Your pet’s health is our passion. It’s National Immunization Awareness Month, and one of the ways you can help take care of your furry friend is getting them vaccinated. Dufferin Veterinary Hospital provides various vaccinations so that your pet is protected from various diseases. Here is a summary of what’s necessary and what’s optional.
Core vs. non-core
Vaccinations are classified into two categories, with core vaccinations being those necessary to prevent truly virulent diseases from attacking your pet. Non-core vaccinations are optional; however, we may recommend them if you and your dog engage in outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, frequenting dog parks, and for cats, spending time outdoors.
For dogs, the core vaccinations include:
- Canine distemper
- Canine hepatitis
For cats, they are:
- Feline panleukopenia (distemper)
- Feline herpes virus and calicivirus (respiratory infections)
For dogs, the non-core vaccinations include:
- Lyme disease
- Infectious bronchitis
- Bacterial blood infections
For cats, they are:
- Feline chlamydophila
- Feline infectious peritonitis (an intestinal disease)
- Feline leukemia
How vaccinations work
The immunizations contain a substance that stimulates the pet’s immune system to build antibodies against targeted infections. As their immunity builds, the dog or cat should be able to resist the diseases if and when they come into contact with them. Once they’ve achieved full immunity, it’s then a matter of reinforcement with annual vaccinations.
Vaccinating indoor-only pets
Some pet owners question whether their pet needs to be vaccinated if he or she never goes outside. The answer is yes! Some of these life-threatening infections are airborne and can even come in through an open window, or the pet could escape outside and be exposed. The bottom line is this: pets need to be vaccinated to be protected.
Puppies and kittens
Pet vaccination needs to start at an early age. For the first six to eight weeks of age, puppies and kittens are protected by their mothers’ immunity, but after weaning, they are very vulnerable to being struck by one of these dreaded diseases. This is the time we recommend you begin the schedule of core vaccinations for your pet.
To schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about vaccinations, contact us.