Important Vaccinations for Omaha Dogs - March 2014

By Dr. Shawn Finch

Rabies – Rabies causes uniformly fatal neurological disease in mammals and is a danger to humans.   Fortunately, rabies disease is completely preventable!

Q: Which pets should be vaccinated against rabies?

A: Every dog, cat and ferret should be vaccinated against rabies – we can completely prevent this fatal disease in people and our pets with this vaccine!

Distemper – Distemper causes a neurological, respiratory and gastrointestinal complex in dogs, raccoons and ferrets that is often fatal to dogs, and always fatal to raccoons and ferrets.

Adenovirus – Adenovirus 1 causes infectious hepatitis.  Infectious hepatitis is rare anymore because of widespread vaccination. 

Historical Adenovirus Fact:  We vaccinate against a virus related to the adenovirus that causes infectious hepatitis, adenovirus 2, because adenovirus 2 does not cause uveitis or “blue eye” which is an inflammation of part of the eye that we learned several decades ago can be caused by vaccination against adenovirus 1!

Parvovirus – Parvovirus is a disease of dogs that is most common in young puppies.  Parvo causes vomiting and diarrhea which leads to dehydration and can lead to death.

Q: Which dogs should be vaccinated against distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus?

A: Because these diseases are potentially fatal and are contagious, every puppy and dog should be vaccinated against these diseases.

We vaccinate against distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus in one combination vaccine in order to give your dogs as few shots as possible!

Leptospirosis – Leptospirosis causes kidney and liver disease in dogs and can be fatal.  It is transmissible to humans.

Q: Which dogs should be vaccinated against leptospirosis?

A: Because leptospirosis is in the ground water in and around Omaha, every puppy and dog in this area should be vaccinated against leptospirosis.

Infectious Tracheobronchitis – Infectious tracheobronchitis is the long name for kennel cough!  It is often caused by the bacteria Bordetella or the viruses adeonovirus or parainfluenza, or a combination of the three, though other infectious agents can cause kennel cough also.  The vaccine protects dogs against Bordetella, adenovirus type 2 and parainfluenza.

Q: Which dogs should be vaccinated against kennel cough?  

A: Because kennel cough is highly contagious, every puppy and dog who will be in contact with other dogs – boarding, grooming, play groups, dog parks – should be vaccinated against kennel cough. We usually give the “intranasal” (in the nose) form of the kennel cough vaccine, again, to minimize the number of shots your dogs receive.

 Please call Gentle Doctor Animal Hospitals today to check if your dogs are due for any of their vaccines or other wellness care!