Disease in both dogs and cats is often the result of viruses. Canines are particularly vulnerable to virus-borne disease because of regular contact with other dogs. The good news is that dangerous conditions like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and Bordetella are all preventable through regular vaccinations.
The same applies to Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Leukemia, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia.
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 remain 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)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, bordetella and canine influenza shots are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines.
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 Richman Animal Clinic veterinarian can advise you about 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 (440) 585-3600.