Whether your pet meows and purrs or barks and wags, they’re a beloved member of your family, and you want them to be healthy and free of illnesses. Vaccinating them is one of the best ways to make this happen. Pet vaccines protect cats and dogs from viruses and diseases, just like human vaccines do for people. Here at St. Marks Veterinary Hospital in New York, we want nothing more than to help our patients live life to the fullest. That’s why we recommend that all of our canine and feline patients be vaccinated.
Here’s how vaccines work: each vaccine resembles a certain virus or disease in the body, but without causing the full symptoms of the actual illness. This exposure stimulates the immune system to create antibodies. As a result, the body is more equipped to fight off the real virus/disease, if the pet is ever exposed to it later. It’s important to keep in mind that these antibodies wear off over time, so your pet’s vaccines will need to be updated regularly (every 1-3 years).
Core Vs. Non-Core Vaccines
Different pets have different needs when it comes to vaccines. Core vaccines are considered essential vaccines, and they’re usually recommended nationwide by veterinarians. One example of a core vaccine is rabies. This virus is 100% fatal and can affect both animals and humans, which is why it’s considered a core vaccine. It’s even required by law for dogs and cats in most states.
Non-core vaccines are typically administered only if a pet has or may have a high risk of exposure to a certain illness. One example is the feline leukemia vaccine, which is contagious among cats This vaccine is often recommended for outdoor cats or cats that may otherwise come in contact with other cats.
Another example is the canine flu vaccine, which we recommend for dogs that visit the dog park, board, go to the groomer or spend any time around other dogs. Canine influenza can spread quickly among dogs through sneezing and coughing in close quarters, and sharing toys and/or water bowls. Symptoms of canine flu include constant coughing and sneezing, fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, lethargy and lack of appetite.
Pet Vaccines We Provide
Here at St. Marks, we carry more than a dozen core and non-core vaccines for pets, including:
- Rabies virus (core)
- Canine Bordetella virus (non-core)
- Canine parvovirus (core)
- Canine distemper virus (core)
- Canine influenza virus (non-core)
- Canine Leptospirosis (non-core)
- Feline calici virus (core)
- Feline panleukopenia virus (core)
- Feline leukemia virus (non-core)
Have questions about which pet vaccines are recommended for YOUR canine or feline companion? Contact us today. We’ll be happy to help.