Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.

While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.

Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:

  • Rabies (dogs and cats)
  • DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
  • FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)

While not considered a core vaccine in many places, we would also strongly suggest a Lyme disease vaccination for any dog who is regularly outdoors in our region of the country, where deer ticks thrive. Other non-core but recommended vaccinations for dogs include bordetella (kennel cough) and canine influenza if your pet frequents dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines.

For cats, we also recommend FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia.

One more note: even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease. Your Plattsburgh Animal Hospital veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 518-566-7387.