August is National Vaccination Awareness Month. Is your pet protected? All dogs and cats should be vaccinated for the “Core” vaccines in their younger years. For dogs this means vaccinations for canine distemper virus, parvovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and rabies are started at 8 weeks of age and are boostered every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is between 16 and 20 weeks of age. For cats this means vaccinations for feline distemper, rhinotrachitis, calici virus, panleukopenia and rabies are started at 8 weeks of age and are boostered every 3-4 weeks of age until the kitten is between 16 and 20 weeks of age. Then, both dogs and cats are boostered annually or until your pet’s veterinarian begins vaccination titer testing.
The “Non-Core” vaccines are Lyme, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella for dogs and Leukemia for cats. These vaccinations are not given to every patient. The pet’s lifestyle is discussed and a risk assessment is done to determine which, if any, of these vaccinations we will recommend for your pet. Over-vaccination is something we try to avoid. This is why we only vaccinate pets based on their species, breed, age and lifestyle. As they mature we begin to vaccinate less often and check their immunity instead. This allows us to be confident your pet is protected without giving him or her vaccinations that are not needed.
While vaccinations are only one chapter in the book that is your pet’s preventative care novel, it is the basis for a long healthy life. Pets that are not vaccinated are at risk for these deadly diseases whether they spend all of their time in the house or they go outside and are socially active. Protect your pet today. Call our office for a review of your pet’s health records and we will be able to give you recommendations on the best way to ensure the health of your beloved friend.