At Harbourside Animal Hospital, our veterinary care team is passionate about disease prevention in pets. Pet vaccinations prevent serious illnesses in dogs and cats, including highly contagious diseases such as parvo, distemper, and rabies. The core dog vaccination and cat vaccination series is a critical part of pet wellness care. Vaccines are typically administered every one to three years, depending on a vaccine manufacturer’s requirements and our Tampa veterinarian’s recommendations.
Our Tampa veterinarian recommends all pets receive the core vaccination series. For dogs, the canine core vaccination series is a combined shot known as DHPP. This dog vaccination shot protects against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. For cats, the combined feline vaccination shot is known as FVRCP. This cat vaccination shot protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia (feline distemper). Florida state law requires all dogs and cats aged four months or older to be vaccinated against rabies. The rabies vaccination is given again one year later, and then every three years, depending on the vaccine manufacturer’s guidelines.
A new puppy or kitten should receive the puppy/kitten shot series. This dog vaccination and cat vaccination series is administered shortly after a young animal is weaned, typically at 8 to 10 weeks. Young pets are especially vulnerable to illness as their immune systems are not yet fully mature. For this reason, our Tampa veterinarian will administer booster shots every 3 to 4 weeks until your pet’s immune system is fully matured. This typically occurs at 18 to 20 weeks of age. The puppy/kitten shot series includes core vaccinations and rabies. Depending on your pet’s risk of exposure to other illnesses, such as kennel cough, our Tampa veterinarian may also recommend additional non-core vaccines.
Pet vaccinations are critical to protecting your pets against contagious diseases. Since these illnesses typically do not cause symptoms until several days after infections, it is possible that your pet could interact with a seemingly healthy pet at the dog park, grooming salon, or pet kennel and contract a disease. Vaccinations are the only effective way to ensure your pet is protected against these deadly diseases.
Our dog vaccination and cat vaccination shots are safe and effective ways to protect your pet against illness. Like any medication, there is a small risk of allergic reaction from these vaccines. Animal vaccines, like human vaccines, work by stimulating the immune system. Consequently, some pets may experience minor side effects following this stimulation. However, the risk of any side effects or allergic reaction is far less than the potential health problems associated with contracting an infectious disease.
If your pet has received vaccinations in the past without any problems, it is highly unlikely that an allergic reaction will occur with future vaccines.
Without vaccination protection, pets are vulnerable to serious diseases. Even with advances in veterinary care, not all diseases can be successfully treated. Pet vaccinations are the best way to keep your pet healthy and active for years to come.