Why Are Pet Vaccinations Important?
Vaccinations protect pets against dangerous and potentially lethal diseases. Because of vaccines, many animal diseases have been contained in the last 100 years. At one time, feline distemper was the leading cause of disease in cats, but today it’s relatively uncommon. Rabies is still prevalent in wildlife and is one of several diseases that can be passed to people. Annual vaccination against rabies is required by law. At West Ashley Veterinary Clinic in Charleston, we work to give our patients complete protection by administering core vaccines, and we add other vaccines according to lifestyle.
Core Vaccines for All Pets
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommend certain vaccines be given to all animals because the diseases they prevent are very common and life-threatening. These are called core vaccines and are boosted according to published guidelines.
Core vaccines for cats include:
- Feline distemper and upper respiratory viruses are administered in one dose, boosted in kittens, and then boosted yearly.
- Rabies we boost yearly.
Core vaccines for dogs include:
- Canine DHLPP protects against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. We boost it in puppies and then every 3 years in adults.
- Rabies we boost every year or every 3 years depending on the type of vaccine given.
Lifestyle Pet Vaccinations
During your pet’s examination, we ask you a number of questions to decide whether your pet requires any lifestyle vaccines. These questions determine your pet’s likelihood of exposure to the viruses that lifestyle vaccines prevent.
Some of the questions we may ask to determine your pet’s exposure risk include:
- Does your pet stay indoors, outdoors, or both?
- What other pets are in your home?
- Do you travel to other parts of the country with your pet?
- Do you board your pet or frequent dog parks, daycares, or beaches?
Depending on your answers to our questions, we may recommend vaccines like Bordetella, canine Influenza, Lyme disease, or the rattlesnake vaccine. Cats who go outside may need to be protected against feline Leukemia.
Visit Us to Start Your New Pet’s Vaccination Series
When puppies and kittens are nursing, they receive needed antibodies from their mother’s milk. After weaning, they are vulnerable to life-threatening viruses, but we can help prevent this at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic with a series of core and lifestyle vaccines. If you’ve recently adopted an adult pet, gather as much health history as you can before your visit. If their vaccination history is unknown, we will make appropriate recommendations. Contact us for more information or to schedule a full nose-to-tail exam today!