Why Do Pets Need To Be Vaccinated?
The most effective way to prevent harmful diseases from threatening your pet's health is to vaccinate them regularly. Pet vaccinations function much the same as human vaccinations. Once injected, the vaccine prompts the body’s immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies. Most vaccines will provide your pet with the necessary immunity to deter viruses for about 12 months, while others can offer immunity for up to three years.
At Companion Animal Hospital of Skokie, vaccinations are extremely important, but we also want to steer clear of over-vaccinating our patients. This means we customize each patient’s vaccinations based on age, breed, travel frequency, exposure risks, and other lifestyle factors.
Pet Vaccinations We Offer
Our hospital carries all the necessary core and non-core vaccines to keep cats and dogs protected. These include:
- Distemper (DHPP)
- Bordetella (kennel cough)
- Canine influenza (H3N2 & H3N8 strains)
- Feline Distemper (FVRCP)
Our Lyme/Lepto Combo Vaccine
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, dogs are at a higher risk for Lyme disease infection than ever before. Ticks are more prevalent than they were in the past, and there are over 700 subspecies of ticks. Even dogs living in urban areas are at risk!
Check out these statistics:
- There have been 280 reported cases of Lyme-positive dogs in Cook County this year
- 4 dogs tested positive for tick-borne illnesses at our hospital since January, 2 of which were Lyme-positive
- Lyme disease can have long-term effects on the kidneys and joints
If your dog has had their Leptospirosis vaccinations in the past, we can give them the Lyme/Lepto vaccine at their next appointment and will only need to booster the Lyme vaccine 2-3 weeks later. For optimal tick protection, we highly encourage using Bravecto flea and tick prevention to supplement your dog's vaccines.
When to Start Vaccinating
If you’re bringing home a new puppy or kitten, we should begin their vaccinations when they’re about eight weeks of age. First, your pet will receive their initial Distemper booster. This booster will need to be repeated every three weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age. In addition, we will recommend the rabies vaccination at this time. Both the Rabies and Distemper vaccines can be given annually thereafter.
Your pet's health history, environment, and lifestyle will help us choose the appropriate vaccine schedule. If their circumstances change, we can offer recommendations for protecting your pet against viruses they may not have encountered before.
Whether your pet is overdue for their vaccinations or is just starting out, we can put together a plan that best suits their needs. Give us a call at (847) 966-3080 to set up an appointment so we can get started!