We begin vaccines at the age of 8 weeks and pets get boostered at age 12 weeks and 16 weeks for puppies and kittens. Nursing pets begin to lose immunity from mother's milk and boosting vaccinations helps prevent or lessen the severity of certain life-threatening diseases. After four months of age, pets are protected for one year.
Vaccinations are tailored to fit the pets' lifestyles. Some pets visit grooming salons, boarding facilities, obedience classes, and dog parks bringing them in contact more readily with viruses.
Routine vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect the health of your pet. We use only well-tested combinations of vaccines to protect against the most serious diseases in our area. Each pet is evaluated for the appropriate vaccinations needed. After the routine puppy and kitten series of vaccinations and the one-year booster shots, we recommend vaccinating for distemper virus and parvovirus for dogs and panleukopenia, and upper respiratory viruses for cats every three years.
Alternatively, we can periodically perform vaccine titers (blood tests) to assess your pet’s immune status and need for vaccine boosters. Many viral vaccines confer immunity for longer than 3 years. Bacterial vaccines such as bordetella (kennel cough ) and leptospirosis do not stimulate long-term immunity and require a booster every year. We will discuss your pet’s risk for these diseases and the need for vaccination.
Some pets travel to places where other diseases are more prevalent and vaccinations for Lyme disease and Leptospirosis may be advised. Senior, geriatric, and pets may experience allergic reactions requiring different protocols. Our veterinarians will examine the pet to determine the safest action to take with these special cases. Vaccines are designed to keep pets healthy, not harm them!