Pet Vaccinations

What Type of Vaccinations Does Your Pet Need?

Pet vaccinations are essential for helping to prevent several illnesses that may affect your pet. Vaccines along with dietary management are the easiest ways to help your cat and dog live a long, healthy life.  Whether you have a new puppy or kitten or your pet is a few years old, it’s important to talk with your veterinarian Dr. Ashleigh Wallace Huggins, Dr. Lori Wyatt DaCosta or Dr. Rebecca Teal about the type of vaccines your pet needs and when they should begin the immunizations. Here is some information about the type of pet vaccinations your pet should receive. 

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Importance of Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinations help prepare your pets immune system to fight disease causing bacteria and viruses. A vaccine typically contains the antigens that look like the disease-causing organism, but it doesn’t actually cause the disease; it basically tricks the immune system into thinking it is. This force the immune system to fight it off, which ultimately prevents the disease from actually invading the immune system if your pet is ever exposed to the actual disease.

What are Core Vaccines?

Core pet vaccinations are vital for all pets. These vaccines are based on the risk of your pet being exposed to the disease, the severity of a disease and the possibility of it being transmitted to humans. Most commonly veterinarian recommended vaccines include:

Vaccines for Cats

  • Distemper
  • Calicivirus
  • Herpesvirus type 1
  • Rabies
  • Non-core vaccines may also be recommended, depending on the lifestyle of the cat. Non-core vaccinations include feline Leukemia virus and Chlamydophila felis.

Vaccines for Dogs

  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Non-core vaccines for dogs are typically given depending on the risk of exposure. Non-core vaccines for dogs include Bordetella bronchiseptica, leptospira bacteria and borrelia burgdorferi.

Your pet’s veterinarian will discuss the necessary vaccines with you and determine what the best vaccination schedule for your pet will be. The schedule will depend on several factors, including your pet’s age, the type of vaccine, your pet’s environment and lifestyle and their medical history. In most situations, puppies and kittens will begin their first series of vaccinations when they are six to eight weeks of age and the series will be administered over about a four-week period. Boosters may be required every few years, depending on the history of your pet.

To schedule your pet’s vaccination or to schedule an exam to discuss dietary management, contact the Tri-County Animal Hospital in Cumming.

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