What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
At Austin Village Pet Hospital, we offer the core vaccines every pet needs to stay healthy as well as noncore, or lifestyle, vaccines that are only needed if your pet is at risk. Our veterinarians form unique vaccination protocols for every pet to ensure they receive the best protection with the least amount of vaccines.
Some of the vaccines we may recommend for your pet include:
- Rabies – This one is important for every pet, cat or dog, young or old. Rabies is a deadly virus that is almost always fatal, and it is zoonotic, meaning it can infect animals of different species, including your human family. The rabies vaccine is administered to puppies and kittens at about 12 weeks of age and then again at one year of age. Adults receive this vaccine on an annual or triennial basis.
- Canine distemper and parvovirus – These two viruses are highly contagious and very dangerous to dogs, especially those who are young, old, or have an underlying health condition. The distemper and parvovirus vaccines are administered together in a combo core vaccine, DHPP, which also includes hepatitis (adenovirus-2) and parainfluenza, two other important vaccines.
- Panleukopenia – This feline virus is similar to canine distemper and can be deadly to kittens, older cats, and those with underlying health problems. It is highly contagious and can have life-limiting consequences for otherwise healthy pets. The panleukopenia vaccine is offered in a combination core vaccine, FVRCP, which also includes rhinotracheitis (a respiratory infection) and calicivirus, another potentially dangerous disease.
- Leptospirosis – The leptospirosis vaccine is a noncore vaccine that we recommend for most dogs due to the prevalence of the disease in our area. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Leptospira bacterium. The bacteria are often found in water or soil that has been contaminated by an infected animal’s urine. Digging in contaminated soil or drinking contaminated water are the main ways dogs become exposed to the bacteria.
Other noncore vaccines we offer include:
- Lyme disease (dogs) – highly recommended for dogs who venture outdoors with their parents
- Bordetella (dogs) – recommended for dogs who are in dog-social situations including boarding, dog park visits, group training, etc.
- Canine influenza – recommended for dogs who are in dog-social situations
- Feline leukemia – recommended for outdoor cats only
When Does My Pet Need Vaccines?
Puppies and kittens will receive a vaccination series during their first year of life. This series will include the core vaccines and any other noncore vaccines your pet may need based on their expected lifestyle. Following their initial vaccination series, cats and dogs will need routine booster vaccines throughout their lives to maintain their immunity. Rabies and many of the noncore vaccines are annual, while the canine and feline distemper vaccines (DHPP and FVRCP) are 3-year vaccines.