dvm (29)Important Dog Vaccination and Cat Vaccination Information

One of the most important things you can do to protect your pet’s health is to make sure he or she is current on pet vaccinations. These low-risk, high-reward injections cost far less money and far less pain and suffering than not having your pets vaccinated. Consider for a moment, just one of these vaccinations: rabies. As a legally-required dog vaccination and cat vaccination, this shot has saved untold millions of pets and their people since it was developed and became law around the country. Along with the other core cat and dog vaccinations, as well as some non-core vaccines, these injections absolutely save pet and human lives and prevent terrible suffering. Here is what you need to know about keeping your pets properly vaccinated…

Cat Vaccination and Dog Vaccination Schedules

First of all, if you have a new puppy or kitten, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment for an initial wellness checkup as soon as possible. During this checkup, we will fully evaluate your new pet’s health and get him or her started on the appropriate cat vaccination or dog vaccination schedule. Puppies and kittens are particularly vulnerable to disease after the initial immunity of their mother’s milk has worn off, so it is extremely critical to start off with a battery of core pet vaccinations starting at 8 weeks of age and continuing in 3-week intervals until about 20 weeks.

  • Core Cat Vaccinations—Rabies, feline distemper, feline calicivirus, feline herpes virus type I.
  • Core Dog Vaccinations—Rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine hepatitis

These core pet vaccines are important because the aforementioned diseases are highly contagious and very common—not just between pets, but also within the environment. Also, these diseases cause intense suffering and can kill pets.

In addition to these critical vaccinations that all pets need to have, there are also non-core pet vaccinations that our Topeka veterinarians may recommend based on various lifestyle or health factors unique to your pet. Some of these factors include travel, boarding, visiting dog parks, being an outdoor cat, or a cat that lives with other cats, and certain health concerns. It is important to discuss your pet’s lifestyle with our veterinarian so that potential risks can be mitigated with neither more, nor fewer vaccinations than are necessary. Here are some examples of non-core pet vaccines:

  • Non-core cat vaccinations—Bordetella, feline leukemia, FIV, Chylamydophila
  • Non-core dog vaccinations—Bordetella, Leptospirosis, Borrelia burgdorferi

After your pet’s puppy or kitten rounds of shots are completed, your growing pet will periodically need booster shots to maintain a desired level of immunity from the same diseases. Each of these shots has a different length of efficacy. For example, Bordetella, a highly-recommended non-core vaccine given to pets going into boarding, lasts only for about 6 months, whereas many rabies vaccines can last up to 3 years. Many others need an annual booster.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss or update your pet’s vaccinations.