Dix Hills Animal Hospital is committed to optimizing your pet’s wellness to provide them with a long, happy, and healthy life. To that end, we create customized vaccination plans for puppies and kittens, adult pets, and even seniors. We recommend vaccine appointments every six months depending on your pet’s age, health status, and medical history.
Vaccinations are imperative to protecting your pet against dangerous diseases they can encounter in their environment. Most often, viruses are spread between animals, but they can also infect indoor-only pets that are not exposed to other animals or outdoor environments. Many of the diseases that vaccines protect against can progress quickly and even infect humans. It is important to keep all pets in your home up to date on their vaccinations and protect them from potentially fatal diseases.
Many small or toy breed dogs can be sensitive to vaccinations and therefore may receive a customized immunization plan from the veterinarian. Typically, we recommend separating the administration of vaccines to minimize reactions and may suggest pre-treating your dog with Benadryl prior to their appointment. Consult with your veterinarian before your dog’s vaccine administration for any specific recommendations regarding preparation for the appointment.
The Distemper vaccine, or the DA2PP protects against Distemper (a virus that attacks the digestive, respiratory and nervous system), Adenovirus (a disease that affects the liver), Parvovirus (a virus that attacks the digestive and immune systems) and Parainfluenza (a viral respiratory disease).
This vaccine is given every 3 to 4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks. That last booster is good for 1 year. After that, the distemper vaccine is given every 3 years.
The Bordetella vaccine is for kennel cough. Kennel cough is airborne, so if your puppy is going to be going to a groomer, puppy classes or a boarding facility, you may want to consider this vaccine. Most grooming facilities require this vaccine.
The Bordetella vaccine can be given orally, intranasal or by subcutaneous injection. This vaccine is given yearly.
The Leptospirosis vaccine is to prevent against Leptospirosis. Lepto is transmitted through the urine of wild animals (raccoon, opossum, fox, rats and mice). If one of these animals urinates in a puddle of water and then your puppy steps in the water and licks his feet, or laps up the water they could be exposed to it and this could be fatal.
Leptospirosis is also transmissible to humans. In the past year or so, we have seen several cases of Lepto and are encouraging clients to take the precaution and protect their pets if the exposure is present.
This vaccine is given once, and then repeated three weeks later. Then it is given yearly.
Rabies is carried by bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes and cats. The Rabies vaccine is given between 4 and 6 months of age. The first rabies vaccine is good for 1 year, after that the Rabies vaccine is given every 3 years.
The Lyme vaccine is to prevent Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted through deer ticks. We are seeing cases of Lyme disease all throughout the island. Birds can pick off deer ticks and drop them where they may.
This vaccine is given once, and then repeated three weeks later. Then it is given yearly. This is recommended if your puppy will be in heavily wooded areas or if you plan to travel regularly to places like Fire Island, out East or camping.
Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats and humans. This being the case, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus.
We are now using a safer, non-adjuvanted Feline Rabies vaccination. Traditionally, chemicals called adjuvants have been added to Leukemia and Rabies vaccinations to enhance an animal’s immune response.
More recently, concern over the potential risks, such as chronic injection site inflammation and allergic reactions—that have been associated with these adjuvants has led to the need for effective vaccines that do not require adjuvants. These new vaccines are far safer. After your cat’s adult Rabies vaccine we recommend boosters every 3 years.
FVRCP cat vaccine is our “feline distemper” vaccination that protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calici virus and panleukopenia. These diseases are highly contagious among cats and can have devastating effects on their respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.
Once the initial immunizations have been administered, we administer this cat vaccine one year after the last kitten shot is given and once every three years afterward.
FeLV (i.e., feline leukemia virus) is a deadly viral disease that wreaks havoc on affected cats’ immune systems and can lead to an array of cancerous conditions including leukemia.
We recommend Leukemia vaccination only for “at risk” cats—cats who go outdoor, or for people who plan on or tend to “acquire” other cats in their household. We now recommend vaccinating for Leukemia vaccine every other year after the first adult vaccine.
For cats that go outside, we highly recommend a yearly Feline Leukemia or Feline Aids blood test—we can have that test result while you wait! Additionally, we are now recommending an empirical de-worming for cats who hunt, as they generally acquire intestinal parasites from birds, mice, moles, and more.