What Vaccinations Should My Pet Get?

With so many vaccines available for different diseases, it is common to wonder which vaccines are actually necessary for your pet. In the veterinary world, we classify vaccines as core or non-core. As it implies, core vaccines are those that are recommended for all dogs or cats. Core vaccines provide protection against serious diseases that are widespread and can easily cause severe sickness or death.

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Non-core vaccines are those that are recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk factors. These are diseases that are not as widespread or vaccines that have not been proven to provide complete protection. The argument for vaccinating with only necessary vaccines is mainly to reduce the risk of an adverse reaction. Examples of risk factors that may warrant vaccination with a non-core vaccine include pets that travel to shows or board in kennels often or dogs that are out in the woods often such as for hunting or search and rescue.

For puppies and dogs, core vaccines include parvovirus, distemper virus, adenovirus-2, and rabies. Common non-core vaccines include those for kennel cough such as parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Others are vaccines for varying strains of Leptospirosis spp. and for Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi).

For kittens and cats, vaccines are divided the same way into core and non-core. Core vaccines include feline herpesvirus-1, calicivirus, panleukopenia virus and rabies. Non-core vaccines include feline leukemia virus and a few others.

Depending on the age, risk factors and vaccine history of your pet, he may need one or more boosters of some of these vaccines. Rabies vaccine guidelines are regulated by the individual counties and usually have a minimum vaccination age and set timeline between boosters. At Livingston Vet, we can help you develop a tailored vaccine program to fit your pet’s needs.

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