Are your pets up-to-date?
We’d do anything for our furry & feathered little friends, especially when it comes to keeping them happy and healthy. An essential way of keeping them at their healthiest is making sure their vaccines are up-to-date. Here’s a need-to-know list of vaccinations for dogs and cats, according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
What are vaccines?
Vaccines help prepare the body’s immune system to fight off the invasion of disease-causing organisms. If a harmful disease/ illness is ever introduced to our animals, vaccine’s antigens work to reduce the severity and fight it off entirely. For us, it means peace of mind and quite possibly avoiding high veterinary bills that accompany common canine and feline disease.
What are the core vaccines?
Canine Parvovirus – highly contagious viral illness
Distemper – contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure
Canine Hepatitis – viral disease that causes upper respiratory tract infections
Rabies – transmitted through bites, rabies causes deterioration in the brain and can easily be passed on to humans
Panleukopenia (feline distemper) – highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease in the cat population. The causative virus is very resilient and can survive for years in contaminated environments, so vaccination is the best preventative available Feline Calici Virus – a common respiratory disease in cats Feline Herpes Virus Type I (rhinotracheitis) – cats in crowded or stressful conditions or with weak immune systems are more susceptible to this vius Rabies – just as with dogs, rabies causes deterioration of the brain and although the virus can take up to a month to develop, once the symptoms have begun, the virus progresses rapidly
What About Birds?
When importing birds from exotic places was common, bird vaccinations were plentiful. These days, because almost all birds are bred local, bird vaccinations are no longer considered necessary. There is only one recommended vaccine for our feathered friends, but only if your bird will be in contact with other birds whose health benefits are unknown, such as in a bird boarding house. Polyomavirus Vaccine – a deadly infection that primarily effects birds from the parrot family
Are vaccines required by law?
Each states has its own laws governing the administration of the rabies vaccine; some areas require yearly rabies vaccinations where others call for vaccines every three years. However, up-to-date canine rabies vaccinations are a legal requirement in general. You can download a complete state-by-state guide from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
How often should my animal be vaccinated?
The best person to ask this question to is your vet! He/she can best determine a vaccination schedule for your animal depending on the type of vaccine, your animal’s age, medical history, environment and lifestyle.
When should I get my new puppy and/or kitty vaccinated?
According to the ASPCA, puppies and kitties should receive a series of vaccinations starting six to eight weeks of age. A vet should administer a minimum of three vaccinations at three to four week intervals, and the final dose should be administered at 16 weeks of age.