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Vaccinations

Vaccine Recommendations for Healthy Dogs and Cats


Dogs

Puppies

1. Distemper/Adenovirus/Para influenza/Parvovirus Combo (DAPP)

Each puppy should be vaccinated 3 times between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks. Revaccination is at 3 to 4 week intervals. The last one should be given at the age of 14 to 16 weeks.

Distemper:

  • Virus that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems

Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus – 1):

  • Virus that can damage the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs

Canine Parvovirus:

  • Disease of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Puppies at highest risk but may affect any age
  • Resistant to many disinfectants

2. Rabies Vaccine

Required by New York State law. Vaccination is given at 3 months of age or older.

  • Acute viral disease of the brain and nervous system that may infect any mammal.
  • Transmission: Bite from an infected animal (most commonly raccoon, skunk or bat)

3. Infectious Bronchitis (aka Kennel Cough)

Given when the puppy is at least 3 weeks of age, may be repeated in 3 weeks depending on vaccine type.

  • Bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica & Canine Parainfluenza virus contributing to infectious tracheobronchitis (inflammation of the upper airways) commonly called kennel cough
  • Transmission: Highly contagious, transmitted via airborne droplets from infected dogs
  • Vaccination: Recommended for dogs in close confinement such as boarding or vet clinic, traveling, dog parks, training classes, camping, etc.

4. Leptospirosis

Given when the puppy is at least 12 weeks of age. Repeated 2 to 4 weeks later.

  • Bacterial disease that can cause disease in kidneys, liver and other organs
  • Transmission: Contact with infected animal urine
  • Vaccination: Recommended yearly for all dogs in areas where the disease is prevalent

5. Lyme

Given when the puppy is at least 12 weeks of age. Repeated 3 to 6 weeks later.

  • Lyme disease bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) damage joints, kidneys and other tissues
  • Transmission: Bite by an infected tick
  • Signs: Lameness, fever, lethargy
  • Prevention: Annual vaccination of all dogs where disease is prevalent. Also use topical tick control.

Adults

1. DAPP (Distemper)

The first booster is given one year after the initial series, then every 3 years.

2. Rabies

Required by New York State law. The first booster is given one year after the initial vaccination, then every 3 years.

3. Leptospirosis

Boosters recommended once a year.

4. Infectious Bronchitis

Boosters are recommended once a year.

5. Lyme

Boosters are recommended once a year.


Cats

Kittens

1. Panleukopenia (aka Feline distemper,) Feline Herpes Virus (aka Rhinotracheitis,) and Chlamydia — (Commonly called ‘distemper’ vaccine)**

Recommended for all kittens. Given when the kitten is at least 6 weeks old. Repeat every 3 to 4 weeks until 15 or 16 weeks.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpesvirus):

  • Causes nearly half of all upper respiratory disease infections in cats

Feline Calicivirus

  • Major cause of upper respiratory infections, often with herpesvirus

Feline Panleukopenia (Feline parvovirus or distemper)

  • Highly contagious virus that destroys cells in bone marrow, lymph tissue, intestine, brain

Feline Chlamydophila

  • Bacteria responsible for some eye infections. May worsen viral respiratory infections.
  • Vaccination: Recommended in all cats especially multicat housing, given as above** as part of ‘distemper’ vaccine

2. Rabies Vaccine

Required by New York State law, even for cats that never go outdoors. Vaccination is given at 3 months of age or older.

  • Acute viral disease of the brain and nervous system that may infect any mammal.
  • Cats are the most commonly reported domestic animal infected with rabies.
  • Any unvaccinated, exposed animal should be euthanized or strictly isolated per state and local laws.
  • Prognosis: Always fatal once showing signs of disease.

3. Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

This vaccine is recommended for all kittens. Vaccine is given when the kitten is at least 8 weeks of age, booster once in 3 to 4 weeks.

  • Causes malignant tumors and anemia
  • Supresses immune system making cats susceptible to other disease
  • Cats can appear healthy while infected
  • Test: In-hospital blood test should be done on all cats of unknown history/exposure especially being brought into contact with other cats. Kittens testing positive should be retested in 1-3 months to be certain it is not a false positive.
  • Recommended in high risk (outdoor, breeding, shelter) adults.

Adults

1. Panleukopenia, Feline Herpes Virus, and Chlamydia

The first booster is given one year after the initial series, then every 3 years.

2. Rabies Vaccine  

Required by New York State law, even for cats that never go outdoors. The PureVax vaccine requires a yearly booster.

3. Feline Leukemia Virus

This vaccine is recommended for all cats one year after the initial series. Thereafter, indoor cats do not need further vaccination. Outdoor/High Risk cats should be vaccinated every1-3 years depending on age and risk. (We use PureVax leukemia vaccine)

***A few years ago, Hamilton Animal Hospital transitioned to the use of feline specific PureVax vaccinations for both rabies and FeLV protection. There is a low but evident risk that a cat may develop an aggressive cancerous tumor referred to as a vaccine associated fibrosarcoma, at the site of injection of an adjuvanted vaccine. These tumors may take years to develop, with studies reporting somewhere between 1 in 1,000 – 10,000 vaccination occurrence rate. Despite the rarity, this is a very aggressive and deadly disease that we hope to take any possible measures to prevent. The PureVax vaccines do not contain adjuvants which have been linked to the formation of these tumors.***

Merial vaccine website