Allowing Danner Veterinary Hospital to examine your pet annually and keep the vaccinations you need up to date can help your pet have a longer, healthier life. A yearly exam can also lead to early detection of any diseases or health problems, which when treated early lead to less invasive procedures and helps prevent emergency situations. We look forward to keeping your pet healthy for the least amount of expense. We believe that the more you know, the better job we can do to help you protect your pet.
Pet Vaccinations 101
An Overview for Pet Owners about Pet Vaccinations
As a pet owner, you hear a lot about vaccinations and how your four-legged friend has to have them. But what are pet vaccinations? And what vaccinations should your pet have?
- Protecting Pets from Disease. Simply put, vaccinations are given to protect your pet against disease. During vaccination, a modified bacteria, parasite or virus is administered to your pet by injection or intra-nasally. The vaccination triggers an immune response within your pet’s body to protect against a specific disease.
- Vaccinations for Young Pets. Veterinarians usually recommend giving puppies and kittens a series of vaccinations starting when they are approximately six weeks old. Young animals need to be vaccinated early on since the natural immunity in their mothers’ milk gradually wears off and they become vulnerable to infectious diseases. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a series of vaccinations are usually scheduled approximately three to four weeks apart, with the final vaccination series being administered when they are at least 16 weeks old.
- The Importance of Routine Shots. We cannot treat viruses directly, therefore we have to rely on the immune system for that protection. Routine booster shots will also be necessary to keep vaccine levels high enough in your pet to protect her over time. Fortunately, pet owners appear to be keeping up with their pets’ shots; the 2007 AVMA Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook reports that 64.4% of dog owners and 63.7% of cat owners received vaccination services or products during their most recent veterinary visit. It’s important to remember that not all vaccines are 100% effective; a vaccinated pet may not develop adequate immunity and can become ill. However, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.
- Core vs. Non-Core Vaccinations. Vaccinations for both cats and dogs can be categorized into two groups: core and non-core. Core vaccines are recommended for cats and dogs with an unknown vaccination history. Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines that should be considered depending on your animal’s risk. We constantly review what viruses are in NE Oklahoma and what is needed to protect your pet.
- Core vaccinations for puppies and dogs include: Parvovirus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV), Canine adenovirus (CAV), and Rabies.
- Non-core vaccines include: Canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), Distemper-measles combination vaccine, Bordetella bronchiseptica (Kennel Cough), Leptospira spp., Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme), and Giardia.
- Core vaccines for kittens and cats include: Feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), Feline calicivirus (FCV), Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and Rabies.
- Non-core vaccines include vaccines for: Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), Feline immunodeficiency virus, Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Chlamydophila felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica.