Pet Vaccinations

If you’re a first-time pet owner, it’s important for you to understand the importance of pet vaccinations for your companion’s overall health. Bringing your pet in once a year for the comprehensive wellness exam is a great way to be proactive about health issues, but it’s certainly not the only way. Vaccines are needed, too, as they help strengthen the immune system against specific viruses and diseases. A wellness exam alone can’t do this, which is why we recommend that pet vaccinations be included during the exam visits here at Shawsheen Animal Hospital.

We have been proudly accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) since 2007, which means we meet the highest standards in veterinary medicine. This applies to our vaccination recommendations and protocols as well. We carry both core and non-core vaccines (see below) with the intentions of meeting the unique needs of every patient. After all, no two pets are exactly alike.

Core Vs. Non-Core Pet Vaccines

In veterinary medicine, there are two different kinds of vaccines available: core and non-core. Core vaccines are required for all dogs and cats, regardless of their lifestyle, breed, etc. Typically, a core vaccine protects against a very serious illness (such as rabies) and/or one that can be easily transmitted to humans. On the other hand, non-core vaccines are considered “optional” vaccines that are based on a pet’s risk of exposure to a certain illness.

The rabies vaccine is required by law for both dogs and cats in the state of Massachusetts, so be sure to maintain their vaccine schedule and keep them up-to-date. Rabies is almost always fatal in animals and humans alike.

Some of the core and non-core pet vaccines we offer here in Tewksbury include:

  • Rabies (core)
  • Canine distemper virus (core)
  • Canine hepatitis (core)
  • Canine parvovirus (core)
  • Canine influenza virus (non-core)
  • Canine Bordetella (non-core)
  • Lyme disease (non-core)
  • Canine leptospirosis (non-core)
  • Feline calici virus (core)
  • Feline distemper (core)
  • Feline rhinotracheitis (core)
  • Feline leukemia (non-core)
Pet Vaccinations

Customizing Your Pet’s Vaccination Schedule

During your pet’s first visit to Shawsheen Animal Hospital, we’ll create a vaccination schedule to meet their needs. Vaccines need to be updated every 1-3 years to be effective, so we’ll be sure to let you know how often they need to be updated for YOUR pet at this visit. Keep in mind that as your pet ages, or as their lifestyle changes, our vaccine recommendations may also change.

Give us a call at (978) 851-5558 to schedule your pet’s visit, or if you have any general questions about pet vaccinations. We’ll be happy to help.

AAHA Lifestyle-Based Vaccine Calculator