At Peñasquitos Pet Clinic we believe in assessing the patient’s risk for being exposed to certain diseases (for which there is a vaccine) before deciding to give your pet a particle vaccine.
There are certain “core” vaccines that we always give to puppies and kittens during their first year.
For puppies we give a series of three to four vaccines, depending on what age your puppy is when we start his/her vaccines. These vaccines immunize your puppy against the following diseases: Distemper, Parvo, Parainfluenza and Hepatitis. We also give two Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines. At 16 weeks of age we give a Rabies vaccine. The law requires us to give a Rabies vaccine to all dogs when they are 16 weeks old. There is no such requirement for cats in California at this time but we give it just in case your cat escapes to the outside and is exposed to it. (Rabies is a deadly disease that any mammal, including you and your children, can get). Your dog should have booster immunizations after he turns one year old of all of the core vaccines. We have available a three year Distemper, Parvo, Hepatitis vaccine for dogs over one year old. The Rabies vaccine booster is good for three years once your dog is one year old. The kennel cough vaccine (Bordetella) should be given as a booster every six months if your dog gets groomed, goes to Dog Beach, Dog Park, Doggie Day Care or plays with other dogs in your neighborhood on a regular basis. It should also be given every six months if you travel a lot and frequently need to board your dog at our hospital or another boarding facility. We will assess your pet’s need for this vaccine on an ongoing basis. If you only board your pet occasionally then you should have him/her vaccinate with Bordetella at least three weeks before you are going to have him/her stay with us or at another boarding facility. We document in your puppy's record what vaccines were given and where on his/her body they are given.
Kittens are vaccinated against the following diseases: Feline Viral Respiratory disease (a Herpes virus), Calci Virus (another respiratory virus) and Panleukopenia (a deadly intestinal virus). We give a series of three to four of these vaccines in the first year. We also test your kitten for Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV, deadly but preventable with vaccines) and Feline Immunosuppressive Virus (FIV). If your kitten is negative for both of these viruses we give them two FELV vaccines three weeks apart. We do not vaccinate against FIV as the vaccine is not considered to be that effective (UC Davis research) and causes a lot of irritation in the nasal cavities (it is a nasal vaccine) and on the skin of the nose. The last vaccine your kitten receives is the Rabies vaccine at 16 weeks old. We give booster vaccines to kittens after they turn one year old. We only vaccinate indoor cats once every three years after the one-year boosters are given. Your indoor cats still need to have their yearly (annual) well pet examinations. For those cats that are allowed outside we recommend booster immunizations every year of all the core vaccines. NOTE: We only use non-adjuvated vaccines in cats. If vaccines used in cats have an adjuvant it can cause a deadly cancer called a FIBROSARCOMA to form. We follow the AAFP guidelines for where on your kitten's body we give each vaccine and how often to vaccinate. We document in your cat's record where we gave each vaccine.
In our area we recommend the Rattlesnake Vaccine for dogs (they are still working on one for cats). It should not be given at the same time you dog or puppy receives his/her other vaccines. It should be given as the only vaccine, after 16 weeks old and is a two-part vaccine. The two parts are given 4 weeks apart. We give a booster every year in the spring (March) to dogs at risk. The Rattlesnake Vaccine is NOT a substitute for veterinary care. If a rattlesnake bites your dog he/she should be IMMEDIATELY taken to a veterinarian (either his/her personal veterinarian or the emergency clinic veterinarian if it is after hours). This vaccine works well in many dogs but not all. Also a snakebite is not a clean bite (bacteria) and how well the vaccine helps prevent the swelling and pain of a bite depends on where on his/her body your dog gets bit. A bite anywhere on the face or neck is very serious and requires your dog to receive immediate veterinary care!
NOTE: A NEW KIND OF RATTLESNAKE HAS MOVED INTO THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY AREA. The new type of rattlesnake uses a NEUROTOXIN instead of a HEMOTOXIN. This type of toxin is DEADLY! If you dog does NOT receive the SPECIAL ANTI-VENOM for this type of bite he/she will die! There are only two hospitals in the San Diego County area currently licensed to carry this type of anti-venom: ANIMAL URGENT CARE in Escondido and VETERINARY SPECIALTY HOSPITAL in Sorrento Valley. Some individual veterinarians have a conditional use license to have this new kind of anti-venom but the two hospitals listed above are the only ones who ALWAYS have it on hand! See our Emergencies page if you are viewing this page after hours.
Another non-core vaccine is the Canine Influenza vaccine. This vaccine only became available to veterinarians in 2009. It is a two part vaccine: the vaccine and it's booster are given three weeks apart. It take THREE weeks from the time the first vaccine is given for a dog's body to develop antibodies (proteins that fight the virus) to fight the disease.
This vaccine is recommended for all healthy dogs that are going to be at a doggy day spa or regularly attend doggy day care. If you are planning to have your puppy attend a doggy day spa or if he/she is going to be taken care of at a doggy day care on a regular basis we recommend that your dog receive this vaccine. Canine Influenza is a difficult disease to detect. Regular contact with lots of other dogs puts your dog at higher risk for contracting this disease.