Vaccinations are essential to puppy and kitten health
Just like human babies, newborn cats and dogs receive antibodies from their mothers. These proteins in the blood recognize and counteract various antigens (bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances), helping them stay well at this vulnerable stage. Antibodies begin to deplete starting from about six weeks of age. Now begins the time for the puppy or kitten to start building its own immune system. Puppy and kitten vaccinations from San Marco Animal Hospital aid in boosting your pet’s ability to fight disease.
AVMA Recommended Core Puppy Vaccines Include:
- Rabies – required by state law and can be given as early as 12 weeks. We usually start puppies with a one-year dose, then go to a three-year booster.
- Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvo/Parainfluenza (DAPP)– is a combined vaccination for these three viruses. The initial vaccination can be given as early as six weeks of age, however most vaccinations start at 8 weeks of age, which is when the maternal antibodies have completely left the puppy’s immune system.
- DAPP vaccinations require a booster (or repeated vaccine) every 3 weeks until your puppy reaches between 16-19 weeks. Once your puppy receives its final dose at 16-19 weeks, yearly or 3 year boosters are recommended, based on the lifestyle of the pet.
- More non-core vaccinations that might be beneficial based on your puppy’s lifestyle include K9 Influenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), lyme, and/or leptospirosis.
AVMA Recommended Core Kitten Vaccines Include:
- Rabies – required by state law and can be given as early as 12 weeks. We usually start kittens with a one-year dose, then go to a three-year booster.
- Feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (FVRCP): is a combined vaccination for these three viruses. The initial vaccination can be given as early as six weeks of age, however, most vaccinations start at 8 weeks of age, which is when the maternal antibodies have completely left the kitten’s immune system.
- Rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus) – Contagious virus that attacks the upper respiratory system.
- Calicivirus – This respiratory virus comes with joint pain, mouth ulcers, fever, and anorexia.
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper) – a very contagious virus that attacks the kittens immune system and intestines. This virus is very serious and a common cause of death in kittens.
- Non- core vaccines that the conscientious pet owner may want to consider the feline leukemia virus vaccination for their kittens based on lifestyle.
We weigh many factors in designing a vaccination plan that protects your pet and poses no unnecessary risk. Things such as pet’s age at the time of vaccination, existing medical and physical conditions, presence of other animals in the household, exposure to disease, etc. all play and important role.
Put your new best friend on the path to lifetime wellness by ensuring appropriate puppy and kitten vaccinations are given to your pet. Call us at 904-516-9767 to schedule a vaccination consultation appointment with one of our veterinarians today!
Dr. Venkat Gutta
San Marco Animal Hospital
Dr. Venkat Gutta moved to the US almost two decades ago to further his passion for veterinary science. Having earned a Master's Degree in Animal Science in Georgia and having completed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam, he completed clinical rotations at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Gutta then received his license to practice in Florida. For over a decade, he served as an associate veterinarian at the Banfield Pet Hospital. He benefitted from a great amount of exposure and experience, especially in high-quality veterinary medicine and surgeries for soft tissue injuries. To date, Dr. Gutta strives to be approachable to his clients and ensure that they have complete awareness and understanding of the health issues that are faced by their furry friends. His special interests lie in skin issues, behavioral problems, senior pet wellness, nutritional counseling, preventive care, and wellness examinations, particularly relevant to canine and feline medicine. Today Dr. Gutta continues to keep himself updated about modern advances in veterinary science through his memberships in the Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Society and American Veterinary Medical Association.