One of A Kind Education
Let’s Talk Vaccinations
The average pet owner who brings a new furry family member into the home is not aware of the guidelines and laws surrounding pet vaccinations and their schedules. Additionally, the world wide web has provided so much conflicting information on the subject, who do you believe and trust? As a non-profit rescue, we only want what is best for the animals, and have built our vaccination schedule around what is the most effective and what is required. We will cover the basics on puppies and dogs first, and cats next.
Puppy and Dog Vaccinations
Did you know that worms are completely natural and normal for nursing puppies and kittens? Though we won’t get into all the technical reasons why this happens, nursing puppies will always have worms. If left untreated it can be harmful to their health. For this reason, the puppies born in our care always receive two rounds of de-wormer. Rescued puppies are generally older and will receive de-wormer upon intake. Puppies will also receive a Bordetella intra-nasal vaccination to combat kennel cough. This can be compared to our flu vaccine. It may prevent the virus from occurring in the system or it may just make the illness less severe for the dog. The important thing to note is that it is not a 100% prevention. The rule of thumb to follow is that if your dog or puppy is exposed to other dogs or puppies at any time, he should receive this vaccine. Boarding kennels, groomers and some veterinarians require it though it is not mandated by law.
Shelters and rescues ALWAYS administer this treatment, as kennel cough is very commonly spread in these environments. Luckily it is treatable and curable. Dhpp or Dhlpp is the next vaccine that is most common. This is a combination vaccine (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus). Though this vaccine is not required by law, we feel it should be, as it is extremely important and should not be ignored. The Dhlpp vaccine can be administered at 6-8 weeks of age and should be boosted two additional times to ensure the puppy is fully protected. The second shot should occur at 10-12 weeks and the third at 14-16 weeks. This series of vaccines is the only defense against all the fatal illnesses, especially the deadly and common parvovirus. The final vaccine for dogs is the Rabies vaccine, which is required by law. This can be given either annually or every three years, depending on which option you prefer. Puppies are not given the rabies vaccine until they are at least twelve weeks of age (Ohio law). Rabies laws vary from state to state as well as county to county, so it is important to familiarize yourself with those.
Cat vaccines are a bit simpler because cats should be indoor creatures and don’t travel like dogs do. All kittens should follow the same de-worming protocols as the puppies mentioned above. Also at the kitten stage, our rescues are tested for feline leukemia (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Kittens can sometimes present false test results from the mother’s antibodies, so it is good to retest at adulthood. These viruses are transmitted from cat to cat so if your kitty is alone indoors most do not vaccinate for these. The more common feline vaccine is the FVRCP. This is a combination vaccine that protects against the feline herpes virus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. This vaccine can begin at six weeks and boostered every two to three weeks until sixteen weeks of age. This is a core vaccine that should be received by all cats and kittens regardless of whether they go outside or not. Some of these illnesses can be transmitted on items for up to a year. So, if you purchase an awesome cat tree at a thrift store or yard sale, you could be bringing deadly viruses into your home. The rabies vaccine is also required by law for our furry felines. Again, at twelve weeks of age, which can vary depending on your location.
The most important rule of thumb is to educate yourself on vaccines and what is needed and required for your new pet. The goal is to keep our fur babies as safe and healthy as possible!
Two Convenient Locations
1929 West Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
(behind Walgreen's and AutoZone)
Spay & Neuter Clinic
1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
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