Recommended Vaccines for Dogs & Cats

American Animal Hospital Association Accredited
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Veterinarian preparing vaccine

Pet vaccines protect our companions from dangerous diseases helping them live longer, healthier lives. At Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic, we weigh the risks and benefits of the available vaccinations and create a prevention plan that is just right for your pet.

Area pet owners may choose to visit our sister practice, Carriage Hills Animal Hospital, for the same extraordinary pet wellness care and a variety of veterinary services.

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Vaccine Guidelines for Dogs & Cats

The AAHA Dog & Cat Vaccine Guidelines clearly state that all pets are different and vaccine decisions should be made on an individual basis. Issues to consider include:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Health status
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle

Vaccine concerns may depend upon where you live and lifestyle choices. We personalize an immunization program to meet the needs, risks, and lifestyle factors of your pet.

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Dog Vaccines

These vaccines are generally recommended for all dogs to protect against diseases that are serious, contagious, or potentially fatal:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Adenovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Bordetella/kennel cough

These vaccines are given during the initial puppy series, boostered at one year. As the dog matures, we may convert to every three years to provide proper immunity with the least amount of vaccinations.

These vaccines are reserved for dogs at specific risk for infection due to exposure situations such as boarding, dog parks, dog shows, and rural environments:

  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine influenza

Cat Vaccines

These vaccines are generally recommended for all cats to protect against diseases that are serious, contagious, or potentially fatal:

  • Distemper
  • Feline upper respiratory diseases
  • Rabies
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella

These vaccines are given during the initial kitten series, boostered at one year. As the cat matures we may convert to every three years, to provide proper immunity with the least amount of vaccinations. For your cat’s safety, we use adjuvant-free Merial vaccines.

Learn more about our approach to dog and cat wellness.

Tick medication

Where Do Fleas & Ticks Come From?

Fleas are most often transmitted by another infected animal. A stray dog, cat, or other animal that suffers from an infestation can drop flea eggs on your yard or property. The eggs incubate and grow to adulthood, when they can then hitch a ride on your pet.

While ticks live mostly in tall grass and wooded areas, they can live in almost every outdoor environment. They climb grasses and shrubs to the height of 18 to 24 inches. The slightest action-walking or brushing against the vegetation-causes them to fall off onto pets or people, where they bite down and feed. Ticks can live a long time outside without feeding, more than a year in some cases.

Dangers of Fleas & Ticks

Fleas and ticks are a concern because they carry diseases that make pets and people sick. Fleas suck blood and can therefore cause anemia. Some animals, such as old or sick pets, can die from a heavy infestation. Puppies are certainly vulnerable to illnesses carried by these parasites.

A common issue we see is flea allergy dermatitis in dogs and cats. Only a few fleas need be present to cause a reaction. Infected pets tend to exhibit behavior such as excessive scratching or biting at themselves.

Tick bites can infect the host with more than a dozen different diseases, many of which can kill pets. These include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and more.

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Zoonotic Diseases

Cat scratch fever, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are all examples of zoonotic diseases that originate with fleas and ticks. Cat scratch fever is a bacterial disease spread to cats by fleas, then transmitted to humans through a cat scratch or bite. Both Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are spread to people indirectly, through a bite from a tick that was carried by their dog or cat.

The CDC provides information about diseases your pet can transmit to you with tips on how to keep yourself, your family, and your pets healthy. Find additional information about zoonotic diseases in Diseases from Animals: A Primer.

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We Offer Products to Protect Pets

While a variety of over-the-counter flea and tick products claim to prevent or treat infestations, many are ineffective and even toxic to pets. We do not recommend using these products without a veterinary consultation.

Our veterinarians advise you about parasite prevention and treatment at every wellness visit and can recommend safe and effective products for your pet. If you suspect an infestation, contact the clinic for immediate guidance.


Online Resources

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