A small grey terrier receives a vaccination from a veterinarian.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month! Immunizations are not just for people. Your pets are at risk of contracting deadly diseases like distemper and feline leukemia (FeLV). If you haven’t seen us for regular wellness checkups, your pets may be overdue for life-saving vaccinations.

What Vaccinations Are Most Important?

Vaccinations for pets fall into two categories: core and non-core.

  • Core vaccines are given to nearly all pets by species.
  • Non-core vaccines are recommended based on the lifestyle of individual pets. If your cat roams outside every night, for example, they are at higher risk for some infections than a stay-at-home cat.

Some of the diseases listed below can transmit to humans, so they are included in the core vaccines:

Core Vaccines For Cats

  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper) is deadly, but cases are rare because of highly effective vaccines.
  • Feline calicivirus, a respiratory illness, is highly contagious and deadly to cats.
  • Feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis) has no cure. An infected cat will need ongoing medical treatments.
  • Rabies is 100% fatal and transmissible to humans.

Core Vaccines For Dogs

  • Canine parvovirus kills within 48 to 72 hours.
  • Distemper is often fatal. Survivors will suffer from neurological damage.
  • Canine hepatitis attacks the liver, is highly transmissible, and may be fatal for puppies.
  • Rabies is 100% fatal and can be passed to humans.

What Are Non-Core Vaccines?

After a full wellness exam, which includes questions about your pet’s lifestyle, your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations.

Non-core Vaccines For Cats

  • Feline leukemia attacks the immune system making your cat more susceptible to illness and lymphoma. Your pet may live up to three years after a diagnosis.
  • Feline AIDS is contracted through bite wounds and sexual contact. It is not transmissible to humans. Your veterinarian may recommend this vaccination if your cat spends time outdoors.
  • Chlamydophila felis may be recommended in households with multiple animals.
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica may be recommended in households with multiple cats.

Non-Core Vaccines For Dogs

  • Canine influenza may be recommended for multiple-dog environments.
  • Parainfluenza may be recommended if your dog has contact with other dogs.
  • Kennels and dog daycare may require Bordetella Bronchiseptica.
  • Lyme disease protects against this tick-borne disease.
  • Leptospirosis may be recommended for outside dogs.

Don’t Forget To Protect Against Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworms!

A regular schedule of pest protection is vital for your pet’s health. Our veterinarians want to help you learn more about vaccinations and other medical protections for your furry family members.

  • Flea bites cause inflammation, scratching, and possible skin infections. Fleas can infest your house and bite you, too!
  • Tick bites often carry disease. The black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick, spreads Lyme disease. Preventive medication will kill ticks on your dog, which protects you and your other pets from Lyme disease.
  • Heartworms are delivered into your dog’s bloodstream through the bite of an infected mosquito. Once the eggs are in your dog, they grow and reproduce, damaging the heart and lungs, and will eventually kill your pet. Expensive and ongoing medical treatments are needed to help your dog survive an infestation of heartworms.

Surfside Animal Hospital’s Low-Cost Vaccinations in Oceanside

Your veterinarian may recommend other pest immunizations. You are welcome to learn more at Surfside Animal Hospital’s low-cost vaccine clinics, located in Oceanside. We encourage you to schedule a wellness exam to test for existing health problems and to discuss the right vaccination protocol for your pet.