Vaccinations are essential to puppy and kitten health in Jacksonville, FL
Just like human babies, newborn cats and dogs receive antibodies from their mothers. These proteins in the blood recognize and counteract antigens – bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances – helping the infant stay well at this vulnerable stage. Antibodies begin to deplete starting from about 6 weeks of age. Now it is time for the puppy or kitten to start building its own immunity system. Puppy and kitten vaccinations from San Marco Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, FL boost baby’s ability to fight disease.
Dr. Venkat Gutta recommends that all puppies receive core vaccinations:
- Rabies – Required by state law. We usually start puppies with a one-year dose, then go to a three-year booster.
- Distemper – Initial vaccination: starting as early as 6 weeks of age.
- Booster – A single dose of a combination vaccine should be given within 1 year of the last dose of the initial vaccination.
- Parvovirus – Follows the same dosing schedule as distemper.
- Adenovirus (canine hepatitis) – Spread by infected urine and feces, this disease can lead to liver damage and death. It also follows the distemper immunization schedule.
Other non-core vaccinations that might be beneficial include parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), Lyme disease, leptospirosis, and canine influenza.
Kittens also need immunizations to grow up strong:
- Rabies – Florida statute 828.30 requires that cats be vaccinated. This is administered in two doses, a year apart, then on a three-year rotation – as are most feline core vaccinations.
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper) – Very contagious and a common cause of death in kittens.
- Feline herpesvirus – Another contagious disease that attacks the upper respiratory system.
- Calicivirus – This respiratory condition comes with joint pain, mouth ulcers, fever, and anorexia.
Conscientious pet owners may want to consider non-core feline leukemia virus and Bordetella vaccines, for their kittens.
We weigh many factors to design a vaccination plan that protects your pet, but poses no unnecessary risk – pet’s age at time of vaccination, existing medical and physical conditions, presence of other animals in the household, exposure to disease, and more.
Put your new best friend on the path to lifetime wellness with puppy and kitten vaccinations. Call San Marco Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, FL at 904-516-9767.