Pet Vaccinations for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets
Vaccines play a vital role in your pet’s life. Without them, your pet is vulnerable to serious, even deadly diseases that are easily preventable. At the Animal Medical Center in Jonesboro, we offer ferret, dog, and cat vaccinations that help them live longer, happier lives with you. Our pet vaccinations are the safest and latest that the industry has to offer. Your pet’s individual lifestyle also dictates which vaccines they’ll receive, since all pets do not need all vaccines.
How Pet Vaccinations Work
Pet vaccinations are very similar to our own. They’re made up of a weakened or synthetic version of a virus. When that virus is injected, the body’s immune system responds to fight off the infection. This allows the antibodies to form a sort of “muscle memory” so if your pet ever comes into contact with the full-fledged virus, their immune system will kick into gear and suppress the virus with little to no symptoms of illness. To build up your pet’s immunity, young puppies, kittens, and ferrets receive a series of combination vaccines, starting at 6 weeks of age. Successive vaccines are then given every three weeks to boost immunity. The number of boosters your pet receives will be customized based on species, breed, and lifestyle. After that, your pet will receive annual or semi-annual boosters.
Vaccines We Offer and Why They're Important for Our Area
We offer both core and noncore pet vaccinations. Core vaccines are important for every pet to remain healthy. For instance, parvovirus is extremely prevalent in our area, which is why puppies' initial vaccination series includes up to 5 shots of their combination distemper vaccine, which includes parvo. Without a complete series of vaccinations, puppies are still vulnerable to the dangerous disease.
Noncore vaccines are only necessary if pets are at risk. Yet, there are exceptions! While canine flu is a noncore vaccine, outbreaks in North Arkansas make this vaccine more and more important for your dog. Even so much as a friendly nuzzle in the dog park is enough to transmit the virus from one dog to another! Your veterinarian can discuss with you your dog's individual risk and make the best call for their health.
Core Vaccines include:
- DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza)
- FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia)
- Ferret distemper virus
Noncore Vaccines include:
- Leptospirosis – this bacterium is found in contaminated soil and we highly recommend it for pets who are often outdoors.
- Canine Influenza – this highly contagious respiratory infection comes in two strains, both of which are preventable with our bivalent vaccine. We recommend it for dogs in close contact with other dogs, similar to Bordetella.
- Lyme – while Lyme disease is not a serious concern in our area, we do recommend the Lyme vaccine for dogs who are traveling, whether for leisure or competition.
- Feline Leukemia – we strongly recommend feline leukemia for outdoor cats as this disease is highly contagious between cats and there is no cure, only management of the disease.
- There are no noncore vaccines needed.
Keep in mind that our boarding requirements include several vaccines for both cats and dogs, such as:
- Dogs: Rabies, DHPP, Bordetella, Canine Influenza
- Cats: Rabies, FVRCP, Bordetella
Keep Up with Boosters
Your pet will need an annual booster for most vaccines, although our Bordetella vaccine requires a booster every 6 months. This schedule also aligns with other important procedures including heartworm tests and fecal exams to check for intestinal parasites. We highly recommend your pet receive these tests every 6 months in accordance with the American Heartworm Society and the Companion Animal Parasite Council.
Please schedule your appointment today to talk about your new pet’s vaccine schedule, your older pet’s vaccine boosters, or any noncore vaccines you may want to add to your pet’s healthcare plan.