Pet Vaccinations are an essential part of pet wellness care, especially for dogs and cats here in Brooklyn. The population of stray cats in Brooklyn has increased by 150% in the last 12 months. Stray cats spread the following: fleas, intestinal parasites, FIV, feline leukemia, and possibly rabies.
Vaccinations protect pets against highly contagious and deadly diseases, which are easily spread by pets in proximity to each other. In Brooklyn and New York City, most people live in apartment buildings. Disease and viruses can be spread in elevators, hallways, airborne, bottom of shoes, etc. Our veterinarian strongly recommends vaccinating all pets with the core vaccination series, which offers life-saving protection from parvo, distemper and other deadly diseases. New York state law requires all dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies. Depending on the vaccine manufacturer’s requirements, most pets will need a booster shot for rabies and other core vaccines every three years.
Here in Brooklyn, pets live in close proximity to one another. Without proper immunization protection, our Brooklyn dog parks, grooming salons, boarding kennels and doggy daycares could quickly become ground zero for highly contagious and deadly diseases. All it takes is one sick pet at the local dog park to expose hundreds of other dogs to a deadly disease. And since many of these illnesses do not cause clear symptoms until several days after contraction, it is nearly impossible to tell an infected dog apart from a healthy dog. Consequently, a seemingly “healthy” dog could play with your pet at the dog park and – if your pet is not vaccinated – transmit a disease. Neither you nor the dog’s owners will know what happened until it’s too late for both of your pets.
Our Brooklyn vet recommends all pets receive the core vaccination series. For dogs, this vaccine series is the combined DHPP shot that protects against distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. For cats, the feline core vaccination shot is FVRCP, which protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (feline distemper). Pet should receive the first core vaccination shot when they are puppies or kittens as part of the puppy/kitten shot series. Regular booster shots are typically administered one year following the completion of the puppy/kitten shot series, and then every three years.
The puppy/kitten shot series is critical to protecting young animals from deadly diseases. This shot series is typically administered for the first time after a pet is weaned, usually at 8 to 10 weeks of age. Booster shots are then given every three to four weeks until a young pet’s immune system fully matures, typically around 18 to 20 weeks of age. Young puppies and kittens are especially vulnerable to highly contagious illnesses since their immune systems are still developing. Should they become ill, their bodies are less able to handle the aggressive treatments necessary, increasing the risk for an early and tragic death.
Pet vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect pets from illness. Like any medication, there is a small risk of allergic reaction in conjunction with these vaccinations. However, the risk is extremely low; unvaccinated pets are at far greater risk of contracting a serious illness.
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