What to Know About Pet Vaccinations From a West Des Moines, IA Veterinarian
If you have a dog or cat, you obviously want them to remain healthy as long as possible. And one way to do so is with vaccines since many diseases are preventable. At Ashworth Road Animal Hospital, serving West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Urbandale, Clive, and the surrounding Iowa region, our vet educates you about the laws, any recommended vaccines for your pet, and the risks, so you can make an educated decision before you vaccinate.
Purpose of a Vaccine
A vaccine is a type of medicine that prevents your pet from acquiring certain diseases. Once injected, your pet's immune system recognizes the bacteria or virus and fights against it if your pet should come in contact with it. The vaccine can consist of live or inactive organisms, but they're not strong enough to make your pet sick with that particular disease.
Core Vaccines for Dogs and Cats
Some vaccines classify as core vaccines because these are the ones that all animals of the species should get to stay safe. The main vaccines for cats include the feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and rabies. For dogs, the core vaccines include canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and rabies. To remain compliant with Iowa state laws, you must have your dog vaccinated for rabies if he or she is six months of age or older. Both cats and dogs have noncore vaccines available as well, but these particular medicines are only recommended for certain pets based on their lifestyle.
When to Vaccinate
Your kitten should have his or her first round of vaccinations between the ages of six to eight weeks of age. Then, he or she needs subsequent ones every four weeks until the age of 16 weeks or older. Your cat will need to be revaccinated every year. Dogs should receive their first vaccines at six weeks of age. Then, you'll need to get your dog three rounds of boosters spaced four weeks apart until he/she is at least 16 weeks of age. Your pet will then need to be revaccinated once per year.
Our veterinarian recommends vaccinating because some illness your pet could contract is potentially lethal. They could make your pet horribly ill. Not to mention, if your pet would get rabies, you could get it. And if you're caught without proof your dog is vaccinated against rabies, you could seek legal repercussions, especially if your dog should happen to bite someone.
Choosing the Vaccines for You
We offer both core and noncore vaccines for dogs and cats. We also supply flea, tick, and other parasite prevention.