Types of Vaccines
The vets at our North Hollywood pet hospital offer several vaccinations to protect your pets and you. Generally, there are two classes of vaccine. Core vaccines are recommended for almost all pets, while non-core vaccines may only be needed by certain pets, depending on where they live and what they are exposed to.
In California, all cats and dogs need to receive a rabies vaccine. Rabies is fatal in most cases, and can be transferred from animals to people. A pet should receive a rabies vaccine either yearly or once every three years, depending on the strength of the vaccination.
Other core vaccines for pets include canine distemper for dogs and feline calicivirus and feline herpes virus vaccines for cats. Cats that go outdoors should be vaccinated against feline leukemia, a virus that spreads from cat to cat through bites or other contact. Dogs should also be vaccinated against parvovirus and hepatitis.
Vaccines for Wellness
Vaccines are essential to a pet's care. Most pets should begin receiving vaccinations from a young age. After birth, pets receive antibodies from their mother's milk which help protect them from infections. The antibodies wear off after a time and vaccines take on the role of protecting pets. Many kittens should be vaccinated starting at six weeks of age. Dogs are usually vaccinated starting around five weeks of age.
Even a pet owner thinks her pet is protected from disease because the pet stays indoors, she should still vaccinate the pet. A cat or dog can be exposed to a disease through even the lightest of contact, such as passing a sick pet in the park.
Have you had your pet vaccinated?