Immunizations (vaccinations) are an important part of protecting your pet from disease. Prior to development of vaccines against viruses such as Rabies, morbidity and mortality rates from infectious diseases were substantially higher amongst companion animals and humans.
The persistence of several highly infectious, and potentially dangerous diseases in the United States is largely due to pet overpopulation and irresponsible pet ownership, leading to reservoirs of disease in groups of unvaccinated animals. Some of these infectious diseases also have wild animal reservoirs, meaning that they can survive in certain species of wild animals.
To keep your pet protected against these infectious diseases, we recommend the following immunizations for your pets, in accordance with the vaccination guidelines published by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP):
For Puppies & Dogs
- Canine Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus – Pups should receive a series of immunizations on a 3-4 week basis, with the final immunization at 16 weeks of age. In adults, duration of immunity from vaccinations may last 3 years or longer; every 3 years, vaccine titers can be done to assess antibody levels.
- Rabies – Pups may receive immunization as early as 12 weeks of age. The rabies vaccination is required for all dogs.
- Bordetella – Pups should receive an initial and booster during their initial puppy visits. Bordetella is one of several pathogens known to cause Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease which has also been referred to as Kennel Cough.
- Leptospirosis – Pups should receive an initial and booster during their initial puppy visits. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that causes liver and kidney failure, and is transmitted via the urine of infected animals.
- Influenza – Pups can receive an initial and booster vaccine during initial puppy visits. Canine influenza is a highly contagious disease causing respiratory illness in infected dogs.
After 3-4 years of age, we recommend vaccine titers for all vaccines except for rabies. The rabies vaccine should be given when due.
For Kittens & Cats
- Rabies – Kittens may receive immunization as early as 12 weeks of age. Depending on the municipality in which you live, cats may or may not be required to be vaccinated and licensed, however we recommend ongoing boosters for adult animals.
- Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia – Kittens should receive a series of immunizations on a 3-4 week basis, with the final immunization at 16 weeks of age. In adults, duration from immunity from vaccinations may last 3 years or longer; boosters may be given every 3 years or vaccine titers can be done to assess antibody levels.
- Feline Leukemia – Kittens should receive an initial and booster vaccine during their initial kitten visits. If as adults cats go outdoors, or are exposed to indoor/outdoor cats, they should receive an annual booster.