Vaccinations

A vaccination is a way of helping a pet to protect itself against disease. This is called preventive medicine – you prevent the disease before it happens.

Newborns acquire a passive immunity from their mothers, but because passive immunity starts to decrease between six and eight weeks of age, vaccination is needed to help young pets to build their own immunity.

Puppies, Adult Dogs, Kittens and Adult Cats should follow the vaccination schedule below. Discussing your pet’s needs and medical condition with one of our veterinarians at our hospital will help you decide what is best way to help your pet live happy, healthy, and a long life.

Dog & Cat Vaccination Schedules

Regular pet vaccinations are one of the most important veterinary preventive care programs. They have helped reduce diseases within the pet population and are considered to be the foundation of preventive health care. We recommend following vaccination schedule below as a general guideline. Depending on where you live and your pet’s lifestyle will determine specific vaccination and testing needs.

Vaccinations
Dogs
Cats
6 Weeks Old (First puppy shot) Usually done by breeder.
DHPP Vaccine (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Para Influenza)
FVRCP Vaccine (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) Start Parasite Prevention (flea & tick, heartworm)
8 Weeks Old (Second puppy shot) Usually done by breeder.
DHPP Vaccine (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza) Start Heartworm Prevention (Heartgard, Trifexis, or Revolution.)
FVRCP Vaccine (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) FELV Vaccine* (Feline Leukemia Virus)
12-14 Weeks Old (Third puppy shot)
DHLPP Vaccine (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza) Coronavirus
FVRCP Vaccine Booster (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) FELV Vaccine Booster* (Feline Leukemia Virus)
4-6 Month
Rabies Vaccine (Repeat 1 year later, and then every 3 years)
Rabies Vaccine (Repeat every year)

*Feline leukemia virus vaccine may not be considered a “core vaccination” by some veterinarians. However, it has recently been recommended that kittens are at the highest risk of contracting feline leukemia virus more than adult cats, therefore many vets are reconsidering making FeLv a “core vaccination”.

Optional Non-Core Vaccinations
Dogs
Cats
8 Weeks Old
We typically do not recommend non-core vaccinations at this age due to their sensitivity.
We typically do not recommend non-core vaccinations at this age due to their sensitivity.
12 Weeks Old

Bordetella Vaccine

Corona Vaccine

Lyme Disease Vaccine

Canine Influenza Vaccine (H3N8)

Rattlesnake Vaccine

N/A
16 Weeks Old

Bordetella Vaccine Booster

Corona Vaccine Booster

Lyme Disease Booster

Canine Influenza Booster

Rattlesnake Vaccine Booster

N/A

*Recommended based on pet’s lifestyle.

Tests and Deworming
Dogs
Cats
2, 4 and 6 Weeks Old
Deworming (Hookworm, Roundworm, and Tapeworm). Repeat Every 2 weeks.
Deworming (Hookworm, Roundworm, and Tapeworm). Repeat Every 2 weeks.
8 Weeks Old
Deworming (Hookworm, Roundworm, and Tapeworm) Start Parasite Prevention (flea & tick, heartworm)
Deworming (Hookworm, Roundworm, and Tapeworm) Start Parasite Prevention (flea & tick, heartworm)
12 Weeks Old
Deworming (Hookworm, Roundworm, and Tapeworm)
Deworming (Hookworm, Roundworm, and Tapeworm) FeLv, FIV, and Heartworm Test
6 Months Old
Heartworm, Erlichiosis, Anaplasmois, and Lyme Disease Test (4Dx)
12 Months Old+
If your pet is on a Parasite Prevention program, have a fecal test performed every 6 months and treat your pet if needed. If not, then a fecal test should be performed every 3 months.

Dog & Cat Diseases

Learn more about what each of the vaccines outlined above protects your pet against by reading through our Dog and/or Cat disease information below:

Vaccination series for a dog usually begins when puppies are six to eight weeks old. The series consist of three or four visits, the last of which take place when the puppy is about four month old. Once the puppy has completed the “puppy shots”, it should return to the veterinarian yearly for booster vaccinations to maintain a protective antibody level.

Veterinarians commonly vaccinate dogs for:

Canine Distemper – a highly contagious disease caused by virus; it is spread among dogs by contact through the mouth or nose. The virus can attack all parts of the body, including nervous system. Distemper causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, and paralysis. It is usually fatal

Hepatitis – a viral infection of the lever. It is specific to the canine family and not contagious to humans. Hepatitis is transmitted when dogs ingest the virus in contaminated water. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion to vomiting, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome this disease in mild form, but the severe form may be fatal.

Leptospirosis – a bacterial infection spread by contact with infected, urine-contaminated water. It is more common in rural than urban areas and is marked by a high fever and yellow color of the gums. It can cause permanent kidney damage. If untreated, it can be fatal.

Lyme Disease – a disease that infects the musculoskeletal system, heart and kidneys. It is transmitted by the deer tick bites, and causes swollen lymph nodes, fever, joint pain, lethargy, and can lead to kidney disease and occasionally death. In areas where ticks are prevalent, yearly vaccination for Lyme disease is strongly recommended.

Kennel Cough – an infection caused by highly communicable Bordetella Bronchiseptica bacterium and Canine Parainfluenza virus. It is transmitted when infected dog coughs and infective particles are inhaled by other dogs. As the name amplifies, it can be easily transmitted in a kennel where many dogs are present. Kennel Cough causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death.

The Parvovirus and Coronavirus Infections – infections of the dog’s intestinal tract. Both diseases transmited by viral particles through the nose or the mouth. A Parvovirus infection is usually more severe than a Coronavirus infection – in fact it is often fatal. The Parvovirus and Coronavirus infections cause severe vomiting, fever, and severe diarrhea. The diarrhea is usually bloody and has a very foul odor. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48 to 72 hours. Prompt veterinary attention is crucial.

Rabies – transmitted by the rabies virus, which enters the body through a break in the skin – often a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is contagious to all land mammals, including humans. Animals with rabies typically die within a few days of appearing sick.

For more information about diseases people can get from pets, and how to keep yourself and your pets healthy please click here.

Vaccination series for a cat also begins when kittens are six to eight weeks of age. The cat series consist of two or three visits. Like the dog, the cat needs yearly boosters to maintain a good level of protective antibodies.

The cat diseases that veterinarians have vaccine for include:

Feline Distemper – a viral disease that causes severe intestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea. It is highly contagious among cats and is transmitted by contact with distemper virus through the cat’s mouth or nose. Feline distemper is a very serious disease and is often fatal.

Upper Respiratory Diseases – a disease complex that has three main causes: the rhinotracheitis virus (a herpes virus), the calicivirus and the chlamydia bacteria. Protection against all of these is available in one vaccine. The cat with upper respiratory disease acts like a human with a cold. Clinical signs include sneezing, runny eyes and difficulty in breathing. Transmitted from cat to cat by inhaling infective particles through the nose and mouth. Is highly contagious.

Feline Leukemia – a viral disease that is the leading viral killer among cats and is transmitted from cat to cat by direct contact. The feline leukemia virus may cause leukemia or just elevated temperature of unknown origin. It also may cause cancerous growth or lack of red blood cell production (anemia). Support and treatment of an infected cat is costly, and the disease is usually fatal.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) – another leading viral killer of cats, second only to feline leukemia. FIP has two forms – wet and dry. Clinical signs of the wet form include fluid in the abdomen, fluid in the chest and a persistent fever. The dry form can be very difficult to diagnose, as often some of the telltale signs do not appear. FIP is fatal after clinical signs develop.

Rabies – transmitted by the rabies virus, which enters the body through a break in the skin – often a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is contagious to all land mammals, including humans. Animals with rabies typically die within a few days of appearing sick.

For more information about diseases people can get from pets, and how to keep yourself and your pets healthy please click here.