Minimum required vaccinations for your dogs and cats
Vaccinations (“shots”) have saved the lives of millions of pets. Before the days of effective vaccines, pets routinely died from viral and bacterial infectious diseases. Current vaccination programs protect our pets (and us) from the threat of such diseases i.e. Rabies; hence the legality of vaccination against Rabies.
Despite the well-known benefits of vaccination, annual vaccination of adult dogs and cats is a matter of healthy debate.
There is growing evidence that the duration of immunity of properly vaccinated adult dogs extends beyond a year. Of course, some vaccines (Rabies) are required by law and must be administered on a regular basis.
Puppies and kittens receive immunity against infectious disease in their mother’s milk; however, this protection begins to disappear from the sixth week of age and onward.
Please discuss your pet’s vaccination needs with our veterinary team, and don’t hesitate to ask us questions about both the pros and cons of vaccinations.
Puppy and adult dog vaccination recommendations:
6 – 8 weeks of age: Distemper / Parvo / Hepatitis combination
10 – 12 weeks of age: Distemper/Parvo/Hepatitis combination booster + Bordetella vaccine (Kennel Cough), If the risk of kennel cough is great, i.e. you take your dog to the groomer’s or board them in boarding or doggy daycare facilities
14 – 16 weeks of age: Distemper/Parvo/Hepatitis combination booster + Bordetella booster + Rabies (required by the laws of Ontario)
Week 20: Vaccination against Leptospirosis (“Racoon Disease”, Dirty Water Disease”) is also available and is recommended if your dog spends time in cottage areas, conservation areas, camping, parks, and is a curious soul investigating water ponds and puddles!!
22 – 23 weeks of age: Booster for Leptospirosis vaccine
1 -2 years of age: Distemper / Parvo / Hepatitis combination (choice of a three – year vaccine) + Rabies (choice of a three – year vaccine)+ Bordetella (if exposed to the groomer’s or boarding facilities)
And in 2 weeks time: Leptospirosis vaccination should it still be necessary (see above)
Older than 2 years: In the past, the DHPPL (distemper, hepatitis, parvo, parainfluenza, Leptospirosis) combination vaccine was typically given each year. These recommendations are changing. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) came out with new guidelines in 2006 that suggests that adult dog vaccines boosters may be adequate if given every 3 years. It is our responsibility to discuss all of the available options with our valued clients, and individualize the vaccination protocol to the specific needs of their pets. The Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine and the Leptospirosis vaccine may still be necessary annually, again, depending on your dog’s habits and lifestyle.
Kitten and adult cat vaccination recommendations:
Certainly routine vaccinations are essential for prevention of infectious diseases in kittens. Of course, some vaccines (rabies) are required by law and must be administered on a regular basis regardless of whether your cat lives strictly inside or goes outside as well. This is according to the laws of Markham, Ontario and the city as a whole. Kittens receive immunity against infectious disease in the mother’s milk; however, this protection begins to fade away around 6 weeks of age and beyond.
6 – 8 weeks of age: Feline calicivirus, herpesvirus, distemper(panleukopenia) combination (FVRCP)
10 – 12 weeks of age: FVRCP booster + Feline Leukemia virus vaccine (latest recommendation by the American Association of Feline Practitioners – AAFP)
14 – 16 weeks of age: FVRCP booster + Feline Leukemia virus vaccine (AAFP recommendation) + Rabies (required by the laws of Ontario)
1 – 2 years of age and older: FVRCP (option for three – year vaccination) + Rabies (option for a three-year vaccine) + Feline leukemia vaccine (if your cat goes outside and/or visits other cats who do)
We believe that a strong community also requires strong veterinary care. For the well-being of both pets and residents of Markham, Unionville, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, Scarborough and the greater Ontario area, we recommend inquiring about our vaccination services today.