Vaccinations protect your pet against common infectious diseases that can make your pet sick and may even be fatal. These vaccincations are commonly called dog or cat "booster" vaccines, and are abbreviated as DA2PPL for dogs and FVRCP for cats. It is important to find out if your pet was vaccinated prior to adoption and which vaccines he/she received.
All puppies and kittens should receive their initial vaccination at 6 weeks of age and follow-up vaccinations every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 4 months of age. Your pet is not fully protected until this complete series of vaccinations has been administered. One vaccination alone will not protect your pet.
We often do not know the vaccination history of adult cats and dogs rescued from animal control agencies. If you are adopting an adult cat or dog, we recommend revaccinating him/her for updated protection. All cats and dogs must receive a new set of vaccinations every year in order to remain protected.
The rules governing Rabies vaccination vary from state to state; however, all pets should be vaccinated against Rabies in order to protect both your pet and your family. Rabies vaccine can be administered at 3 months of age or older. Any pet vaccinated for the first time against Rabies must be revaccinated 1 year later.
Other vaccinations are available for cats and dogs, and some are better than others. Discuss the use of these vaccinations with your veterninarian. Remember, you play an important role in keeping your pets healthy!
Spaying and Neutering
If you have a pet that is not spayed or neutered, it is important that you have this surgical procedure performed as soon as possible. Millions of unwanted pets are euthanized every year. Do not let your animal contribute to the pet over-population problem! Additionally, spaying or neutering your pet will prevent breast cancer, prostate disease, and uterine infections. We strongly recommend that your pet be healthy and fully vaccinated before having this surgical procedure.
Heartworm disease is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause heart and lung failure. Medications are available that can prevent future infection and disease, and are administered montly. All dogs 6 months of age or older should be tested for heartworm disease and then be placed on heartworm preventive medication. Puppies less that 6 months of age may be placed on preventive medication without first being tested. These medications also protect your pet against common intestinal worms such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. We recommend that this monthly medication be given year round to protect your pet. All dogs should be retested annually for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease can also occur in cats and preventive medication is now available for cats that live in areas where feline heartworm disease is a concern. Discuss the use of this medication with your veterinarian.
Feline Leukemia Disease
This is a fatal viral disease of cats. It is transmitted through close contact between cats, for example shared food and water bowls, shared litterboxes, or cats grooming each other. Once diagnosed with this disease, cats usually die of severe anemia or cancer. A vaccination to protect against Feline Leukemia is available but is not 100% effective. Please discuss the use of this vaccination with your veterinarian. The only way to be sure your pet never gets Feline Leukemia is to keep your cat safely inside the house with you. This will prevent contact with other cats who may carry the virus. In order to protect your cats, be sure that you test any new cats you bring into the household for Feline Leukemia.