Immunizations

Kittens/Cats click here
Ferrets click here

PUPPIES / DOGS

The main vaccine for puppies and dogs PROVIDES PROTECTION AGAINST the FOLLOWING diseases.

DISTEMPER / ADENOVIRUS / PARVO / PARAINFLUENZA / CORONAVIRUS (DA2PP+CV)

Canine Distemper is a highly contagious disease of dogs and other carnivorous mammals. It is caused by an RNA virus and transmitted through the air. It spreads quickly among susceptible young dogs. Possible symptoms include coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, and a skin rash on the abdomen. Distemper may lead to neurologic complications and chronic inflammation of the brain.

Canine Adenovirus is a moderately resistant DNA virus that causes inflammation of the liver in dogs and foxes. Possible symptoms include fever, lethargy, and later on inflammation of the pharynx. Adenovirus is prevalent in the environment, however, due to the effectiveness of the vaccine it is not commonly diagnosed in domestic dogs. Infectious canine hepatitis is primarily a liver disease of dogs and foxes. It is caused by a DNA virus and is transmitted through the oronasal route. Possible signs of early infection include fluctuating fever, lethargy and depression. Later symptoms may include abdominal pain, anorexia, inflamed tonsils or pharynx, and reluctance to move.

Canine Parvovirus is primarily a cause of gastrointestinal infections in young dogs. It is caused by a virus that is able to survive outside of its host for a long time. It is transmitted by contaminated feces. Dogs most at risk are puppies six weeks to six months of age and certain breeds. Possible symptoms include severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, anorexia, increased temperature and perhaps death as early as two days after illness sets in.

Canine Parainfluenza is a virus that is unable to survive for a long time outside of its host. It is transmitted by air and causes contagious respiratory disease. Possible symptoms include coughing and sometimes decreased appetite. A respiratory disease caused by parainfluenza alone is not common, but together with Bordetella bronchiseptica can produce “kennel cough.” Parainfluenza is prevalent in the environment.

Canine Corona Virus is a highly contagious disease that causes inflammation of the intestinal lining in dogs. It is caused by an RNA virus that is transmitted through the feces. Possible symptoms include a sudden onset of diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In puppies, coronavirus is of special concern because if they have coronavirus, they are more susceptible to parvovirus.

Adult dogs do not usually receive the corona vaccine.

  • The first vaccination is given at 6-8 weeks and then boostered every 3-4 weeks until 4 months of age.
  • After the initial series, a yearly vaccine is recommended.
  • Then adult dogs receive bi-annual boosters alternating with bi-annual rabies.

RABIES

Rabies is caused by an RNA virus that cannot survive outside of its host. It infects all mammals, which is of special concern since humans are therefore susceptible. It is transmitted by infected saliva through a bite or sometimes through the eyes and nose mucous. This disease causes inflammation of the brain, altered behavior and aggressiveness, paralysis and death. The inactivated rabies vaccines we use are safe and effective.

  • The first vaccination is given at 4 months of age and then boostered one year later.
  • After this, vaccination every three years is required by the city of Grand Forks and is recommended because of our high incidence of rabies.
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base requires a rabies vaccination every year.

BORDETELLA

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacteria that causes a very contagious respiratory disease, also known as “kennel cough.” It is spread through the air or through direct contact. Possible symptoms include a dry, hacking cough and sometimes nasal discharge. Because of its contagious nature, this disease is most common in areas where large numbers of dogs are present, such as at kennels, dog shows and obedience classes.

  • This should be given 1-2 weeks before your puppy/dog goes to obedience classes or to a kennel for boarding or training.
  • This is good for one year, but some boarding facilities recommend every six months.

Lyme

Borrelia burgdorferi organism is fairly well suited to live in the canine body without causing trouble.  Most exposed dogs harbor the organism uneventfully and never get sick.  They will develop antibodies against them which can persist for years, but are not protected against future infections.

Canine Lyme borreliosis is very prevalent in the wooded areas and lakes of Minnesota.  It is also found in pockets if North Dakota, particularly around the Turtle River State Park area.

  • Vaccine can be used on puppies 9 weeks and older
  • Initial vaccine needs to be boostered within 2-3 weeks, then annually after that with no more than 13 months between annual vaccines
  • NO SINGLE TICK PREVENTION STRATEGY IS COMPLETE FOR ALL DOGS, SO SIMULTANEOUSLY LAYERING OF THE METHODS IS IMPORTANT. EVEN WITH THE LYME VACCINE IT IS STILL STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO CONTINUE USING A TICK PREVENTION (Frontline or Nexgard)

KITTENS / CATS

A note on feline vaccinations:

In the early 1990s, researchers were finding an incidence of soft-tissue cancers in common cat vaccination sites. Today, it is clear that there is a relationship between cat vaccinations and cancer, termed feline vaccine-associated sarcomas (FVASs). It is hypothesized that yearly vaccinations may overstress the cat’s immune system. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) feels vaccines are capable of providing protection for several years; therefore, they recommend increasing one year vaccination intervals to three years.

Please note that just because your cat does not need vaccinations every year that does not mean you should skip his annual exam! At the exam, your veterinarian does a physical checkup, treats any signs of sickness, and answers any questions you may have about your cat’s behavior, physical appearance, or other concerns. Annual exams allow veterinarians to catch problems before they become serious (and expensive), keeping your cat healthy and long lived.

FELINE DISTEMPER / RHINOTRACHEITIS / CALICIVIRUS (FDRC)

Panleukopenia is often called feline distemper and is an intestinal infection caused by an unstable DNA virus. It affects wild and domestic cats, mostly young, unvaccinated cats. It is transmitted through the mouth and nasal passageways. Possible symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, anorexia, and pain. Panleukopenia can complicate pregnancies and may be fatal in young kittens. Adults are likely to recover. The vaccine is very effective in preventing infection.

Rhinotracheitis is caused by a virus that primarily affects kittens. It causes upper respiratory tract infections and may damage the central nervous system. Neurological symptoms include seizures and muscle coordination failure just before death.

Calicivirus is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by a relatively stable RNA virus. It is worldwide and is most common in multicat environments and kittens under 6 months of age. It is transmitted by direct contact through the mouth, such as ingestion. Possible symptoms include fever, inflammation of the eyes and nasal mucous with discharge, sores on the tongue and lameness. Chronic persistence of calicivirus causes swelling of the gums.

  • The first FDRC vaccine is given at approximately 8 weeks of age, and then is boostered every 3-4 weeks until 4 months old.
  • The FDRC vaccine is boostered one year later.
  • After this, FDRC vaccines are given every three years as recommended by the AAFP.

RABIES

Rabies is caused by an RNA virus that cannot survive outside of its host. It infects all mammals, which is of special concern since humans are therefore susceptible. It is transmitted by infected saliva through a bite or sometimes through the eyes and nose mucous. This disease causes inflammation of the brain, altered behavior and aggressiveness, paralysis and death. The inactivated rabies vaccines we use are safe and effective.

  • The first vaccination is given at 4 months of age and then boostered one year later.
  • After this, vaccination every three years is required by the city of Grand Forks and is recommended because of our high incidence of rabies.
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base requires a rabies vaccination every year.

FELINE LEUKEMIA (FeLV)

Feline Leukemia is caused by a retrovirus that is very fragile outside of its host. It can be found in domestic cats worldwide and is easily spread from cat to cat or from mother to offspring in utero or in their milk. Those most at risk include young kittens, cats in multicat environments, cats outdoors, sick cats, and males due to their wandering and fighting behavior. FeLV can complicate pregnancies and cause reproductive failure, anemia, tumor growth, malignancy, and immunodeficiency. FeLV infected cats are at a high risk of ultimately dying of the disease.

There is a FeLV vaccine available, and although it is not 100% effective, it does reduce the risk of a cat developing FeLV if exposed by 75%. It is recommended for cats that go outdoors and multicat households where at least one cat goes outdoors.

  • It is highly recommended to test kittens for FeLV. The test is an easy in-clinic blood test that can be done as early as 9 weeks of age.
  • A negative test result indicates that the cat does not have virus in its blood at the time of the test. However, if the cat was just exposed, it could be too soon after exposure for the test to show a positive result.
  • In cats that have a high possibility of exposure to positive cats, we would recommend isolating the cats and retesting 3-4 weeks later.
  • The FeLV vaccine is given at any age after 10 weeks old. It is then boostered in 3-4 weeks.
  • After this, a yearly vaccine is recommended by the AAFP.

FERRETS

DISTEMPER

Canine Distemper is a highly contagious disease of dogs and other carnivorous mammals such as ferrets. It is caused by an RNA virus and transmitted through the air. It spreads quickly among susceptible young dogs. Possible symptoms include coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia and a skin rash on the abdomen. Distemper may lead to neurological complications and chronic inflammation of the brain.

  • The first vaccine is given at 8 weeks of age and then boostered at 11 weeks and 16 weeks of age.
  • After this, a yearly vaccine is recommended.

RABIES

Rabies is caused by an RNA virus that cannot survive outside of its host. It infects all mammals, which is of special concern since humans are therefore susceptible. It is transmitted by infected saliva through a bite or sometimes through the eyes and nose mucous. This disease causes inflammation of the brain, altered behavior and aggressiveness, paralysis and death. The inactivated rabies vaccines we use are safe and effective.

  • The first vaccination is given at 4 months of age and then boostered one year later.
  • After this, it is given annually.

Just because your pet has some (or all) of the symptoms, it does not mean that he has that particular disease. However, the symptoms mean he is departed from health, and so he needs to see a veterinarian!

The material on this website is intended to give clients some ideas on how to care best for their pets. It is NOT intended to take the place of visiting an animal hospital. Remember, your animal hospital has well-trained staff with an educational background and personal experience necessary to answer any question you may have. Your pet is unique, and only when you bring him to your veterinarian will you know what behavior strategies, immunizations and treatments will be best for him.