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National Vaccination Awareness Month

Like people, pets need healthcare, and immunizations are an important part of staying healthy. We want to protect our furry friends from common disease and health conditions, so now is the time to check and make certain your pets are up to date on all their vaccinations. The frequency of vaccinations can vary by species, age, lifestyle, travel, medical history and local law.

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Core vaccines are considered vital for all dogs and cats. If your pet is a homebody with little contact with wildlife or other dogs and cats, a simple “core” vaccine should be sufficient to protect from the most common diseases. Non-core vaccines like those against Lyme disease or Coronavirus would be appropriate for cats and dogs that regularly come into contact with other animals and wildlife or live in/travel to areas where these are a concern.

In order to build strong immunity, all dogs and cats should receive their first immunizations at 5-6 weeks of age, with boosters every 2-3 weeks until age 12-16 weeks. Adult animals with an unknown vaccination history should receive core vaccinations and boosters 3 weeks after the initial dose is administered.
Your vet can recommend the proper vaccinations and schedule for your pet.

CORE IMMUNIZATIONS FOR DOGS

5 weeks: Parvovirus

6 & 9 weeks: Combination core vaccine against canine distemper, canine hepatitis, adenovirus cough (kennel cough), parainfluenza, and parvovirus.

12 weeks & older: Rabies vaccine.

12 & 15 weeks: Combination core vaccine plus leptospirosis. Coronavirus and Lyme disease – only if you’re living in or will be taking your pet traveling/visiting an area where these are a concern. Bordatella vaccine.

Adult annual vaccinations: Combination core vaccine against canine distemper, adenovirus cough, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis. Coronavirus and Lyme disease – only if you’re living in or will be taking your pet traveling/visiting an area where these are a concern. Rabies vaccines may be given in 1-year or 3-year cycles.

CORE IMMUNIZATIONS FOR CATS

FVRCP – Core vaccine that protects from Feline Viral Rhinotrachetitis, Calici virus, Panleukopenia. Recommended for kittens at least 6 weeks old, with boosters three-four weeks apart until the kitten is 16 weeks. A booster at age 1-2 is recommended. After the series is completed, boosters should be administered every three years.

FHV- FCV– Feline herpes virus and calicivirus are core vaccines. Adolescent and adult cats should receive two doses, administered three to four weeks apart, a booster after one year, and then every three years.

Rabies: All kittens should receive a rabies vaccine at 8-12 weeks of age, then an annual booster. Cats with unknown vaccination histories should receive the rabies vaccination followed by an annual booster. After the series is completed, boosters should be administered every three years.

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