Young animals are like human children—it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but essential way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer the full series of vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.

Even this immunity will wear off eventually, though, without booster shots. Every year, when you bring your pet in for his or her annual wellness exam, we’ll vaccinate again for the most common general diseases.

Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:

  • Rabies (mandatory for dogs, cats and ferrets in Kentucky)
  • DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
  • FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)

Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, leptospirosis, bordetella and canine influenza shots are recommended depending upon lifestyle.

While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.

It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease. Your Goshen Animal Clinic veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are recommended for your pet. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 502-996-8466.