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Vaccines: Vital Preventative Care for Your Pet

Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.

While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and of short duration when they do occur.

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Which vaccines should your pet have? Core vaccines are those recommended (and sometimes mandated by law) for most pets. These vaccines include:

  • Rabies
    • This vaccine is designed for both cats and dogs and is usually required by law in most local areas.
  • DA2PPV
    • This canine vaccine includes protection from distemper, hepatitis, adenovirus 2, parvo and parainfluenza.
    • This feline vaccine includes protection from feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.

Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FeLV to protect against the Feline Leukemia Virus. For dogs, Bordetella and Leptospirosis vaccinations are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels or any place where they are socializing with other dogs or where they may cross tracks with wildlife.

It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease. Your Avenues Pet Clinic veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health and lifestyle.