Vaccine Guidelines for Dogs & Cats

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Puppy Vaccinations

Protection from disease depends on the immune system’s ability to respond to a vaccine. Some puppies can respond at an earlier age than others; therefore start early and repeat the vaccines to give protection for all individuals as quickly as possible. A good vaccination program starts at six to eight weeks of age, with booster vaccines being given every three to four weeks until the puppy is over 16 weeks of age. Your Pet Vet doctor will recommend the appropriate vaccines but they include Distemper, Parvo Virus, Corona, Bordetella, Lyme’s Disease and Rabies. Heartworm and intestinal parasite preventives are also recommended at six to eight weeks of age.

Annual Vaccinations for Dogs

The vaccines to prevent Distemper, Parvo Virus, Corona, Bordetella and Lyme’s Disease are recommended on an annual basis. Also, Texas state law requires that Rabies vaccine be given every three year. Please check with your veterinarian to verify the law in your specific area.

Kitten Vaccinations

A good vaccine program for a kitten starts between eight to nine weeks of age with boosters given every three to four weeks. Boosters are given to ensure the kitten’s immune system responds to the vaccine and the pet is protected from disease. A vaccine for Feline Distemper (a 4-in-1 vaccine that contains Rhino tracheitis, Panleukopenia, Chlamydia and Calici) is given initially. Feline Leukemia vaccine is started after 10 weeks of age.

Pet Vet also recommends heartworm prevention for our feline patients. Once thought of as solely a disease of the dog’s heart, heartworms are now known to produce completely different problems in cats – it is primarily a disease of the cat’s lungs. Ask your Pet Vet doctor about heartworms in cats.

Annual Vaccinations for Cats

Current manufacturer’s recommendations are for annual boosters for cat vaccines. This includes (1) Feline Distemper – a 4-in-1 vaccine that contains Rhino tracheitis, Panleukopenia, Chlamydia, and Calici components, (2) Feline Leukemia, (3) Calici VS and (4) Rabies. Although most counties in Texas require that the Rabies vaccine be given every three years, you should check with your veterinarian to confirm. In addition to vaccine boosters, your veterinarian may also recommend heartworm prevention because of it’s role in preventing intestinal parasites and to prevent the drastic respiratory effects of heartworm microfilaria.

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