(801) 225-3346
Preventative Care
Pet Vaccinations

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Office location:
469 W Center St
Orem, UT
Phone: (801) 225-3346

While nursing, pets receive antibodies and nutrients from their mother’s milk. When nursing stops, pets become more susceptible to illnesses because their immune systems do not have the same support they once did. As part of a preventative care routine, pet vaccinations can help protect your pet from life-threatening diseases.

For most pets, routine vaccinations start around the age of 6 to 8 weeks old and continue regularly throughout adulthood. Some vaccinations are even combined into a single syringe so a pet experiences fewer injections. After being vaccinated, most young pets take about 5 days to build protective antibodies with complete protection taking place after 14 days. Some vaccines require multiple dosages given over a short period of time, and most require booster shots every 1 to 3 years. Pets who have been vaccinated have an advantage over those who have not. When a disease is detected, your vaccinated pet’s immune system quickly responds, decreasing severity of the illness or preventing it altogether. While it is rare, some pets do not develop immunity from their vaccinations and still become ill. If your pet has been vaccinated, is current on all of their booster shots, and has never shown signs of illness or disease, it has likely been successfully vaccinated.

Pet owners should note that vaccinations are preventative, not curative. A vaccination will prevent an illness, but if your pet is already suffering from a disease, a vaccine will not cure them.

Core and non-core pet vaccinations

There are several pet vaccinations that are necessary for all pets and others that are recommended only under special circumstances. Core vaccinations are those that are commonly recommended for all pets, and non-core vaccinations include those that are only administered to pets considered to be “at-risk.” Necessary vaccines depend on local regulations, geographic location, and your pet’s lifestyle. Your pet will be vaccinated according to their risk of exposure and your veterinarian will discuss the best options for your pet.

Canine vaccinations

Bordetella (kennel cough) – This is a core vaccine in this area. The vaccination is first given to puppies when they are 9-10 weeks old, booster shots are then given every 12 months, depending on the dog’s exposure. Your dog is considered at risk if you take them to the groomer, boarding facility, dog park, or any other public area with high pet population.

Distemper, Adenovirus 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DA2PPV) – This combo vaccine is considered a core vaccine. Your puppy will receive their first vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks old, and booster shots will be given once every 2-3 weeks until your puppy is 12 to 16 weeks old (depending on when vaccinations were started). A booster vaccination is administered every year after that.

Coronavirus - This is considered a core vaccine and is usually added to the DA2PPV combo vaccine at 10 weeks and a booster at 12 week vaccination. It is given yearly as the DA2PPV-CV combo vaccine until the dog reaches 5 years of age.

Leptospirosis – This non-core vaccine can be given to a puppy aged 6 months or older and is an annual vaccination that is intended to prevent bacterial infections in the kidneys, liver, and other major organs. Depending on your dog’s risk of exposure, this vaccination could be unnecessary. This vaccine is more common in rural areas and is not available at our location because of low risk of exposure.

Lyme – The Lyme vaccination is a non-core vaccine that is first administered when the puppy reaches 12 weeks old. The first booster is given to the puppy at 15 weeks old, and annual boosters are recommended for dogs that reside in areas with increased exposure to ticks carrying Lyme disease. This vaccine is unavailable at our location because of low risk of exposure.

Rabies – The rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine, and many states require pets to have it by law, but there are a few exceptions. The initial vaccine is first given when the puppy reaches 12 weeks old. A booster shot is necessary after 1 year, then typically every 3rd year following that.

Canine Influenza(H3N2)– The flu vaccine is a non-core vaccine that is given at 8 weeks and older. The first booster is given 3 weeks later, and annual boosters are recommended for dogs that reside in areas with increased exposure to Canine Influenza. This vaccine is currently in stock.

Feline vaccinations

Feline Leukemia, Rhinotracheitis, Calici Virus, Panleukopenia, Chlamydia Psittaci Vaccine - This combo vaccine is considered a core vaccine. Your kitten will receive their first vaccinations between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks, and they will need to be repeated once every 3 weeks until your kitten reaches 15 to 18 weeks old (depending on when vaccinations were started). A booster vaccination is administered annually.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) – Feline Leukemia is a core vaccine and the disease is the number one cause of death in cats. The first vaccine is given when a kitten is 9-12 weeks old and the first booster is administered when the cat reaches 15 to 16 weeks old. Booster shots are recommended to be updated annually at pet wellness exams.

Rabies – This vaccine is also a core vaccination for kittens. The initial vaccine is first administered between 12 and 16 weeks of age. A annual booster shot is necessary.

Non-core vaccines for felines include Ringworm vaccines, but their use is only considered for pets with a high risk of exposure.

Preventable canine diseases and symptoms:

  • Adenovirus(Hepatitis) – a life-threatening disease that causes Liver failure, eye damage, and respiratory issues. Clinical signs may include lethargy, no appetite, fever, bloody diarrhea, vomiting blood, painful movements, and clouding of cornea.
  • Distemper – A highly contagious and life-threatening disease that affects the nervous system and many organs. Early clinical signs include discharge from eyes and nose, dry cough, diarrhea, fever, no appetite, and lethargy. Later clinical signs include head shaking, chewing movements, seizures, confusion, convulsions, and death. Even if the dog recovers, the nervous system may be permanently damaged.
  • Leptospirosis – a life-threatening bacterial disease that causes severe liver and kidney damage and hemorrhaging within the lungs. This bacteria is harbored in wildlife, livestock, and rodents and is shed through the urine. Any surface water is a potential source of infection. Symptoms include loss of appetite, yellowed eyes (jaundice), vomiting, lethargy, fever, diarrhea, and urine that is dark brown in color. 
  • Lyme – a disease transferred through ticks. It is most common in the northern hemisphere which is why the vaccination remains “non-core”. It can be difficult to diagnose because of a long incubation period and vague flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include circular skin rashes, depression, fatigue, lameness, Anorexia, stiffness, swelling or joint pain, fever, and headaches. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics if it is caught in earlier stages.
  • Parainfluenza and Bordetella (Tracheobronchitis) – both are illnesses that are highly contagious and cause kennel cough. These bacteria/viruses cause infection and inflammation of the lungs and respiratory passages. While it is generally not life-threatening, symptoms include a non-stop runny nose and excessive dry hacking cough. High dog population situations such as daycare, dog parks, show circuits, shelters, boarding, grooming, and breeding facilities are all potential exposure areas.
  • Parvovirus – A highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and at rare times, the heart muscles. It is spread through feces and can survive in the environment for months or years. Signs include profuse diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, severe depression,  loss of appetite, and deterioration of the white blood cells. This can also result in severe dehydration, secondary infections, kidney failure, and death.
  • Rabies - a fatal viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of all mammals. Because there isn’t a cure for rabies, animals that contract the disease are euthanized. The greatest risk of keeping the pet alive is that the disease can be spread to humans. Vaccination of pets is required by law. This virus is spread through bites and any break in skin.
  • Coronavirus - A serious disease that attacks the intestinal system and can be fatal. This virus is shed through the feces and puppies are particularly susceptible to severe symptoms. Signs include depression, anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Canine Influenza(dog flu) - an easily transmitted respiratory virus spreading across the United States. This is a fairly new disease and all dogs are susceptible. Shelters and high dog population areas are possible places of infection. Symptoms can range from asymptomatic(no signs) to coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, pneumonia and sometimes death.

Preventable feline diseases and symptoms: 

  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) – a retroviral disease (one that duplicates itself and integrates with the host’s DNA) that causes immune suppression. Most cats that have the illness appear normal for years until the disease eventually depletes the immune system entirely, resulting in death. The vaccine for this disease has been discontinued and is no longer available.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)– a potentially life threatening virus that causes chronic immune suppression, leading to frequent secondary infection and illness. It often results in cancer. After initial exposure, sign may not show for years.
  • Herpesvirus and Calicivirus – highly contagious illnesses that cause fever, malaise, runny nose, and watery eyes. Even recovered, a cat can be a carrier for life and possibly infect others.
  • Panleukopenia (also known as Feline Distemper) - a life threatening disease that causes pets to suffer dehydration, diarrhea, low white blood cell count, and vomiting. This virus is extremely resistant and is highly infectious. Treatment is difficult and even recovered, a infected cat can continue to spread it to other animals.
  • Feline Chlamydophila – A extremely contagious bacterial disease that causes a local infection of the mucous membranes of the eyes and also lungs. This can be transmitted to humans by direct contact.
  • Rabies -  a fatal viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of all mammals. Because there isn’t a cure for rabies, animals that contract the disease are euthanized. The greatest risk of keeping the pet alive is that the disease can be spread to humans. Vaccination of pets is required by law. This virus is spread through bites and any break in skin.

Pet vaccination concerns

Similar to human vaccinations, pet vaccinations do carry a risk of side-effects. While negative side-effects do exist, it is important to note that your pet is statistically more likely to develop a life-threatening illness when not vaccinated, than to suffer adverse results from a vaccination. None-the-less, it is important to remain informed so you can ask your veterinarian the appropriate questions at your pet’s appointment.

After being vaccinated, the injection site can be swollen or sore. Some pets also have a reduced appetite, fever, and experience lethargy. These side-effects should diminish over the next 24 to 48 hours. If you notice your pet’s side-effects are not subsiding, please contact our office. Very rarely, pets develop an allergy to a vaccine. Allergies can be detected within minutes of receiving a vaccination and if left untreated, can result in death. If you witness any of the following, contact our office immediately: collapse, non-stop diarrhea, continual vomiting, difficulty breathing, itching, or swelling of the legs or face.

Regulations regarding rabies vaccinations

While the federal government does not mandate pet vaccinations for rabies, most states implement their own laws regarding pet vaccination. Vaccination laws also vary from country to country, so if you plan on moving, be sure to check necessary requirements to ensure a smooth transition for your family.

States in which your pet can receive exemption from being vaccinated include: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey (dogs only), New York, Oregon (dogs only), Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All other states require rabies vaccinations by law - for all pets.

If you have any questions about vaccinations or scheduling new pet vaccinations, you may contact our office at your convenience.