PET VACCINATIONS

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At My Best Friend Veterinary Center, we take care of dogs and cats as if they were our own pets. We understand puppy vaccinations and yearly vaccinations can be confusing, but we are here to offer you reassurance and peace of mind as the information provided below discusses vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

Why Is It Important to Vaccinate Your Pet?

Vaccines are designed to trigger protective immune responses and prepare the immune system to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don’t actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to your pet’s body, your furry friend’s immune system is mildly stimulated. It produces antibodies that identify and destroy disease-causing organisms that enter the body. This helps prevent certain diseases or reduce the severity of the illness.

Widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

Reasons to vaccinate your pet:

  • Prevention of preventable pet illnesses that can be fatal.
  • Avoid costly treatments for diseases that can significantly change quality of life for your pet. 
  • Prevent disease spread between animals and also from animals to people.
  • Avoid transfer of diseases that are prevalent in wildlife to your pets.
  • Many local or state ordinances require household pets to have certain vaccinations.

Core vaccines are considered vital to all pets based on the risk of exposure, the severity of disease, or transmissibility to humans. Your pets should begin to receive vaccines when they are young. For puppies and kittens, this means they can be vaccinated as young as six weeks old. After they receive their first vaccines, we will set you up with a booster schedule with occasional appointments for the next few months to get their immunity levels to an appropriate response.  

Once your dog or cat has completed their vaccine schedule, they will receive annual boosters during their annual wellness visits. Pregnant animals are not typically vaccinated.

Why Is It Important to Vaccinate Your Pet?

Vaccines are designed to trigger protective immune responses and prepare the immune system to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don’t actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to your pet’s body, your furry friend’s immune system is mildly stimulated. It produces antibodies that identify and destroy disease-causing organisms that enter the body. This helps prevent certain diseases or reduce the severity of the illness.

Widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

Reasons to vaccinate your pet:

  • Prevention of preventable pet illnesses that can be fatal.
  • Avoid costly treatments for diseases that can significantly change quality of life for your pet. 
  • Prevent disease spread between animals and also from animals to people.
  • Avoid transfer of diseases that are prevalent in wildlife to your pets.
  • Many local or state ordinances require household pets to have certain vaccinations.

Core vaccines are considered vital to all pets based on the risk of exposure, the severity of disease, or transmissibility to humans. Your pets should begin to receive vaccines when they are young. For puppies and kittens, this means they can be vaccinated as young as six weeks old. After they receive their first vaccines, we will set you up with a booster schedule with occasional appointments for the next few months to get their immunity levels to an appropriate response.  

Once your dog or cat has completed their vaccine schedule, they will receive annual boosters during their annual wellness visits. Pregnant animals are not typically vaccinated.

Puppy Shots

The most common vaccines we give to dogs include:

  • The Bordetella VaccineBordetella is a bacterium that causes a severe cough, often called “kennel cough”. This vaccine is required by most locations where dogs are in close proximity to each other, such as boarding and grooming facilities.
  • The DHLP-P Vaccine – This is commonly known as the 5-in-1 vaccine and it protects against five diseases. 
    • Distemper virus (causes canine distemper)
    • Hepatitis virus (causes infectious canine hepatitis)
    • Leptospirosis (a bacterium that can cause kidney disease)
    • Parainfluenza (a viral cause of infectious cough)
    • Parvovirus (a viral cause of severe vomiting and diarrhea)
    • We consider this vaccine to be essential to your dog’s overall health.
  • The Rabies Vaccine – This is a vaccine against the rabies virus, which is devastating for your pet, and which your pet may spread to humans. It is legally required for every dog to be vaccinated against rabies in the state of Missouri. After an initial 1-year vaccination, we can continue to booster it with a 3-year vaccination.   
  • The Flu VaccineCanine influenza is an infection of the airways in dogs. It is spread between infected dogs by barking, coughing, and sneezing. This vaccine is required by most places where dogs are in close proximity to each other, such as boarding and grooming facilities.

Recommended Vaccine Schedule for Puppies

*Optional vaccines/diagnostics depending on your pet’s specific needs.

1st Visit – 6-8 weeks of age  |  2nd Visit – 9-11 weeks of age
3rd Visit – 12-14 weeks of age  |  4th Visit – 16-18 weeks of age

Puppy Shots

The most common vaccines we give to dogs include:

  • The Bordetella VaccineBordetella is a bacterium that causes a severe cough, often called “kennel cough”. This vaccine is required by most locations where dogs are in close proximity to each other, such as boarding and grooming facilities.
  • The DHLP-P Vaccine – This is commonly known as the 5-in-1 vaccine and it protects against five diseases. 
    • Distemper virus (causes canine distemper)
    • Hepatitis virus (causes infectious canine hepatitis)
    • Leptospirosis (a bacterium that can cause kidney disease)
    • Parainfluenza (a viral cause of infectious cough)
    • Parvovirus (a viral cause of severe vomiting and diarrhea)
    • We consider this vaccine to be essential to your dog’s overall health.
  • The Rabies Vaccine – This is a vaccine against the rabies virus, which is devastating for your pet, and which your pet may spread to humans. It is legally required for every dog to be vaccinated against rabies in the state of Missouri. After an initial 1-year vaccination, we can continue to booster it with a 3-year vaccination.   
  • The Flu VaccineCanine influenza is an infection of the airways in dogs. It is spread between infected dogs by barking, coughing, and sneezing. This vaccine is required by most places where dogs are in close proximity to each other, such as boarding and grooming facilities.

Recommended Vaccine Schedule for Puppies

*Optional vaccines/diagnostics depending on your pet’s specific needs.

1st Visit – 6-8 weeks of age  |  2nd Visit – 9-11 weeks of age
3rd Visit – 12-14 weeks of age  |  4th Visit – 16-18 weeks of age

Kitten Vaccinations

The most common vaccines we give to cats include:

  • FVRCP Vaccine – This standard vaccine is called the “feline distemper combo” and is considered a core vaccine for cats and kittens. The three upper respiratory diseases it protects against include:
    • Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus 
    • Calicivirus
    • Panleukopenia (known more commonly as “feline distemper”)
  • The Rabies Vaccine – This is a vaccine against the rabies virus, which is devastating for your pet, and which your pet may spread to humans. It is legally required for every cat to be vaccinated against rabies in the state of Missouri. After an initial 1-year vaccination, we can continue to booster it with 3-year vaccination. 
  • FeLV Vaccine – For young kittens and adult outdoor cats, we recommend the feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV). This is not considered a core vaccine, but will protect against the risks associated with the feline leukemia virus encountered in neighborhood cats. 

Recommended Vaccine Schedule for Kittens

Kitten Vaccinations

The most common vaccines we give to cats include:

  • FVRCP Vaccine – This standard vaccine is called the “feline distemper combo” and is considered a core vaccine for cats and kittens. The three upper respiratory diseases it protects against include:
    • Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus 
    • Calicivirus
    • Panleukopenia (known more commonly as “feline distemper”)
  • The Rabies Vaccine – This is a vaccine against the rabies virus, which is devastating for your pet, and which your pet may spread to humans. It is legally required for every cat to be vaccinated against rabies in the state of Missouri. After an initial 1-year vaccination, we can continue to booster it with 3-year vaccination. 
  • FeLV Vaccine – For young kittens and adult outdoor cats, we recommend the feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV). This is not considered a core vaccine, but will protect against the risks associated with the feline leukemia virus encountered in neighborhood cats. 

Recommended Vaccine Schedule for Kittens

How are Vaccines Administered?

Vaccines for cats and dogs are administered subcutaneously (under the skin, not intramuscularly) in the nape of the neck, above the hips, and/or shoulders.

How are Vaccines Administered?

Vaccines for cats and dogs are administered subcutaneously (under the skin, not intramuscularly) in the nape of the neck, above the hips, and/or shoulders.

What are the Side Effects of Pet Vaccines?

Vaccines have few side effects. Your pet may have mild symptoms which may range from soreness at the injection site to feeling slightly lethargic for a couple days. Allergic reactions can occur, but are rare. Vaccine reactions to monitor for include vomiting or a puffy face. If you notice your pet reacting in this way, an antihistamine and/or steroid injection may need to be given. If you notice any adverse reactions following your visit, please do not hesitate to contact us about your concerns. In general, most pets have no reaction to vaccines, making them a great way to keep your pet happy and healthy!

What are the Side Effects of Pet Vaccines?

Vaccines have few side effects. Your pet may have mild symptoms which may range from soreness at the injection site to feeling slightly lethargic for a couple days. Allergic reactions can occur, but are rare. Vaccine reactions to monitor for include vomiting or a puffy face. If you notice your pet reacting in this way, an antihistamine and/or steroid injection may need to be given. If you notice any adverse reactions following your visit, please do not hesitate to contact us about your concerns. In general, most pets have no reaction to vaccines, making them a great way to keep your pet happy and healthy!

CONTACT MY BEST FRIEND VETERINARY CENTER

If you are interested in having your dog or cat vaccinated, contact us today!

Request Appointment

CONTACT MY BEST FRIEND VETERINARY CENTER

If you are interested in having your dog or cat vaccinated, contact us today!

Request Appointment