Vaccines and Your Dog: What you need to know to prevent deadly diseases
The small outbreak of measles in Portland earlier this month is a reminder of the importance of vaccines in preventing the spread of disease.
Just as with people, vaccinating your pet is extremely important and has minimal adverse effects. Vaccines are often the best, most cost-effective preventive measure against many life-threatening diseases.
The two best examples of this in veterinary medicine are Canine distempervirus (CDV) and Canine parvovirus (CPV). Both viruses are highly resistant to routine decontamination measures, can survive for a long time outside their host and are often fatal without treatment.
CPV first emerged in Europe in the late 1970s, and within six months it had spread globally with a mortality rate of about 91% in young dogs that contracted the disease. Most veterinary hospitals had entire wards of 20 to 30 patients affected with CPV, with the vast majority dying due to the disease.
Today, with vaccinations, the number of CPV cases, the severity of clinical signs and the mortality rate are dramatically lower.
The very young, very old and immunocompromised and sick animals may not be able to receive vaccines. All animals that are able should be vaccinated against severe diseases so the diseases are not widespread within the entire population.
We recommend starting vaccines at six to eight weeks of age. Immunity is highest after a series of three vaccinations given three to four weeks apart.
Call us at Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin with any questions about vaccinations for your pet.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052