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Vaccinations are key to keeping your pet healthy and an important part of your pet's annual wellness exam. Vaccines protect against dangerous and possibly fatal diseases in both dogs and cats. We administer a series of vaccinations in your pets first year, to help it to build up an immunity against disease. We need to update those vaccines yearly, to keep your pet's immunity strong. Not all animals get the same vaccines every year, and dogs and cats get different vaccinations from each other.
Vaccines come in two types: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that every dog or cat needs to have every year. In fact, one core vaccine, the rabies vaccine, is required by law for all dogs and cats in the state of Georgia. Non-core vaccines are those only needed by animals living in a certain environment or having a certain lifestyle. If you live near a wooded area and your cat will spend a lot of time roaming those woods, our Canton veterinarians will likely administer a vaccine against Lyme disease. Dogs that are boarded in kennels, or that spend a lot of time with other dogs in dog parks, need an annual shot against bordetella, or kennel cough.
All dogs receive core vaccines every year, including:
Non-core vaccines can include parainfluenza, bordetella, Lyme disease, leptospirosis or canine influenza. Your dog may need the same non-core vaccines each year, or they can change if your life circumstances have changed.
Cats receive the following core vaccines every year:
In addition, we'll check your cat for feline leukemia. If the test is negative, we may recomend the feline leukemia virus vaccine, as well as one for bordetella if your cat spends a significant amount of time around other cats, either in the neighborhood or in kennels.
Puppies and kittens have a natural immunity from disease as long as they're nursing from a mother with up-to-date vaccines. Parent dogs and cats pass their immunity down to their offspring through their milk. After a young dog or cat has been weaned, it needs to start receiving its first of a series of vaccinations. We recommend giving the first round at six to eight weeks of age. We'll schedule the rest of your pet's vaccinations throughout the next year, with a total of four rounds needed before your pet's first birthday.
Once your dog or cat reaches one year, it's considered an adult. Grown cats and dogs only need annual vaccinations to keep their immunity strong. It's important that you keep regular appointments for this, but barring accidents your pet won't need any more injections throughout the year.
Senior pets, those seven years and older, should visit our office at least twice a year, but they still get vaccinated only once a year.
If you have any questions about vaccinations, or to make an appointment for your pet, call Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic at 770-479-1905.