For adult pets, we recommend vaccine appointments every
Depending on your pet's age and vaccination history, your veterinarian might recommend a custom vaccination plan.
Pet vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats; even the ones that remain indoors most, if not all, of the time because they could still catch an airborne virus from outside at potty time or through an open window or door screen. More often than not, viruses are spread due to contact with other infected animals that are wild or whose owners did not elect to keep their pet vaccinations up to date. Given the violent and progressive nature of small-animal viruses, it is of the utmost importance to immunize your pet and opt to keep your kitty current with the latest cat vaccinations and your pooch up to date with his or her dog vaccination.
Distemper (DA2PP) and Rabies
Leptospirosis, also known as lepto, is a bacterial disease that can affect both humans and pets. It occurs all over the world and leads to liver and kidney damage as well as death if left untreated. Humans and pets can get this bacterial infection by coming into contact with infected wild animals (e.g., opossums, skunks, raccoons and rodents), lepto-infested water or infected urine. Since this disease can harm animals and humans, we encourage dogs to receive this immunization via two initial doses three weeks apart, and then on a yearly basis.
Lyme Disease can be carried by ticks and transferred to your dog or even to people as Lyme disease is a disease of humans as well. Symptoms may range from fever and lethargy, to joint pain and lameness. Not all dogs need this vaccine, as not all dogs have regular exposure to ticks per se, so ask one of our veterinarians if this vaccine is right for your dog. Puppies or adult dogs who have not had the vaccine will receive two doses 3 weeks apart, and then one dose each year after that.
Rabies virus is a fatal infection typically transmitted through bite wounds, open cuts in the skin or onto mucous membranes from the saliva of the infected animal. There is no treatment available once your cat is infected with rabies. This virus has very real and serious human and pet implications. For more information about rabies, visit this link: https://catfriendly.com/feline-diseases/rabies/.
Note: All cats, including indoor cats, are required by Maryland state law to be vaccinated against rabies.
Consider the following:
• There is a small, but real potential for rabies to enter your household. Wildlife such as bats, raccoons or skunks may bring the virus into your house and expose your cat to rabies.
• There is a legal liability should an unvaccinated cat bite or scratch a person. Rabies is a fatal disease for both humans and pets and is found here on the Delmarva Peninsula.
FVRCP (Distemper) Vaccine
The feline FVRCP vaccine is used to protect cats against the three highly contagious viruses: feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus and feline panleukopenia. The initial kitten series includes vaccine administration every 3-4 weeks with the last vaccine administered after 16 weeks of age. The vaccine is administered again at 1 year of age and then every 3 years.
This vaccine protects against:
Feline Herpesvirus (Feline Rhinotracheitis) – Clinical signs are associated with upper respiratory infection such as sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose. This virus can become latent (inactive) in some cats. These “carrier” cats may have long-term infections that reactivate in times of stress or with treatment that suppresses the immune system.
Feline Calicivirus – Clinical signs include sneezing, eye discharge, nasal discharge, oral ulcers, anorexia, and joint pain (lameness or stiffness.)
Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper Virus) – For more information about panleukopenia, visit this link: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/pages/Feline-Panleukopenia.aspx. This virus most commonly attacks the intestine, bone marrow, and brain and can cause severe disease, including death. Symptoms are most severe in kittens. Clinical signs may include severe diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, lethargy and anorexia. The immune system is often compromised, resulting in secondary infections. This virus is very resistant in the environment and may survive for over a year.
FeLV (Feline Leukemia) Vaccine
After the initial kitten series (2 vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart), it is recommended to booster cats again at 1 year of age, then yearly depending on the risk of exposure to the virus. A FeLV blood test should be performed prior to vaccination.
Feline leukemia is a significant cause of illness and death in cats. The feline leukemia virus is spread through grooming, sharing food or water dishes, or biting. Survival time for cats infected with FeLV ranges from 6 months to 3 years after infection. Clinical signs associated with a viral infection are not specific and may include immune-mediated diseases, tumors, bone marrow disorders including anemia, and secondary infections. For more information on the feline leukemia virus, visit this link: https://catfriendly.com/feline-diseases/felv/.