• Why Be
    Vaccine Smart?

    Because unvaccinated pets are still at risk.

    Vaccination is one of the greatest successes of medical science and has saved the lives of millions of people and their pets. It's important to remember, however, that no single feline or canine disease is completely eradicated, so being vaccine smart is critical to your pet's health. We invite you to explore this site to learn more.

  • Why Be
    Vaccine Smart?

    Because unvaccinated pets are still at risk.

    Vaccination is one of the greatest successes of medical science and has saved the lives of millions of people and their pets. It's important to remember, however, that no single feline or canine disease is completely eradicated, so being vaccine smart is critical to your pet's health. We invite you to explore this site to learn more.

    Canine Parvovirus (Parvo)

    (intestines, bone marrow, lymph nodes)

    Clinical signs: Vomiting; bloody stool; lethargy; anorexia; Gastrointestinal signs (diarrhea).

    Important facts: Highly contagious; spread by ingestion of contaminated feces; virus resistant to routine disinfectants; highly fatal.

    Canine Cough

    (nose and throat)

    Clinical signs: Dry, hacking cough.

    Important facts: Can be bacterial, viral or both; similar to the common cold; common in non-vaccinated dogs that are boarded or in other high-population situations, such as day care, dog parks, shelters or breeding facilities.

    Rabies

    (brain)

    Clinical signs: Neurological signs (seizures); uncontrolled aggression and/or progressive paralysis.

    Important facts: Transmitted primarily by infected wild animals via a bite wound; all mammals susceptible; affects people too; fatal.

    Canine Distemper

    (intestines, lungs, urinary tract, skin and brain)

    Clinical signs: Neurological signs (seizures); respiratory problems (pneumonia); gastrointestinal signs (diarrhea).

    Important facts: Highly contagious; common cause of seizures in young puppies; commonly fatal.

    Canine Leptospirosis

    (kidneys, liver)

    Clinical signs: Fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, acute kidney failure, liver disease and jaundice.

    Important facts: Carried and spread in the urine of wild animals; affects people too; could be fatal if untreated.

    Canine Lyme Disease

    (joints, less commonly heart and CNS)

    Clinical signs: Lameness, joint swelling and pain, fever, depression, anorexia.

    Important facts: Transmitted by infected Ixodes ticks; humans get Lyme disease from ticks too, not dogs; disease can cause kidney failure in infected, untreated dogs; although rare, can be fatal.

    Panleukopenia Virus (Feline Distemper)

    (intestines, bone marrow, brain)

    Clinical signs: Seizures, pneumonia, in coordination with diarrhea in kittens.

    Important facts: Highly contagious; common cause of seizures in young kittens; commonly fatal.

    Feline Leukemia virus (FeLV)

    (spleen, lymph nodes, intestines, bladder, bone marrow, salivary glands)

    Clinical signs: Non-specific signs of persistent debilitating disease, chronic infections may result in various cancers and anemias.

    Important facts: Contagious; cancer; chronic immune system dysfunction; can result in death due to secondary disease.

    Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

    (spleen, lymph nodes, intestines, bladder, bone marrow, brain)

    Clinical signs: Immune system suppression; chronic susceptibility to other infections.

    Important facts: Contagious, caused by retrovirus related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); causes feline AIDS (not the same virus that causes human AIDS). There is no effective treatment for feline AIDS.

    Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

    (mouth, lungs, nose)

    Clinical signs: Oral ulcers, nasal discharge, respiratory disease.

    Important facts: Can mutate easily, allowing for new strains of the disease to emerge; most common form of disease is respiratory; can lead to chronic disease; may cause organ failure; although rare, it can be fatal.

    Rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpes virus)

    (eyes, nose)

    Clinical signs: Respiratory signs (runny nose, cloudy eyes, sneezing or cough), fever, loss of appetite.

    Important facts: Very common respiratory disease of cats; can lead to chronic disease; occasionally severe.

    Rabies

    (brain)

    Clinical signs: Neurological signs (seizures); uncontrolled aggression and/or progressive paralysis.

    Important facts: Transmitted primarily by infected wild animals via a bite wound; all mammals susceptible; affects people too; fatal.

    Vaccination is the cornerstone of disease prevention.

    Vaccine Importance

    "Vaccines are really, beyond clean water, the most important innovation that’s been seen in controlling infectious disease in the world." — John Pantelo, VMD

    Benefits Versus Risk

    "It’s my honest opinion that the risk for vaccine reaction is much, much lower than the benefit that we see from vaccinating pets." — Carrie White, DVM

    Yearly Prevention

    "For my hunting dog, vaccines are just part of her annual exam. I’m not going to risk her health by NOT vaccinating. She means too much to me." — Jim W., pet owner