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Vaccine
Information

Vaccines help protect against specific infectious diseases. They stimulate the body’s immune system to recognize and fight an infection. Without vaccination, many pets would become seriously ill or die from preventable diseases. Some infections are more difficult to prevent using vaccination than others. For example, vaccination is very effective against feline panleukopenia infection but does not entirely protect against respiratory virus infections. However, pets vaccinated against respiratory tract infections generally have milder illness and are far less likely to die from their disease. When deciding on vaccinations, your veterinarian will consider health status, age, and lifestyle of your pet, a vaccine’s duration of immunity, what diseases are prevalent in the area, and the severity of endemic diseases.  

Rabies Vaccines:

Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease that can be spread to humans by contact with saliva from an infected individual. If an unvaccinated pet is scratched or bitten by a wild animal, or if it bites a person, it should be quarantined or euthanized.  Rabies vaccination of cats and dogs is required by law in Ohio.

Recommended Vaccines and Schedule for Puppies and Adult Dogs

We recommend the following vaccine schedule based on the American Animal Hospital Association guidelines:

Canines:

Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza:

Puppies should have at least 3 doses of a combination vaccine between 6 and 16 weeks, 2-4 weeks apart.

Puppies and dogs over 16 weeks old should initially have 2 doses of a combination vaccine, 2-4 weeks apart.

Boosters: A single dose of a combination vaccine within 1 year following the last dose in the initial vaccination series. After that, boosters are given every 3 years.

Rabies vaccines are given as a single dose after 16 weeks of age. The first dose is boostered in 1 year, then every three years following.

Leptospira: Initially, 2 doses 2-4 weeks apart are given any time after 12 weeks of age.

Boosters are given annually after the initial series.

Bordetella (also known as kennel cough) is recommended for dogs who go to daycare, boarding facilities, groomers, dog parks, pet stores, or other places where they are exposed to other dogs. This is one initial vaccine which is boostered annually.

Canine Influenza vaccine is required by some boarding facilities. Please talk to your veterinarian to decide if this vaccine would be helpful for your pup.

 

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Recommended Vaccines and Schedule for Kittens and Adult Cats

*All cats and kittens should be tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV at least once, which is a simple blood test we can do here in our office.

We recommend the following vaccine schedule based on the American Animal Hospital Association guidelines:

Felines:

FVRCP+C (rhinotracheitis/feline herpes virus 1, calicivirus, panleukopenia, plus Chlamydia):

Kittens receive their initial doses every 3-4 weeks from the age of 8 weeks to 16 weeks.

Cats and kittens over 16 weeks old should initially have 2 doses of a combination vaccine, 3-4 weeks apart.

Then, the vaccine is boostered one year after the last dose of the initial series, and every 3 years following that.

Feline Leukemia vaccines are recommended for cats who go outside, or live in a house with any other cats who go outside regularly. 

The initial vaccine is two doses given 3-4 weeks apart any time after 16 weeks of age. Booster shots are then given annually. 

Rabies vaccines are given as a single dose after 16 weeks of age. The first dose is boostered in 1 year, then every three years following.

 

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Possible side effects

Vaccines have proven to be very safe, and severe vaccine reactions are rare. Pets may experience mild, short-lived reactions (malaise/fatigue) such as poor appetite, lethargy, and fever that will resolve without treatment. Tenderness, swelling, or a lump at the injection site are also possible. Please seek immediate veterinary attention if your pet begins vomiting or scratching, drooling, develops bumps (hives) or facial swelling, or has difficulty breathing within a few hours of being vaccinated.

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