Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Latest Vaccine Protocol for Dogs and Cats

By Erin St. Charles, LVT

Do you know what your new puppy or kitten needs to be vaccinated for?

Utilizing proper vaccination protocols is a very important part of animal management.  Vaccinations can help protect your pet from diseases such as Parvovirus, Rabies, Influenza, Lyme, Feline Leukemia and Distemper.  In puppies and kittens 4 series of shots will be given between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks at 3-4 weeks intervals.  After the initial booster period the animals should be re-vaccinated annually to maintain protection.  Adult dogs and cats that do not have a known
vaccine history or have never been vaccinated will need the initial booster series before going to a regular annual schedule.  The cost of vaccinating will always be worth the price of having a healthy living animal and will be drastically less than the cost of treating preventable disease.  Below is the vaccination protocol for puppies and kittens.

                                                      RECOMMENDED PREVENTATIVE:

         AGE:                           PUPPIES:                                                       KITTENS:

DAPPv #1
(distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus, parvovirus)
(rhinotracheitis, calici-panleukopenia, chlamidia psitti)
Feline Leukemia test
DAPPv #2
  12 WEEKS
DAPPv #3 with Lepto
(distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus, parvovirus, leptospirosis)
FeLv #1
DAPPv #4 with lepto
FeLv #2
Purvax Rabies


After the first round of boosters, dogs and cats only need to get regular annual vaccines.

For dogs, the regular annual check-up includes a thorough physical exam, a canine distemper combo vaccine, heartworm test and fecal exam.  The rabies vaccine is given 1 year apart for the first 2 shots and then administered every 3 years.  A kennel cough vaccine can be given every 6 months upon owner request.  A Lyme vaccine is also available upon request.

For cats, the regular annual check-up includes a thorough physical exam, a feline distemper combo vaccine and rabies vaccine.  If the cat spends any time outdoors and has exposure to other cats outside, a feline leukemia vaccine is recommended as well.

For the most part dogs and cats do very well with vaccines and build good immunity.  However, some can have reactions.  Minor reactions (seen mostly in small breed dogs) include sleepiness and injection site soreness.  Moderate reactions include facial swelling, lethargy and vomiting.  Some facial swelling can lead to noisy or labored breathing.  Severe reactions include immune-mediated issues, shock and possible death.  The majority of reactions seen in the small percentage of animals that have them are mild to moderate and are treated with anti-histamines and steroids.  In animals with known vaccine reactions, we can administer prophylactic treatments or give the vaccines a week apart.

Please keep in mind that a rabies vaccine is required by law! There are many things that we can’t stop our pet from getting, let us help you protect them from getting the diseases we can prevent!

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