Vaccinations are an important service your veterinarian provides for your pet. Vaccines help to prevent some diseases and minimize the severity of others. Vaccines can be grouped into two main categories: core and non-core vaccines.
Core vaccines are those that the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends for all pets, regardless of their lifestyle. Rabies vaccination is regulated by local legislation and is generally required of all pets. Other core vaccines for dogs include distemper/hepatitis /leptospirosis /parainfluenza/parvovirus vaccination, often given as one combination inoculation.
For cats, feline distemper/ calicivirus/rhinotracheitis vaccines are considered core vaccines, also given as a combined inoculation.
Non-core vaccines protect against diseases that your pet may or may not be exposed to based on their regular activities. For dogs, non-core vaccines include vaccination against Lyme disease, bordetella, and canine influenza. Lyme disease vaccination is recommended for dogs which live on farms or in heavily wooded areas, or who are taken hunting, camping or exercising in areas where ticks are prevalent. Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination is recommended for dogs who frequent boarding kennels, grooming parlors and obedience classes. The infectious agent is spread through the air much like whooping cough in children. Canine influenza (flu) vaccination is required by some boarding facilities, although not All Creatures Small. Just as in humans, the strain and prevalence of the virus varies widely from year to year. The non-core vaccine offered for cats is feline leukemia, which may be recommended for cats that spend all or part of their time outdoors.
Vaccinations should be started around 8 weeks of age for both puppies and kittens and most pets will need a series of three vaccines for best protection against disease. Rabies vaccination occurs around 16 weeks. Our staff will discuss with you which vaccines are the most appropriate for your pet.