August is Immunization Awareness Month. Are your pets vaccinated? In this blog post, we’ll discuss why vaccinations are vital as it relates to your fur babies. We’ll also cover some vaccinations that your pets should have, including DHPP/FVRCP, rabies, Lyme, and leukemia vaccines.
The Importance of Pet Vaccinations
Vaccinations prevent many pet diseases. Immunizations help pet owners to avoid any costs associated with treating completely avoidable illnesses. Vaccinations also stop infections from spreading from animal to animal and animal to person. Like human babies, puppies and kittens require a series of vaccines because their immune system has yet to fully mature. While very young animals do receive protection through antibodies in their mother’s milk, the protection does not last long, and antibodies decrease causing gaps in this protection. Because maternal antibodies can subside, it’s vital to make sure that your puppy or kitten receives a vaccine when needed.
Rabies is a zoonotic and fatal disease. For this reason, in Maryland and Pennsylvania, it is required by the law for your pets to have their rabies immunizations. Pets should have their initial rabies immunization around three months of age. After that, pets should have a vaccination a year later, then every three years after that.
DHPP refers to a canine vaccine that prevents distemper, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. It also prevents two types of adenovirus. Dogs should receive their DHPP vaccine at 8, 12, and 16 weeks. Then, a year after that, and finally one to three years after this. FVRCP is a vaccine for cats. It helps prevent feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline respiratory disease caused by feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline panleukopenia (FPL). Cats should receive their vaccine series in the same way as dogs.
Lyme Disease Vaccine
Lyme disease is endemic to Maryland and Pennsylvania. There were over 14,000 cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in dogs last year alone! Dogs that spend time outdoors are at higher risk of contracting this tick-borne infection, but all dogs in our area are exposed to Lyme disease. Lyme disease can cause serious health problems like joint disease, neurological issues, kidney failure, and heart problems. Dogs should be vaccinated for Lyme disease as puppies in a two-shot series and then annually.
Feline leukemia compromises the immune system and is highly contagious between cats through contaminated saliva. Cats can spread FeLV simply by sharing a water bowl. Kittens should receive a series of vaccines and then a booster shot each year.
If your canine companion or feline friend needs their vaccinations, contact us today. The #1 way to take care of your pet is to ensure that they are their healthiest.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!