Essential Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats
Vaccines are a critical component in your pet’s health care program. They are the most effective method for the prevention of disease in cats and dogs, and are continually being improved to provide your companion with the highest level of protection. Here in Laurel, our veterinarians place great emphasis on pet vaccinations and the role they play in keeping our animals healthy and happy from year to year.
Pet Vaccinations We Recommend
Even strictly-indoor pets can be at risk of coming into contact with harmful pathogens. Below are the vaccines we recommend for cats and dogs to ensure optimal protection:
- Distemper, canine hepatitis, and parvovirus
- Kennel cough/Bordetella – for dogs that board, go to dog parks, or encounter dogs they don’t live with
- Canine influenza (bivalent vaccine, covers H3N8 and H3N2 strains, required for boarding dogs)
- Distemper and upper respiratory viruses
- Feline leukemia (for outdoor cats)
Bivalent Canine Influenza Vaccine
Due to the recent canine influenza outbreak, we’re now offering a bivalent CIV vaccine to protect pets from both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the canine influenza virus. This vaccine is just as effective, and requires only one sequential booster 3 weeks after the initial injection.
Canine influenza is a highly contagious virus with symptoms that include discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, and an elevated temperature. Canine flu can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. To schedule your pet for the bivalent CIV vaccine or have them treated, contact our office as soon as possible.
Setting A Vaccination Schedule
Ideally, your pet should start their vaccinations between 6 and 8 weeks of age. They will first receive their distemper booster series, which means being re-vaccinated every 3-4 weeks until they are 12-16 weeks old. Rabies is given between 12-16 weeks of age. If your pet is at risk of encountering ticks in their environment, they will receive their initial Lyme vaccination. Lyme and Lepto require a follow-up booster for your pet to be properly immunized.
It’s important to maintain a consistent vaccination routine to ensure that your pet is always well-protected from disease. Your veterinarian will always be happy to offer advice and help you keep up with your pet’s vaccines.
Happiness is a warm puppy.