Pet Vaccinations: Top Questions Answered
Our Republic Veterinary Hospital veterinarian, Dr. Murphree, often fields questions regarding pet vaccinations. For your convenience, we have assembled her answers to the most frequently asked questions about pet vaccinations.
What Are Pet Vaccines?
Pet vaccines are medications intended to reduce an animal’s risk of contracting a contagious disease. Our staff will administer vaccines to protect your pet from the diseases most likely to occur in Texas. They provide protection from highly contagious diseases, including rabies, distemper, and parvo. Vaccinations are required every one to three years, depending on the type of vaccination and the recommendations of our veterinarian.
What Do Vaccines Contain?
Vaccines contain weakened (modified) or killed viruses or proteins taken from bacteria or viruses.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines are somewhat like a training course for the immune system. The presence of the weakened virus or protein triggers an immune response from the body. This “teaches” the immune system what to do in case it ever encounters the virus again.
How Important Are Vaccines To The Health of My Pet?
Pet vaccinations are one of the most important things you can do for the health of your pet. Vaccinating your pet, or running a titer test to confirm protective immunity can prevent your pet from contracting a serious infectious disease, or lessen the symptoms of an infectious disease, upon exposure at dog parks, grooming salons, boarding facilities, and even in your own backyard or inside your home. An animal that seems healthy may be sick with a contagious disease that can spread to your precious cat or dog. Even indoor cats can come into with bats infected with rabies that sometimes get into attics. Contagious illnesses often require emergency veterinary care.
Vaccinating your pet can also protect you and your family from infectious diseases, like rabies, which can spread from animals to humans.
Are There Any Risks?
All medications and drugs, including vaccines, pose some risks. The benefits of pet vaccinations from Republic Veterinary Hospital greatly outweigh these risks.
It is uncommon for pets to experience an allergic reaction to vaccinations. Some pets do experience side effects after vaccination, as vaccines work by stimulating an immune response.
What Vaccinations Do Texas Pets Need?
All Texas dogs and cats need core vaccines for protection against the most common infectious diseases affecting animals in this state.
What Are Core Vaccines?
Core vaccines are a group of vaccines that provide protection from the most common infectious diseases. They are fundamental to the health and welfare of your pet and to all animals in the Texas area. All pets should receive core vaccines at a minimum. Depending on your pet’s health needs and lifestyle, our Kyle veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations to keep your dog or cat healthy.
What Are The Core Vaccines For Dogs?
Core vaccines for dogs are rabies and DA2PP. The vaccination known as the DA2PP, protects your canine companion against distemper, hepatitis (Adenovirus type 2), parainfluenza, and parvovirus.
What Are The Core Vaccines For Cats?
Core vaccines for cats are rabies and FVRCP which protects your feline friend from viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia, which is also known as feline distemper.
What Vaccines Should My Puppy or Kitten Get?
The puppy/kitten shot series includes the DHPP for dogs and FVRCP for cats, along with a rabies vaccination. Depending on your new pet’s risk for exposure, our veterinarian may recommend non-core vaccines, such as Bordetella, leptospirosis or feline leukemia.
When Should I Have My Puppy Or Kitten Vaccinated?
Puppies should receive their first round of vaccinations when they are seven to eight weeks of age; kittens can be as young as eight weeks. Puppies should then receive vaccines every 4 weeks until they are 16 to 17 weeks of age. It is believed that kittens can mount a long-term immunity after 12 to 13 weeks of age, but many veterinarians in Texas recommend completing the series at 16 to 17 weeks of age as well. By law, the rabies vaccine should be given by 16 weeks of age.
Is A Rabies Shot Required In Texas?
Texas requires rabies shots for all dogs and cats by the age of 4 months. Vaccinating your puppy or kitten against rabies is a good idea and will reduce their risk of contracting serious diseases.
Are There Other Vaccines My Pet May Receive?
Yes! Our veterinarian, Dr. Murphree, may recommend non-core vaccines, which are optional vaccines that protect your pet from other illnesses. Non-core vaccines for dogs include Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), canine influenza virus, Leptospira spp., rattlesnake and Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease). Non-core vaccines for cats include feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
Where Should I Have My Pet Vaccinated?
Pet vaccines are an essential part of a comprehensive veterinary wellness program. Our Kyle vet can vaccinate your pet. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss your pet’s vaccination needs by calling (512) 269-0738.