Canine and feline vaccines

Once a year, a reminder card comes in the mail letting you know that your companion is due for their yearly physical exam and vaccines. So Fluffy gets his rabies, distemper, and kennel cough shots, but what do these vaccines really protect him from and are they really important?

The vaccines that your CANINE companion gets from your friends at Sevier County Animal Clinic or Gov. John Sevier Animal Clinic include rabies vaccine, DHLPPC, and Bordetella.

Rabies: First given at 16 weeks of age, the Rabies vaccine is required by law.

DHPPC: This vaccine is a combination to protect against 5 viruses that can affect your canine companion’s brain (Distemper), liver (Hepatitis), lungs (Parainfluenza), and gut (Parvo and Corona). Your puppy should start receiving a Parvo shot at 6 and 7 weeks of age; they should receive the DHPPC at 10, 13, and 16 weeks, and then yearly.

Leptospirosis: This vaccine is recommended mostly for dogs with a high exposure to wildlife and still waters. This bacterium attacks the liver and the kidneys and can be spread to your family through exposure to your pet’s urine. This vaccine can be combined with the DHPPC at 10 and 13 weeks of age, then yearly.

Bordetella: This vaccine protects your dog from kennel cough, an upper respiratory disease that tends to flare up after boarding or grooming. This vaccine is given at 7 and 10 weeks of age and then every 6 to 12 months, depending on exposure.

What does KITTY need? First, the Rabies vaccine is required yearly by law, first given at age 16 weeks of age. For cats, we also offer the FVRCP and Feline Leukemia Virus. The FIV vaccine can be given upon your request, depending on exposure.

FVRCP: This vaccine is similar to the canine DHPPC, since it protects your feline friend from 4 diseases that can affect his or her respiratory tract (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus), eyes and mouth (Chlamydophila), and gut (Panleukopenia). This vaccine should be given at 6, 9, 12, and 16 weeks of age, then again yearly.

Feline Leukemia and FIV test: For cats that are indoors-only, a simple blood test for Feline Leukemia and FIV is recommended every other year. For those kitties that spend a good amount of time outside, this test is recommended every year.

FeLV: This virus, along with FIV, attacks your kitty’s immune system, making him or her unable to fight infections that should be easy to fight, similar to HIV/AIDS. The vaccine should be given at approximately 9 and 12 weeks of age and then boostered yearly, depending on risk of exposure.


Dental Health

Does your pet’s breath make you run for cover? We can help! Many pet owners don’t realize that, aside from brushing, chewy toys and treats, animals also need regular dental cleanings. Think about it: Just because you brush, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never have problems with your teeth, or that you’ll never need to visit the dentist. Your veterinarian is your pet’s dentist. Routine dentals can keep teeth looking cleaner, the breath smelling fresher, and prevent bigger problems down the road. We’ll provide antibiotics and pain medicine for your pet as needed.

By performing a dental on your companion, we can clean, scale, and polish the teeth, as well as check the mouth for any signs of infection or disease. We can also remove any infected teeth to prevent infection in the bloodstream. Infection in the mouth can travel through the blood to the heart, kidneys, and other organs and cause a much more serious infection there. Tooth problems can also cause significant mouth pain, drooling, and reluctance to eat-leading to weight loss.

Signs of dental problems:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellow-brown crust on teeth
  • Red or bleeding gums
  • Change in chewing or eating habits
  • Loose, chipped, broken or missing teeth
  • Change in behavior
  • Drooling
  • Swollen area on face