Pet Vaccinations and Why They
Vaccinations protect our pets from infectious, often deadly diseases. Since pet vaccinations are so widespread, many of the diseases that once were common are now very rarely seen. However, if fewer owners are vaccinating their pets, a resurgence can occur and affect an entire pet community. At South Loop Animal Hospital, our commitment to companion animal health drives us to offer the most current vaccines to your pet on the right schedule.
How They Work and Which Ones Your Pet Needs
Vaccines are typically injections that contain a weak sample of the disease that triggers your pet’s antibodies. If the same disease is contracted in the future, their body will recognize it and be able to fight it off much more effectively. We offer both core (essential) and non-core (lifestyle) pet vaccinations for cats and dogs.
- Rabies protects against the deadly and highly infectious disease contracted from wild animals.
- FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis calicivirus panleukopenia) protects from feline distemper and two different upper respiratory infections.
- FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) protects against this common, highly transmissible virus. We recommend FeLV to cats who are frequently outdoors.
- Rabies protects against this dangerous disease that can be contracted from wild animals.
- DAPP (distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus) protects against distemper, a liver infection, a respiratory infection, and a viral illness.
- Leptospirosis protects against this zoonotic disease. We recommend this vaccine for dogs frequently outdoors.
- Lyme protects against the tick-borne illness. Similarly to Lepto, we recommend it to outdoor dogs.
- Bordetella (kennel cough) helps pets avoid this respiratory infection. Boarding facilities and groomers typically require this vaccine.
- Canine Influenza is suggested for dogs who frequent close-quartered environments with other dogs such as dog parks, training, boarding facilities, etc.
Puppy and Kitten Series of Vaccines
When your pet is a puppy or kitten, the need to build up their immunity over through an initial series of vaccines over several weeks. It’s often best to split them up separately so your pet is not receiving all their vaccines in one visit. Our typical timeline is as follows:
- DAPP will begin at 6-8 weeks and continue with 3 more boosters every 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine. Adults will receive this vaccine every 3 years after the initial series.
- Rabies is given once between 14-16 weeks, then every 3 years.
- Leptospirosis we give after 12 weeks with a booster 2-4 weeks later, and then annually.
- Lyme we give once at 12 weeks, and then annually.
- FVRCP will begin at 6-8 weeks and continue with more boosters every 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine. Adults will receive this vaccine every 3 years after this initial series.
- Rabies is given once between 14-16 weeks, and then annually.
- FeLV we give at 8-9 weeks with a booster 3-4 weeks later, and then annually.