Young animals are like kids. Keeping them safe and happy can feel like a never-ending job. 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) Must be at least 12 weeks of age
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- Leptospirosis- A disease that can be spread to humans from pets and is considered a core vaccine in this area (dog)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, Chlamydia and Psittaci (cats)
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for dogs include Bordetella (kennel cough) and Canine Influenza vaccines, which are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines.
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FeLV to protect against feline Leukemia.
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 Frankfort Animal Clinic 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 502-385-2229.