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Core Vaccines

Sep 4, 2019 | Cats, Disease and Symptoms, Dogs, Pet Care

Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help them live a long, healthy life. Vaccination is performed along with an annual examination by one of our licensed veterinarians. Vaccination is a procedure that has risks and benefits that must be weighed for every pet relative to his/her lifestyle and health. During the appointment, we will recommend a vaccination regime that will provide the safest and best protection for your furry family member.


Canine Vaccines


DHLPP is a combination vaccine that protects against five common diseases.

  1. Distemper is a contagious virus that is contracted via bodily fluids or airborne exposure. When infected, the virus will attack the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.
  2. Hepatitis is caused by an adenovirus and is contracted via bodily fluids. The virus attacks the lining of blood vessels, the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs. Signs may range from a slight fever to death.
  3. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans can also contract the disease. It is caused by a bacteria commonly found in soil and water. Signs of leptospirosis vary from showing no signs to severe illness/death.
  4. Parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus that targets the gastrointestinal tract, mainly in puppies. The virus is spread through direct contact with a contaminated area or infected feces. Quarantine of the infected puppy and proper disinfection are important to prevent transmitting this resilient virus.
  5. Parainfluenza is a contagious respiratory virus. It is one of the most common causes of kennel cough.


Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most common bacterial agent responsible for kennel cough in dogs. The bacteria causes inflammation in the upper respiratory system which leads to discomfort and a dry, hacking cough. Kennel cough is spread through direct contact, airborne contaminants and surface contaminants such as food or water bowls. Dogs that are often boarded at kennels or dogs that are regularly at dog parks are more at risk of contracting kennel cough. The vaccine will not prevent the illness but, it will lessen the severity.


Feline Vaccines


  1. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory infection caused by feline herpesvirus 1. It is common in multi cat households or overcrowded kennels. Cats may act as carriers even if they do not show symptoms themselves. Some symptoms include sneezing, eye and/or nasal discharge, lack of appetite and fever.
  2. Calicivirus is a virus that causes respiratory infections and oral disease. Infected cats will display upper respiratory symptoms and they will often develop ulcers throughout their oral cavity. The virus is spread through saliva and secretions from the nose and eyes.
  3. Panleukopenia is a highly contagious disease caused by the feline parvovirus. Similar to canine parvovirus, young animals are the most affected. The virus is spread through direct contact with a contaminated area and infected feces or urine. It is extremely important to isolate the infected kitten and to properly disinfect everything that comes into contact with it. Without supportive care, up to 90% of infected cats may die. Death is most common at the age of 3-5 months.


Canine/Feline Vaccines


Rabies is a virus that is transmitted through saliva from an infected animal. Rabies is almost always fatal and it can be transmitted to humans. In Ontario, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Regulation 567, animal owners have a legal obligation to maintain rabies vaccinations for their animals. Cats are vaccinated annually for rabies whereas dogs, after their initial one year vaccine, are vaccinated every three years.


Additional Vaccines

At the time of your pet’s examination, your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccines if your pet is at risk for contracting other diseases. For example, your dog may benefit from an annual Lyme vaccine if they are avid hikers (or you travel with them to areas where Lyme disease is more prevalent) or your adventurous cat may benefit from a Feline Leukemia vaccine if they are coming into contact with other outdoor cats. Feel free to discuss these additional vaccines with one of our staff members during your next visit.