When you receive a notification that your pet is due for annual vaccinations, you make a mental note to schedule a wellness visit with Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital. However, weeks turn into months and, when your dog develops horrible diarrhea, you realize you forgot to schedule an appointment to update their vaccinations. Hoping it isn’t parvo, you hurriedly call to get your pooch in that day. Fortunately, your pup is only suffering from gastroenteritis after sneaking into the trash. But, before leaving the hospital, you schedule your dog’s vaccination appointment for once they have recovered, so you will never experience such a scare again. 

Unfortunately, pets who do not receive their vaccinations on a proper schedule are left open to life-threatening illnesses that are costly to treat. Read about the common diseases, and their average treatment costs, that we recommend pets be vaccinated for. 

Parvovirus in dogs

Canine parvovirus, or parvo, is a highly contagious disease spread through feces that causes gastrointestinal illness in unvaccinated dogs. Transmission can occur by direct contact, or contact with contaminated surfaces, bedding, or clothing. A hardy pathogen, parvovirus can survive indoors for up to two months, and can linger in the soil for months, or years. Parvo signs include lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be bloody.

Average cost of parvovirus treatment: Depending on the severity of your dog’s signs and  treatment response, an average hospital stay can cost from $500 to $2,000. Severe cases are often fatal.

Distemper in dogs

A highly contagious viral illness, distemper is complicated by the variety of animals who can be infected through respiratory secretions. Distemper can be easily transmitted to your dog from raccoons, ferrets, wolves, and bears, potentially leading to systemic disease with lifelong consequences. Gastrointestinal and respiratory signs are most common, along with hyperkeratosis of the nose and paw pads, but the disease may progress to affect the nervous system, causing muscle twitching, convulsions, a head tilt, and paralysis. 

Average cost of distemper treatment: No medication can destroy the distemper virus, and supportive care, which can easily rack up a hefty hospitalization expense of hundreds to thousands of dollars, is the only available treatment. Dogs who recover may have seizures, or other central nervous system disorders, caused by permanent brain and nerve damage that may not show up until many years later.

Rabies in cats and dogs

Rabies is a viral infection of the nervous system that can affect any mammal, but mainly carnivores and bats, and causes sudden, progressive inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Transmission is almost always through an infected animal’s bite, when the saliva containing the rabies virus is introduced into the body. Rabies signs, which may take weeks to develop, are sudden, severe behavioral changes, and unexplained paralysis that worsens over time. Once clinical signs appear, rabies is fatal. 

Average cost of rabies treatment: There is no treatment for this fatal disease. 

Viral rhinotracheitis and calicivirus in cats

Feline viral rhinotracheitis is marked by fever, frequent sneezing, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, and salivation, and mouth inflammation with sores in severely affected cats. Feline calicivirus most often affects the lining of the mouth and the lungs. Some strains cause mouth sores, while others produce fluid buildup in the lungs, and pneumonia. Feline viral rhinotracheitis is often impossible to distinguish from feline calicivirus infection. After the signs resolve, the virus usually remains inactive in the cat’s body for the rest of their life, although it can reactivate and cause flares of infection, especially during times of stress.

Average cost of feline viral rhinotracheitis and calicivirus: While a mild case of upper respiratory illness may cost less than $200 to treat, severe cases requiring intensive hospitalization with oxygen therapy and feeding tube placement can cost several thousand dollars.

Feline leukemia in cats

Cats with feline leukemia can develop anemia, cancers, stomatitis, neurologic disorders, immune-mediated diseases, and immune system suppression. The disease worsens over time, and is usually fatal. Direct contact with infective saliva or urine, mutual grooming, shared litter boxes and food dishes, and fighting exposes cats to the virus. 

Average cost of feline leukemia treatment: Feline leukemia has no cure, and requires lifetime management of clinical signs, which progressively become more serious. The average lifespan for a cat with feline leukemia is three years from the diagnosis date, during which you may accrue thousands of dollars in medical bills to alleviate illnesses caused by their weakened immune system.

Vaccination protocols designed for your pet

At Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital, we treat each pet as an individual, creating personalized vaccination protocols based on your furry pal’s lifestyle. Our team takes the time to learn about your pet’s daily activities and potential health threats, and then takes the appropriate steps to ensure their safety with only the vaccinations they need. As an AAHA-accredited practice, we are dedicated to following the American Animal Hospital Association’s high standards of veterinary medicine regarding appropriate vaccination protocols.

Unsure if your furry pal is current on life-saving vaccinations? Give us a call to see when your pet is due for vaccination boosters, or to schedule an upcoming wellness visit.