At Kato Animal Hospital, we’d like to share some of the most frequently asked questions we hear, along with the answers to these questions.
Q: What dog vaccines do you recommend?
A: For dogs, there are two core vaccines; DHPP (distemper, adenovirus [herpes]), parainfluenza, parvovirus) and rabies. These are core vaccines because they all cover diseases that can be picked up on daily walks, just sniffing around the block. Rabies vaccines are required by law in Ontario due to the number of bats, squirrels and raccoons in the province.
Beyond these core inoculations, vaccines become recommended based on lifestyle. If you are going to take your dog to any bodies of water (or if you are in an area with lots of squirrels or raccoons), we recommend the leptospirosis vaccine. Lepto is a bacterial infection that is spread through raccoons, squirrels, skunks, etc. in their urine, and of course everything runs into bodies of water when it rains.
If your dog is going to be spending time in grooming salons, boarding facilities or classes (obedience, agility, etc.), we also recommend the bordetella vaccine. Bordetella (kennel cough) is a contagious upper respiratory infection, and in a closed space like a classroom or kennel, the likelihood that your dog may be exposed to bordetella increases.
Q: What cat vaccines do you recommend?
A: For cats, there are two core vaccines; FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici, panleukopenia) and rabies. These are core vaccines even for indoor cats because they are all viruses that can enter the home on shoes and clothes. The rabies vaccine is required by law in Ontario due to the number of bats, squirrels and raccoons in the province.
For an outdoor cat, we also recommend the leukemia vaccine. Leukemia is a virus that is spread from cat to cat easily. We also have the FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) vaccine, but we usually only recommend it for cats who are exposed to it (if there is an FIV-positive cat in the household).
Q: Why is there a fee for collecting blood from my pet? Why is it done away from me?
A: It’s easy to collect blood from certain pets. When that is the case, only two people are needed to draw the sample – one to draw the blood and one to hold the pet still/ hold the vein. But usually this is not an easy task. Often a pet will require two or three people just to hold him still. We don't blame the pet – it's a scary situation, and the needle stings a little – but it needs to be done. And, because it may be difficult for pet owners to see their best friends so stressed, we prefer to take your pet to a treatment room to reduce the stress on both of you.
Q: Why does my pet need to see the vet every year?
A: The veterinary team is trained to watch for early signs of disease in your pet. Weight gain or loss, limping, lumps or bumps, heart and lung sounds, coat quality, behaviours, appetite change, exercise tolerance, and gait are all things that may gradually change over time. You may not notice gradual changes, but we will. From year to year, we may see a pattern (like gradual weight gain) that may signal a health issue. We can help your pet have a better life if issues are caught early.