If you just adopted a new puppy or kitten, we know you want to do everything you can to make sure your new buddy stays healthy. Call our Jacksonville animal hospital at (910) 353-1722 to schedule an initial wellness checkup. One of the most important aspects of puppy and kitten wellness care is starting promptly on a series of pet vaccinations; these shots protect growing pets from very prevalent, very contagious, and frequently deadly diseases. During your puppy or kitten’s first wellness checkup, our Jacksonville veterinarian will assess your pet’s health and establish a vaccination schedule.
Cat and Dog Vaccination Schedule is Essential for Young Pets
Puppies and kittens are born with some immunity from their mother, but by the time they are weaned, this immunity drops off drastically around 8 weeks of age. With an immature, still developing immune system, puppies and kittens are extremely vulnerable to dangerous viruses and bacteria they could pick up just by investigating the wrong patch of grass at the park. This is why it is so very important to get your new pet on his or her cat and dog vaccination schedule right away. Puppies and kittens who contract diseases like distemper, without the vaccination to protect them, suffer painful symptoms when their bodies are not able to fight off the infection. Intensive therapies and care are often needed to try and save their lives. This is why vaccinations are one of the very best gifts you can give to your new puppy or kitten.
Shots should start at age 8 weeks, with regular boosters scheduled every 3-4 weeks until your pet is about 20 weeks old.
Puppy vaccination schedule—We provide puppies the following shots at the regular intervals described above, and also schedule the regular boosters for life thereafter: DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus), Coronavirus, Bordetella and Leptospirosis. Rabies shots are given at 12 weeks.
Kitten vaccination schedule—Kittens receive the following initial battery of shots on the same schedule, with regular boosters following over the life of your cat: FVRCCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydia, and Panleukopenia) and FELV (for Leukemia). Again, rabies shots will be given at 12 weeks.
The frequency of booster shots after the first year of life depends on the vaccination. Many rabies vaccines can last up to 3 years, while Bordetella (kennel cough) shots last only 6 months. The DHPP series for dogs and FVRCCP series for cats need to be revisited every year.
In addition to keeping your new puppy or kitten on his or her regular pet vaccination schedule, our pet wellness programs include regular checkups that involve lab tests, flea and tick prevention and regular discussions about diet and exercise goals for your pet. Spay and neuter surgery is also an important aspect of our wellness plans for puppies and kittens.
Call our Jacksonville animal hospital at (910) 353-1722 to set up your new puppy or kitten’s first wellness checkup and vaccination schedule.