Just as people need to have frequent vaccinations, it is important that you do the same for your furry, four legged friends. However, unlike with human vaccinations, where the types of shots needed are fairly standard, for pets the types or frequency can vary from species to species as dogs, cats, horses, etc. each have different needs. Yet. it is to be noted that there are mutated versions of some disease that while they may be primarily a dog issue, may affect a feline – and vice versa.
Common Vaccinations for Dogs
As mentioned, the vaccine action needed depends on the pet species. For canines, the primary shots you need to be concerned about include: canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.
Common Vaccinations for Cats
Your feline friends has other needs. Talk to your vet about scheduling these pet vaccinations: panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat’s lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency virus.
It should be noted that while these are all the commonly suggested pet vaccinations, that not every pet will be on the same schedule. For instance, if a puppy’s mother was healthy and then nursed the puppies, then some of the shots can be delayed. For cats who are nursed by a healthy mother whose immune system is strong, it is typically not necessary to begin vaccinations until your kitten is as much as 8 weeks old. Once your kitten or puppy reaches adulthood, it generally not necessary to vaccinate your pet but once every 3 years.
However, do be sure to talk to you veterinarian as there are some diseases that may be more common in your region, and thus require you to have your pet inoculated for some diseases more frequently then mentioned here. Also, as with human immunizations, there are often side effects that will need to watch for. Be sure to ask your vet of any specific indicators that your pet has had a reaction.
Having your pet vaccinated is a way you can be proactive in keeping your pet healthy and protecting them fro any potential sickness they may be exposed to. If you are unsure about what type of shots are needed for your pet, then be sure to talk to your veterinarian. They will be happy to help determine what approach to take.