Pet Vaccinations

For adult pets, we recommend vaccine appointments

annually.

Depending on your pet's age and vaccination history, your veterinarian might recommend a custom vaccination plan.

Pet vaccines provide protection against potentially fatal viruses and diseases, including rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, and Lyme disease, making them an important component of your companion’s preventive health care. Shawsheen Animal Hospital offers routine vaccines with annual reminders that are customized to your pet’s lifestyle.

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.

AAHA Lifestyle-Based Vaccine Calendar

Dog Vaccinations

The DAPP dog vaccine provides protection against canine distemper, adenovirus, para-influenza and parvo. This immunization should be given to puppies at six to eight weeks old. To eliminate the possibility of maternal antibody competition, we recommend continuing the DAPP vaccination every three to four weeks until your pup has reached 16 weeks of age. We administer this dog vaccine one year after the last puppy shot is given and once every three years afterward.

Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a very common and contagious illness that affects the canine respiratory system. The bordetella dog vaccine is administered intranasally during the first puppy visit. An injectable vaccine is given three to four weeks after the intranasal dose, and then the vaccinations rotate between intranasal and injectable doses.

Leptospirosis, also known as lepto, is a bacterial disease that can affect both humans and pets. It occurs all over the world and leads to liver and kidney damage as well as death if left untreated. Humans and pets can get this bacterial infection by coming into contact with infected wild animals (e.g., opossums, skunks, raccoons and rodents), lepto-infested water or infected urine. Since this disease can harm animals and humans, we encourage dogs to receive this immunization via two initial doses three weeks apart, and then on a yearly basis.

It is by law that all domesticated dogs must be vaccinated against rabies when they receive their initial shots as puppies at or after 12 weeks of age. Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including dogs and humans. Therefore, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. An adult booster shot is given a year later and administered every three years afterward.

Lyme Disease can be carried by ticks and transferred to your dog or even to people as Lyme disease is a disease of humans as well.  Symptoms may range from fever and lethargy, to joint pain and lameness.   Not all dogs need this vaccine, as not all dogs have regular exposure to ticks per say, so ask one of our veterinarians if this vaccine is right for your dog.   Puppies or adult dogs who have not had the vaccine will receive two doses 3 weeks apart after, and then one dose each year after that.

Influenza (CIV or H3N8) – Canine Influenza, or the “dog flu,” is caused by the H3N8 Virus, which is a disease of dogs (not humans). The virus is spread from sick dogs that may be sneezing or coughing, contaminated objects or people moving between infected to uninfected dogs – this means the dogs don’t ever have to come in direct contact with other sick dogs in order to catch the virus. Symptoms may be mild such as coughing, runny nose and fever or severe such as pneumonia. Puppies or adult dogs who have not had the vaccine will receive two doses 3 weeks apart after, and then one dose each year after that.

Cat Vaccinations

Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats and humans. This being the case, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. At Shawsheen Animal Hospital, kittens receive this cat vaccine one time after they reach 12 weeks of age. Following the initial vaccine, adult pets receive the Purevax® form of this cat vaccination yearly for the most advanced safety and protection.

FVRCP cat vaccine is our “feline distemper” vaccination that protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici virus and panleukopenia. These diseases are highly contagious among cats and can have devastating effects on their respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Our feline patients should receive this cat shot when they are kittens, starting at six weeks of age. This cat vaccination should be given every three weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks old, as it will confidently ensure there is not any maternal antibody competition. Once the initial immunizations have been administered, we administer this cat vaccine one year after the last kitten shot is given and once every three years afterward.

FeLV (i.e., feline leukemia virus) is a deadly viral disease that wreaks havoc on affected cats’ immune systems and can lead to an array of cancerous conditions including leukemia. Because symptoms can remain hidden for months or even years in affected cats, many owners don’t realize there is a problem until it is too late and other cats in the household have already been exposed to the disease. For the best protection, our feline friends should start receiving this cat vaccination beginning at nine weeks of age. After the second set of immunizations is given, a booster is administered one year later, and then every three years afterward.

Get the best care for your best friend.

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