Protecting Pets From Disease
Vaccinations play a key role in your pet’s overall wellness plan. There are many contagious diseases that can easily be spread among our furry friends and, while no vaccine is 100% effective, this simple measure is the best prevention.
As soon as a new pet comes into your life, whether it’s a puppy or kitten, a senior dog or cat, or something in between, please schedule an appointment with us. We will make sure that your newest family member’s vaccines are current in order to protect him or her, along with the other animals in your life.
Lifestyle Choices & Pet Care
When you bring your dog or cat to Becker Animal Hospital, our veterinarians and staff will take the time to speak with you and gain an understanding of your pet’s lifestyle. Does your cat live exclusively indoors, or does it go outside? Does your dog go to dog parks or the groomer or will it be boarded? The answers to these questions and others will help us to determine which vaccines are necessary for your pet.
Since puppies and kittens have different vaccination requirements, our recommendations below are for adult animals. Please visit our puppy and kitten care section for details about their vaccination needs.
- Rabies—Required by law.
- DA2PPC—This is a combination vaccine that protects canines against distemper, hepatitis, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and coronavirus.
- Lyme disease—Lyme disease is becoming more prevalent in our region. It is caused by a strain of bacteria that is spread via the bite of infected ticks. Our recommendation of this vaccine is dependent upon your dog's lifestyle and risk of exposure to infected ticks.
- Bordetella—This vaccine helps to prevent bacterial infections of the respiratory system, including the ailment commonly referred to as “kennel cough.” If your dog comes into contact with other dogs at the dog park, the groomer, doggy daycare, or is about to be boarded, this vaccine is recommended.
- Leptospirosis—Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria spread through soil, water, and the urine of infected animals, and if not caught early it can be deadly. There is a vaccine available for the most common subtypes of the bacteria that infect dogs, but it’s not always a recommended part of the routine vaccination protocol. Ask us if the Leptospirosis vaccine is appropriate for your dog.
- Canine Influenza (H3N2 and H3N8)—These vaccines are “lifestyle” vaccines, and are not recommended for every dog. They are intended for dogs at risk of exposure to the canine influenza virus, which include those that either participate in activities with many other dogs or are housed in communal facilities, particularly where the virus is prevalent.
Some points to consider about both H3N2 and H3N8 vaccines:
- They do not protect from the disease, they only minimize clinical signs.
- Both influenza vaccines (H3N2 and H3N8) are very specific and do not offer cross protection.
- Your dog will need the initial vaccine and then a booster is required 2-3 weeks later.
- In order for either vaccine to be effective, your dog needs to have the second booster three weeks prior to boarding.
- The H3N2 vaccine is still under conditional license. Field studies are currently being conducted.
- Rabies—(required by law)
- FVRCP—This is a combination vaccine that protects against rhinotracheitis, calici virus, and panleukopenia. We recommend this vaccine for any cat that lives in a multi-pet household or that goes outside. If your cat lives strictly indoors and does not come into contact with other animals, it may not be necessary.
- Feline leukemia—Just as with the FVRCP vaccine, this vaccine is suggested for cats that have any exposure to the outdoors or to any other cat that goes outdoors.
Vaccinations are just one component of your pet’s overall health care plan. You may also wish to visit our preventive care section to learn about the other services we offer to ensure that your pet is protected, healthy, and happy.