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Vaccination against common infectious diseases is critical for our pets’ health as well as our community health. Every pet should have his or her lifestyle evaluated, and the appropriate vaccinations administered at appropriate intervals.
Please note that vaccines generally will not be given to sick pets. We know it’s inconvenient to bring a pet in multiple times, however vaccinating an already sick pet is likely to make them feel worse, and can lead to worsening of ongoing sickness. For this reason, we try not to schedule “annuals” or vaccine appointments when you have a significant medical concern.
The vet will consider your pet’s lifestyle and risk, and advise you of the vaccines needed to ensure your loved one stays as healthy as possible. Other than rabies, no other vaccinations are required by law, but there are some–known as “core vaccines”–that we may strongly recommend for your pet’s health and safety. We are happy to discuss the risks and benefits of any vaccine. For instance, we may opt to reduce vaccinations in elderly pets, especially cats.
Dogs – Core Vaccines:
Puppies will receive a series of vaccines, which will continue until they are about 16 weeks old, depending on when they start.
- Rabies: In many cases only needs to be done every 3 years, after their first year.
- “Distemper” Combination: Actually has 4 different vaccines, and is typically done yearly.
- Upper Respiratory Combination, including Bordetella is given to all dogs that have any contact with other dogs (not just for kennel boarders)
Dogs – Non-Core But Recommended Vaccines:
- Influenza: Dog flu is in our area, and boarding dogs may benefit from protective vaccination.
- Rattlesnake vaccine: given every 6-12 months, depending on lifestyle. In the event of a bite, the vaccine is meant to:
- Buy you critical time to get to the vet.
- Decrease the injury and pain
- Reduce the cost of the treatment
- Leptospirosis: We recommend most of our patients get “lepto” yearly. It is found in wildlife urine, rodent urine, and standing water and can lead to life-threatening kidney and liver disease. Your vet will help decide if the lepto vaccine is a good choice for your pet.
Cats – Core Vaccines:
Kittens receive a series of boosters until they are about 16 weeks old, depending on when they start.
- Rabies: We recommend a 1-year, non-adjuvented vaccine for most cats, however a 3-year vaccine is available. We are glad to help you decide what is best for your cat.
- FVRCP (“distemper”): Often only given every 3 years. It covers three common and important viruses.
- Leukemia: We recommend that all kittens get leukemia vaccination. As adults, any cat that has contact with outdoor cats should also receive this vaccine. Leukemia is very deadly, but typically easy to prevent. Cats who never have any chance of contact with outdoor cats may not need this vaccine. Ask your vet if your cat’s lifestyle warrants this vaccine.
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