Nov 23, 2009 5:32 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP
Every pet owner knows that animals need vaccines, but how do you know which ones your pet needs.
Some veterinary hospitals and "shot clinics" seem to vaccinate every pet with every vaccine available, regardless of the risk for that particular disease. At Animal Care Clinic we like to tailor the vaccine protocol based on an animal's lifestyle, health status and risk factors.
The American Animal Hospital Association and Association of Feline Practitioners have recommended certain core vaccines that most healthy pets should receive. These include distemper, parvovirus and rabies for dogs and the upper respiratory complex for cats. Outdoor cats should also receive rabies vaccines.
Most pets will need a puppy or kitten series followed by a booster in 1 year and vaccines every 3 years thereafter.
Some boarding kennels require dogs to have a Bordetella or kennel cough vaccine. If you do not board your pet, this is probably an unnecessary vaccine.
Outdoor cats usually benefit from feline leukemia vaccines.
Dogs who spend a lot of time in wetland areas, especially in Northern California should have leptospirosis vaccines.
Lyme vaccine might be needed if you take your dog outdoors in an area with a high level of Lyme Disease (such as Connecticut.)
Excessive vaccination can be harmful, especially to animals that are not well. At Animal Care Clinic we will not vaccinate your pet without having recently completed a physical exam and fully reviewing your pets lifestyle and infectious disease risks.
Come see us. We are available M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3 and Mondays until 8 p.m.
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