Important Information about Vaccines

You may have received an email or a phone call from your veterinarian about the respiratory infection going around. We have resources for you to better understand!

A summer cough is spreading among Southeast Michigan’s dogs, and even some cats. While there have only been 11 recorded cases of canine influenza in Wayne County, we’ve definitely seen our share of unhappy pooches here at the shelter as a milder cough goes around. And we’re hearing from our veterinary partners and friends in doggy day care that it’s just about everywhere.

So what can you do to keep your pets healthy? Here are a few tips:

1) Make sure they’re up to date on all essential vaccines, including Bordetella (kennel cough). Here are the  ASPCA’s recommendations for vaccines:

For Dogs: Vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.

For Cats: Vaccines for panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat’s lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency virus.

2) Check with your vet to see if the flu vaccination is a good idea for your pet. Many are offering vaccination specials right now.

3) Wash your hands thoroughly after interacting with your pets AND with others’ pets. Although most germs can’t be spread cross-species (like from dogs to humans), they can be passed on from dog to person to other dog, and it’s always best to be safe.

4) If your dog does show symptoms (persistent cough, sneezing, loss of appetite or dehydration), call your vet and get them treated.

Your veterinarian can determine what vaccines are best for your pet. You can find more information about vaccinations from the ASPCA here.

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