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Pets 101

Keeping Your Pets Safe

DISCLAIMER: These are AVMA and AAHA guidelines. Always check with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet’s individual needs and specific health issues.

Dog VaccinationFor Dogs

6-8 Weeks Old:
First of a 3-part series, combination vaccine (DHLPPC) guarding against:
• Distemper – A dangerous and contagious viral infection that attacks the central nervous system and causes uncontrollable muscle spasms.
• Hepatitis – A viral disease that attacks a dog’s liver and can affect the kidneys and the eyes.
• Leptospirosis – A bacterial disease that attacks the liver, kidneys, and nervous system of a dog. The bacteria are transmitted through the urine of infected animals, which can be picked up through sniffing.
• Parainfluenza – A highly contagious, fast spreading respiratory disease that can cause Kennel Cough and may progress into pneumonia or chronic bronchitis.
• Parvovirus – A highly contagious viral disease that is often fatal in puppies.
• Coronavirus – An intestinal disease that is highly contagious through the fecal matter of infected dogs. Causes rapid dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.

10-12 Weeks Old:
Second Injection, DHLPPC
Kennel Cough Vaccine
Rabies

14-16 Weeks Old:
Third Injection, DHLPPC
Rabies

Annually:
DHLPPC Booster
Kennel Cough Booster
Rabies Booster (either 1 or 3 years)

Optional Vaccines:
• Bordatella – This is a vaccine that can be given on a case-by-case basis to prevent Kennel Cough in dogs that are often boarded at daytime care centers or pet hotels.

 

Cat VaccinationFor Cats

6-7 Weeks Old:
Combination vaccine guarding against:
• Panleukopenia (Distemper) – An extremely contagious virus in the Parvo group causing vomiting, diarrhea, etc. This virus has a high mortality rate in kittens.
• Rhinotracheitis – A contagious upper respiratory infectious disease.
• Calicivirus – A highly contagious and fast spreading upper respiratory infection that has a high mortality rate.

10 Weeks Old:
Second Combination Vaccine
Chlamydophila – A contagious disease that causes conjunctivitis (infection of the eyelids). Can affect cats of all ages, but primarily a concern in kittens.

12+ Weeks Old:
Rabies

13 Weeks Old:
Third Combination Vaccine
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) – This virus is spread from cat to cat through bite wounds, casual contact with infected cats, and from an infected mother cat to her kittens. The individuals most at risk of infection are outdoor cats, indoor/outdoor cats, and cats exposed to such individuals.

16-19 Weeks Old:
Fourth Combination Vaccine

Annually:
Combination Vaccine
Chlamydophila Booster
Rabies Booster
FeLV Booster

FerretsFor Ferrets

8 Weeks Old:
First Canine Distemper – A highly contagious disease that has a 100 percent mortality rate in ferrets.

11-13 Weeks Old:
Second Canine Distemper
Rabies

14-16 Weeks Old:
Third Canine Distemper

Annually:
Canine Distemper
Rabies

 

RabbitFor Rabbits

Annually:
These vaccines should be administered every year in areas where disease is prevalent.
Myxomatosis – A dangerous disease that can be lethal. Spread by direct contact with infected animals and insects. Symptoms include discharge from eyes, swelling, and difficulty eating and breathing.
Viral Hemorrhagic Disease – A stubborn disease that causes fever, lethargy, convulsions, and difficulties breathing. This disease moves quickly and often kills within 24 hours.

 

Adverse Reactions 
to Vaccines

Most animals will show little to no negative effects from vaccinations. However, here are some symptoms to look for that may signal dangerous reactions.


If you see any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:
Fever
Sluggishness
Loss of Appetite
Facial Swelling
Hives
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Pain, Swelling, Scabbing, 
or Hair Loss at Injection Site
Lameness
Collapse
Difficulty Breathing
Seizures

 

SAYING NO TO VACCINES?

• There has been much debate amongst pet caretakers and veterinarians regarding the necessity of these vaccines. However, please remember that in most places, the rabies vaccination is required by law. Also, if you are traveling with your pet, he or she may need to have certain vaccines to board a plane.
• You should consult your veterinarian about other recommended vaccines based on your pet’s behavior and activities. If you take your dog hiking, the Leptospirosis vaccine and Lyme disease vaccine are highly recommended. If your cat goes outside often, you should guard against Feline Leukemia.
• If you choose not to give your pet too many vaccines, talk with your vet about performing a Titer Test, which is a blood test used to determine your pet’s immunity to specific diseases. This will provide information regarding what vaccines are and are not necessary.

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