Dog & Cat Vaccinations, What to Know
Because we are geared to care for your individual pet, we don’t prescribe to the school of blanket health care. We administer vaccines based solely and completely on the needs of your pet.
For Your Dog
It is recommend that all puppies be seen within a week of purchase or adoption to determine an appropriate vaccine program. All adult dogs should be seen annually to evaluate necessary vaccines.
Available vaccines are: Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza (with and without Leptospirosis), Bordetella, Rabies and Lyme disease. At this time we do not recommend the Canine Influenza Vaccine.
For Your Cat
It is recommend that all kittens be seen within a week of purchase or adoption to determine an appropriate vaccine program. All adult cats should be seen annually to assess their health.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommends that all kittens be tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus prior to vaccinations. Our vaccine recommendations follow the AAFP vaccine guidelines. We offer three types of vaccines for cats:
- Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia, herpesvirus, calicivirus combo)
- Feline Leukemia
- Rabies (Rabies vaccines are required by Maryland State Law, see rabies information below)
All of our feline vaccines are killed and inactivated or recombinant strains, considered to be the safest type to administer.
Feline Distemper is recommended for all cats. Administer the first dose as early as 6 weeks of age, then every 3–4 weeks until 16–20 weeks of age. For adult unvaccinated cats, administer two doses, 3–4 weeks apart. Revaccinate 1 year after primary series; thereafter, boost every 3 years, lifelong.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is recommend for all kittens and all adult indoor/ outdoor or other at risk cats. Administer two doses, 3–4 weeks apart, beginning as early as 8 weeks of age. Administer a single dose 1 year following administration of the initial two-dose series. Thereafter, the Advisory Panel recommends revaccination every 2 years for cats at low risk of infection and annually for cats at higher risk. We will help you assess whether your cat is at risk or not.
Rabies is required by Maryland State Law. The frequency of vaccination is determined according to the label on the vaccine used. All Killed Rabies vaccines are labeled for one year. Kittens and cats must be at least four months of age.
What to expect after your pet’s vaccination
It is common for pets to experience some or all of the following mild side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within hours of the vaccination. If these side effects last for more than a day or two, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact your veterinarian:
- Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site
- Mild fever
- Decreased appetite and activity
- Sneezing, mild coughing, “snotty nose” or other respiratory signs may occur 2-5 days after your pet receives an intranasal vaccine
More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions can be life-threatening and are medical emergencies.
Seek veterinary care immediately if any of these signs develop:
- Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Itchy skin that may seem bumpy (“hives”)
- Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
- Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination. It should start to disappear within a couple weeks. If it persists more than three weeks, or seems to be getting larger, you should contact your veterinarian.
Always inform your veterinarian if your pet has had prior reactions to any vaccine or medication. If in doubt, wait for 30-60 minutes following vaccination before taking your pet home.
For more information about vaccinations and our services, please contact us.