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Why Can't I Just give my own Vaccines?

  • There are many things that can cause a
    vaccination not to work.  If the vaccine is shipped
    improperly, stored improperly, given in the wrong
    amount or at the wrong time, if the pet is sick at
    the time of the vaccination or if the pet receives
    certain other drugs that can deactivate the
    vaccine, the vaccine will fail and the pet will not be
    protected from disease.  
  • Veterinarians are trained in handling and storage
    of vaccines.  If a vaccine appears to be shipped
    improperly it is returned to the manufacturer and
    never used.
  • The AVMA recommends that pets are examined
    when vaccinated to ensure they are healthy
    enough to receive the vaccination.
  • Manufactures of vaccines will guarantee its
    effectiveness when it is given by a veterinarian
    according to the recommended vaccination
    schedule.  For example if your puppy is
    vaccinated for parvo by a veterinarian at 8, 12
    and 16 weeks of age and becomes sick at 18
    weeks of age with parvo, the manufacturer will
    cover the entire cost of treatment.  
  • If you choose to give your own vaccinations it is
    important to save the label off the vaccine vile and
    write down:
  • Where you bought the vaccine
  • How you stored it until you gave it to your
  • The date you gave the vaccine
  • If your pet was eating and acting normally
    the day you gave the vaccine
  • How your pet acted for 24 hours after giving
    the vaccine

Why do Puppies and Kittens need so many

    Puppies and Kittens receive their initial immunity from
    their mothers.  The amount of immunity or protection
    that each puppy or kitten receives depends on many
    factors; how well mom was vaccinated, how long ago was
    the last vaccinations, how much colostrum or "first milk"
    did the puppy/kitten receive, etc.  The immunity that
    mom gives the puppies decreases with age.  Some
    puppies and kittens are only protected by mom until 8-
    10 weeks of age, others have an immunity that lasts until
    they are 12-14 weeks of age.  This immunity from mom
    interferes with or prevents the vaccinations from
    protecting the puppy or kitten.  Since we don't know for
    each individual puppy how long the immunity they got
    from mom will last, we must give the vaccinations in a
    series while they are young.  We start the vaccinations
    at 6-8 weeks of age, and repeat the vaccination every 3-
    4 weeks while the puppy or kitten is growing, until the
    puppy is 16 weeks of age, or the kitten is 14 weeks of
    age.  This ensures that the puppy or kitten is protected
    by either the immunity they got from mom or the
    vaccination, while it is growing.  The last vaccination in
    the series lasts for 1 year.

What is DHLPP for Dogs
Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvo
    This vaccine may be called a 5-Way, 6-Way or 7-Way
    vaccine depending on how many viruses it covers.

    Canine Distemper is highly contagious viral infection that
    is extremely fatal especially to young puppies under 6mn
    of age.  Approximately 80% of infected puppies die from
    the infection.  The virus is spread through the air and
    respiratory system of infected dogs, as well as in urine
    and feces.  Initially a dog develops a fever, loss of
    appetite and mild inflammation.  As the disease
    progresses, dogs develop eye and nose discharge,
    diarrhea and pneumonia.  Eventually neurological
    problems develop causing a disoriented walk, muscle
    tremors, paralysis, and seizures.  Dogs that survive
    often have long term side affects including permanent
    nerve damage, loss of damaged sight and/or smell,  and
    thickened, hardened overgrown pads.  

    Hepatitis is a contagious bacterial infection of the liver.  
    The disease can be spread by contaminated objects,
    fleas ticks or mosquitoes.  As the liver is damaged by the
    disease, the dog develops vomiting, loss of appetite and
    becomes jaundice.  

    Leptospirosis  is a bacterial disease spread by rodents
    and is also found around standing water.  It causes
    kidney damage or failure.  This disease is CONTAGIOUS
    TO HUMANS, humans can catch the disease from the
    urine of an infected dog.  This bacteria is spreading and
    becoming more prevalent.  This disease is fatal in 15-
    20% of infected dogs.   

    Parainfluenza is a virus that is often found as one of
    many viruses and bacteria that affect the respiratory
    system, often in a disease known as Kennel Cough.  
    This virus spreads through the cough and nasal
    secretions of infected dogs.  Vaccination for
    Parainfluenza alone will not prevent Kennel Cough, but
    is often effective if it is combined with a Bordatella

    Parvovirus is a very hearty virus, it is spread in the feces
    from an infected dog.  Once on the ground the virus can
    live up to SIX YEARS.  Even though the feces has been
    washed away, the virus is still their.  All another dog has
    to do is walk across the area.  The virus will cling to the
    dogs feet, and when the dog licks its paws, invide the
    dogs stomach and intestines causing projectile vomiting,
    severe bloody diarrhea as it eats away at the intestinal
    lining.  The virus can also travel on the shoes, clothing
    and hands of people who have petted infected dogs.  
    This virus is the primary reason that puppies should be
    kept indoors and away from visitors and any public
    areas until they have completed their entire puppy
    vaccination series.  If you have had a dog in your home
    with parvo, any unvaccinated puppies or dogs that you
    bring home in the future can become infected from the
    virus in your yard!  This virus is fatal and treatment often
    averages $1000-$1500.  

What is Bordetella for Dogs?

    Bordetella is one component of Kennel Cough.  Kennel
    Cough causes a dry non productive cough in dogs.  It is
    highly contagious and spreads through the air.  Most
    dog pounds are overrun with the bacteria.  Dogs that go
    to boarding kennels, dog parks, dog shows, doggy day
    care, or grooming facilities need this vaccination.  
    Because this infection spreads so easily, even dogs that
    are at home in their yard can catch the bacteria if an
    infected dog runs up to the fence.   

What is FVRCP for Cats

    This  vaccine is sometimes called a 3 way vaccine
    because it protects against 3 different viruses.  Most of
    you have seen cats with runny noses, white or green
    discharge from the eyes and sneezing.  This is a
    common sight in kittens and many adult stray cats.  
    There can be several causes but the most common is an
    upper respiratory virus that attacks cats, Feline Viral
    Rhinotracheitis (FVR), a herpesvirus.  This virus can
    change every few years, similar to the human cold virus.  
    Some strains are stronger or more serious then others.  
    This virus can travel through the air or be spread on

    The "C" in FVRCP is for Chlamydia, a bacterial infection
    that causes swelling, and redness of eyes.  This
    bacterial infection is often seen infecting cats along with
    the feline rehinotracheitis virus.

    The "P" in FVRCP stands for Panleukopenia, this is the
    technical name for feline distemper.  This disease is
    causes by a virus similar to the one that causes Parvo in
    dogs and results in similar signs of vomiting and
    diarrhea.  This disease is highly contagious and often
    fatal.  The virus is widespread and almost all cats are
    exposed to it within their first year of life.  The virus is
    spread in urine and feces of infected animals and
    remains in the environment to infect the next cat that
    smells the urine or feces.  Those that are not protected
    by vaccination become extremely sick.

What is FeLV for Cats?

    Feline Leukemia is a fatal disease in cats that there is
    currently no treatment for.  It can be spread between
    cats by fighting, mating, or prolonged daily contact.  
    Feline Leukemia is endemic in the stray cat population in
    many areas.  Learn more about FeLV here
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