All About Vaccines

Protect your pet!

We all want the best for our pets, especially when it comes to keeping them healthy. Vaccines protect our pets from harmful, life-threatening diseases by enabling the immune system to create defenses against them. Diseases are caused by pathogens, which include bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms that can invade your pet’s body and cause harm. A vaccine has disease antigens that stimulate the immune system without infecting your pet. The immune system then creates antibodies to fight off the real disease if your pet is ever exposed.

When should I have my pet vaccinated? Boosters?

We recommend vaccinating puppies and kittens starting at eight weeks of age; they should remain with their mother until then. It is important to know that many vaccines require a series of shots given over time to become fully effective for your pet’s immune system. Plan on having your young pet vaccinated at 8,12, and 16 weeks. Some adult pets may need to restart their first or primary vaccination course. This is usually the case when they have never been vaccinated, or you might not know if they have ever been vaccinated. A booster is an additional dose of a vaccine needed periodically to “boost” the immune system. Certain boosters usually need to be given every 1 to 3 years. We realize this all can be a bit confusing; no need to worry. We will guide you for what is best for your pet upon your arrival.

I missed a booster vaccine for my pet. What should I do?
Be sure you sign up for us to send you reminder emails of when your pet’s booster vaccines are due or set a reminder on your phone. This said, we know life gets in the way, and you might accidentally forget your pet’s booster. Just give us a call, and we will advise you what to do.
What vaccines and preventatives does Animal Works offer? How much are they?

DA2PP Combo Vaccine – $25 (recommend three series for puppies)
The DA2PP vaccine, sometimes referred to as the “puppy vaccine,” is a combination vaccination that includes protection from the following:

  • Canine Distemper: Distemper is a potentially lethal viral disease, primarily of young dogs, that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. During periods of viral shedding, canine distemper is abundant in respiratory secretions and is most commonly transmitted by aerosol exposure.
  • Canine Adenovirus: Canine adenovirus type 2 causes infectious respiratory disease, and canine adenovirus type 1 causes a specific form of liver disease that can cause sudden death or chronic hepatitis. The vaccine is vaccinating against adenovirus type 2 but provides cross-protection against adenovirus type 1. Infection occurs through direct dog-to-dog transmission by exposure to secretions (urine, feces, saliva) of infected animals.
  • Canine Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that attacks the lining of the small intestines. The virus causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), and lack of appetite. A parvo infection can sometimes be fatal, even with aggressive medical treatment. Parvovirus is extremely resistant to disinfectants and can persist for years in a contaminated environment. The virus is transmitted through a fecal-oral route of infection and is spread by direct or indirect contact with infected feces.
  • Parainfluenza: Parainfluenza is a highly contagious virus that causes fever, runny nose, loss of appetite, lethargy, sneezing, and most notably, a dry cough. The parainfluenza virus is one of the many viral strains that can cause kennel cough. The virus is transmitted through dog-to-dog contact with infected respiratory droplets and/or exposure to infected materials such as bedding.

FVRCP Combo Vaccine – $25 (recommend three series for kittens)
The FVRCP vaccine is a combo vaccine that protects against the following:

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis: A viral disease caused by feline herpesvirus 1, which causes upper respiratory infection of the nose and throat, and inflammation of the cornea and tissues surrounding the eye, which results in watery painful eyes and blurred vision. A cat becomes infected with the virus by direct contact with virus particles. The virus is spread in saliva and in discharges from the eyes and nose of an infected cat. Infection can also occur through contact with inanimate objects such as clothing, water dishes, furniture that have been contaminated with the virus.
  • Feline Calicivirus: A viral disease that causes upper respiratory infection and oral disease in cats. Calicivirus is shed in the saliva and secretions from the nose or eyes of infected cats. A cat is most commonly infected due to contact with an infected cat but can also become infected by coming into contact with contaminated objects.
  • Feline Panleukopenia: A highly contagious and often fatal disease that causes lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, fever, and severe diarrhea. The virus also attacks the bone marrow and lymph nodes, which prevents the cat from being able to activate their immune system normally. Infected cats shed the virus in their urine, feces, and nasal secretions. Infections occur when susceptible cats come in contact with these secretions or even fleas from infected cats. Transmission can also occur through contact with contaminated bedding, cages, food dishes, and clothing.

Rabies Vaccine – $30
A serious viral disease that adversely affects the central nervous system. Symptoms include weakness, changes in behavior, and neurological signs. Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that can spread from animals to people) that is typically transmitted through bites from infected animals. Most reported cases to involve wild animals like bats, raccoons, and skunks, but domesticated animals such as dogs and cats are at risk too.

Leptospirosis Vaccine (or Lepto) – $30
A bacterial infection that spreads through the bloodstream. Dogs can get leptospirosis from puddles or bodies of water that infected wildlife has urinated in. Symptoms include sudden fever, weakness, sore muscles, depression, yellow skin, and shivering. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (a disease that can spread from animals to people) that is typically transmitted through open sores, cuts, or abrasion of the skin. It can also be transmitted through contact with urine or other bodily fluids (except saliva) of the infected animal.

Bordetella Vaccine – $30 oral
A bacterium that is commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs that causes kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis. The Bordetella vaccine for dogs protects against this specific bacterium; it is given orally.

Deworming – $15 – $30
Worms are very common in young puppies and can be passed through a mother’s milk but not necessarily detected in a test. Because of this, we usually recommend two rounds of deworming as a safeguard to protect your new puppy.

Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Preventions – (varies depending on quantity and pet size) Large variety available in our Online Store
Fleas and tick infestation can happen to any dog, outdoor or indoor. Ticks are responsible for transmitting at least 15 different diseases to dogs. Heartworms can be fatal; it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito. We recommend keeping your pet on heartworm preventative year-round. The preventative is much more cost-effective than paying for the treatment of an infected pet. Please Note: We require a heartworm test prior to starting preventatives, the recommended age to start heartworm preventatives is at 7 months.

Feline Leukemia (or FeLV) – $30
Feline Leukemia Virus is a type of virus that affects cats’ immune systems. If they do not fight off the virus properly, certain fatal diseases may occur. Cats who are exposed to unvaccinated cats at home, in a boarding facility, or those that roam outdoors are at higher risk of feline leukemia exposure since transmission occurs through saliva and nasal secretions with an infected host. The Feline Leukemia vaccine can help ward off the disease.

Be sure to complete the Vaccine Authorization Form before your visit.

Can my pet have side effects from a vaccine?

Vaccines stimulate the immune system, so it is not uncommon to notice mild lethargy and sleepiness for about a day afterward. Some pets may have swelling and/or soreness at the injection site as well. Vaccines (like other medications) can sometimes cause side effects.

Fortunately, the side effects are rare, usually mild, and pass within a day or two. Millions of pets are vaccinated each year, and only a very small number of them experience side effects. However, allergic reactions to vaccines can be serious; call us right away if your pet is itching, experiencing swelling around the face, neck, or eyes, vomiting, having diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. If we are closed, it is important that you take your pet to your primary vet or an emergency clinic.

When can I take my pet outside to see the world?

Until your pet is fully vaccinated, they are at risk for contracting diseases and illnesses that could be harmful to them, other pets, and potentially you and your family. It is best to keep your pet from heavily populated areas. If you need to take your puppy or kitten out of the house, we recommend using a carrier or something similar, so they are kept off the floor or ground. We know this can be a hard time, and you want to socialize your pet, but it is best to keep everyone safe. Once they have had all their vaccinations, we will be able to advise you when it’s safe for them to go outside and see the world.

Should I vaccinate my pet if they never go outside?

Even if your pet does not go outside or not very often, it is highly likely that you do! Many diseases can survive for a long time in the environment. You or other visitors can bring infections into the home on clothing and shoes. In addition, the state of Colorado mandates all dogs and cats four months of age or older to be vaccinated against rabies. Once you visit us, we will take your pet’s individual situation into account and develop a plan based on their needs.

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