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The most important step in giving your pet a happy, healthy life is to ensure they are properly vaccinated. At Walker Veterinary Hospital, we want to protect your pet from the possible diseases your pet is exposed to based on their lifestyle.

“How Vaccinations Work”
Vaccines, or immunizations, contain a substance that stimulates the pet’s immune system to build antibodies against targeted infections. As their immunity builds, the dog or cat should be able to resist the diseases if and when they come into contact with them. Once they’ve achieved full immunity it’s then a matter of reinforcement with booster vaccinations.

“My Pet Never Goes Outside”
Some pet owners question whether their pet needs to be vaccinated if he or she never goes outside. The answer is yes! Some of these life-threatening infections are airborne and can even come in through an open window, or the pet could escape outside and be exposed. The bottom line is this: pets need to be vaccinated to be protected.

“Puppies and Kittens”
Pet vaccination needs to start at an early age. For the first 6 to 8 weeks of age, puppies and kittens are protected by their mothers’ immunity, but after weaning, they are then very vulnerable to becoming ill by one of these dreaded diseases. This is the time when we recommend starting the schedule of core vaccinations for your pet as a steady and punctual series of these vaccines will properly stimulate immunity and protect against these viruses. We administer their vaccines more frequently than older pets and right up to 16-20 weeks old.

“Core vs. Non-core Vaccinations”
Vaccinations are classified into two categories with core vaccinations being those absolutely necessary to prevent truly virulent diseases for all pets. Non-core vaccinations are based on exposure risk/lifestyle, for example for dogs engaging in outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, frequenting dog parks, and for cats, spending time outdoors.

“Core Vaccinations”
For dogs, the core vaccinations include:

  • Rabies
  • DHPP (Distemper, hepatitis, parovirus, parainfluenza)

For cats, the core vaccinations include:

  • Rabies
  • FVRCP (Feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia)

“Non-Core Vaccinations”
For dogs, non-care vaccinations include:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine influenza
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (aka kennel cough)
  • Lyme disease
  • Rattlesnake vaccine

For cats, non-core vaccinations include:

  • Feline leukemia

We know the idea of your pet being infested with parasites is a disturbing thought, but it’s also a medical issue that can have serious consequences if not properly dealt with or prevented. Parasites pose a variety of health issues for our pets, who can be very susceptible to certain parasites depending on age, region, and other factors.

At Walker Veterinary Hospital in Stockton, CA, we emphasize the importance of parasite preventatives, for your pet’s health and your family’s health. Fleas, ticks, and worms can also have implications on human health. This is why we recommend broad spectrum deworming and fecal screening every 6 months, and year round flea/tick and heartworm prevention for the best protection.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment today to discuss all the different options.