Throughout their lives, your pets will likely be exposed to several infectious diseases that can cause severe illness or even death. Prevent infection through vaccination!
For Dogs: Vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica and Leptospira bacteria.
For Cats: Vaccines for panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat’s lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency virus.
FAQ regarding vaccinations:
How often do I need to vaccinate?
Each state has its own laws governing the administration of the rabies vaccine. Some areas require yearly, while others have a three year policy for rabies vaccination. But in almost all states, proof of rabies vaccination is mandatory.
Depending on your pet’s age and lifestyle, other core vaccinations may need to be administered annually or every three years. It is recommended that your pet have an annual examination, and heartworm check, at which point you can check in with your veterinarian about which vaccinations are appropriate for them.
When do I start vaccinating my new puppy/kitten?
Puppies and kittens receive natural antibodies in mother’s milk while nursings. They should receive a series of vaccinations starting at seven weeks of age once they are getting weaned off their mother’s milk. At this point, a set of booster vaccinations will be administered every 3 to 4 weeks. The final dose should be completed around 15 to 16 weeks of age when they are old enough to receive the rabies vaccination.
Do not worry if your kitten or puppy is older and not yet started on their vaccines. Call us about setting up a puppy or kitten visit, and we can discuss how to get started!
Are vaccines safe?
There are certain risks involved with vaccinating. Immunizations mildly stimulate the animal’s immune system in order to create the necessary protection from infectious disease. This results in mild symptoms like soreness, fever and in extreme cases an allergic reaction. However, any serious reactions are rare.
Keep a close eye on your pet following vaccination. If you experience your pet acting differently post-vaccination, give us a call. We can let you know what to expect and look out for.
What is normal for my pet after vaccines?
It is common for your pet to be acting a little sluggish; even sore at the injection site. Vaccinations can cause a mild fever and decreased appetite. These signs are normal. However vomiting, swelling, or respiratory distress are signs that you should contact your veterinarian immediately!
And if you’re ever unsure, check in just to be safe.