Distemper (DHPP)-The Distemper vaccine is the second “core” vaccine, the Distemper virus affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.  This disease is passed dog-to-dog through fresh urine, blood or saliva. Other exchanges of fluids from sneezing, coughing and sharing food and water bowls increases the possibility of the virus being spread.  Distemper is most common in puppies, particularly those who’s Mothers haven’t been vaccinated against the virus. Distemper is administered as a series of vaccines which are generally completed around 4 or 5 months of age. It’s important to isolate your puppy from exposure to the disease before they are fully vaccinated. *Leptosporosis is often included with the Distemper vaccine (DHLPP) and is a bacterial infection that’s present where there are areas of standing or slow-moving water (prevalent in moist climates). Parvovirus is the other combination with this vaccine. Functioning much like the Distemper virus, Parvo predominantly effects puppies who are unvaccinated and attacks the intestinal tract. The virus can also damage the heart muscle and cause life long problems. Parvovirus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object in contact with a dogs feces. This virus can survive in any environment for a long period of time and can survive on non-living objects like bowls, shoes, clothing, floors, even cement.
  • Bordetella- Unlike the first two, Bordetella isn’t a “core” vaccine (as it isn’t a preventable communicable disease that causes death) but in the Camp environment, we do require it. You probably know it as the “canine cough” or “kennel cough” vaccine but what you may not know is that most vets do not administer this vaccine automatically. So when you say, “my dog is up to date on all his shots” be sure to ask for the Bordetella vaccine as it’s not one of the “normal” vaccines. Canine Cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that dogs pass to each other, much like people pass sinus infections. It’s an airborne virus that causes a dry, hacking cough, sometimes accompanied by mucus. Because it’s airborne the risk is greater where there is a higher concentration of dogs. So if your dog is going to be a Camper, go to the dog park, groomer or other social situation, request the Bordetella vaccine.

These core vaccines can add up quickly and in today’s economy, the money tree just can’t seem to keep up. Although it may seem un-important or un-affordable the cost could be your dogs life. These core vaccines are available at discounted rates through wellness clinics such as All About Animals Rescue. The walk-in wellness hours allow you to drop in for vaccines at a discounted rate with no “office visit” fee or appointment required. The savings on your core vaccines can leave that “extra” money for emergencies that may arise.

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