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"In 2001 a very special little kitten came to stay at our house named Emma. She weighed in at a whopping 2 ½ pounds. When she was about 9 months old she began vomiting and wouldn’t eat. The doctors at Piney Creek Square Veterinary Clinic took x-rays, but nothing showed up on them. She was losing weight, and she was thin by nature anyway, so everyone was worried about her. Dr. Behrns came to the rescue and performed emergency surgery on our little girl. She found an almond trying to pass into Emma’s stomach. Of course, it would not have shown up on an x-ray. Thank you, Dr. Behrns, for saving Emma’s life."

-Margo K.

Protecting Our Beloved Pets: National Immunization Awareness Month

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to provide our furry family members with the best possible care, and one crucial aspect of their well-being is immunization. As we approach National Immunization Awareness Month in August, we’d like to shed light on the importance of vaccinations for pets. By ensuring our pets are up-to-date with their immunizations, we can safeguard their health, prevent the spread of diseases, and promote a happy, healthy life for our four-legged companions.

Immunization plays a vital role in preventing infectious diseases in animals, just as it does in humans. Vaccinations stimulate an immune response in pets, enabling their bodies to fight off specific diseases more effectively. These vaccines contain harmless forms of the disease-causing agents, known as antigens, which prompt the immune system to recognize and build immunity against them.

Vaccinations for Dogs:

Core Vaccines

1. Rabies Vaccine: Rabies is a fatal viral disease that affects both animals and humans. Vaccinating your dog against rabies is not only required by law but also protects them from contracting the disease through infected wildlife.

2. Distemper Vaccine: Canine distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal disease that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Vaccination is crucial to safeguard your dog from this serious illness.

3. Parvovirus Vaccine: Parvovirus is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Vaccination helps protect against this virus, which is particularly dangerous for puppies.

4. Adenovirus Vaccine: This vaccine guards against two types of adenovirus: canine infectious hepatitis and canine respiratory adenovirus. Both can cause severe illness in dogs, including respiratory distress and liver damage.

Non-Core Vaccines

  • In addition to the core vaccines, the administration of non-core vaccines may be recommended based on your dog’s lifestyle, environment, and risk factors. These may include vaccines for Bordetella (kennel cough), Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Canine Influenza. 
    • Use the Lifestyle-based Vaccine Calculator as a tool to stimulate conversation as you work together with our veterinary professionals to create an individualized vaccine protocol for your dog. 

Vaccinations for Cats:

Core Vaccines

1. Rabies Vaccine: Just like dogs, cats need to be vaccinated against rabies, as it poses a significant risk to their health and can be transmitted to humans.

2. Feline Panleukopenia (FPV) Vaccine: FPV, also known as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. Vaccination is crucial to protect your cat against this virus.

3. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) Vaccine: FVR is a common respiratory infection among cats caused by the feline herpesvirus. Vaccination helps prevent this contagious disease and its associated symptoms.

4. Feline Calicivirus (FCV) Vaccine: FCV is another common respiratory infection that causes fever, ulcers, and oral disease in cats. Vaccinating against FCV reduces the severity and spread of the disease.

Non-Core Vaccines

  • Additional vaccines that may be recommended for cats include those for feline leukemia virus (FeLV), Chlamydia and Bordetella (kennel cough) if they have exposure within a multicat household or spend time outdoors.
    • Use the Lifestyle-based Vaccine Calculator as a tool to stimulate conversation as you work together with our veterinary professionals to create an individualized vaccine protocol for your cat. 
    • American Animal Hospital Lifestyle-based Vaccine Calculator – https://www.aaha.org/aaha-guidelines/2020-aahaaafp-feline-vaccination-guidelines/feline-vaccine-calculator/

Remember, every pet is unique, and their vaccination needs may differ based on factors like age, lifestyle, and geographic location. The prevention of disease is far more cost-effective than treating the illness or, worse yet, putting your life or your pet’s life at risk. It is essential for you to collaborate with the veterinary professionals at Piney Creek Square Integrative Medicine and tailor a vaccination plan that best suits your pet’s specific requirements. Together, we can create a healthier and safer environment for our pets and ourselves.

Here is a list of educational resources offering reliable and evidence-based information regarding the importance of pet vaccinations:

1. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): The AVMA provides a wealth of resources on pet vaccinations, including guidelines, FAQs, and educational articles. Visit their website at avma.org.

2. American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA): The AAHA offers pet vaccination guidelines and educational resources for both veterinarians and pet owners. Their website is aaha.org.

3. American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP): The AAFP supports the health and wellbeing of cats through high standards of practice, continuing education, and evidence-based medicine. Their website is catvets.com.

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC provides information on zoonotic diseases and the importance of pet vaccinations to prevent disease transmission between animals and humans. Their website is cdc.gov/healthypets.

5. World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA): WSAVA offers global vaccination guidelines for dogs and cats, including core and non-core vaccines. Their website is wsava.org.

Get your vaccinations scheduled with us!