Getting your dog or cat vaccinated is one of the best things you can do to give them a long and healthy life. Apart from the rabies vaccination, which is required by law, your pet needs to be protected against other diseases as well. Which vaccines will be given and when is ultimately up to your veterinarian and will be tailored to your pets needs and lifestyle. However, here is a general guideline for the vaccination policy at Bentley Animal Hospital
- At 8 weeks or earlier, your puppy needs its first DHPP vaccine, a combination of five or six different vaccines, of which the most commonly known are distemper and parvo.
- At 12 weeks or 4 weeks after the first vaccine, a first booster will be given, as well as the rabies vaccine.
- At 16 weeks or 4 weeks after the previous one, your puppy will need its last booster and the rabies vaccine, if it did not receive that at the last visit.
Please keep in mind that these are merely guidelines and we will adjust them as necessary for your puppy and its environment.
- Rabies is required by law and had to be given annually until Alabama approved the 3-year vaccine. Now you have the choice after your dog had at least one 1-year vaccine.
- DHLPP/ DHPP - a combination vaccine that protects your pet against five or six different viruses. Our doctors will decide which one is necessary to provide the best protection for your dog. This vaccine is very important for all dogs and will be given annually in young dogs. When your pet gets older and has been well vaccinated in the past, we will only give it every 3 years.
These are the two vaccines all dogs should receive. Other vaccines, like Bordetella (Kennel Cough), Influenza, etc. are on hand and can be given at your request.
At Bentley Animal Hospital we use a special line of vaccines for our cat patients. These vaccines do not contain adjuvants, which are chemicals added to most vaccines to increase the immune response. Research indicates that these chemicals raise the risk of cats developing fibro sarcoma, a malignant tumor associated with injection sites. Therefore, we have chosen to reduce the risk to our feline patients by using nonadjuvanted vaccines, whenever available.
- At 8 weeks your kitten will need its first FVRCP, a combination of vaccines against several upper respiratory viruses.
- At 12 weeks, or 4 weeks after the first vaccination, it needs to receive a booster vaccine and will also need to be vaccinated against Rabies.
- Kittens that will spend time outside should get the Feline Leukemia vaccine at the same time as the FVRCP vaccines. However, they will have to be tested first to ensure they are not carrying the virus.
Rabies - required by law and needs to be given annually, because this cat vaccine is only approved for 1 year.
FVRCP - a combination vaccine against several upper respiratory viruses. Young cats should be vaccinated every year, but for older cats the frequency may be reduced to every 2 - 3 years.
These two vaccines we recommend for all cats, even the ones kept strictly indoors.
FeLV - all cats going outside should be protected against Feline Leukemia, but testing to ensure the cat does not already have leukemia is required.
FIV - we do offer this vaccine against Feline AIDS, but do not routinely give it.