beagle getting a vaccine.

There are so many facets to responsible pet ownership, and preventing contagious diseases ranks pretty high on the list. Aside from the vaccinations that a puppy or kitten receives to be safely inoculated from various illnesses, there are numerous boosters of core and non-core vaccinations that provide the greatest defense against disease. Because we know firsthand the devastation associated with contracting a completely preventable disease, we off this primer on the most important pet vaccinations.

Bolstering Pet Health

Pet vaccinations introduce the immune system to various viruses or bacteria that could make your pet very sick if they are ever exposed. By forcing the immune system to react to these foreign agents, it builds up an immunity to disease by producing disease-fighting antibodies. Then, if a pet is ever around an infected animal, drinks contaminated water, or suffers an injury during a fight, they will be well-equipped to fight an infection. 

The Importance of a Schedule

While not every contagious disease has the potential for severe or deadly illness, many diseases that we protect pets from are highly disruptive to their health, comfort, and well-being. For the vaccinations to reach their maximum efficacy, most shots require boosters after the initial dose. Depending on the vaccination, it could be a few weeks to 3 years between shots.

We work closely to ensure pet owners know which vaccinations require boosters, set them up for follow-up appointments, and raise awareness of the diseases in question. Some illnesses are spread in the environment, like shared water bowls or contaminated soil, and others are contracted via bites of an infected animal. 

Core and Non-Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are part of every pet’s preventive health. 

  • Rabies (required by law)
  • Canine distemper combination (parvovirus, parainfluenza, canine hepatitis, and distemper) 
  • Feline distemper combination (calicivirus, panleukopenia, or distemper, rhinotracheitis)

Non-core vaccinations are based on lifestyle or potential risk-factors. These are critical if your pet is boarded or attends daycare. We take into account a pet’s activities, age, behavior/socialization, and more to determine which non-core vaccinations are appropriate.

  • Bordetella (Kennel cough)
  • Leptospirosis (like Rabies, this is a zoonotic disease and can be passed from infected pets to humans)
  • Lyme disease
  • Canine influenza
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV)

Vaccine Benefits

Pet vaccinations guard against a range of contagious illnesses that can impact their quality of life and longevity. If you have questions about your pet’s schedule or immunity to certain diseases, please give us a call at  (732) 531‑1212. Our staff is always happy to help you at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital