This month Alpine Animal Hospital is offering 20% off vaccines.  So we figured we would provide a refresher on the recommended vaccinations for our furry friends. Just like with humans, vaccines are essential to maintaining good health and preventing the spread of disease. Our practice follows the vaccination guidelines published by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). These guidelines are kept up to date with the most recent developments regarding vaccines schedules and recommendations for cats and dogs.

Core Vaccines: Core vaccines are the basic building blocks for immunity for every dog and cat and are recommended to prevent highly contagious and potentially fatal diseases. These vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats, with few exceptions.

  • For dogs, the core vaccines are:
    • Distemper
    • Adenovirus
    • Parvovirus
    • +/- Parainfluenza
    • Rabies
  • For cats, the core vaccines are:
    • Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1)
    • Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
    • Feline Panleukopenia (FPV)
    • Rabies
    • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) for cats younger than 1 year old

Elective (Non-core) Vaccines: While core vaccines provide the foundation of canine and feline health, your dog or cat may require additional protection based on their lifestyle and other risk factors. Talk with your veterinarian about elective vaccinations and if your pet would benefit from additional protection.

  • For dogs, elective vaccines include:
    • Leptospirosis: Due to increasing prevalence, this vaccine should be considered for all dogs. This bacteria is found in water and soil, especially stagnant water like ponds, rivers, lakes, streams and farm runoff. In addition to causing severe illness in dogs, leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can spread from animals to humans.
    • Bordetella: Commonly referred to as the “Kennel Cough” vaccine. This vaccine is particularly important for dogs that frequent boarding facilities, dog parks or interact closely with other canines.
    • Canine Influenza: This vaccine is recommended for dogs that are frequently exposed to other dogs, such as those attending doggy daycare or participating in dog shows. Occasionally, we will see outbreaks of canine influenza in our area and recommend adding this vaccine to your dog’s vaccination schedule based on current risk.
    • Lyme disease: This vaccine is recommended if you dog travels to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent – primarily the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest. It is also important that your dog receives flea/tick prevention when traveling to these endemic areas.
  • For cats, elective vaccines include:
    • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) for cats older than 1 year of age: This vaccine is recommended for indoor/outdoor cats that come into close contact with other felines.

Each dog and cat has individualized vaccination needs, which may vary based on factors such as lifestyle, environment and health status. Effective vaccination requires a collaborative effort to empower pet owners to make informed decisions about their pet’s health. We are here to ensure your pet receives the appropriate vaccines based on their unique needs and to foster a lifetime of health and happiness!