There are many things pet owners do in order to give their pets the best quality of life possible. One of these things is seeing that they get the vaccinations they need. With dogs and cats especially, vaccinations are divided into core and non-core vaccines.
Core vaccines are highly recommended and help prevent serious health conditions, and some are even required by law.
Noncore vaccines are for conditions that carry a more limited risk overall, but some pets may be more susceptible depending on where they live and the lifestyle they lead.
Vaccines For Dogs
Canine Rabies- Depending on the type of vaccine used, the canine rabies vaccine may need to be boosted yearly or every three years. Puppies can have their first dose of this vaccine as young as 3 months.
Distemper - Three doses are given to young puppies 6-16 weeks old. The first booster is due a year later, and additional boosters are needed every three years. A case of distemper can cause brain damage.
Parvovirus - Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly disease characterized by loose bloody stools and vomiting. Guidelines for this vaccine are the same as distemper.
Canine Hepatitis- is spread through bodily fluids and if contracted can lead to liver damage. After the first one-year booster, additional doses are needed every three years.
CAV-2, Kennel Cough - Three doses are needed during a puppy's first four months, then after a one-year booster, future doses are given every three years.
Noncore vaccines for dogs include Bordetella (another type of kennel cough), Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Canine influenza. Your veterinarian will discuss your lifestyle to determine which are necessary. For example, dogs that go to a groomer or are boarded with other dogs on a regular basis benefit from a Bordetella vaccine. Dogs that spend a lot of time in wooded areas populated by ticks may be at a higher risk for Lyme disease.
Vaccines for Cats
Feline Rabies - first dose at 8 weeks, first booster after a year, additional boosters yearly or every three years.
Feline Distemper is highly contagious and often fatal. Kittens have the highest risk. Doses can begin for kittens as young as 6 weeks with their 2nd dose administered within a month after the first. The first booster is given a year later, and future dose every year or three years.
Feline Herpesvirus is a virus that causes the contagious upper respiratory condition, feline rhinotracheitis. The first vaccine dose can begin at three weeks, with boosters ultimately administered every one or three years.
Calcivirus is another upper respiratory condition that involves addition discomfort, including joint pain, fever, and anorexia. It also needs two doses in young kittens, and boosters every 1-3 years.
Noncore for Cats
Feline Leukemia Virus and Bordetella are both considered noncore vaccines that can be started at 8 and 4 weeks, respectively. It is usually recommended that kittens get at least their "baby" doses and a first booster of feline leukemia a year later. After that, it is optional for most indoor-only cats. Boosters for both conditions are available annually.
Choose True Companions VetVan for Vaccines and Other Vet Care
True Companions is a unique veterinarian located in Cottage Grove, MN, instead of bringing your pet to the vet, we come to you and offer in home services for well pet visits, vaccinations, and other ailments. We even offer compassionate pet euthanasia if you and your vet decide that time has come. To learn more, or to schedule a visit contact us at 866-838-2738.