Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans.
It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.
Core Vaccines for Pets in Scarborough
Scarborough Animal Hospital strongly recommends appropriate pet vaccinations over the course of their lifetime based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk for disease exposure.
Scarborough Animal Hospital recommends the following vaccinations based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk of disease:
Bordetella Vaccine (kennel cough) – if your dog goes to the groomer, dog park, or boarding facilities, or is otherwise exposed to other dogs, you should consider this vaccination on a yearly basis.
Rabies Vaccine – Maine requires that dogs be vaccinated for rabies virus once every three years after they have had one initial booster. An animal will receive a rabies vaccine marked as a 1-year vaccine and then have that re-boostered. This second vaccine will be valid for 3 years.
Distemper Combo Vaccine (DHPP) – Includes canine Distemper virus, Adenovirus (hepatitis), Parvovirus and Parainfluenza. These diseases are either upper respiratory or gastrointestinal and have severe symptoms and/or are easily spread. For adult dogs, this vaccine is boostered every three years, after their first-year series.
Leptospirosis (Lepto) – This bacterial disease is transmitted from wildlife urine through standing water. This disease causes liver and kidney damage. We recommend this vaccine for any dog that goes outside.
Lyme – Lyme is a tickborne disease that is extremely prevalent in New England. Symptoms include joint pain, lethargy, and fever. We recommend this vaccine for all healthy dogs.
FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia) – For adult cats, this vaccine is boostered every three years.
Rabies – Maine requires that cats be vaccinated agains the rabies virus regardless of their indoor or outdoor status.
Feline Leukemia – This is yearly vaccine recommended for all cats that may be going outdoors. A clear FIV/FELV blood test will be required before the vaccine is administered.
Vaccinations in Scarborough, ME
Your Scarborough Animal Hospital veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (207) 883-4412.