Why Vaccinate?

Parvo virus

Once infected, the Parvovirus can incubate from 5-11 days. Parvo attacks the lining of the intestinal tract causing it to die and slough off. This is why blood often appears in the Diarrhea. Vomiting accompanies the diarrhea often and anorexia is typical.

Severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance ensue often leading to death the. Reduced numbers of immune cells predispose the pet to viral and bacterial infection. Bacterial invasion of the blood stream, a condition termed ‘sepsis’ can occur.

According to the West Kentucky Veterinary Referral Web Site, 80-90% of Parvo cases die without treatment. Even with intensive treatment, 15-20% of cases are lost. If your puppy is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian right away: vomit, diarrhea, lethargy, or anorexia.


This is another highly contagious, systemic viral disease often ending tragically. While distemper is pretty unstable outside its host, it is contagious via air-born droplet secretions. Infected pets can shed the virus for up to several months after contact. The lymph system, the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system the urogenital epithelium and the central nervous system are all affected.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to eye and nasal discharge, fever, and anorexia. Neurological signs are often observed as the disease spreads. Twitching muscles, hind limb paralysis, and convulsions are trademarks of neurological trauma. The course of the disease varies from 10 days to several, successive months.


Hepatitis is Infection of the liver, kidneys, spleen and/or lungs. The surfaces of these major organ systems are attacked and killed leading to spontaneous, incontrollable, internal bleeding. Ingestion of urine, feces, or saliva is the primary path of contamination. The disease can vary in severity from a mild fever to a fatal illness. The incubation period is 4-9 days and a recovered pet can shed the pathogen in its urine for more than 6 months afterwards.

Many symptoms coincide with hepatitis: Lethargy, anorexia, thirst, excessive discharge from the eyes and nose, and occasional abdominal pain. Vomiting and enlarged lymph nodes are also often present as well. It is foolish not to prevent against such a destructive condition when preventative measures are available.


Similar symptoms as those mentioned for the above illnesses are noticeable with Leptospirosis: Vomiting, anorexia, weakness and a fever. The incubation time is generally 5-15 days after exposure. Eventually, breathing becomes labored, the abdomen becomes painful and the pet is reluctant to rise from a sitting position.

Abrasions are observable in the mouth and thirst is increased. Swallowing becomes difficult and in advanced stages of the disease, bloody vomit and feces indicate internal hemorrhagic problems. Renal disease follows closely and usually the pet dies from renal failure if not treated.


Parainfluenza describes a condition in which a viral infection of nervous tissue occurs. According to Greene’s “Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat,” there is no known treatment to cure this condition. The symptoms are vague and elusive and include hemorrhaging of the intestinal lining, swelling of the head, neurological malfunction and seizure.

Corona Virus

Corona Virus is a highly contagious, gastrointestinal disease in dogs of any age. It is characterized by vomit and diarrhea. Clinical signs are less severe in adults than in the young. Canine Corona virus is mainly contracted by fecal ingestion. The virus then infects the inner lining of the small intestine. Enlarged lymph nodes and blood in the diarrhea usually accompany the illness. The viral incubation time is approximately 24-36 hours.


This viral malady used to be a very prevalent problem until an effective vaccine started being used tenaciously to fight off occurrences. Not until recently has rabies been an almost completely subdued virus in the domestic animals of America. However, rabies still turns up every now and then.

Rabies is contracted mainly through bites, due to the rich population present in saliva. It can also be transmitted though broken skin or mucous membranes. The incubation of rabies is variable. Most cases in dogs occur within 21-80 days after exposure. Once exposed, the virus travels through the nerves right to the spinal cord and then up to the brain. Once the virus hits the brain, it is then transferred to the salivary glands via their nerve supply.

Three phases typically occur in dogs: The prodromal (1-3 days), the excitative, and the paralytic phases. Animals may exhibit symptoms such as isolative behavior, anorexia and/or frequent urination. Following these signs, animals usually become either vicious or paralyzed. Death usually follows within 10 days of the first symptoms.

During the vicious stage, pets usually roam a lot and bite most anything that moves. Rabid dogs tend to chew and swallow foreign objects such as feces, bones, straw, sticks and stones, oftentimes breaking their teeth. Rabid cats bite and scratch willingly at anything moving as well. Eventually, incoordination and paralysis set in followed closely by death.

Lymes Disease

Lymes Disease is a tick-borne, immune-mediated, inflammatory condition. Once an infected tick bites an animal or human, the disease is transmittable. Lameness and fever are the telltale signs of this ailment. The lameness is caused by arthritis, which inflicts swelling and pain in several of the joints. Lethargy and anorexia can accompany these problems, leading to dehydration in addition to the already existent pain.


Feline Leukemia virus is a commonly diagnosed disease of cats. It can be very destructive to any type of quality life the pet may have enjoyed. Frequently, the affected cat undergoes chronic wasting, marked by anemia, lethargy and anorexia. It is present in the saliva of the cat and is transmittable between cats through contact or congenitally. The disease manifests itself in various ways.

Sometimes, the thorax becomes engorged with fluid, making breathing difficult. Another route leukemia may take is to involve the liver in which case anemia and jaundice may occur. Also, sometimes the malignancy spreads to the spinal canal, eye or skin of the pet. In addition to that, Feline Leukemia virus is prone to cause immunosuppression, making the pet even more vulnerable to other infectious diseases. So far, there is no known cure for Feline Leukemia virus.


Feline Infectious Peritonitis also has no known cure. It is characterized by lesions of the nervous tissue. Hind limb paresis, general difficulty in controlling muscles, and seizures are common symptoms as well. Unfortunately, most affected cats die within a few weeks or months.


Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is yet another affliction with a poor prognosis. Mainly transmitted through bites and saliva, this heartbreaking disease attacks the immune system. Initially, the infected cat runs a fever and usually overcomes it. He then typically acts normally for months or even years before immunodeficiency occurs.

Once immunodeficiency sets in, the cat is very vulnerable to chronic secondary and opportunistic infections of the respiratory, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract and the skin.

Bordetella (kennel cough)

This is the most common bacterial agent associated with tracheobronchitis in dogs and can cause pneumonia. It inhabits the upper respiratory tract and is extremely contagious via airborne secretions.

Feline Rhinotracheitis

This is a condition whereby excessive secretion from the eyes and nose inhibit normal obligatory nasal breathing for felines. Excessive salivation and oral ulceration are also typical symptoms. Onset is marked by fever and sneezing. When eye and nose discharge become thicker, the cat generally becomes depressed and anorexic.

Stomach ulceration is not uncommon at this point. Usually, most cats can overcome this condition. However, if the suffering is prolonged and untreated, weight loss and susceptibility to disease ensue and death is a possible result.

Feline Chlamydia

Feline Chlamydia psittaci is a bacteria rather than a virus and is principally a conjunctival pathogen, attacking the eyes. The condition is contracted via nasal and ocular secretions and is especially contagious about 7-10 days after exposure.

Conjunctivitis appears 5-10 days after contraction and is characterized by congestion and increased tear production. Although chlamydia is generally treatable with antibiotics, it has been documented that vaccination significantly reduces the duration and severity of conjunctivitis, rhinitis and fever that correspond with the disease.

Feline Panleukopenia

If ever there was a Parvovirus in cats, this is it. Panleukopenia is characterized by the sudden onset of anorexia, depression, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, leukopenia, hypothermia late in the disease and high mortality.

Feline Calicivirus

Calicivirus refers to several different strains of related viruses. Some are more severe than others. Protection from the calicivirus is usually included in the typical feline combination vaccination. These viral strains seem to be mostly focused on the surface of the mouth and also within the deep tissues of the lungs- making the virus potentially very dangerous.