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Cat and dog vaccines are a critical part of veterinary wellness care. Pet vaccines not only protect dogs and cats against highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases, but also help to keep your family healthy, too. At Thurman Veterinary Center, our Bakersfield veterinarian strongly encourages all pet owners to vaccinate their pets with core vaccines and to keep these critical dog and cat vaccines up to date.
All dogs and cats should receive core vaccinations. These dog and cat vaccines protect against the most serious and deadly illnesses. Core dog vaccines are administered as a combined shot known as DHPP. This shot protects against distemper, hepatitis, parvo and parainfluenza. For cats, the feline core vaccination series protects against panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calicivirus, feline herpes virus type I (rhinotracheitis). We recommend vaccinating both dogs and cats against rabies.
Pet vaccines should be given as soon as a puppy or kitten is weaned from his mother. The puppy/kitten shot series begins at 8 to 10 weeks of age and continues with booster shots every three to four weeks until the pet’s immune system reaches maturity. This typically happens at 18 to 20 weeks of age. After this point, pets will need to be re-vaccinated in one year. Subsequent booster shots may be required every one to three years, depending on a pet’s lifestyle and health needs.
Our veterinarian may also recommend addition dog or cat vaccines. For example, bordetella is a common upper respiratory problem affecting dogs. Known as “kennel cough,” bordetella spreads quickly at dog parks, grooming salons, boarding, and doggy daycare. If your dog frequents any of these places, then our veterinarian recommends vaccinating him or her against kennel cough.
Even indoor cats will benefit from up-to-date rabies vaccination. Like any medication, our veterinarian recognizes that dog and cat vaccines are not without some health risks. However, the risk for an allergic reaction is extremely low. If your pet has previously been vaccinated without any complications, a future reaction is unlikely.
Pets without vaccines are far more likely to become ill than pets that are vaccinated. Cat and dog vaccines should never be “optional” – these critical vaccines are the most effective way to protect your pet from a host of serious health problems. And while modern veterinary care has advanced significantly in recent years, not all illnesses can be successfully cured. This is especially true for older or younger pets with weak immune systems. The treatment for your sick pet may end up being more serious than the illness itself. Worse, pets that become ill often require emergency veterinary care, which can be expensive.
Is your pet up-to-date on core cat and dog vaccines? To check on your pet’s vaccination record and learn more about the benefits of pet vaccines, contact our Bakersfield vet today!
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