Dog and Cat Vaccinations
A routine vaccination schedule is important in keeping dogs and cats safe from many common canine and feline diseases
Core vaccines for dogs:
Rabies: In Michigan, the rabies vaccination is legally required for all dogs over 4 months of age. Rabies is a fatal disease that is transmitted through the saliva and affects the nervous system. Both pets and humans can be infected by rabies through bite wounds.
Distemper combination in dogs: This combination vaccine includes distemper, hepatitis/adenovirus and parvovirus. Distemper is a viral disease that affects the respiratory, nervous and intestinal systems and is usually fatal. Hepatitis/adenovirus can be fatal and affects the liver and other organ systems. Parvovirus is also a viral disease causing vomiting and diarrhea and is often fatal. For puppies under 4 months old, the vaccine is given every 3-4 weeks in a series. For dogs over 4 months, the interval and number of vaccine boosters given will depend on immunity. Please discuss with our veterinarians the schedule of vaccination that best fits your dog.
Leptospirosis in dogs: Leptospirosis (also known as “rat fever”) is a bacterial disease that affects several systems including the kidneys and liver and is contagious to people. This disease can be fatal. Leptospirosis is prevalent in Southeastern Michigan with multiple reported cases each year, and therefore, is considered a core vaccine in this area. This vaccine will need to be given yearly and boostered if your dog is not current.
Non-core vaccines for dogs:
Bordetella/Parainfluenza: This vaccine is highly recommended within the MHS veterinary practice. Bordetella and Parainfluenza either contribute to or cause canine kennel cough and other respiratory diseases. This is recommended for dogs that spend time with other dogs, especially in environments like boarding, dog daycare, training class or dog parks.
Lyme: Lyme disease is a bacterial disease spread by ticks that can cause arthritis and other problems such as kidney disease. Our veterinarians can help you decide if the Lyme vaccine is needed for your dog. This vaccine will need to be given yearly and boostered if your dog is not current.
View the recommended veterinary schedule for dogs.
Core vaccines for cats:
Rabies: Rabies is highly recommended for all cats and legally required in most cities. Rabies is a fatal disease that is transmitted through the saliva and affects the nervous system. Both pets and humans can be infected by rabies through bite wounds.
Distemper (HCP or FVRCP) combinations: This is a vaccine that includes feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici virus and panleukopenia. Rhinotracheitis is a herpes virus that typically causes respiratory signs such as sneezing and runny eyes and can be severe. Panleukopenia is transmitted through saliva, feces or urine and can cause a large range of signs from anorexia and vomiting to fever, weight loss and death. Calici virus can cause severe respiratory disease in cats. For kittens under 4 months old, the vaccine is given every 3-4 weeks in a series. For cats over 4 months, the interval and number of vaccine boosters given will depend on immunity. Please discuss with our veterinarians the schedule of vaccination that best fits your cat.
Core vaccines for cats, continued:
Feline leukemia (kittens): This is a virus that causes immunosuppression in cats and is often fatal. The disease is spread through saliva, urine and cat-to-cat interaction such as biting and grooming. This vaccine is considered a core vaccine in kittens and is recommended by your veterinarian based on exposure potential in adult cats. We require testing your pet for leukemia prior to administering the vaccine.
Non-core vaccines for cats:
Feline leukemia (adults): As described above, feline leukemia may or may not be required for adult cats, depending on exposure. Please ask your veterinarian if this vaccine is appropriate or necessary for your adult cat. This vaccine will need to be given every two years and boostered if your pet isn’t current.
View the recommended veterinary schedule for cats.