Keeping your pet healthy is very similar to keeping yourself or your children healthy. Proper diet, exercise, and medication are all essential to your pet leading a long, happy life. First time pet ownership is a lot like first time parenthood- new family members must be vaccinated to prevent them from contracting infectious diseases.
Pet vaccinations are a basic battery of injections that can be administered early in an animal’s life to help protect against bacterial and viral diseases both in the home and outdoors. Most puppies and kittens receive vaccinations within the first 3 months of their life. Some of these may require follow-up “booster shots” a year or more down the road.
Core Pet Vaccinations address the most common afflictions your pet may face, these include:
Rabies- While not common in Oregon, rabies is a nightmare of a disease. The condition is usually spread by bats, making cats the pet most at risk for contracting the disease. Your dog or cat can be vaccinated against rabies as early as 16 weeks of age, ensuring your pet won’t catch this heartbreaking and life-threatening disease. At the Milner Veterinary Hospital we do not take rabies lightly. We offer a “life time” vaccination program where, once you have paid for your initial rabies vaccine we will booster your pet free for the rest of his life.
Distemper- Both canine and feline version of distemper are caused by an airborne virus that can cause severe health problems and even brain damage. Pet vaccinations for distemper are administered to a kitten or puppy at least three times between 6 and 16 weeks old, with a booster shot between every 1 and 3 years afterwards.
Non-Core Pet Vaccinations may be situation-dependent, and will be best determined by your local Vet. Many of these are also specific to only cats or dogs, and can include:
Lyme Disease Is spread through tick bites, outdoor dogs are at the most risk of contracting Lyme Disease. Dogs can be vaccinated for Lyme disease early in life, or as adults, can be vaccinated annually or at the beginning of tick season as needed.
Canine Influenza- The “Dog Flu” is a disease new to the US. Like the strains of the human flu, dog flu can mutate easily rendering vaccines ineffective. Currently there is a vaccine effective against one strain of dog flu. Dogs are vaccinated then boostered 2 to 4 weeks later. As with all vaccines, vaccination is only effective if given before your dog contracts the disease.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV)- A major concern for pet owners, Feline Leukemia is a viral infection spread from the bite of an infected cat. This disease can be a death sentence for cats, and is a heartbreaking way to lose a member of your household. Assuming your cat hasn’t already contracted the virus, and shows negative on a screening test, the vaccine can be administered as early as 8 weeks old for kittens, with a follow up 3 weeks later.
These are few examples of essential pet vaccinations that any owner should get for a new puppy or kitten, or even an adult dog or cat. Milner Veterinary Hospital in Oregon City handles vaccinations on-site, and can provide you with the peace-of-mind you need, ensuring that your furred friend is around for a long and healthy life.
Check out our Pet Health Library and Pet Health Checker for more useful information on pet health care, and if you think your dog or cat could do with a check up, or is overdue for one or more vaccinations, don’t hesitate to visit Milner Veterinary Hospital in Oregon City, or call 503-657-6553 today!