VACCINATIONS

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To stay healthy, your pet needs a series of vaccines during his or her lifetime. Starting as a puppy or kitten, several vaccines are given, ideally at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks of age. From there, your pet should be vaccinated at each annual wellness exam.

Puppy & Dog Vaccinations

To stay healthy, your dog needs a series of vaccines during his or her lifetime. Starting as a puppy, several vaccines are given, ideally at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks of age. From there, your pet should be vaccinated at each annual wellness exam.

Puppy Vaccinations

What vaccines does my puppy need and when?

As a puppy, vaccines are given for several common diseases: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus, Bordetella, and rabies. The first four are included in one injection that is given three times before your puppy is 16 weeks old.

The rabies vaccine is given once to a puppy at 12 to 16 weeks and then yearly. Bordetella, or kennel cough, vaccines are given every six months and is required by most boarding and grooming facilities.

Optional vaccinations are appropriate in certain situations, including the canine influenza, Lyme, and Crotalus vaccines. The canine influenza vaccine is recommended for all dogs that are regularly around other dogs in boarding or grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places. The Lyme vaccine is given to dogs that may be exposed to ticks, who are known carriers of the disease. Crotalus is recommended for dogs that are likely to be exposed to poisonous snakes.

Why does my puppy need to be vaccinated so frequently?

Vaccines are crucial to supporting your dog’s immune system. When a puppy nurses, it receives temporary immunity through the mother’s milk via proteins called maternal antibodies. Puppies absorb these antibodies directly into the bloodstream for about 24 to 48 hours after birth. While this immunity benefits puppies during their first few weeks of life, it eventually fails and the puppy must make its own long-lasting immunity.

Many factors determine when a puppy will respond to a vaccine, given that the mother’s antibodies, if still present, will neutralize the vaccine. Factors include the level of immunity in the mother dog, how much antibody was absorbed, and the number of vaccines given to the puppy. However, a puppy is also at the greatest risk of disease as soon as the mother’s antibodies disappear. Because it can’t be determined when an individual puppy loses short-term immunity, a series of vaccines are given four weeks apart. Moreover, even if a single vaccine is effective, it is not likely to stimulate long-term immunity.

Dog Vaccinations

What vaccines does my dog need and when?

After your puppy is a year old, it needs to be vaccinated:

  • Twice annually for Bordetella (required by most grooming and boarding facilities);
  • Annually for rabies, which is prevalent in the Hall County and Gainesville area;
  • Annually for Leptospirosis, which is likewise prevalent given the lake environment; and
  • Every three years for the four-in-one distemper.

Note that although many vets still insist on giving the four-in-one distemper vaccine to dogs on an annual basis, Animal Medical Care has adopted the consensus statements of the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners that there is more than adequate evidence that the combo distemper vaccines need to be given only every three years. AMC believes that this approach is not only scientifically sound but prevents our clients from incurring unnecessary charges.

Kitten & Cat Vaccinations

To stay healthy, your cat needs a series of vaccines during his or her lifetime. Starting as a kitten, several vaccines are given, ideally at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks of age. From there, your pet should be vaccinated at each annual wellness exam.

Kitten Vaccinations

What vaccines does my kitten need and when?

As a kitten, vaccines are given for several common diseases: feline distemper, three respiratory organisms, and rabies. The first four are included in one injection that is given three times before your kitten is 16 weeks old. Ideally, vaccines are given at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks. The rabies vaccine is given once to a kitten at 12 to 16 weeks and then yearly.

Optional vaccinations are appropriate in certain situations, including the Feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV) and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus vaccine. The FeLV is strongly recommended for all cats. It is usually transmitted by direct contact with other cats, especially when fighting occurs. We also recommend the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus vaccine for all outdoor cats to prevent deadly retrovirus.

Why does my kitten need to be vaccinated so frequently?

Vaccines are crucial to supporting your cat’s immune system. When a kitten nurses, it receives temporary immunity through the mother’s milk via proteins called maternal antibodies. Kittens absorb these antibodies directly into the bloodstream for about 24 to 48 hours after birth. While this immunity benefits kittens during their first few weeks of life, it eventually fails and the kitten must make its own long-lasting immunity.

Many factors determine when a kitten will respond to a vaccine, given that the mother’s antibodies, if still present, will neutralize the vaccine. Factors include the level of immunity in the mother cat, how much antibody was absorbed, and the number of vaccines given to the kitten. However, a kitten is also at the greatest risk of disease as soon as the mother’s antibodies disappear. Because it can’t be determined when an individual kitten loses short-term immunity, a series of vaccines are given four weeks apart. Moreover, even if a single vaccine is effective, it is not likely to stimulate long-term immunity.

Cat Vaccinations

What vaccines does my cat need and when?

After your kitten is a year old, it needs to be vaccinated:

  • Annually for rabies, which is prevalent in the Hall County and Gainesville area;
  • Annually for Feline leukemia; and
  • Every three years for the three-in-one distemper.

Note that although many vets still insist on giving the three-in-one distemper vaccine to cats on an annual basis, Animal Medical Care has adopted the consensus statements of the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners that there is more than adequate evidence that the combo distemper vaccines need to be given only every three years. AMC believes that this approach is not only scientifically sound but prevents our clients from incurring unnecessary charges.

Rabies

Rabies Prevention and Control

Given the prevalence of confirmed rabies cases in the Gainesville/Hall County area and Northeast Georgia, it is important to ensure that your dog is current with its annual rabies vaccines. This is true for outdoor as well as indoor pets.

The rabies vaccine is almost 100% effective in preventing disease. In sharp contrast, if an animal or human is infected with rabies, once symptoms occur, the virus is almost 100% fatal.

Rabies vaccines are inexpensive and safe, but they must legally be administered by a licensed veterinarian.

What is rabies?

Rabies is a fatal disease that infects the brain and is passed from an infected animal to other animals or humans. The disease is passed through the saliva from a bite or scratch. The disease then travels through broken skin into the nervous system and to the brain.

The most common animals carrying the rabies disease are raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxalthough all mammals can carry rabies.

What are the symptoms of rabies?

Symptoms of rabies virus in animals start as flu-like symptoms and progress rapidly to anxiety, agitation, dementia, delirium, and death, usually within four to seven days. There are two major forms of rabies: furious and dumb. The furious form of rabies is where the animal is aggressive, agitated, and drools excessively. The dumb form of rabies is where the animal seems tame and has no fear of humans. Infected animals may appear disoriented, excessively wobbly, and possibly self-mutilating.

Rabies in Georgia

Georgia has an average of 370 confirmed animal cases of rabies every year and ranks sixth in the nation of confirmed cases. Because animals are only tested if there has been a bite and testing must be done on brain tissue, it is safe to assume that far more than 370 cases occur in Georgia on an annual basis. Animals bitten by an animal with rabies that has not been vaccinated or is overdue for a rabies vaccine must be quarantined for six months or euthanized.

Caring for the pets of Gainesville, GA and the surrounding communities.

Animal Medical Care (AMC) is committed to providing you, your pet, and the Gainesville and Hall County community with high-quality veterinary care and service. We are an AAHA-accredited hospital focused on building strong relationships with each of our clients.

Get in touch

Contact Info

Phone: 770-532-1217
Fax: 770-532-0311
Email: animalmedical.vet@gmail.com

Location

984 Thompson Bridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30501
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