Core and Non-core Vaccines

The use of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases has done more than anything else to keep pets healthy. We strongly recommend keeping your pet vaccinated to protect them from common and serious diseases to which they are at risk.

Vaccinations for your pet are classified as core and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccines are vaccinations that are recommended for all pets. Non-core vaccines are vaccinations that are recommended by veterinarians based on a pet’s unique medical history and lifestyle.

Core and Non-Core Vaccines for Puppies and Dogs

Core vaccines for puppies and dogs include:

  • Rabies
  • DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)

Rabies – rabies is a virus that causes the brain to become inflamed. This disease affects humans and other mammals. Rabies spreads through a bite from an infected animal and can be spread to humans.

Canine distemper virus – canine distemper is a virus that affects a variety of animals, including those that are domestic. This distemper virus is a disease that attacks a dog’s nervous system, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal system. Canine distemper virus also affects puppies.

Canine adenovirus, also referred to as infectious canine hepatitis, is an acute infection that involves the liver.  This disease spreads through the saliva, blood, urine, feces, and nasal discharge of an infected dog.

Canine Parainfluenza – canine parainfluenza is a contagious respiratory flu-like disease that is caused by dogs being kept in close proximity to one another.

Parvovirus – Parvovirus, or parvo, is a highly contagious virus that can be spread from one dog to another by direct or indirect contact with infected feces.  It causes severe vomiting and bloody, watery diarrhea.  Without treatment it can be fatal within 48 hours.

Non-core vaccines for puppies and dogs include:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine influenza
  • Lyme disease
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)

Core and Non-Core Vaccines for Kittens and Cats

Core vaccines for kittens and cats include:

  • Rabies
  • RCP (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia)
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

Rabies – like dogs, cats can also become infected with rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the nervous system. Cats are the most commonly reported domestic animal with rabies.

Feline rhinotracheitis – feline rhinotracheitis has many names, including feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) and herpesvirus infection. This virus affects kittens and cats of all ages. FVR is spread by direct contact with the virus’ particles in the saliva and discharge from the nose and eyes of an infected kitten or cat.

Feline calicivirus – feline calicivirus causes oral disease and different upper respiratory infections in cats. Calicivirus is a highly contagious disease that is spread from one cat to another through the saliva of an infected cat and discharge from the nose and eyes. An infected cat can sneeze and spread these viral particles throughout the air.

Feline panleukopenia virus – feline panleukopenia virus, also called feline distemper, is similar to parvo in dogs. This virus is a highly contagious, severe infection that affects a kitten’s or cat’s nervous and immune system and the gastrointestinal system. Feline distemper has a more severe effect on kittens than adult cats.

Feline Leukemia Virus vaccine is considered core for kittens, but non-core for adult cats.  It is still administered to adult cats if they are exposed to other cats outdoors.

At your pet’s annual preventive care exam we will go over the risk factors for these non-core vaccines and together we will decide what vaccines your pet needs.  Our goal is to protect them from diseases to which they are at risk but not to over-vaccinate them with things they don’t need.  If it is time for your pet’s checkup, give us a call!