Is Your Pet Up on All Their Vaccinations?

Being a pet parent means getting your dog the appropriate inoculations to protect them against
a variety of illnesses, diseases and parasites. Unvaccinated dogs can spread communicable
illnesses to each other, along with humans, cats and wildlife.
Required Vaccinations
Florida requires a variety of vaccinations for canines. They must be given at the proper age and
intervals to convey protection. The following vaccinations are required for canines in Florida.
 Rabies – inflames the brain and can manifest as a furious or paralytic form resulting in
 Distemper – is incurable, affects multiple organs and results in death.
 Parvovirus – is characterized by vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, septic shock and
 Canine infectious hepatitis (adenovirus) – targets multiple organs and the prognosis for
survival isn’t good.
 Bordetella (kennel cough) – symptoms are a dry, hacking cough. There’s no specific
treatment, but antibiotics can be helpful for secondary bacterial infections.
 Parainfluenza – the virus is typically self-limiting and resembles a “cold,” with symptoms
including diarrhea, nasal discharge, and lethargy.
 Leptospirosis – the bacteria lives in warm, wet soil and water. Recovery is possible, but
it damages multiple internal organs and causes chronic liver and kidney disease.
 Roundworms – are common in dogs, can be fatal in puppies, can be treated with a
dewormer, and requires thorough cleaning of the home and dog items.
 Hookworms – cause anemia, weakness, weight loss and even death. Treatment is the
same as for roundworms.
Optional Vaccines
It’s recommended that dogs receive a Lyme disease vaccine, but it’s not required by law.
Vaccines are also available for canine influenza. Heartworms are spread by mosquitos,
treatment isn’t always successful, and there is a monthly preventative.
Multiple Vectors
Depending on the bacteria, virus or parasite, infection can occur through contact with
contaminated urine, feces, soil, water, contact with an infected animal, or by the bite of an
insect. Pet parents can be the source of infection if they bring the contamination in on their
shoes or come in contact with an infected dog.

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