Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.
Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:
- Rabies (dogs and cats)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
Non-core vaccines include Bordetella, Lyme, and Leptospirosis vaccines for dogs and Feline Leukemia vaccine for cats. The veterinarian will help you individualize your pet’s vaccine plan to keep them safe. For example, Bordetella vaccine is recommended for dogs that are boarded, groomed, or socialize with other dogs. The Feline Leukemia vaccine is recommended for all cats that go outside to protect them from this life-threatening virus.
It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a disease. Your Life Care Animal Hospital veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (651) 774-6063.