The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) promotes National Immunization Awareness Month every August. Even though the CDC’s campaign educates young children’s parents about the importance of timely vaccines to prevent serious diseases, the veterinary community can learn a few things from this campaign too.
at Rolling Hills Pet Clinic encourage pet owners to always have his or her dog’s
or cat’s vaccines up to date, as it is one of the most important
responsibilities as a pet owner. Vaccines prevent deadly diseases that can cut
your pet’s lifespan to short, or even reduce quality of life. It’s not
only important for your pet’s health, but also the health of the whole family.
Some of the diseases that we vaccinate our pets for are also infectious to people.
Even if your pet has limited access to the outside world, they also must be vaccinated. Your pet only has to be exposed to a virus in the air or bacteria on a surface area to become infected. This means, unbeknownst to some pet owners, they can track viruses or bacteria in the house on a shoe, putting a pet at risk of contracting the disease. Your pet could be at risk by innocently opening a window to let in a cool breeze that allows nose to nose contacted with a potentially infected animal.
Just as people depend on herd immunity to keep them protected when some choose not to vaccinate, it’s important to offer your pet the same protection. Dog parks and other places where many pets gather at the same time can attract both vaccinated and non-vaccinated pets. Since you can’t control what other pet owners do, take it upon yourself to ensure that your own pet’s vaccines are up-to-date.
Which Vaccines Do Dogs and Cats Need?
Core vaccinations are the minimum vaccinations pets should be given, which may be required by law or recommended by the veterinarian.
They include the following:
The canine distemper vaccine (DAP) prevents against distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), and parvovirus. Dogs should also be vaccinated against the bacteria Leptospirosis, which can be passed to humans by pets. All dogs in Arizona, 12 weeks or older, are required by law to be vaccinated against Rabies.
Feline distemper vaccines (FVRCP) prevents against calicivirus, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia. Rabies vaccines are not required by law in Arizona for cats. However, it is highly recommended as a core vaccine even if they are strictly indoors since any risk of exposure could be potentially fatal. Plus they are more likely to sneak out of the house on unsupervised strolls more so than dogs.
Non-core vaccinations are typically recommended based on your pet’s exposure risk factors.
The Veterinarians at Rolling Hills Pet Clinic will advise you if your
dog should need any of the non-core vaccines, such as canine influenza, Bordetella
(kennel cough), Rattlesnake, or Lyme vaccines.
The non-core vaccine, feline leukemia, is usually recommended for cats less than a year and then as needed based on your cat’s risk.
A comprehensive evaluation of your pet’s lifestyle and consideration of your own concerns is the best way to determine which of these vaccines would be the most valuable to protect you and your pet.
Please let us know if you have questions about the recommended vaccine schedule for your dog or cat.
Call 520.790.4871 to schedule an appointment, if your pet's vaccine is due or you have any other concerns about your pet’s health. All vaccines during August are 10% off.*
*Not applicable to any wellness bundles or any other discounts.