National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Vaccination Awareness Month, an event designed to raise awareness about the importance of pet immunization. Vaccines are products designed to trigger protective immune responses and prepare the immune system to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines stimulate the immune system’s production of antibodies that identify and destroy disease-causing organisms that enter the body.

Vaccines provide immunity against one or several diseases that can lessen the severity or prevent certain diseases altogether.

Experts agree that widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

5 reasons to vaccinate your pet

  1. Vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses.
  2. Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.
  3. Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and also from animals to people.
  4. Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.
  5. Local ordinances and state law require rabies vaccinations of household pets.
Female veterinary doctor giving injection for cute kitten

Pet immunizations are divided into two basic groups: core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are those recommended by veterinarians for every dog and cat, while non-core vaccine administration depends on your pet’s lifestyle (ex. you board your pet often at a kennel with other animals).  We use risk factor questionnaires to help us determine which vaccines your pet needs so we don’t over-vaccinate them with things they don’t need.

Core Vaccines for Dogs

  • Rabies- needed every 1-3 years depending on the vaccine used and patient risk
  • Distemper/Parvovirus- after the 1 year booster this only needs to be given once every 3 years

Non-core Vaccines for Dogs- these are all annual vaccines

  • Canine Influenza
  • Bordetella
  • Lyme Disease
  • Leptospirosis

Core Vaccines for Cats

  • Rabies- we use Purevax , the safest feline rabies vaccine on the market
  • RCP, also known as feline distemper. After the 1 year booster this only needs to be given once every 3 years.

Non-core Vaccines for Cats

  • Feline Leukemia- annual booster.

If you are not sure what your pet has had or what it needs, check your Pet Page on our web site or contact us.  Our doctors are happy to help you decide which non-core vaccines your pet needs.