Puppies and kittens that have just been born nurse on their mother’s milk through which they receive all of the necessary protection from different types of diseases. However, when they stop nursing from their mothers, they are at a much greater risk of getting sick. In order to make sure that your pet is healthy throughout his/her development, it is important to administer the necessary vaccines which will fully protect them from major diseases.
The first vaccines that your pet receives should be administered as early as 6-8 weeks of age. Following the vaccination, your pet won’t immediately be protected. Building up antibodies takes another 2 weeks, so it’s important to be extra cautious during this important period. In addition, receiving the first set of vaccines isn’t enough to fully protect your pet throughout his/her life. Most pets require regular follow-up booster shots which have to be given from once every year to once every three years in order to fully protect your pet.
It is very important to keep all of your pet’s vaccines current. If your pet gets sick from one of these serious illnesses, it won’t be possible to use the vaccine in order to cure him/her. Vaccines act only to prevent disease, rather than to cure it.
Administering The Most Important Pet Vaccinations
At Upper East Side Animal Hospital, we will give you a thorough overview of the different types of vaccines there are. We will be happy to explain the different core vaccines which are considered necessary and prescribed by New York regulations. Non-core vaccines are not necessary and only given to pets that are considered to be at-risk of catching certain diseases. Take a look at some of the most common core vaccines for dogs and cats:
- Rabies for Dogs and Cats
Both dogs and cats are generally required to be vaccinated for rabies (many states require this by law, while others do not). Regardless of regulations, this is considered a core vaccine so your pet should receive it around 16 weeks of age. In order to keep your dog or cat protected from rabies throughout his/her life, it is necessary to give them booster shots periodically after that.
- Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP)
These vaccines are first administered between 6 and 8 weeks old and booster shots are repeated every 3 weeks until your puppy is about 16-18 weeks of age. Some of these diseases can be very deadly so it is important to make sure that the vaccines are administered on time.
- Feline Herpesvirus, Calicivirus, Feline Distemper
This cocktail of vaccines is administered just like its dog counterpart above -- the first time between 6 and 8 weeks of age and then every three weeks.
See also: Feline Wellness
- Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
FeLV is a very serious disease, and it is currently among the biggest causes of death in cats. The first FeLV vaccine is given when a kitten is about 12 weeks old, followed by a booster shot 3 weeks later. After that, it is recommended to give your pet a vaccine on a yearly basis.
Pet Vaccines and Potential Side-Effects
Just like human vaccines, pet vaccines carry a certain risk of side-effects for your pet. However, it is important to keep in mind that your pet is much better protected with a vaccination than without it, so we usually do not recommend skipping a vaccine. Normally, side-effects last only 24-48 hours and will not have a major impact on your pet’s life. Your pet might experience discomfort in the site where the vaccine was administered and feel some lethargy or loss of appetite, but that is about it.
If you would like to receive more information about the vaccination requirements for your pet, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team at Upper East Side Animal Hospital. We would be more than happy to give you an overview of the different benefits of giving your pet the necessary vaccines, whether they are of the core or non-core variety. If you are having any doubts or worries about vaccinating your pet, feel free to let us know, and we’ll make sure to ease your worries. For more information, contact us today at 212-396–3020.
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Address: 310 East 65th Street, Suite 1C, New York, NY 10065