FeLV Vaccine

FeLV stands for feline leukemia virus. This vaccine is recommended for cats that go outside. Indoor only cats are not at risk of infection with this virus unless they live with a FeLV positive cat. The virus itself is a retrovirus that causes immune deficiency and blood disorders. Infected cats are prone to infections and certain types of cancer (namely lymphoma and leukemia). Some cats can be asymptomatic carriers of this virus (FeLV). Others can live with the virus for quite some time before becoming sick. However, once they do become sick it is difficult to treat them due to their already weakened immune systems. Common symptoms include fever, decreased appetite, lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes and weight loss. Treatment depends on the type and severity of illness. Cats become infected with FeLV through prolonged close contact with an infected cat or through a bite wound. Therefore outdoor cats or those that live with a FeLV positive cat are at greatest risk. The virus is not transmissible to humans or dogs. The veterinarians at The Vet Set can help you decide the right treatment for your cat.

Rabies Vaccine

Rabies is considered a core vaccine, meaning that it should be given to all dogs and cats no matter what their lifestyle is. State law also requires Rabies vaccinations for all dogs and cats in New York. The following should serve to better describe this disease, why we vaccinate against it and explain why your NYC dog or cat could be at risk. The Rabies vaccine is first given to puppies and kittens around 3 months of age (12 weeks). A booster is then given one year later, and thereafter, a Rabies vaccine should be administered every 3 years to adult dogs. Adult cats receive Rabies vaccine boosters every 1-3 years depending on the type of vaccine used. Rabies is a virus that affects the central nervous system of mammals. Symptoms of Rabies in an animal include fever, excessive salivation, behavior change, muscle spasms and paralysis. In the early stages of the disease, wild animals may become unusually tame or less fearful of humans, while domestic animals may become more aggressive. The infected animal will then become progressively more sick and death occurs within 10 days. The Rabies virus is typically spread from an infected animal to a pet via bite wounds. However, transmission can occur from direct contact of infected saliva with mucous membranes (i.e. mouth, nose or eyes). The most common animals that spread the Rabies virus to domestic animals and humans in this country are the skunk, bat, raccoon, fox and coyote. Fortunately for us in New York City, many smaller mammals, such as rats, mice and squirrels, are unlikely to be infected with the Rabies virus. Rabies has been found in animals in all five boroughs, with the majority of these animals being raccoons. However, stray cats in the area have also tested positive for the Rabies virus. Despite advancements in modern medical care, Rabies remains nearly untreatable, especially once symptoms develop. Animals exposed to this virus will typically become sick within one to three months. However, in some cases it can take up to one year after exposure for a dog to become sick with the disease. Once symptoms appear, the affected animal declines rapidly and the virus eventually results in death. Because humans can also be exposed to the Rabies virus by infected wildlife or pets, the disease poses a significant public health concern. This is why vaccinating all dogs and cats is mandatory by law in New York State. It is also important that any animal bites are reported to the correct authorities. If a dog or cat bites you, contact the NYC Health Department. If a wild animal bites your dog or cat, call 311 to arrange for capture and testing of the animal. In this situation, it’s also important to call your veterinarian so that we can give a Rabies booster to your animal. In both of these cases the pet will need to be quarantined, either at home or at a veterinary hospital, to be sure it does not show symptoms of Rabies.

Bordetella Vaccine

Bordetella is a bacterium that causes upper respiratory infection in dogs. It is one of the more common causes of “kennel cough” and the vaccine is therefore often required by daycare and boarding facilities. Some groomers will also require the vaccine. Bordetella causes a dry cough, often with retching. The cough is typically described as having a “honking” sound. Most mild cases will resolve within one to two weeks without treatment. However, some dogs can develop secondary infections or pneumonia and require treatment. Bordetella, like the other causes of kennel cough, is highly contagious. It is easily spread through respiratory secretions in the air or via direct contact with an infected dog. If your dog is a regular at daycare, boarding facilities, dog parks, or groomers, the Vet Set recommends vaccinating her for Bordetella. The vaccine can be given in home yearly unless it is required every 6 months by your boarding facility.

Conversations with Creative Women interviews our Founder Taylor Truitt, DVM

“Stay. Heal. Chill.” That’s the motto of The Vet Set, the new Manhattan-based veterinary practice which offers both office visits and house calls. According to Dr. Taylor Truitt, co-founder and CEO, “Veterinary medicine hasn’t changed in decades. It’s time to bring it up to speed in the same way human medicine is being delivered, and we are literally delivering it to your home.” Join us as we deliver a fun, informative 30 minutes with Taylor and her beloved bulldog Noah. Listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Leptospirosis Vaccine

Leptospirosis is a potentially fatal infectious disease that was once thought to mainly affect hunting dogs or dogs in more rural environments. However, it appears to be affecting more urban dogs in recent years and should therefore be on our radar here in New York City. The following should help to describe the disease itself and help you understand how to best protect your beloved pup from exposure. Leptospirosis (commonly referred to as “Lepto”) is a bacterium that causes significant kidney and liver damage and can be fatal. Symptoms of Lepto infection include increased thirst, lethargy, vomiting and decreased appetite. The bacteria are passed in the urine of infected animals, so dogs can become exposed via ingestion of contaminated standing water, ground soil or via swimming. Lepto can also enter via an abrasion or wound in the skin. The disease can affect a number of different animals with the most common carriers in this area being the rat, raccoon and opossum. Dogs who become infected with Lepto typically require aggressive treatment with antibiotics and IV fluids. Some even need dialysis to prevent their kidneys from shutting down all together. Humans can also acquire and become ill from Leptospirosis and tend to become infected through the same route as dogs (exposure to contaminated water or urine). Although less common, humans can also pick up this infection from an infected dog, so caution is needed when handling a dog with known infection. Cases of Lepto have been reported in all five boroughs of New York City. It is therefore important to prevent your dog from having contact with rodents and small wild animals and not allowing her to drink from puddles and other sources of standing water. There is a vaccination for Lepto that is safe and effective. The veterinarians at The Vet Set recommend vaccination against Leptospirosis for most dogs in NYC.

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