Frequently Asked Questions!
Does my pet need vaccinations?
As with children, pets are given vaccines to
establish, or strengthen, their immunity to certain diseases.
By giving these vaccinations at specified times, your pet's body
can maintain the necessary immunity needed to protect itself from
many damaging and sometimes fatal diseases.
Frequency Of Vaccinations:
For many years, most vaccinations have been given
annually. Studies are being done now for the first time to
determine the actual length of immunity produced by the
vaccinations that are used in dogs and cats. Results of these
tests will affect future recommendations by veterinarians for these
At this time, I recommend annual vaccinations for
both dogs and cats for some vaccines. Others are given every
3 years for the safety of the pet. As new studies
provide more information, my recommendations will change
to mirror new facts. Veterinarians at Emerson Animal Hospital
make their suggestions on health care based on what they believe is
in the best interest of your pet.
My Pet Always Stays Inside:
My dog only goes outside to go to the
bathroom...why should I vaccinate him? What about worms, and
what they call heartworms?
Even a short trip into the yard can result in your
pet coming in contact with diseases. Intestinal parasites can
be contracted when your pet comes in contact with infected "poop"
that another dog may have left in your yard. Heartworm
disease can be contracted if your pet is bitten by a mosquito that
has previously bitten a heartworm infected dog. Parvo can be
contracted even if your pet comes in contact with an infected dog
for only a matter of minutes. Certainly the risk is less for
pets that are out only occasionaly, but it does still exist;
therefore prevention with vaccines and monthly heartworm pills is
still the best prevention.
Vaccinations given to
cats at Emerson Animal Hospital are produced in a way to help
prevent vaccination sarcomas, a form of feline cancer that has
received much attention lately.*
My cat isn't around other cats and he/she only goes
out on my deck..should I vaccinate against feline leukemia and
what is it? What about all of those other diseases I hear
Feline leukemia is a disease that breaks down the
immune system of your cat. It is a fatal disease and there is
currently NO treatment available. It is also a disease that
is highly contagious. Certainly your cat is at minimal risk
in comparison to a cat who is outdoors frequently and tends to
wander more, but it only takes your cat coming in contact with an
infected cat for a brief moment for your cat to become
infected. This disease is transmitted by way of contact
(sneezing, grooming, sharing food & water) The vaccine is
currently given annually for indoor cats. It is a vaccine
that only takes seconds to administer but can protect your feline
friend for a lifetime.
Indoor cats are also affected by all of the other
feline diseases, feline distemper, rhinotracheitis, pneumonitis,
rabies and feline infectious peritonitis, intestinal parasites and
heartworms, too. All they have to do is come in contact with
an infected animal through the fence or an area where an infected
animal has had a bowl movement, or an infected mosquito in the case
of heartworms. Protection through vaccination and
examinations, or oral medication is simple. Treating the
diseases that results from inaction is not.
If my dog is taking monthly heartworm prevention,
why should I test for the disease every year?
The reason for testing your dog for heartworm
disease each year is simple: you cannot be 100% sure that all the
monthly heartworm pills stayed in your pet long enough to be fully
digested. All of us have experienced our dogs vomitting for
no reason. They eat grass, garbage and toys, so who knows
when you may give your pet his/her pill and moments later, without
your knowledge, he spits it up and is now unprotected. By
testing annually we cover the bases and know for sure that your pet
is not infected with heartworm disease. Another reason is
that most of the heartworm preventions on the market today carry a
guarantee. That is, they will pay for your pets treatment if it
becomes infected with heartworm or intestinal parasites...THE
CATCH?....you have to have proof from your veterinarian that an
annual heartworm test and fecal test were preformed.
* Depending upon availability