Vaccinations

cat receiving a vaccination from a vet employee

Why Should I Have My Pet Vaccinated?

To protect your pet from contagious diseases, keep their essential vaccinations up-to-date. This is important even if your pet is kept mostly indoors. Many contagious diseases are airborne and your pet could easily be exposed through an open window. There is also always a risk that your pet could accidentally slip out the door. Boarding kennels, dog parks and grooming salons are all areas where your pet is likely to be exposed to contagious diseases so be sure to consult with your veterinarian before taking your pet to any of these places.
It is also important to keep in mind that vaccinations take a few days to a few weeks to become effective.


General Vaccine Protocol at GVVH

We must see a pet at least once a year for an annual exam before we can administered vaccines. We recommend pairing your pet’s annual exam with their vaccines. If your pet is ill at their annual exam, we may hold off on vaccines until they are feeling better.
If vaccines are done the day of the annual exam, you will be charged an exam fee, cost of the vaccines, and any other services performed. If vaccines are done during a technician appointment, then you will be charged for an office call and the cost of the vaccines. A technician appointment is only offered if we have seen your pet within the last year for an annual exam. The only vaccine that we are not able to do as a technician appointment is Rabies.



Core Vaccinations For Your Dog

Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP) Commonly called the “distemper shot,” this combination vaccine actually protects against the four diseases in its full name. This vaccine is boostered every 3 -4 weeks until 16 weeks of age for puppies. A puppy may get this vaccine 3-4 times depending on the age the breeder or shelter started the series. Our vaccine schedule at GVVH is based on the vaccine schedule recommended by the  American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines.

  • Distemper is spread through the air, by direct contact with an infected animal or by indirect contact through shared bedding or dishes. This serious disease targets the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of a dog. Distemper can quickly become fatal. For dogs that do survive, the disease can cause permanent brain damage. Newborn puppies and unvaccinated dogs of any age have the highest risk of infection.​Infected dogs may suffer from a high fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, and watery discharge from the nose and eyes. Progressive stages of disease may include pneumonia, seizures, and paralysis.
  • Canine Hepatitis which is also known as infectious canine hepatitis, is the more serious of the two types. It spreads through the urine and feces and can severely damage the liver. Even after the initial infection clears, dogs may suffer long-term, irreversible changes to the liver, kidneys, and eyes.
  • Canine Parainfluenza is another virus responsible for kennel cough. It is also transmitted in the air and can spread rapidly, especially in areas where large numbers of dogs are kept together. Coughing, fever, and nasal discharge are the major symptoms associated with infection. One important thing to remember is that canine parainfluenza is not related to canine influenza. The two viruses cause different diseases and require separate vaccines for protection.
  • Canine Parvovirus is a serious and often fatal disease. Although dogs of all ages are susceptible, puppies that aren’t yet fully vaccinated have the highest risk of infection. Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and causes damage to the GI tract, resulting in vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and rapid fluid and protein loss. Treatment often requires hospitalization and intensive care. The virus is highly resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain in the environment (including soil) for up to one year.
  • Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection. 

Franklin County Public Health  104.01(A) Vaccination required:
All Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets shall be vaccinated against rabies by a Licensed Veterinarian or Registered Veterinary Technician. Such vaccinations shall be in accordance with the current National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control as existing and herein after amended, or any other method approved by the Health Commissioner, provided that Dogs, Cats or Ferrets need not be vaccinated before reaching the age of three (3) months. (Effective: 1/1/2015)

Lifestyle Vaccines for Dogs

Your veterinarian may also recommend other vaccines for your dog depending on where you live and your dog’s lifestyle:

  • Leptospirosis – Often included as part of the distemper combination vaccine (making it a DHLPP), this bacterial infection is most prevalent in moist climates where there are areas of standing or slow-moving water. This disease can also be spread from animals to humans. With the first vaccine being given around 12 weeks, it is then boostered every 3 – 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age for puppies. A puppy will get this vaccine 2 times before they will have full immunity. After that, the dog will get the vaccine once a year. Our vaccine schedule at GVVH is based on the vaccine schedule recommended by the  American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines. The disease can cause kidney failure with or without liver failure. Dogs may occasionally develop severe lung disease and have difficulty breathing. Leptospirosis can cause bleeding disorders, which can lead to blood-tinged vomit, urine, stool or saliva; nosebleeds; and pinpoint red spots (which may be visible on the gums and other mucous membranes or on light-colored skin). Affected dogs can also develop swollen legs (from fluid accumulation) or accumulate excess fluid in their chest or abdomen.
  • Lyme Disease – A bacterial infection carried by ticks, this disease is extremely prevalent in certain parts of the country — in particular, the east and west coasts and the areas around the Great Lakes. With the first vaccine being given around 12 weeks, it is then boostered every 3 – 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age for puppies. A puppy will get this vaccine 2 times before they will have full immunity. After that, the dog will get the vaccine once a year. Our vaccine schedule at GVVH is based on the vaccine schedule recommended by the  American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines.
    • Affected dogs have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.
    • We have seen multiple dogs who have visited Schiller Park and other surrounding parks come in with multiple ticks attached to them. That is why we recommend all dogs in the area to have the Lyme vaccine administered annually and for pets to stay on tick prevention year round. 
  • Canine Influenza This viral upper respiratory disease originated at a Florida racetrack in 2004 and has quickly spread across the country. Outbreaks are prevalent in animal shelters and boarding kennels. With the first vaccine being given around 12 weeks, it is then boostered every 3 – 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age for puppies. A puppy will get this vaccine 2 times before they will have full immunity. After that, the dog will get the vaccine once a year. Our vaccine schedule at GVVH is based on the vaccine schedule recommended by the  American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines.
  • Bordetella (commonly called “kennel cough”)  This virus causes an extremely contagious upper respiratory infection. Your veterinarian may recommend this vaccine before your dog goes to a dog park, groomer, boarding kennel, doggie daycare or dog shows. We typically give this vaccine once a year but some daycare facilities recommend the vaccine to be administered every 6 months. A pet that gets the Bordetella vaccine may still develop Kennel Cough but the symptoms are much milder for pets that are vaccinated than pets who are not.​

***German Village Veterinary Hospital does not give FeLV until 10 weeks of age and we do not give cats the bordetella vaccine.

Core Vaccines For your Cat

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP) Commonly called the “distemper” shot , this combination vaccine protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia (sometimes called “feline distemper”). A kitten may get this vaccine 3-4 times depending on the age the breeder or shelter started the series. Our vaccine schedule at GVVH is based on the vaccine schedule recommended by the  American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines.
  • Rhinotracheitis is triggered by the common feline herpes virus. Symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and drooling. Your cat’s eyes may become crusted with mucous, and he or she may sleep much more and eat much less than normal. If left untreated this disease causes dehydration, starvation, and eventually, death.
  • Calicivirus has similar symptoms, affecting the respiratory system and also causing ulcers in the mouth. It can result in pneumonia if left untreated—kittens and senior cats are especially vulnerable.
  • Panleukopenia is also known as distemper and is easily spread from one cat to another. Distemper is so common that nearly all cats—regardless of breed or living conditions—will be exposed to it in their lifetime. It’s especially common in kittens who have not yet been vaccinated against it, and symptoms include fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. This disease progresses rapidly and requires immediate medical attention. Without intervention, a cat can die within 12 hours of contracting the disease.
  • Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection. 

Franklin County Public Health  104.01(A) Vaccination required:
All Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets shall be vaccinated against rabies by a Licensed Veterinarian or Registered Veterinary Technician. Such vaccinations shall be in accordance with the current National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control as existing and herein after amended, or any other method approved by the Health Commissioner, provided that Dogs, Cats or Ferrets need not be vaccinated before reaching the age of three (3) months. (Effective: 1/1/2015)

Lifestyle Vaccines for Cats

Your veterinarian may also recommend other vaccines for your cat depending on where you live and your cat’s lifestyle:

  • Feline Leukemia (Felv) is a viral infection that is only transmitted through close contact, and this vaccine is generally only recommended for cats that go outdoors. With the first vaccine being given around 10 weeks after the kitten has been tested for FeLV and FIV. The vaccine is then boostered every 3 – 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age for kittens. A kitten will get this vaccine 2 times before they will have full immunity. After that, the cat will get the vaccine one more time around their first birthday. After that, the vaccine can be discontinued if the cat is staying indoor but if the cat explores outside or has contact with stray cats the vaccine should be continued annually. Our vaccine schedule at GVVH is based on the vaccine schedule recommended by the  American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines.​

General Vaccine Protocol at GVVH

We must see a pet at least once a year for an annual exam before we can administer vaccines. We recommend pairing your pet’s annual exam with their vaccines. If your pet is ill at their annual exam, we may hold off on vaccines until they are feeling better.
If vaccines are done the day of the annual exam, you will be charged an exam fee, cost of the vaccines, and any other services performed. If vaccines are done during a technician appointment, then you will be charged for an office call and the cost of the vaccines. A technician appointment is only offered if we have seen your pet within the last year for an annual exam. The only vaccine that we are not able to do as a technician appointment is Rabies.

Learn More

To learn more about the importance of getting your pet vaccinated, or to request an appointment, schedule online or call us at 614-444-9696 .

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