Low cost pet vaccine clinic Saturday
by Sarah Fay Campbell
If your pet is in need of vaccines, you can get them for a great price Saturday at the HELP Spay/Neuter Clinic's monthly vaccine clinic.
Shots will be $10 each, with no exam fee, during the special event at the Newnan vet clinic. Also available will be microchips for $25, and heartworm tests for dogs for $10.
The walk-in clinic event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the clinic, located at 12 The Crescent in Avery Park. No appointments are necessary.
Vaccine clinics will also be held Sept. 7, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 23 and Dec. 21.
Vaccines are very important for the health of animals, especially young puppies.
"The ones we give in dogs prevent several major diseases," said Dr. John Duncan, new veterinarian at the clinic, which focuses on ending pet overpopulation by providing low cost spay/neuter surgeries.
One shot covers parvo, distemper, and infectious hepatitis. Parvo is a gastrointestinal virus "which can easily kill a puppy in just a few days," Duncan said.
A dog that is not vaccinated for parvo is at a high risk of contracting it. "It is such a devastating virus and it is so ubiquitous. You can get parvo simply by being on the ground where dogs with parvo have been," Duncan said. And the virus can stay active in soil for more than two years.
Distemper is less common but can be just as serious. "Distemper can kill dogs, but it can also leave them with long-term neurological problems," Duncan said. In adult dogs, the symptoms can often be mistaken for rabies, leading to dogs being put down.
Other canine vaccines offered at the clinic include kennel cough (bordatella), rabies and leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can attack a dog's liver and kidneys and can lead to organ damage or failure. It can be spread by wildlife and can also affect humans.
Vaccines for cats include rabies, feline leukemia, and the FVRCP combo shot. The FVRCO shot prevents three airborne viruses: rhinotracheitis, calcivirus and panleukopenia.
Panleukopenia is very common, and while it can cause death, it's more often a chronic upper respiratory disease that can come back "whenever the cat is stressed out."
Rhinotracheitis can also cause chronic, lifelong nose and throat problems.
"It's really important to try to get them vaccinated," Duncan said.
The calcivirus can cause chronic inflamation of the tissues of the mouth and throat. "That is a very sad disease as well," Duncan said.
Feline leukemia is a deadly disease that is spread among cats through grooming. That vaccine is only needed for cats that spend time outside or that live with an infected cat.
Kitties and puppies need a series of shots because antibodies they get from their mother — either in the womb or through her milk, can neutralize the vaccines. The kitten and puppy shots need to be given every two to three weeks, Duncan said.
"We can help out by having the vaccine clinic do one or two of those shots," Duncan said, but because of the timing, pet owners will need to take their animals to their vet for the rest of the series.
Duncan won't actually be giving vaccines at Saturday's clinic, though. Relief vet Dr. Karen Plasket will be working during this clinic event and Duncan will be available for the Sept. 7 clinic.