Monday, August 25, 2014

Vaccinations


    Being an AAHA accredited animal hospital, Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod has a specific vaccination protocol to follow. After assessment, our veterinarians will discuss with you a vaccination plan that is customized to your pet. There are many factors in this plan such as lifestyle,  risk level, breed and age. Our goal is to best protect your companion animal from disease while also limiting the frequency with which vaccinations are administered.
Below is a chart showing which vaccines that are considered essential for most pets, and which vaccines are optional based on your pet’s lifestyle and environment:

Dogs Cats
Essential Vaccinations
DHPP, Rabies FVRCP. Rabies
For Selected Dogs For Selected Cats
Lyme disease,
Leptospirosis,
Kennel cough (bordetella),
Canine influenza
Feline leukemia virus
For dogs, we consider DHPP (Distemper) and Rabies to be core vaccines:
  • DHPP: Puppies that start vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age should be vaccinated every 3-4 weeks, with the final dose being given between 14-16 weeks (this is called the initial series).  Their next vaccine should be given no later than 1 year after completion of the initial series.  All DHPP vaccines after that can be given at intervals of 3 years or longer.   Dogs that start vaccination at older than 16 weeks should receive 1 dose, then vaccinated every 3 years or longer.
  • Rabies: One vaccine given no earlier then 12 weeks of age, followed by another vaccine 9 to no later than 12 months after (this is called the initial series).  Rabies vaccines should then be given every 3 years, as required by Massachusetts State Law.
Optional vaccines for dogs, which are given annually after completing the initial series:
  • Lyme: Dogs at least 12 weeks of age can receive the first dose of the initial series, followed by the second dose 2-4 weeks later, then boostered annually.
  • Lepto: Dogs at least 12 weeks of age can receive the first dose of the initial series, followed by the second dose 2-4 weeks later, then boostered annually.
  • Bordetella (Kennel cough): Dogs are given one dose by mouth or by nose as early as 4 weeks of age. That id followd by an injection booster in 2-4 weeks, and then boostered annually.
  • Influenza: Dogs at least 6 weeks of age can receive the first dose of the initial series, followed by a second dose 2-4 weeks later, then boostered annually.
For cats, we consider FVRCP (Feline distemper) and Rabies to be core vaccines:
  • FVRCP: Kittens that start vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age should be vaccinated every 3-4 weeks, with the final dose being given between 16-20 weeks (the initial series).  Their next vaccination should be given no later than 1 year after completion of the initial series.  All FVRCP vaccines after that can be given at intervals of 3 years or longer.  Cats that start vaccination at older than 16 weeks should receive 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart as the initial series, then follow the recommended schedule above.
  • Rabies: One vaccination given no earlier than 12 weeks of age. Afterwards, rabies vaccines should be given annually or every 3 years, as labeled by the vaccine manufacturer and as required by Massachusetts State Law.
An optional vaccine for cats is Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), which is given annually after completing the initial series:
  • FeLV: Cats at least 8 weeks of age should receive 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart as their initial series. 
Please keep in mind that this is just a general overview of our vaccination protocol. Between the law, the owner, the vet and the patients best interest, a personalized protocol can be discussed during an appointment.