Canine Distemper: Distemper is a highly contagious disease of dogs. It is caused by a virus that is easily spread through the air and by contaminated objects, much like the cold virus spreads in humans. Though the disease occurs more often in young dogs, those of any age may contract Distemper.
Signs range from; a mild respiratory problem (runny eyes and nose), severe diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures. Many recovered dogs are left with uncontrollable muscle or limb jerking and/or periodic convulsions. This is a serious disease that is often fatal. Currently we have no drugs to destroy the virus. Treatment is aimed at supportive care.
Canine Flu: Canine flu symptoms initially resemble kennel cough symptoms, but progress to pneumonia. This disease has been fatal in some dogs. A vaccine is recommended for dogs that frequently board, train or are groomed.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease that infects dogs, people, and several other types of animals. This bacteria attacks the kidney, liver, and nervous system. Recovered animals may shed the organism in their urine for up to 1 year. Infected rats are a common source of leptospirosis. Vaccination is the best prevention, and all dogs should be vaccinated yearly.
Parainfluenza: This is an airborne virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract. Symptoms range from coughing, sneezing, and runny eyes and nose. Fatalities are rare, but a secondary bacterial infection may occur and contribute to a more severe disease, with occasional deaths. Vaccination is highly recommended.
Parvo: Dogs become infected with the parvovirus through contact with the stool of an infected dog or a contaminated environment (a park, pet store, dog show, grooming facility, etc...). This virus is very hardy and remains infective in the environment for a long period of time. Puppies are most susceptible to parvovirus infections. Parvovirus causes severe and often bloody vomiting and diarrhea. Fatalities occur most often in puppies. Vaccinations and keeping the puppy or dog isolated from contact with unvaccinated puppies or dogs is the best preventative.
Bordetella: Bordetella or Kennel Cough is a contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (large air passages of the lungs). The most common sign of kennel cough is a harsh, dry cough that is often followed by gagging and coughing up foamy mucus. Otherwise, the dog appears alert and generally healthy. The disease is spread easily and rapidly from one dog to another. Vaccination is a good preventative and highly recommended for dogs being boarded, groomed, attending training classes, having a medical or surgical procedure done at a veterinarian, or if the dog comes in contact with unvaccinated dogs.
Rabies: Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus. All warm-blooded animals are susceptible. The disease is usually spread when an infected animal bites another animal. The bitten animal will not become infected unless the saliva of the sick animal contains the rabies virus at the time of the bite. The bat, skunk, and fox are the most commonly infected wild animals. Dogs and cats are the most commonly infected domestic animals.
Affected animals may show a slight change in behavior or temperament, restlessness, and excitability. As the disease progresses, the animal may have trouble swallowing, may begin to drool excessively, have convulsions, and become vicious. Since rabies is such a threat to people and other animals, affected animals are not treated, but are instead euthanized. Vaccination is the best means of rabies control. All pets should be vaccinated. A rabies vaccine is the only vaccine required by law and is required for indoor pets as well.
Rhinotracheitis: This is a virus that attacks the eyes, nasal passages, and trachea (windpipe) of cats. Once infected, a cat shows respiratory signs, such as sneezing, cough and runny eyes and nose. Infection is spread by contact with discharges from the eyes, nose, or mouth of infected cats. Vaccination is the best means of preventing this disease.
Calicivirus: This is a virus that causes mild to serious respiratory illness. Cats become infected by inhaling or swallowing the virus. Early signs include runny eyes and nose, sneezing, depression, and poor appetite. Ulcers may develop in the mouth and most infected cats drool heavily. Vaccination is the best preventative.
Panleukopenia: Feline distemper is a highly contagious viral disease. Though it occurs most often in kitens under 6 months of age, but cats of any age can become affected. Cats become infected by direct contact with an infected cat or its body secretions, especially feces. Signs of this disease are diarrhea, fever, lack of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, and lethargy. All kittens should be vaccinated for feline distemper, and adult cats should be given yearly boosters.
Chlamydia: This virus is associated with conjunctivitis. It is also one of multiple viruses that cause upper respiratory infection. Common signs seen with URI include sneezing, running eyes and nose.