2014-06-05 / Community

State vet urging residents to get all pets spring vaccines

MDARD looks to keep low disease rate going

LANSING – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill today reminded pet and livestock owners that spring vaccines will protect the health of your animals and the public.

“Michigan veterinarians are here to help you keep your pets and livestock healthy and disease free,” said Averill. “By taking precautionary steps, and arranging for veterinary care now, you are helping preserve the long-term health of your animals.”

Last year, Michigan confirmed 41 rabies positive bats, and no domestic animals. Two horses had West Nile Virus, one horse had Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and 76 dogs were reported to have Leptospirosis.

“The low numbers of reportable diseases tells me that vaccinating in Michigan is a high priority for our pet and livestock owners,” Averill said. “Between private veterinarians, Michigan State University Extension, and our outreach, I think we’ve gotten the message across - vaccines can save your animals’ lives.

“We also recommend parasite control in all grazing animals, but especially in llamas and alpacas. They are very vulnerable to the meningeal worm, which is naturally on the landscape and is transmitted via white-tailed deer. Additionally, alpacas and llamas have been known to be infected with EEE and therefore should be vaccinated.”

Core vaccines are recommended for most pets. Additional non-core vaccines – such as feline leukemia, canine kennel cough, and other vaccines – may be appropriate if the animals are going to pet care facilities, kennels, county fairs, or shows where they will be comingling with other animals.

MDARD recommends pet and livestock owners speak with their private veterinarians to confirm appropriate steps are being taken to ensure long and healthy lives for their Michigan animals.

Core vaccines to consider are:


• rabies (required under state law)

• canine distemper

• parvovirus

• adenovirus

Some veterinarians also recommend vaccination against Lyme disease, especially for hunting or livestock guardian dogs. Due to the prevalence of Leptospirosis in Michigan and the risk of the disease affecting humans, a Leptospirosis vaccine is recommended for most dogs.


• rabies

• herpes virus

• calicivirus

• panleukopenia


• Rabies (required)

• distemper


MDARD requires horses test negative for Equine Infectious Anemia within the 12 months prior to leaving a premises if moving due to sale, exhibition, or importing into Michigan from another state; and owners should talk to their veterinarian about the following vaccines:

• rabies

• tetanus toxoid

• Eastern, and Western Equine Encephalitis

• West Nile Virus

Some veterinarians also recommend vaccinating against Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4) and strangles if the animals will be co-mingling at exhibition, or on trail rides.

Additionally, horse owners should prepare to follow these tips to prevent mosquito-borne illness:

• Use approved insect repellants to protect horses

• If possible, put horses in stables, stalls, or barns during the prime mosquito exposure hours of dusk and dawn

• Eliminate standing water, and drain troughs and buckets at least once a week, twice a week when temperatures rise above 80°F

Sheep and goats:

• CDT toxoid provides three-way protection against enterotoxemia (overeating disease) caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani

• The large animal rabies vaccine is approved for use in sheep; no rabies vaccine is currently licensed for goats


• Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (commonly called IBR)

• Bovine Viral Diarrhea, PI3, BRSV (viruses causing pneumonia/sickness)

• Leptospirosis (5-Way)

• Vibriosis

• Calfhood vaccination for Brucellosis

• Pasteurella Multocida

• Mannheimia Haemolyticca

• Bovine Tuberculosis testing in the counties of Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, Oscoda are required; random testing will still occur in Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Crawford, Emmet, Antrim, and Otsego counties.

For more information, visit: www.michigan.gov/ emergingdiseases.

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