Wellness visits are recommended yearly for every pet, whether or not vaccines are due. During a Wellness visit, your doctor will perform a complete physical exam, looking at the health of all body systems, and discuss which vaccines your pet may be due for and which are appropriate based on his lifestyle.
Your North County Animal Hospital veterinarian will also discuss nutrition, dental health, preventive care like heartworm and flea/tick prevention, and in some cases, screening bloodwork. You are welcome to ask any questions you have about your pet’s health and behavior during these visits. Many illnesses may be prevented, or caught early, through regular wellness care, decreasing both stress and financial burden for owners and patients.
Sometimes having a pet is like having children—it can seem like a never-ending job to keep them healthy and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but essential 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.
Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:
- Rabies (dogs and cats)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, leptospirosis, bordetella, and canine influenza shots are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines.
It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease. Your North County 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 (360) 887-1838.