Vaccinating Your Pet
Vaccines play a major role in keeping pets healthy and giving them more time to spend with their loving owners. Our pets need protection from disease just as much as we do, which is why we work with owners to create personalized vaccine plans for their companions. Our animal hospital in Irvine is committed to the lifelong care of your four-legged friend, and the pet vaccinations we provide will go a long way towards preserving their health.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Pet vaccinations function in much the same way as human vaccinations. They protect their recipient by prompting the immune system to produce antibodies, which fight off intrusive viruses. Vaccines contain a modified form of the virus they are meant to protect against, along with antigens to trigger an immune response. The goal of vaccinations is to equip your pet with immunity against several common diseases such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and leukemia.
Pet Vaccines We Offer
We carry vaccines for both dogs and cats that fall into two categories: core and non-core. Core vaccines are highly recommended for most pets, because they protect against some of the most common (and dangerous) diseases. Non-core vaccines are administered according to your pet’s risk of exposure and other lifestyle factors.
- Rabies vaccine (core)
- DHPP (core)
- Bordetella – intranasal (non-core)
- Lyme vaccine (non-core)
- Bivalent canine influenza vaccine – protects against H3N2 and H3N8 strains (non-core)
- Rabies vaccine (core)
- FVRCP (core)
- Feline leukemia (non-core)
The distemper vaccine (DHPP for dogs and FVRCP for cats) should be administered when your pet is about 6-8 weeks old, and they should be revaccinated every 3-4 weeks until they are about 16 weeks of age. They can be revaccinated annually for distemper thereafter. The rabies vaccine should ideally be given around 15 weeks, then again the following year, and then once every 3 years. The intranasal Bordetella vaccine can typically be given when your pet is 11-12 weeks old, and must be given annually. We recommend the feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV) for cats that spend time outdoors.
Canine influenza continues to be a problem for dogs here in California and other parts of the country. We strongly recommend getting the bivalent flu vaccine for your dog if they spend time around other dogs at daycare, board at the kennel, or visit the dog park. Our bivalent vaccine protects against the two primary strains of canine flu; H3N2 and H3N8.
Since we are seeing more ticks in the area, we recommend the Lyme vaccine for dogs, which is also annual.
Your Pet’s Vaccine Plan
Our veterinary team in Irvine understands and respects the unique needs of each patient. Certain vaccines, such as Bordetella, are not necessary for every pet. During your first visit to our hospital, we will go over all of the vaccines we offer and evaluate your pet’s health and lifestyle. From there, we can work with you to choose the vaccines that are most relevant to their needs. As your pet ages, their needs will change, and we will adjust their vaccination schedule accordingly.