Vaccination

Dr. Tesecum

What Are Canine (Dog) and Feline (Cat) Core Vaccines?

  • Core vaccines are considered vital to all dogs and cats based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans.
  • Canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines.
  • Feline Herpesvirus 1, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Panleukopenia Virus and Feline Rabies Vaccines are considered core vaccines.
  • Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.
  • Non-core vaccines for cats are Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Bordetella bronchiseptica Vaccine.

 

Vaccination Schedule for Dogs: Core and Non-core Vaccines

Dog Vaccine
Initial Puppy Vaccination (at or under 16 weeks)
Initial Adult Dog Vaccination (over 16 weeks)
Booster Recommendation
Comments
Rabies 1-year
Can be administered in one dose, as early as 3 months of age. States regulate the age at which it is first administered.

Single dose

Annual boosters are required.

Core dog vaccine. Rabies is 100% fatal to dogs, with no treatment available. Prevention is key.

Rabies 3-year

Can be administered as one dose, as early as 3 months of age. States regulate the age at which it is first administered.

Single dose

A second vaccination is recommended after 1 year, then boosters every 3 years.

Core dog vaccine.

Distemper
At least 3 doses, given between 6 and 16 weeks of age

2 doses, given 3-4 weeks apart

Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing their initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.

Core dog vaccine. Caused by an airborne virus, distemper is a severe disease that, among other problems, may cause permanent brain damage.

Parvovirus
At least 3 doses, given between 6 and 16 weeks of age
2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart
Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing the initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.
Core dog vaccine. Canine “parvo” is contagious, and can cause severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Parvo is usually fatal if untreated.
Adenovirus (canine hepatitis)
At least 3 doses, between 6 and 16 weeks of age
2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart
Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing the initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.
Core dog vaccine. Spread via coughs and sneezes, canine hepatitis can lead to severe liver damage, and death.
Parainfluenza
Administered at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old
1 dose
A booster may be necessary after 1 year, depending on manufacturer recommendations; revaccination every 3 years is considered protective.
Non-core dog vaccine. Parainfluenza infection results in cough, fever. It may be associated with Bordetella infection.
Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough )
Depends on the vaccine type; 2 doses are usually needed for protection.
1 dose of the intranasal or oral product, or 2 doses of the injected product
Annual or 6-month boosters may be recommended for dogs in high-risk environments.
Non-core dog vaccine. Not usually a serious condition, although it can be dangerous in young puppies. It is usually seen after activities like boarding or showing.
Lyme disease
1 dose, administered as early as 9 weeks, with a second dose 2-4 weeks later
2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart
May be needed annually, prior to the start of tick season
Non-core dog vaccine. Generally recommended only for dogs with a high risk for exposure to Lyme disease-carrying ticks.
Leptospirosis
First dose at 12 weeks; second dose 4 weeks later
2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart
At least once yearly for dogs in high-risk areas
Non-core dog vaccine. Vaccination is generally restricted to established risk areas. Exposure to rodents and standing water can lead to a leptospirosis infection.
Canine influenza
First dose as early as 6-8 weeks; second dose 2-4 weeks later
2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart
Yearly
Non-core dog vaccine.
Similar to bordetella.

Vaccination Schedule for Cats: Core and Non-core Vaccines

Cat Vaccine
Initial Kitten Vaccination (at or under 16 weeks)
Initial Adult Cat Vaccination (over 16 weeks)
Booster Recommendation
Comments
Rabies
Single dose as early as 8 weeks of age, depending on the product. Revaccinate 1 year later.

2 doses, 12 months apart

Required annually or every 3 years, depending on vaccine used. State regulations may determine the frequency and type of booster required.

Core cat vaccine. Rabies is 100% fatal to cats, with no treatment available. Prevention is key.

Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia)

As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age.

2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart

1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.

Core cat vaccine. Feline distemper is a severe contagious disease that most commonly strikes kittens and can cause death.

Feline Herpesvirus
As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age

2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart

1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.

Core cat vaccine. Feline herpesvirus causes feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), a very contagious upper respiratory condition.

Calicivirus
As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age
2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart
1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.
Core cat vaccine.  A very contagious upper respiratory condition that can cause joint pain, oral ulcerations, fever, and anorexia.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
As early as 8 weeks, then 3-4 weeks later
2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart
1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then annually
Non-core cat vaccine.
Should test FeLV negative first. Transmitted via cat-to-cat contact. Can cause cancer, immunosuppressant
Bordetella
At 8 weeks, then 2-4 weeks later
2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart
Annually
Non-core cat vaccine.
A contagious upper respiratory condition.