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Los Angeles Pet Vaccinations: Top Questions Answered

Los Angeles pet vaccinationsOur Los Angeles veterinarian often fields questions regarding pet vaccinations. For your convenience, we have assembled his answers to the most frequently asked questions about pet vaccinations.

What Are Pet Vaccines?

Pet vaccines are medications intended to reduce an animal’s risk of contracting a contagious disease. Our Los Angeles vet administers vaccines to protect your pet from the diseases most likely to occur in this part of the country. They provide protection from highly contagious diseases, including rabies, distemper, and parvo. Vaccination is required every one to three years, depending on the type of vaccination and the recommendations of our veterinarian.

What Do Vaccines Contain?

Vaccines contain weakened (modified) or killed viruses or proteins taken from bacteria or viruses.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccines are somewhat like a training course for the immune system. The presence of the weakened virus or protein triggers an immune response from the body. This ‘teaches’ the immune system what to do in case it ever encounters the virus again.

How Important Are Vaccines To The Health of My Pet?

Pet vaccinations are one of the most important things you can do for the health of your pet. Vaccinating your pet, or running a titer test to confirm protective immunity can prevent your pet from contracting a serious infectious disease, or lessen the symptoms of an infectious disease, upon exposure at dog parks, grooming salons, boarding facilities, and even in your own backyard or inside your home. An animal that seems healthy may be sick with a contagious disease that can spread to your pet. Even indoor cats can contact rabies-infected bats in small spaces in your attic. Contagious illnesses often require emergency veterinary care.

Vaccinating your pet can also protect you and your family from infectious diseases, like rabies, which can spread from animals to humans.

Are There Any Risks?

All medications and drugs, including vaccines, pose some risks. The benefits of pet vaccinations greatly outweigh these risks.

It is extremely rare for pets to experience an allergic reaction to vaccination. Some pets do experience minor side effects after vaccination, as vaccines work by stimulating an immune response.

What Vaccinations Do Los Angeles Pets Need?

All Los Angeles pets need core vaccines for protection against the most common infectious diseases affecting animals in California.

What Are Core Vaccines?

Core vaccines are a group of vaccines that provide protection from the most common infectious diseases.They are fundamental to the health and welfare of your pet and to all animals in the Los Angeles area. All pets should receive core vaccines and vaccinations against rabies. Depending on your pet’s health needs and lifestyle, our Los Angles veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations to keep your dog or cat healthy.

What Are The Core Vaccines For Dogs?

Dogs receive their core vaccines in one shot. The vaccination, known as the DA2PP, protects your canine companion against distemper, hepatitis (Adenovirus type 2), parainfluenza, and parvovirus.  The other vaccine that many veterinarians consider core here in Los Angeles is Bordetella bronchiseptica.

What Are The Core Vaccines For Cats?

Cats also receive their core vaccines in one shot, a vaccination known as the FVRCP. It protects your feline friend from viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia, which is also known as feline distemper.

What Vaccines Should My Puppy or Kitten Get?

The puppy/kitten shot series includes the DHPP for dogs and FELVP for cats, along with a rabies vaccination. Depending on your new pet’s risk for exposure, our veterinarian may recommend non-core vaccines, such as bordetella.

When Should I Have My Puppy Or Kitten Vaccinated?

Puppies should receive their first round of vaccinations when they are seven to eight weeks of age; kittens can be as young as six weeks. Puppies should then receive vaccines every 4 weeks until they are 15 to 16 weeks of age.  It is believed that kittens can mount a long-term immunity after 12 to 13 weeks of age, but many veterinarians recommend completing the series at 15 to 16 weeks of age as well.  By law, the Rabies vaccine for dogs should be given at 16 weeks of age.

Is A Rabies Shot Required In California?

California requires rabies shots for all dogs over the age of 4 months. While the state does not require rabies vaccinations for cats, vaccinating your kitty against rabies is still a good idea if your cat might be at risk (such as a cat who spends a lot of time outdoors, or in an environment where your cat will be exposed to many other cats) in that it reduces the risk that your cat will contract this serious disease.

Are There Other Vaccines My Pet May Receive?

Yes! Our veterinarian may recommend non-core vaccines, which are optional vaccines that protect your pet from other illnesses. Non-core vaccines for dogs include canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), canine influenza virus, Leptospira spp., and Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease). Non-core vaccines for cats include feline leukemia virus (FeLV), virulent FCV (FIP), Chlamydia felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica

Where Should I Have My Pet Vaccinated?

Pet vaccines are an essential part of a comprehensive veterinary wellness program. Our Los Angeles vet can vaccinate your pet. Century Veterinary Group is located at 8750 Venice Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss your pet’s vaccination needs by calling 310-559-2500.