Being a good pet parent means looking after your pet’s health in many ways. Because animals are susceptible to many different types of diseases, your animal must have the proper vaccinations. At Lenox Hill Veterinarians, we have been providing residents of New York, NY with reliable vaccination services for many years.

Why Are Vaccines So Important?

In the last century, animal deaths from communicable diseases have greatly been decreased through the use of animal vaccines. Animals are susceptible to diseases that can be passed on to humans. This puts both pets and their owners at risk. Many state and city laws also require that pets living in certain areas be fully vaccinated for the safety of humans and other animals alike.

When animals become sick with preventable illnesses, it can create greater care expenses for pet owners as well. Although many health benefits come with having your pets properly vaccinated, preventative care also has financial benefits as well when you can avoid additional visits to the animal hospital.

Common Vaccinations

Let’s look at some of the common diseases which can be prevented by vaccination.

  • Rabies: Rabies is a highly contagious disease that is common in many different types of wild animals. Although this disease thrives in wildlife, it can easily be passed on to domesticated animals and even people. Rabies is a fatal condition that must be prevented at all costs.
  • Distemper: In dogs, distemper can be compared to the flu. It is a virus that affects both the respiratory system as well as the gastrointestinal system. This illness is often seen in the wild but can be spread from dog to dog through coughing or sneezing. Distemper can be a fatal condition.
  • Feline Leukemia: This disease only affects cats. Feline leukemia cannot affect other species of animals and it cannot be passed to humans. However, feline leukemia is one of the deadliest diseases in cats.
  • Bordetella (intranasal and injectable)
  • Feline Distemper (FVRCP)
  • Canine Influenza
  • Lyme

There are also many vaccinations available that may be needful based on your pet’s environment or lifestyle. For instance, if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors or you travel frequently, you will want to discuss other vaccines worth considering with your veterinarian.


Leptospirosis (lepto) is an infectious disease that can result in serious sickness in both animals and people. It is caused by bacteria that live in water or wet, warm soil. If not treated, it can become life-threatening, causing serious damage to the pet’s liver and kidney. That’s why our team at Lenox Hill Veterinarians in New York is here to help. We provide lepto protection and treatment in the unfortunate event that your animal is infected.


Pets can become infected through direct contact with urine from an animal with leptospirosis. Pets can also be infected through contact with contaminated water or soil containing infected urine. Pets are often infected due to drinking or swimming in contaminated water. Leptospira can penetrate through mucous membranes or enter the body through broken skin due to a cut or scratch. Once inside the animal’s body, the bacteria can multiply in its bloodstream and move into the liver and kidney.


Signs of leptospirosis vary from patient to patient. However, we often see infected pets experiencing:

  • Anorexia
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Acute renal failure
  • Depression
  • Respiratory distress
  • Blood in urine, while uncommon, may still occur

Dogs that have access to lakes, streams, or ponds are more likely to be infected. However, pets can also be exposed to lepto in shelters or other pet care facilities. If you live around wild animals or a body of water, it’s crucial to ensure your pet is properly protected against leptospirosis.

Treatment and Prevention

If your pet is infected, our veterinarians can prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are effective in treating leptospirosis, with most pets responding quickly once administered. The chances for recovery are very good if treated early and aggressively. However, permanent liver damage or kidney failure can occur, requiring intravenous fluid treatment or other possible therapies.

Vaccinations against leptospirosis can prevent your pet from being infected. Although the vaccine does not provide complete protection, it greatly reduces the possible chances of an infection. We recommend that at-risk dogs receive a vaccination for leptospirosis annually. The best way to prevent your dog from a leptospirosis infection is by reducing its exposure to sources of the bacteria.


Rabies is a deadly viral disease that every pet owner needs to be aware of. While rabies is not the most common virus, protecting your pet against it is essential. Vaccinating your pet is an easy way to prevent rabies from being a life-threatening condition. At Lenox Hill Veterinarians in New York, we offer the rabies vaccine as part of a core vaccination schedule for both dogs and cats. Here’s what you need to know about rabies and how our veterinary team can help.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that aggressively attacks the central nervous system. It is carried in saliva, which is why the condition is transmitted so easily via bites by infected animals. Warm-blooded creatures like dogs, cats, and even humans are at risk of rabies infections. Once an animal or human starts showing symptoms of rabies, the disease is often fatal. That’s why it’s essential to prevent your pet from ever getting rabies by ensuring he or she is vaccinated.

Signs of Rabies

It’s important to understand the signs of rabies infections to know when your pet needs emergency care. You should bring your pet to our veterinary clinic as soon as possible if you notice:

  • Aggression
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Awkward Gait
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Seizures

These are signs that your pet may have already contracted rabies. However, rabies vaccinations prevent this viral disease from being life-threatening.

Rabies Vaccination

The best way to avoid rabies is not only to keep your pet inside and away from harmful animals. However, whether you have an indoor or outdoor animal, all pets are at risk of rabies infections, making vaccinations essential. Booster doses for rabies are required every six months to two years to keep your pet well protected.

What to Do if Your Pet Is Bitten

If your pet is bitten, the first thing you need to do is call our veterinary team. We can tell you if you should bring your pet in for emergency care. Even if your pet has been vaccinated against rabies, you should bring your animal in for a professional assessment. Our veterinarians will assess your pet for any potential health risks and work to ensure he or she is well-protected in the future.

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