Monday, March 16, 2020

The Importance of Cat & Dog Vaccinations

Vaccinations play a vital role in your pet’s preventive care. They protect cats and dogs from highly prevalent and dangerous diseases. At Always Compassionate Veterinary Care, we take a proactive approach to your pet’s healthcare and will develop a unique vaccinations protocol for your cat or dog. Vaccinations can prolong your pet’s life and give you more good years with your best friend!

Which Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?

Some vaccinations are considered core and are recommended for all cats and dogs, while others are only recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle. When you bring your pet in for their annual exam, we’ll discuss their lifestyle to get an idea for which vaccines they’ll need to stay healthy. 

Factors we’ll consider include:
  • Age
  • If your pet travels with you, and where
  • Whether your pet is indoors or outdoors
  • What other pets are in the household
  • If you take your pet hiking with you
  • And more

Based on our discussion, we’ll determine an effective vaccination protocol that includes the core vaccines as well as the appropriate lifestyle vaccines. 

What Are Core and Lifestyle Cat & Dog Vaccinations?

Core vaccines are highly recommended (or even required by law in many states) for every cat and dog regardless of their lifestyle. These vaccines protect our pets from diseases that are easily contracted, dangerous, and even potentially fatal. Some, such as rabies, can also be contracted by your human family, making the rabies vaccine for dogs and cats even more important. Lifestyle vaccines, on the other hand, are only recommended for pets at risk. 

Here’s a look at the core vaccines we recommend for every pet:
  • Rabies – Highly contagious and almost always fatal, rabies is as dangerous a disease as you can get. The common carriers of this disease are raccoons, bats, foxes, and skunks. Your pet can come in contact with these animals in the backyard or even inside your home if a bat gets in! For this reason, the rabies vaccine for dogs and cats is required by law in the state of Pennsylvania. 
  • DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza) – This combination vaccine protects dogs against four diseases. These diseases can be deadly to puppies and compromised pets, while taking a serious toll on healthy adult pets. 
  • FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia) – This combination vaccine protects cats against three diseases. These diseases are highly contagious and can cause serious illness and even death in cats. 

Lifestyle vaccines include:
  • Lyme disease – We recommend this vaccine for dogs who frequently hike in wooded areas with their owner.
  • Leptospirosis – This vaccine is recommended for dogs who frequent areas where wildlife is present. 
  • Bordetella – Also known as “kennel cough” this vaccine is often required for boarding, grooming, and training facilities. 
  • Canine influenza – We recommend this vaccine for social dogs who often visit dog parks, are boarded often, participate in dog shows, or are in other social situations. 
  • Feline leukemia – This cat vaccine is recommended for outdoor cats. 

Have any questions or concerns about cat and dog vaccinations? Contact us today at (412)-882-3070!