Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. 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.
- Rabies (core) – this vaccine is required by law and given at 4-6 months of age, and then every 1 or 3 years after.
- DHPP (core) – this combo vaccine covers distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Your puppy will receive a series of three vaccines 3-4 weeks apart starting at 8 weeks of age. Boosters are every 1 or 3 years.
- Bordetella or “kennel cough” (core) – we recommend this vaccine for pets who board often, are groomed regularly or participate in doggie daycare. Boosters are every 6 months.
- Canine Bivalent Influenza (non-core) – Canine influenza is a highly contagious illness that spreads quickly between dogs who are in close contact. We recommend this vaccine for pets who board often, are groomed regularly or participate in doggie daycare. Boosters are annual.
- Leptospirosis (non-core) – Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease, contracted when your dog drinks contaminated water. We recommend Lepto for dogs who are often outdoors in wilderness areas and like to swim. Boosters are annual.
- Lyme (non-core) – Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that is becoming more prevalent every year. We recommend this vaccine for dogs who often hike with you outdoors. Boosters are annual.
- Rabies (core) – this vaccine is required by law and is given at 4-6 months of age and then every 1 or 3 years after.
- FVRCP (core) – this combo vaccine covers feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. Your kitten receives three doses of this vaccine every 3-4 weeks starting at 8 weeks of age. Boosters are every 1 or 3 years.
- Feline leukemia (non-core) – FeLV is a highly contagious and incurable disease. This vaccine is highly recommended for outdoor cats who may come in contact with feral cats. Boosters are annual.
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 Sugar Hill 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 (770) 271-7777.