August is National Immunization Awareness Month, created to remind people how important it is to keep their vaccinations up to date. But that advice isn’t just for humans—it’s vital for pets as well.
Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can keep your pet and family safe from diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans.
Here are the answers to three of the most frequently asked questions we get about vaccinations:
Q: Why is it important to vaccinate?
A: Vaccinations are your pet’s first line of defense and can also keep them from transmitting some diseases to your family. Scientific evidence proves that the widespread use of vaccines in the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even diseases that have become uncommon can still be present in the environment and if pets aren’t protected, they can initiate an outbreak.
Q: Which vaccines does my pet need?
A: “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:
- Rabies (dogs and cats)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
- Leptospirosis (dogs)
- Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for outdoor cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, bordetella and canine influenza (CIV) shots are a must if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines. Your Sheabel doctor may also recommend Lyme disease vaccination depending on your dog’s lifestyle.
Q: Does my indoor cat really need vaccinations?
Yes! It’s important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease if they accidentally escape or are exposed to other animals in or outside the home. We can advise you about which vaccinations are right for your pet.
To update your pet’s vaccinations, call us at (859) 269-7387 to book an appointment.