A dog getting vaccinated.

Pet vaccinations are very important for overall wellness and Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital would like to share with you our top three reasons to keep your pets current on routine wellness care

It’s the Law

Did you know that rabies vaccination is the law in Texas? While thinking of this deadly virus may conjure old school images of Old Yeller, in 2020 there were 45 confirmed cases of rabies in dogs and cats. Because the disease is so prevalent in wildlife (mostly skunks and bats), vaccination is important.

By Texas state law, all dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age. Failure to comply could result in fines, quarantines, or even euthanasia if a human life is involved in an exposure incident. 

Preventable Diseases are Inconvenient

Not all pet vaccinations protect against diseases that are quite as serious as rabies virus. Many diseases that we vaccinate for, though, can be pretty inconvenient. 

Diseases like kennel cough (Bordatella), canine influenza, and feline herpesvirus can result in:

  • A sick pet who may require extra care
  • Increased veterinary care costs
  • Potential impact on places of business such as boarding kennels, grooming salons, and shelters
  • Long-term health issues for your pet

Appropriately vaccinating at-risk pets ultimately keeps animals healthier and saves their people money. 

Pet Vaccinations Prevent Serious Illness in Pets and People

While we do provide pet vaccinations against some diseases that are most often fairly mild, many vaccinations protect against some pretty severe and potentially fatal diseases as well.

Some pet vaccinations also protect people. Diseases that can be transmitted between animals and people are called zoonotic diseases, and they can be quite devastating. 

Some of these diseases are:

  • RabiesBecause rabies is a human health concern and virtually 100% fatal, we take this disease very seriously. As we mentioned above, this is the ultimate zoonotic disease, and our state legally requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against it.
  • Canine distemper combination vaccineThis vaccine, sometimes called DHPP or DAPP, provides protection against several dog diseases, which include canine distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. These diseases are highly contagious and can result in very serious sickness and even death in affected animals. 
  • Feline distemper combination vaccineOften called FVRCP, this vaccine protects cats against serious diseases including feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (distemper). Almost all cats can benefit from protection against these potentially very serious diseases.
  • LeptospirosisA bacterial infection transmitted through the urine and carried by wild animals, leptospirosis infection can lead to kidney and liver failure. It is also zoonotic, with about half of infected humans being infected by their dogs. 
  • Feline leukemiaThis viral disease results in a serious and contagious disease in cats. Lying dormant for a period of time, it typically results in tumor formation and/or immunosuppression within a few years of exposures. Outdoor cats, cats who live with infected cats, and kittens are at the highest risk of contracting FeLV.

If these reasons don’t resonate with you, we are not sure what will! Call us today to be sure that your pets are up to date on their recommended vaccinations or make an appointment to get them current. Pet vaccinations are an important part of responsible pet ownership and help to keep both our animals and community safe.