Individual Vaccine Protocols
There are many different vaccines available for dogs and cats. We tailor our vaccine protocols to fit each pet’s lifestyle.
Every puppy and kitten should have a series of core vaccines – these are essential vaccines that provide protections against the following disease:
- Puppies – rabies, distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus (canine hepatitis).
- Kittens – rabies, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and feline leukemia. We recommend adjuvant-free vaccines for all kittens and cats.
Some puppy and kitten vaccines cover for multiple diseases which limits the number of injections your pet receives. Each puppy and kitten usually gets a series of 2 to 3 vaccines separated by 3 to 4 weeks. We recommend puppies and kittens receive their final vaccines at 15 to 16 weeks of age – this allows their immune system to respond to vaccination without any interference from antibodies they received from their mother when nursing.
Optional vaccines that we discuss with each pet owner include protection against Bordetella and Parainfluenza (“kennel cough”), Lyme disease, and Leptospirosis (a bacterial infection that can cause kidney and liver disease). We recommend limiting the number of vaccines given at one visit, especially in very young or very small dogs and cats.
As pets grow into adults, we may extend the interval between when vaccines are given. Many of our vaccines stimulate an excellent immune response and do not need to be repeated every year. Cats that do not go outside often need less vaccines then cats that are allowed outdoors. Similarly, dogs that have more exposure to other dogs or wildlife may need a more rigorous vaccine protocol than dogs that primarily live in the house. We utilize guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) to help establish our vaccine protocols.
Vaccines are not recommended for pets with a documented history of a life-threatening vaccine reaction, have or have had an immune-mediated disease, or are currently receiving chemotherapy. Most vaccines should be delayed in pregnant or nursing animals until the puppies or kittens are weaned. Pets that have had a mild or suspected vaccine reaction may be pre-treated with injections of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or steroids before a vaccine is re-administered and are often monitored at the hospital for the day.
Some pets may be tired, sore, or have a mild fever for a day or two after receiving a vaccine. We will often dispense pain medication for pets that are uncomfortable the evening or day after a vaccine is given.
All pet owners should monitor their pets after vaccination for signs of an allergic reaction, even if a pet has been given an identical vaccine in the past. Please seek immediate veterinary attention if any of the following occur within 48 hours of vaccination:
- Facial swelling.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Pale or white gums.
- Shock, extreme lethargy, or collapse.