Vaccination has been an important part of both human and veterinary medicine for many years. Ever since people began to understand the importance of vaccinating their pets, deadly diseases that plagued the pet population as recently as the 1980's are becoming rarer and rarer. There are several types of vaccines available for both dogs and cats.
The routine or "core" vaccine available for dogs is the "4-in-1" it includes Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, and Parainfluenza. This vaccine is administered to puppies three times in the first year of their lives, beginning at 6-8 weeks of age. It is then repeated a year later and a vaccine schedule will then be determined by your veterinarian depending on your dog's specific needs.
Lyme vaccine is required for dogs that travel to an area where there are deer and would be exposed to deer ticks. This vaccine is done twice at a 3-week interval and then repeated annually.
If you travel to a country area where there is a lot of standing water, discuss vaccinating against Leptospirosis with your veterinarian.
Bordetella vaccine protects against a bacterium that causes kennel cough in dogs. It is required by the New York State law to be administered to dogs that would be taken to a boarding facility, day care, or a groomer.
There is a new vaccine available that promises to help protect dogs from recurring periodontal disease. You can discuss it with one of our vets at the time of your dog's next dental appointment.
The "core" vaccine for cats includes Panleukopenia ("Distemper"), Rhinotracheitis (herpes), and Calicivirus. Like with dogs, it is done 2-3 times for kittens and then a schedule is determined depending on your cat's specific needs.
Cats that go or live outdoors should be vaccinated against the feline leukemia virus, a deadly virus similar to HIV in people. This vaccine is done annually or as recommended by your veterinarian.
Vaccine against Rabies is required by law for both dogs and cats. It is designed to protect both you and your pets against this deadly disease. There is a 1- and a 3-year vaccine available. You can discuss your pet's rabies vaccine schedule with your vet or a staff member at the time of your next visit.
Rabies and Distemper vaccines are available for ferrets. They are strongly recommended if you take your critter outside or if you will be introducing a new ferret to your household.